It was a very impromptu camping trip this past weekend.
No it wasn’t to an out of town, country or local Burning Man DeCompression.
These are held in cities from San Fransisco, to Reno, to LA, to NYC, to Sydney, to London to Prague and hell I can’t even count them all. Burning Man encompasses all countries, religions, political ideologies, creeds, hippies (-shudder-) and attorneys (-shudder again-). Exception for the cool lawyer in our camp.
No, this weekend wasn’t 4th of Juplaya relived either.
Geographically it WAS the Scene of …many crimes! All amusing, fabulous,weird, wondrous, occasionally illegal and normally accomplished in various states of undress…Black Rock Desert and Frog Pond.
Despite our unorganized arrival and gear I made it through this weekend at the Black Rock Desert playa and Frog Pond unscathed. There was a small dust storm that rolled in as we did. Nothing like a white-out at Burning Man. Just very windy and we got a bit of natural exfoliation.
Let me add that I knew nothing about our camping foray until the day before. Happened to look at my boyfriend’s FB and he had announced it, about 48 hours hours earlier. which would have been great if I made a daily habit of looking at his FB page. Which I don’t. -face palm-
The Frog Pond pools and hot spring are surrounded by trees and tiny dunes that keep it a bit sheltered from the playa dust and high winds. Although most of our gear is already playa-ized from previous Burns and playa excursions.
Sadly the wind was just gusty enough that on Sunday that we got hardly any shooting in. No dust, just screwed on any chance of hitting a designated target.
Saturday afternoon and evening we soaked in the springs and met a few other campers. Including Naked Bob; a Burner for 19 years where he has given back to the Burner community by working the exodus; 50,000 people leaving Black Rock City at pretty much the same time. Yikes.
He looks to be about 70 and was at Frog Pond for the solitude, stark beauty of the playa, and to pass along a few nuggets of wisdom if approached. Of course there was a family with 5 kids that were surprised -but not freaked- to see people in the springs au natural. They avoided us for the remainder of the weekend.
Despite the winds Steve cooked dinner and I made us cocktails. Sunday we walked back to the shooting range -about 1/4 mile- to where Frog Bat is blown up at 4th of Juplaya. Frog Bat is a 12 or 14 foot replica of a frog and bat (hard to believe given the name) filled with propane cylinders.
On Saturday night of the July 4th weekend, instead of watching The Man burn, everyone comes off the playa with their firearm of choice, then shoots the hell out of Frog Bat until it explodes. Possibly a reason this event is not sanctioned by Burning Man.
Lots of remnants of art cars over there in the shooting range and Frog Bat area. There are also stray propane canisters totally shot up and a few not blown up (which Perry blowed-up real good). The small dunes of the shooting range emit a kind of cool, sad, ghost town eerie kind of vibe. Had my iPod on and between the music (Zero 7), weather and spooky/beautiful way this area looked I was fascinated. This is one of the two experiences that made the weekend worth the trip.
The other high point was floating on my back, in the hot springs, looking up at all the stars. After a great rib-eye steak cooked over an open campfire and several small plastic tumblers of a good single malt scotch. Or PBRs if you were Steve or Perry.
Tried to explain to Perry and Steve that camping does not mean living like an animal. Especially after I woke up in the back of Frank, short for Frankenstein, Perry’s truck.
Frank is made up of several different manufacturers’ body and engine parts. And looks like it. Frank has a new $25.00 camper shell now. By new I mean 20 years old and found via Craigslist sitting on the ground at a Red Rock ranch for 10 years. Embellished with dirt, dead bugs, cobwebs and rotting wood interior. Hey, it was new to us. Should have known P hadn’t actually cleaned it out. Anyone have a shudder left in them? How about a gag reflex?
Springs were a wonder for my back! Cut back on the pain meds the first night.
Sadly the lack of suspension on the fucking truck (sorry Frank) on the way home -and being squished between Perry and Steve over the gear shift, huge hump where the gearbox is, a tachometer box and wiring that Perry installed and no AC- dialed my back pain to 11.
So I am re-hydrating, watching a movie on Netflix, smoking a ciggie, propped up on the bed and going between heating pad and cold packs (freezer burned but useful broccoli) for the back.
And ignoring the vile camping dishes, laundry and gear in the basement.
Interesting and relaxing weekend all in all. And no I won’t tell you where the springs are.
Unless you’ll loan me a clean trailer or RV.