Thursday, January 22, 2004

Burning Man 3: The Structures

I swear, we're going to get on the road any time now (the next installment, but bear with me).

The idea for the camp was a pair of eight foot cubes made out of PVC pipe (2 1/2" or 3"). Two sides of each cube would be covered in scrim, which would allow the fellas to rear project their film loops and slides from a distance away. Pugh was in charge of the cubes, Cosmo the scrim.

Since I had access to a metal fabricator (hereinafter Welder Tim), I fiddled around with ideas for shade structures. Winds are a real problem out there, so I took this pretty seriously. What I wound up with was a couple of very heavy canvas tarps, two collapsible stands that served as central supports, and four seven or eight foot metal posts that could be driven into the ground. Oh, and a nice two part flagpole, which is still functional (or was last time I saw it, ahem).

The general idea was to plant the four posts at the corners of the shade/living structure, cover them with the tarp, and prop up the middles with the collapsible ones. This was a good enough theory--just not quite sturdy enough for playa winds.

I also had about 25 stakes made, for guying down the corners of structures and holding down tents. Warning for those planning to attend: throw away the stakes that came with your tent. They're useless. Get some rebar, unless you can have nice ones custom made on the cheap like me.

Ethan had found a design for a PVC-and-parachute shade structure. This was supposed to be a really lightweight and effective shade structure, which it was, until the wind came up. I'm still not a big fan of parachutes unless they're very firmly attached to something big and metal (and itself staked down mercilessly).

So! We had food, water, shade and art. What's left? Ah yes, drugs, alcohol, and condoms.

Well, condoms are pretty self explanatory. Booze, well, booze tends to dehydrate, and I tend to drink A LOT once I get I was prepared to spend a week without tipple. I figured it's better to not have any beer than to run out midweek, right?

By the time we got down to the drugs, it was nearly too late. Acid was going strong here at the time, but as usual I couldn't get my hands on any until the week before. By the time it was roundly "tested," I had about 80 tabs left. This was on blotter, for ease of transport--in fact, I hid it inside my garage door opener, which was in turn clipped to Dan's sun visor. He didn't even ask any questions, although there was a brief moment when we arrived during which I thought I was going to have to smash it, since I hadn't brought a Phillips head screwdriver with me. More on that later.

Next: On The Road (Texas through Wyoming)


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