October 3, 2007
Black Rock Desert
Yesterday was the last day of Burning Man cleanup on the playa. Today, the Bureau of Land Management came to inspect the site, to see if the DPW did a good enough job picking up after 48,000 people.
We passed with flying, pirate-flag, I’ll-show-you-Leave-No-Trace colors.
The Golden T-Stake, pounded in at the end of the City map on 10:00, was the last large foreign object remaining from Burning Man on the playa. To celebrate another job well done, we all gathered this afternoon to watch it get pulled out of the ground by the Playa Restoration managers.
After a morning spent cleaning the trailer park and waiting for last night’s party to wear off, we ate lunch and climbed on the bus for one last ride to the worksite.
Judging from the bus graffiti, DPW as a whole are not as literate or quick-witted as they used to be. However, “I’m a delicate flower and my pussy hurts” will always remain a mainstay of DPW in-joke chatter, along with “BLOWJOB!” and “what’s the 20 on that dog shit, over?”
The ceremony go-time got pushed back because there was a strange — REALLY strange — dust-storm “wall” stuck in the same place all morning long. It just lingered there, not moving or dissipating. Truly an anomaly.
I mean really. This thing was big. Multi-layered.
Meanwhile, they tricked us (not really) into MOOPing the shoreline where we gathered for morning meeting and lunch every day. Not much there, so we drank beers.
Finally, the wall moved back and we rolled out to the site, where Gage tested the structural integrity of the Golden T-Stake by practicing a little chi gung.
D.A. gave us a really heartfelt and eloquent “we did it” speech — and then christened the stake by breaking a beer bottle on it. MOOP!
Luckily we’re trained to the point of swift Pavlovian response.
Like any good manager, D.A. delegated the task of Golden T-Stake removal to Mel, our cleanup goddess.
But whoever pounded the Golden T-Stake in the ground did a bang-up job.
Damn thing wouldn’t move, even with digging.
Luckily, the DPW are a helpful bunch.
The Wall laid a little lower, and watched the whole thing from a distance.
After some champagne and light wrestling, it was time to pile back on the bus for the last time this year.
And we came back to Gerlach, to the Black Rock Estates trailer park, to start packing and say goodbye to home.
Cheer up, DPW. Like D.A. said at the ceremony: ONLY 335 DAYS ‘TIL CLEANUP.