But when I went to Burning Man 2004: The Vault of Heaven, I learned a whole new flava of party. One week, one desert moonscape, one 40 foot man atop one 40 foot geodesic dome, and 35,000 of your closest friends - now THAT's a party!
This gem of a Kodak moment captures me and my Humboldt friends Dave & Cragen, all liquored & lit up from our visit to their theme camp Whiskey & Whores Saloon (the Asylum folks really know how to put on the dog! Their motto: "Get your whiskey. Join the whores. Dance on the bar. Be entertained. Be entertaining.") After that, we were hittin' the playa!
I can't begin to describe the wonders that are Burning Man, but you know mouthy Velma, I'll try anyway: the Thunderdome; Ubercarney: a home-made roller coaster w/ accompanying go-go dancers in cages!; a Roller Disco; Camp Lite Brite, featuring a 6ft. tall interactive light board; the Hookahdome, a middle-eastern oasis of belly dancing & flavored tobacco; the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet, purveyor of low-cost, quality soulmates; dozens of art installations; the Star Wheel, a 22ft. rolling, bicycle-powered ferris wheel; a plethora of art cars; the Temple of Stars, 100ft. tall structure sprawling 1/4 mile across the playa, where any & all can reflect, honor, remember, and celebrate those they have lost before being burned to the ground Sunday night, & where I left, on the altar of sacrifice, my wedding bouquet from my second marriage, to mark the end of that chapter of my life; and on, and on, and on... All this, I should remind you, plunked down in the middle of Nevada desert, miles from any power, water, or other conveniences. An entire city springs up here for one week each September, and being part of it changed me.
I'd like very much to participate in Burning Man again. The cost can be prohibitively high (all told, I think I spent about $2k when I went in '04, what with tickets, van rental, provisions, & accoutrements; no chump change). But maybe next time I will try a more seat-of-my-pants, no-frills, low-budget strategy. Either way, you know I'll be there to PARTY!
(More pics in my Flickr Burning Man '04 set).