I was sitting on top of my truck because I am -- for no particular reason -- completely fucking terrified of rattlesnakes.
The next morning, I was hauling ass across texas. I'd settled into restless sleep filled with dreams and woken up when the sun went fully over the horizon. After two hours on a mystery tour of the area around flipside in which I never actually stumbled across the entrance, I found my way there.
I went down to the Ranger station, where there were a couple of friends I wanted to say hi to. Eventually, I came across my friend SpeedBump, and we grabbed another friend who'd just gotten there and went looking for a place to camp. I was originally supposed to camp with my friend June (and as it turns out with todfox), but we didn't find her camp until a day or so later. Speedbump and I then crash-landed at another friend's camp, and then went out and wandered.
I spent most of the first night wandering around and running into friends from BM or the net or SF or whatever. I wandered the theme camps going up and chatting with people, and had all sorts of good times. I eventually had some serious drinkage over by the tiki bar and some other camps, and settled into sleep.
I'd brought couple dozen big bottles of beer from local breweries, and I gave them away to various people over the course of the weekend. I left about 20 or so at the ranger station before I left, so I probably gave away 20 or so while I was there. People seemed very suprised by some of the beers that they tasted, I guess the whole brewery thing never really caught on in Austin.
I spent a good chunk of the second day doing the ranger thing so the local rangers who were going to burning man could go to the Ranger training meeting that was being held there. It was a lot more fun being a ranger there, for me at least, a lot more like my first year of being a ranger. I had great fun, and it was all good.
That night, I had a wonderful meal with some new friends and then I went out with some other friends and wandered around the camp having fun. I went to the blacklight thing that Kit mentions in his/her entry, and just loved it. I'm incredibly easily amused by things like that, though, and was in a very relaxed mood.
Towards dawn, I had a series of wonderful conversations with various people and then went back to my tent to sleep around 9am or so.
Sunday, I mainly spent the day wandering around and chatted with new friends. There was a bunch of cool things going on, and cool people to talk to. My interpretation of the spirit of burning man was really alive down in Texas, and it was much fun and wonderful.
I spent an hour or three hanging out in the pool and chatting with a pal I'd made while I was there. Aside from that, I just wandered around at talked with people all day.
That night was the burn. Wow. It was good, everyone just ran around and partied and suchlike. One of the things I missed at flipside was the kind of music that I usually listen to, and I was in the 'brainwash' dome long, long after the burn, and my friend span an incredible set of early industrial and darkwave. I danced until I couldn't stand anymore. He said later that he was thinking of me when he put the set together, and I just hugged him.
I was supposed to leave early Monday to start my way back to Seattle, but I couldn't. I kept running into friend after friend I'd made while I was there, and delaying my departure to spend a few more minutes with them. Then a bunch of us went out for Texas-style BBQ for lunch, then I came back, said some more goodbyes to more friends I'd made, more goodbyes to friends I'd already said goodbye to and was already missing, and then hit the road for Seattle.
That night, I blew out two tires on I-80 outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. So relaxed and happy that it didn't even matter, I just threw a bunch of lightsticks on the road and eventually made my way to laramie. This flipside entry ends there, at a bar in Laramie, where I chatted with some people for a while and wrote down some inspiration I'd had @ Recreation Plantation.
The wonderful people there kept me going the whole time and I miss the friends I made. I met a lot of people I already knew in a different light and met a lot of new people.
There are 1000s of little momentary things that made up my flipside experience. They all added up to a seriously wonderful whole. I'd had doubts about whether or not I wanted to go to BM this year, but going to flipside really renewed it all.
See y'all on the playa,