#7; ISSUE #46
A pleasant "meow" to you all.
So, here you have it. An "ALL MARIAN, JRS", my words, my opinion, my advice from years of experience. This was planned to be the LAST Jack Rabbit Speaks before we opened Black Rock City, however there is one that's been drafted (by Cabe) and is queued up to post by Andie. Our editing process slowed down, and has made it so that one is likely to go after mine. I'm informed that Andie is enroute to the Gerlach officeSso mine will go first if you've submitted a post she'll have post it before the end of today!
I've been living in Northern Nevada for the last few weeks. First on the Work Ranch, and then on the Playa. Black Rock City has NEVER been so beautiful. The DPW has a crew of mostly-returning staff and volunteers and have therefore been setting up the city very quickly and smoothly. Transportation of stuff to the playa went well, surveying the city and installation of the fence (I helped) went quickly and in record time, even the "gate to greeter" signs were installed a week earlier than last year! And, OH MY, the Temple the Man is on is huge. Woo Hoo!
Information abounds, no index. Clip and save.
People keep emailing me the one question we all want to know. "What's the weather like?" Well It's been VERY hot during the day, and a little chilly at night. Today it's overcast, but still warm. Last week it was warm at night, but earlier this week it began to hit the mid-50's at night. But, I've seen it in the low 40's before, so be prepared for anything. Days are high 80's and high 90's. Prepare for HOT days and cool nights. weather.yahoo.com...USNV0033_f.html There is wind periodically. Sometimes strong. There is lots of dust. When the wind blows, it moves the dust around. Sometimes in your face, sometimes in your hair, sometimes in your food, drink, mouth, you get it. Driving slow on gate roadn and in the city will help minimize the dust. If you experience a dust storm on the playa, stay put. If the dust storm continues for a particularly LONG period of time (3 hours), tune into BMIR for information.
Start drinking water as you head up 447. Hydrate. Move slowly once you get there, don't over exert and become a medical statistic. Be patient as your body acclimates.
SURFACE OF THE PLAYA?
People have heard various reports of the playa surface. I've been there, walked on it. Before the rains in early July it was the best surface we'd seen in years. The water caused the surface to loosen up a little from the lower layer, so in some places a "potato chip effect" has happened. In other areas, however, this isn't evident. It's still a very good surface, NOT at all like what we had a few years ago which was then described as: "brownie" or "mashed potato-like". It's a fairly hard surface, biking will be good. Roller skates? Not that good.
Thanks to the 25 of you who upon request submitted playa-specific drinks.
The inquiry came from a reporter at the Reno Gazette Journal, who may or may
not feature one in the paper during the week of the event. I'm interested to
see if any were interesting to her. I have to say that I laughed very hard
at some of them, and thought that reading it was a high form of
entertainment. ie: use last year's playa dust in a playa 'rita because it
works with the aged tequila. We also passed the list onto the Santa Cruz
regionals at: burningbeach.com.
A few nights ago, while drinking
one of MY playa drinks, DA, one of the DPW staff, had a brainstorm that it
would be fun to do a "taste test" of the "playa drinks". Three judges could
be a representative of the DPW, Rangers and LLC (Larry was suggested, but
hasn't been asked yet). Participants could tell the story of their drink to
all in attendance. Etc. We'd have a Playa-Vanna-White to write the
ingredients for all to see on a flip chart or white board. Judges would use
cards, olympics-style 1-10 to judge the drinks. If you submitted a playa
drink, and are interested in doing this, let me know. Email to: marian.
give me your playa-arrival date. We'll either do this
on Tuesday, early on or maybe Friday. We think mid-day would be fun. And are
considering a venue. It'll only happen if all the stars align right. So,
cross your fingers.
burningbeach.com...playabeverages.doc Word doc
DRIVING To Burning Man
I've had the "pleasure" of driving back and forth from Gerlach to San Francisco a few times since moving to the desert, and back and forth to Reno also. I have some advice and reminders that everyone should heed.
== Follow the speed limits. Particularly on 447 through Nixon and
== Avoid passing other cars on 447 and 34. You'll get there eventually. Relax and enjoy the countryside. There are cows, rabbits, deer, coyotes, horses, large trucks carrying garlic or drywall and automobiles on the road. Reaching the event 10 minutes faster is NOT worth the risk.
== Don't swerve to avoid the rabbits. We lost a Burner in 1999 enroute to the event due to rolling a car while trying to save the life of a rabbit. Legend amongst the Burning Man staff is that for every "suicidal bunny" that's hit by accident, a Burner is born.
== Don't use the back route from Winnemucca.
== DO NOT speed on Gate Road into the event. Seriously, if you've experienced the dusty conditions at the event you should do your part to keep the dust down.
== It's hard to go slow when you've entered Black Rock City. But, 5 MPH inside BRC is optimal to keep dust down.
Misc: burningman.com...travel_info... Travel tips from Burners going from LA, Pacific NW, NYC, Canada and Reno to Black Rock City.
EAST BOUND drivers
== Read this page to your car-mates as you travel from SF-Gerlach:
burningman.com...botanical.html Kudos to TipiDan.
== I've been keeping a little chart of what's off of which exit on I-80 towards Reno. I'm tempted to post it here, but it's filled with "brand names," (because I'm picky about what kind of fast food i'll consume). Suffice to say that Rocklin (east of Sacto) is a useful exit and includes a Safeway, variety of fast food and gasoline. Also, Foresthill before Auburn has lots of stuff, and the famous Ikeda hamburgers, etc. If ANYONE out there has also been keeping track of what services are off of which exits please let me know. Maybe together we have more complete information for public consumption.
For those that drive through Reno:
== You'll find many Burner-friendly stores. Don't be afraid to identify yourself as going to Burning Man. We have a positive effect on the economy and culture in the area, and it's good to remind the businesses we patronize.
== If you have room in your car, please stop by the Black Rock Burner Hostel and Ride Share at 1350 Breaker, off McCarren and I-80. (directions in previous JRS) Riders are ready to go NOW and until the 28th.
== First serious exit as you head east into Reno, McCarren (X 11) has 24-hour Kmart, Home Depot to the south. Fast food, gas and Safeway to the north
== Second serious exit as you head east is Keystone. Has Albertson's (south), Raley's (north), Wells Fargo Bank, fastfood and gas.
== If it's daylight, you feel adventurous, like the desert scenery, and have never taken the route before, try "Pyramid Way" to the event. The exit is right after John Asguaga's Nugget, and says: "Pyramid Way 446". Take it out through Sparks and you'll come over a rise and see Pyramid lake from a new vantage point. Take a right before you go along the lake, head south/east to the intersection with 447, and you'll be back on track with the regular route. I LOVE to take this route if it's late afternoon. The light over the lake is beautiful. (I don't like to travel at night, btw. Too many cows on the road.)
NV RADIO STATIONS
== There are lots of radio stations as you head through Reno. 3 of them will stay with you all the way to the edge of the playa, with a little ducking in and out: 92.9 (rock oldies) 102.9 (new hip hop station) 105.7 (rock oldies).
If you're coming from the east:
== There's lots in Winnemucca including a K-Mart and my favorite breakfast place, the Griddle.
== You should try to stop in Lovelock. This small town is the county seat of Pershing County (our hosts). It's here where the local County Clerk processes all the requests for marriage licenses, felony arrests are brought, and the 3 local County Commissioners are VERY supportive of the event. Don't miss the old, VERY unique County Court House building which you can see if you get off the highway at the main exit which has a Chevron, and a Safeway (near the County Court House). There are a few places of overnight mostly cheap accomodation. There is also a Napa auto parts store, Sturgeons Casino and Restaurant, a good Mexican food restaurant right in the middle of town, near 4th st (or at least all the officials including the Sheriff say it's good), There's a couple of very trippy bars in town (I've been in one, and wish I could tell you exactly where it is). A second-hand-antique-sort-of-store or two with random hours of business. Then on the west side of town as you get back on the freeway is a little museum of the area. Lovelock is a sweet town, and the County Commissioners are VERY supportive of us. SO, if you can, please support their community.
aka: "What's before you as you head to Black Rock City"
After leaving I-80:
BE NICE TO THE LOCALS. They are for the most part VERY supportive of the Burning Man event.
If you leave the pavement at Fernley there's a truck stop with a discount for ya. Check a previous JRS for more info. Lots of fast food at the Fernley stop.
If you leave the pavement at WadsworthSthere's the I-80 Smoke Shop run by the local Native American tribe, which means cheap cigarettes, gas, corn dogs and beverages.They will also have Burning Man schwag including the new calendar.
Nixon: Old Timers will be surprised to see a store functioning as you head into Nixon. It's a strange little store, and it's almost always empty. But, they have gas, and beverages. There may be Burning Man schwag there also.
Empire Store. Welcome to NoWhere. Don Lawson and crew have been supporting Burning Man for years. The week of Burning Man is his "Christmas". He brings in beer that sells at no other time of year just for us! Isn't that sweet! He also has water, gatorade, etc. He has gas. And, we recommend you fill up INBOUND, not OUTBOUND to the event. Also, you'll find the Calendar at the Empire store. (see URL above). His hours of operation are as follows: Week before the event opens: 9 AM 10 PM. Week of the event: 9 AM Midnight.
Bars, Motels, GAS and hardware?
You'll find Bruno's Texaco, Bruno's Country Club (only restaurant, good specials, ravioli, Prospector sandwich) and Bar (with a beautiful old bar and pool table), and Bruno's Motel. Bruno commands respect from all his patrons, and will remove you if you come in partially clothed or shoeless. The Motel is full of local law enforcement working the event, and usually has no vacancies. You'll also find Bev's Miner's Club (with a pool table and a sweet woman who's run it by herself for years, except during our event when she usually has help. She's special-ordered beer other than Bud just for the week of Burning Man). If you bring her something with a green frog on it, she'll swoon. She started a local group call the FROGs. Friendly Retired Old Geezers. There's also the Gerlach Club. The hours of this establishment make no sense to me, but you can try to stop by. The Black Rock Saloon, that used to be quite a lively place is NOT OPEN this year. However, a side room of the joint is being used by Kimrik Smyth and his father as they are doing their own little "hardware" store. They have goggles, heavy duty tent stakes/rebar/anchors, all kinds of stuff. They are NOT affiliated with the theme camp know as Black Rock City Hardware, which will NOT be on the playa this year. If you are in one of the local bars, leave some cash in the donation jars for the historic water tower. Burning Man ice sales afterburn.burningman.com...arctica_ice.html contribute to that fund each year, and you can too directly.
Yes, there will be PUBLIC showers in Gerlach. The locals have finally seen the light and made an effort to open the public showers on the west side of town. The shuttle bus will stop there if you need them to. They will cost $$. Around $5 I think. The hours during the early part of the week: Sunday and Monday 5 pm-8 pm. Wednesday-Monday 10 AM 9 PM. The folks that run the showers are super people. When we test drove them recently the showers were clean. Hope you get a chance to use them.
Burning Man office?
We do have an office in Gerlach. It's across the street from the Black Rock Saloon (closed now). We do NOT have phones available for general use, or computers available for you to check your email. It's a very busy time for us, so don't make us crabby by asking to use the resources we need to be using in order to run a safe and smooth event.
Remember, you have the Shuttle Bus that will help you get from BRC back to Gerlach and Empire during the event. Wed. 10 AM 6 PM, Thurs.-Fri. 10 AM 6 PM, Sat. 9 AM 3 PM.
COMPUTERS, CELL PHONES, OH MY.
As in past years, there is free internet access on the playa if you bring your laptop and 802.11b card. http://www.eugeneweb.com/~bm/ibm.html. This is different fromPlayaNet where you can get event-related information (calendar, Digital Directory, etc.) from a playa-based network. Visit a PlayaNet kiosk. Cell phones still don't work on the playa. Good thing. There's an IDIOT trying to sell satellite phone time on the playa. He's doing pre-sale and on-site walk-up cash service. Don't encourage this guy by buy his service. Read your survival guide folks, NO VENDING, means no vending, no sales, no commerce. Period. Violation of ANY rules is grounds for eviction. Duh. If you need to make a phone call, a trip into town will solve everything. Why must people test us?
VEHICLE AND TRUCK RENTALS?
Confirm your reservations before picking up your rental vehicle/RV, etc. There is some silliness going on with Budget out of Reno. Warning. Warning. And, for GOSH SAKE, clean up your rental and return it in good condition. You'll be keeping our relationship with rental agencies positive by doing your part. Sierra RV no longer rents to individuals or the organization because people returned trailers with bags of garbage, rotting food, dirt and dust all over the place.
I know you hear this all the time, but we wouldn't repeat ourselves if it weren't important. CLEAN UP AS YOU GO. Separate your trash. Recycle. Leave packaging behind, why drag it to the playa only to throw it out there? (ie:pull the cereal out of the cereal box). Choose cans over bottles when possible. Carry a cigarette tin if you smoke. Be conscious of what's in your hands. DO NOT ever let "it" hit the ground.
Read the Exodus edition of the BRG for more information on services provided by the town of Gerlach as you depart. Usually there's a car wash supporting the local high school. Sometimes the Senior Center has a hamburger fry. The showers will be open.
POST EVENT DUST STORMS
Every year for the past 2 years there have been post-event white-outs which last for about 8 hours during daylight. The winds come from the south, and move all the disturbed playa surface creating a very large tall dust cloud. The cloud dissipates when the winds stop. This phenomenon happens when the winds are strong and continuous and actually effects the Smoke Creek Desert to the south at the same time. If you're on the playa at that time, we recommend you stay put. If you must move about, do so very very slowly and cautiously.
If you still don't have your ticket. Then, go here: tickets.burningman.com. If you buy online, you'll pick up your ticket at Will Call before you enter the gates of Black Rock City. It takes time to go through Will Call. If you're in San Francisco or Reno, and are traveling with others who HAVE their ticket already, I recommend you visit an outlet an then you can walk away with your ticket. No credit cards or checks are accepted at the outlets, however. Tickets are selling well. We might see 30,000+ this year!
Take your time. Enjoy your trip to and from Black Rock City. Getting there is part of the adventure.
We'll keep the light on for ya!
Welcome home everyone!
Mistress of Communication
jackrabbitspeaks (for questions and post requests)
The JRS: guaranteed to be interesting every now and then.
old rabbits: burningman.com...jrs