Sweet Harriet Goes to Burning Man

Posted: Sep 11 2016

WHAT IS BURNING MAN???

Every year in the middle of Nevada's Desert approximately 70,000 people gather & create a temporary city dedicated to art, music, self-reliance & radical inclusion. This city of far flung strangers functions without the exchange of money & leaves no trace behind.

 

As a first timer, I admittedly had some confusion as to what exactly goes on in this desert for an entire week. For example I was shocked to hear it's a family friendly event & that it is highly policed. I was under the impression that it was a free-for-all. Drugged up polygamists dancing naked in the wind and mad max wildlings driving around setting everything on fire. I was mostly wrong...

 

Sculptures and Teepee Burning Man 2016

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NO CARS ALLOWED?

Once you arrive at your campsite you park you vehicle for the duration of your stay. It is highly recommended that you bring a bike due to the sheer size of the city. If you fly in like a rockstar, fret not there are some community bikes provided. Yes, there is an airport for ballers & rockstars (like Katy Perry) to fly into Black Rock City. There is a loooooong line up to drive in and out; we were in it for 7 hours both ways, so if I could fly in I would.

 

The only motorized vehicles allowed are pre-approved mutant vehicles or art cars. The quality and quantity of art cars on the Playa is impressive, to say the least. Most of them blew fire, had massive sound systems and one sprayed a mist of essential oils onto dancing crowds of people below! 

 

 

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WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE DESERT FOR A WEEK?

 

I was admittedly apprehensive of the length of time we'd be at Burning Man; I find three day festivals exhausting.

First impression? Gobsmacked at the size of it all. It is massive.

 

The city area is composed of theme camps... yoga camp, trampoline camp, ride a sled into a bed of teddy bears camp, dodgeball, rollerskating, midnight poutine, massage, reiki, french wine & crepes, craft beer, human car wash, high tea, cheese camp (where you eat cheese and tell cheesey jokes)...basically anything and everything. A lot of camps put on workshops that you could easily fill your days with; there is something happening all the time everywhere.

Needless to say a week flew by & I was sad when it was over, there was still so much I wanted to see and do.

 

AquaZone Burning Man

My favourite theme camp: Aqua Zone. A camp devoted to same Masaru Emoto studies that I based my Power Of Words Cuffs and Rings on. It's a 'bar' that serves only positive word water out of blue bottles, just as the Masaru Emoto studies suggest is best. Insider info: Joy is delicious.

 

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WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE IS NO MONEY OR BARTERING?

Burning man is often referred to as a social experiment. It is a city run on gifting; giving with no expectation to receive anything in exchange. It is in the giving that you receive.

The generosity of humans in Black Rock City is inspiring. The grandeur and scope of what people haul into the desert is mind boggling. For example: a boeing 747 that required road closures from the Mojave Desert to Nevada all just to provide an amazing place to dance!   The countless hours of work that goes into the Temple, the Man and the numerous other works of art beautifully built just to be burnt down.  A powerful lesson in the temporary nature of everything, in letting go.

Turns out, in a moneyless society people become excessively generous. Experiencing the endless generosity of strangers made me feel all sorts of warm tingly feeling towards mankind.

 

The Temple Burning Man 2016

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WHAT DID YOU GIVE? 

I brought jewelry (shocking, I know). I set out to find the exact right person for each piece. People loved it, especially my Canadian antler pendants.

My boyfriend hauled kegs of beer around on a wagon behind his bike, providing burners with fresh, cold draft beer .  We also handed out "I love it here" stickers gifted from our friends company. They were a huge hit as everyone truly does love it there.

And we pulled a Big Love Ball around with us and had people write on it all the things they love about Burning Man. Between the jewelry, beer, stickers and love ball we were able to meet and connect with a huge variety of people. Without the gifting society would we have made such an effort? Doubt it.

 

Gifting Society Burning Man

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HOW WAS CAMPING IN THE DESERT? 

 

Living comfortably in the desert for a week does take preparation. I downloaded a commonly used Burning Man packing list with 300+ items to check off.  I followed it as closely as possible and as a result, we were totally comfortable.

One wish: a toilet! Out houses get old fast!  Not having a shower didn't bother me too much, we relied heavily on baby wipes. We did go through the Dr. Bonners human car wash. It was surprisingly exhilarating sharing the humanity of getting soaped up & hosed down with 40-80 other strangers! 

Dust storms? Call me crazy, but I liked them! They make everything look extra dreamy.  The dust is so fine you get swallowed up in a cocoon, feels like you are on another planet. I also really liked the dry heat and thankfully we didn't find the nights that cold, perhaps because we are hardy Canadians?!  

 

Burning Man Dust Storm

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HONESTLY THOUGH, IS IT A DRUGGED UP WILD DESERT ORGY FEST?

No. I mean yes and no. Drugs and orgies are there if you are looking for them, just like in any other city. And just like in any other city, there are a lot of law enforcers patrolling and keeping all the crazies alive, so that's nice.

There is so much more to Burning Man, it's actually amazing how much emphasis gets put on the party aspect.   We had a (surprisingly) healthy week; we went to bed earlier there than we do at home, we ate well, stayed hydrated, biked, danced & hula hooped the days away. It's practically a desert health retreat week, ha!

 

SWEET HARRIET AT BURNING MANSweet Harriet's burning man experience in a nutshell:

An inspiring health retreat

that made me fall in love

with all of mankind! 

 

 

See you on the playa!

  XOXO Sarah

 

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