This section gives a quick overview of my experience. There are ten more chapters that go into considerable details for those that are interested. For most of you, however, I made this overview and I tried to be brief while conveying the amount of effort that went into this experience. Enjoy!

I was driving to a Beach Burn in Santa Cruz and on the way I found my solution to tent pole problem. Or so I thought. It was only the beginning of my problems. But aren’t they beautiful! Each log is over 40ft long…and weighs close to a ton!

 

Kelliegh Trowbridge graciously donated the use of the Ebb-Tide and cooked us a fabulous meal. We were asking for a $25- donation towards the Hammock Hangout.
I reaised about $400- total.

 

Last year on Tuesday after the burn there was a giant dust storm that lasted for three days. This parachute was badly damaged and I thought I could no longer use it. Then I met Mo and she fixed it for me.
Thanks Mo!

 

Oh my… We had some challenges getting up to the playa.
The air lines were not workiing and the breaks almost cought on fire…until we disabled then.
Then we had a blow-out. Note the Bike Rodeo T-shirt..You know the other saying…
…”Too Dum 2 Die.”

 

And we had to remove every scrap of bark from the logs…a lot of hard work…7 DAYS OF HARD WORK!!!

 

…but in the end we succeeded in removing all the bark!

There was a lot of planning that went into the structure.
There was a lot of prep-work to be done. Here is one of the many drawings I used in planning.
The orange dashes represent hammocks. There are 90 of them!  The poles are 20 feet appart
…and edge to edge the structure was 160ft in diameter!

 

Here you can see the previous drawing on the Playa. I love this step.

 

Here is some of the rope. I would have liked to have had another two roles of the 1.25″ manilla rope (1200′ in each role), but could not afford it. Even though I was able to get the 1.25″ rope for 45 cents per foot, that is still $500- per role!
I spent nearly $2000- on rope. Yikes!

 

The maximum hole size one is allowed to drill into the playa (with permission from Burning Man) is 12″ in diameter and 3′ deep. Any bigger and you need to get an environmental impact study done for the BLM. That ment that the center pole was too big to set into the Playa like we did with the other 36 poles. The hindge plate also had a bottom plate
that we attached to the Playa and that kept it in place while we raised the center pole.

 

Here is some more of Mark Perez’s handy work.

 

We worked day and night for more than 10 days!
yep…that’s me swinging a hammer.

 

At first we tried raising the center pole with Haggis’s tow truck, but it lifted the front wheels of the tow truck 6ft off the groud. We finally got a crane and it made the job much easier.

 

We opted to burry the poles 2 feet in the playa. Originally they were going to stay on the surface with a kick plate, but the logs were just too heavy to do it that way. It took four strong backs to lift just one of the poles. There were 36 of them–not including the center pole.

 

passers by were brought in on key moments to help…

 

…it took a lot of hands to hold down the giant parachute with even the slightest of breezes

 

…and a lot of rope!

 

…but we did succeed!

 

…and the structure held up nicely in the wind.

 

…and I loved it at night.

 

Yes those white dots in the sky are stars. There was no moon this year and the sky was super clear. That is one of the reasons the temperature drops from 100+`F to 40`F or less. Fur makes good night time attire.

 

There is a 10ft gap between the parachutes to allow the hot air build up the escape. A double walled structure keeps it nice and cool inside the Hammoch Hangout.

 

And it was nice and cool inside…even during the hottest part of the day.

 

In the end we cut some corners.
On the Friday before the burn we settled on 30 hammocks.
It was the Friday before the burn after all and we wanted to enjoy other peoples work too.
…but relaxing did happen.

 

The clean-up was quite tragic. Most of my camp mates left early. The ones that stayed were tired. Monday was a horrible panic. Mr. Klean told me I had to burn all the logs that day. He left me no options. Most of the wood that I wanted to save for next years Hammock Hangout was burned. Some folks in town wanted firewood, but even that was too much for me to handle alone. A lifter came by and put the logs in burn barrels and they were needlessly lost, like so many things on the playa.
…but at least some of the wood went to make one Gerlach resident happy.

 

and sadly the ladder that I borrowed from Charlie Gedank was destroyed. Sorry Charlie.

 

I was out on the playa for nearly 3 weeks.
It was a challenge. For the first time in my eight years of participating in the Burning Man festival I felt as if I had participated a little too much. I knew it would take me months to pay off the $4000- dept I had accumulated.
Will I do it again…
…OF COURSE!