The wind in Gerlach howls. Howling wind is a literary cliche but what’s another term for the ‘awooo’ sound that moving air makes when it whistles around buildings and through the few trees in the streets in this town. Desert nomads in other places probably have a word for the howl wind does after a long flight across a huge expanse of flat land the size of Delaware, unencumbered by high-rises or people or even scrub brush.
All that momentum, no matter which way it comes across the big flat desert, still hits you in the same fashion: You’re in a spin cycle, in a dust washer, being given a Matrix upload of some kind by the ancestors probably, and you steer your way homeward, wrestling pressure and discombobulation, white-faced and gray-haired with chalk-fine dust, and you get back to the trailer park and feel like something spit you out. And then, …
We want back out there. Please sir, may we have another. Maybe not right away though, in that stuff. Another year of Burning Man and Resto in 2017. That’s what we mean. And let us back out there.
So, the Day Two MOOP map shows that some territories got loose in the rear central quadrant of town. Red and yellow spots have increased on the MOOP map as we hit the back blocks in the 6:00 area. Sure, there are wide swaths of green, but … a little less green than Day One.
Your hardy DPW Playa Restoration team only advanced to 6:45 on the back blocks for Day Two, because another dust storm forced us to fall back for another short work day. This one started mid-morning and kicked us off the desert entirely by lunch.
The good news is, after the first two full days last year, Resto line sweeps had covered 81 blocks; this year, after a three-quarters day and a half day only, we’ve already hit 76 blocks. The bad news is, we haven’t been able to do a full day’s work yet.
That’s what adding a fourth Resto line-sweep team can do — it can make Restoration happen faster so we can gain more coverage. On top of all that, wide swaths of these teams got their asses kicked by a few heavy-moop camps and areas. And we’re still neck in neck with the end of Day Two schedule last year. If the wind lets us back on playa, that is. We’re anxious to see how fast we can go. (P.S. We don’t go fast without doing a good MOOP job at the same time; line bosses trail the sweeps on foot to check the teams’ work.)
So it’s a good time for a reminder for the Burning masses to each-one-teach-one someone: Wind happens. Clean as you go. All day every day, before during and after Burning Man. It makes a big difference.
Even the most well-meaning super-MOOPers out at Burning Man lose little bits of themselves over a week’s time; then it’s our job to find what was lost. And by ‘our,’ we mean ‘the citizens of Black Rock City.’
And yea, ye chaotic-orderly cogs in the Leave No Trace machine, you will (maybe?) learn to experience the joy of moonwalking in serpentine patterns with a MOOP bucket in your hand, lost in thought or spacing out, all hung over in the sun, kicking at dunes like it’s a Zen garden labyrinth, but with some hidden treasure (usually not valuable).
You begin to see the hidden wax-on-wax-off-ness of MOOPing. You learn to squat instead of bend, and to switch hands, and to take a tiny circle every once in a while to see if something’s glinting in the sun that you missed in the other shadows. Or in the brownout.
You begin to walk this serpentine meditation in real life sometimes, at festivals or in parks or at the beach, not even GAFing who’s watching, because picking up the micro-trash birds might otherwise eat feels good to you. At least that’s the general mindset of the Resto crew, anyways.
Burners congratulate themselves for enjoying the mercurial inhospitability of this place, and wiser locals laugh at us for essentially kicking up dust and then playing in it, but it’s just nice to unplug and go full frontal with nature right in your face and beating on you sometimes … and it’s even nicer to have a friendly trailer or saloon to huddle in on a long day after the winds have been blowin’.
Welp it’s 4pm and Logan — a.k.a. DPW labor coordinator Cobra Commander — announced on the radio that due to impending weather, Resto will have a full day off the following day. The wind will ramp up in the morning instead of at lunch, and continue through the evening. And, he added, rumors of a weather machine having to do with his birthday are completely false. That’s what the radio said.
Think about this though:
– Nikola Tesla
– Nearby air force base or whatever
– Rocketeers arrive on-playa
– Dust storms, hella
– Denial of weather machine by official DPW Council of Darkness member
– Cobra Commander’s birthday.
Coincidence? Wake up, sheeple.
The rocketeers have arrived, and are setting up fancy boom-booms a ways away, within eyeshot of the Resto shoreline. Be-Rad! and Taco volunteered to venture out on-playa late at night to cone off the Burning Man work site, so the 200-or-so rocket enthusiasts didn’t accidentally veer into our land of dunes and catch wreck or pop a tire on a random tent stake in the ground.
The rocketeers come through town every year — our cleaner nerdier desert-using brethren and sistren, riding in shiny trucks with interesting objects tied down to the backs of them. This writer looked up during morning shoreline meeting a couple days ago just in time to see the white tail smoke of a launch streaking skyward by the Razorback mountain range.
So, your faithful Resto crew has been holed up on our forced day off, entertaining ourselves and TCBing in the trailer park. The wind is here with us in town, too, as we said — rattling our trailers like sheet-metal thunder at a stage play. Howl, whine, whisper, wheewoo, awooo.
We wonder, during evacuate-worthy weather events, how LoDog and Bubblegique are doing at the shore. They’re over there guarding our boats, as it were — the buses, fleet vehicles, light towers, dumpsters, trailers, and poopers which machinate Resto operations. They’ve also got a front row seat to the rocketeers … who are out on-playa probably having their own Burning Man-style brownout experience.
Well that’s what they get for bringing Logan’s weather machine to make us take a day off.
OK, alright. Here’s today’s report, day two. Here’s the MOOP map.
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