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Coyote Nose V2:#01:03.17.04

That's what the playa looks like right now. So strange to see it in the winter with the mid day sun set on a drastic slant changing our otherworldly home into somewhere else again. The playa in winter forbids you.
It keeps secrets for too profound for humans.
The ancient gods and goddesses fly midnight kites with ice tails.
Whipping winds will freeze even flames out there.
The black block of night turns our martian summer into Neptune where the sun is the size of a morning star.

There are a few places where one can stand and see the whole of Black Rock City in one sweep, trash fence and all. The friday of each years event always finds me rooted in one of these places, transfixed in slush wonder. I can never tell if the tears in my eyes are from emotion, or the tobacco snuff I just snorted.*
*(A DPW staple for nasal dust abatement.)
This winter was the first that I ever got to stand on the very spot, checking the view in January. Only this time I was standing in corn snow, clutching at my shivery wind blown jacket, thinking how far off the hot summer nude nights of burn week are.
The playa looked like it was under a giant, wet, dark brown tarp of burlap.
Any sign of the fence line, the roads, the Man, or any part of BRC '03 was gone, and the playa was swallowing it up like quicksand swallows a zebra.

Speaking of disappearing fence lines, a fairly recent event involving my brother-in-law, David Reynolds, got me thinking about borders in general. Owning a Triumph franchise in Kalamazoo Michigan, he's been a motorcycle buff for a few decades now with a steady diet of bike trips, and this one found him coming out of St Louis, crossing a state line bridge over the Mississippi River. Well, engineers seldom design things with motorcycles in mind, and Dave's front wheel hit a fat expansion joint that was set on an angle, sending him over the handlebars at sixty miles an hour.
Now here's the kicker -
He crashed in Missouri, and slid all the way into Illinois!
(When I told Larry H. this story, he asked if that was anything like ex-candidate Howard Dean crashing in Wisconsin and sliding into Iowa).
So, here's my brother-in-law laying in a crumpled heap, thanking the helmet gods, and listening to the idiocy of jabber between the officers and medics arguing over which hospital to send him to fer christ sakes!!

I don't see no stinking borders!

Who built the first fence?
Some say is was the first to stop gathering and start pushing seeds into the ground.
The first to make a "claim".
The first to have to protect that claim.
The first to say "ours and theirs".
It's when man took his first right turn into "civilization" - such as it is.
It was the berth of commerce.
A fence is no joke -
A fence gets talked over.
A fence gets fought over.
A good fence makes a good neighbor.
We build a fence on federal land every year.

Things change with a fence.
We had to build one when our event had grown to a point where it had to have one to survive.
We had to find at least some order in a world that had blown its pressure valves.
We were teenagers that had gone from mini bikes to motorcycles, and had to start wearing helmets.
That fence was the adolescence of Burning Man.

That fence was one big stretched out training bra.

I guess you could say the fence was sort of a "gate way drug" if you will, to many borders that are getting strung up around us. Our growing pains are still growing. Politics surrounding our Work Ranch have forced us to up root the world again, like having to keep re-potting the house plants.
For a a few moments, the mighty oak tree of the DPW had its fat roots hangin' out and stuck into a burlap bag for all to see.
Funny how burlap keeps showing up at times of healing and growing.
The same burlap that our new roots are tearing through as we speak.
The same burlap thats covering the playa right now.
The same burlap that insulates a mummy from history.

The bear of the DPW may have been hibernating, but the snow fox of Nevada Properties has been raiding a hen house of resources to stay alive. Much has been happening in the political world surrounding our toe hold ranch just north of the site, and the cold snap of the outside legitimate world is sending us into full adulthood. We're having to comply.
Look for more on this in future "Coyote Nose" columns when we catch you up on the winter works.

By the way, on of the compliances of the ranch was to get rid of the rows and rows of materials that have accumulated.
You know the ones.
Well, there gone folks, and I mean gone! The winter ranch heros have been awfully busy.
Former DPW slugger, "Roady" Jonas said it best while his jaw was scraping the ground. He said that there's just gotta be a fat canyon close by here that's filled to the brim with crap!!

Here's an off topic funny to leave you by -
DPW powerhouse, Ada Chester, and Black Rock Gazette's Mike Durgavitch are getting hitched in April and went tra-la skipping down to city hall to procure their marriage license, only to find....(Doh!)
Guess their rosy colored glasses blocked out all the recent news about same sex marriages and the multi-block long lines at City Hall. Spying the endless umbrellas and camping gear of the waiting homo-nuptials, The always witty Durgy started looking around to see if maybe there was an "express" window for the straight people.
They might have felt like the only ones, maybe.
You go, Durgy - always thinkin' outside the box!

All for now

Coyote Nose