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Vegas to Reno
by Andrei Rublev  Saturday, September 4th.

We pick-up Piero at LV McCarran airport at 2 AM. We drive north to Reno and Black Rock Desert where Burning Man is already happening. The 500 miles are much longer than I expected. Around 5 AM 3 out of our 6 eyes are already closed. We stop in a ghost (not surprising in this part of Nevada) RV park for the remaining of the night.

Before leaving we pass-by the Campground office, an empty RV with a sign: Please horn if nobody in office. A nice lady comes out of a mobile home and make us pay $12.00.

Highway 95 follows more or less Nevada's wedged-shape from Vegas to Reno. The desert is monotonous but that's precisely what we're here to enjoy. Having another driver among us is very relaxing. Suddenly the RV makes more sense. I re-read Bruce Sterling's article on Burning Man in Wired 4.11 (Nov. 1996).

On highway 447 about 35 miles from Gerlach signs are warning us. The headlights of the other vehicles are the only bright spots in the dark night. Suddenly a car coming in the other direction, from Burning Man I presume, starts zigzaging on the road and barely misses us. I rush to the back window as Piero keeps our ship on the road. I can see its headlights. Not a good sign. There was a cow on the road and many others on the shoulder of the road. The OPEN RANGE sign we passed a few miles ago was no joke.

We arrive just in time to see the man burn.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Twenty feet tree made of bones on five wheels with Merlin-like Dead Head. A guy burns the trash he finds on the ground with an insecticide dispenser turned blow torch leaving a constellation of little fires behind him. A few Goa people with their now famous bad attitude. A clumsy presentation of the opening of a lotus.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

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Related links
CTHEORY: America's Last by Richard Kadrey
The Burning Man Project - Official Site

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