Saguaro Man 2016

This was a tough burn.

We woke up early in the morning with our car already packed and ready to go on our next adventure. A two hour drive finally got us to the dirt road leading into the event. At first the dirt road felt abandoned; but we soon started seeing funny signs and helpful directions to Double Dolphin Farm. It was a bit rough of a dirt road but even our small car with all the weight still made it through.

As soon as we reached the gates we knew that we were at a burn, the greeters were friendly, welcoming and wonderful people. We got our map, list of events and our first gift. Then as first time Saguaro Man attendees we got to ring the bell. (Or if your Max, slam the bell more like a gong. That’s ok though, Erica got to ring it twice). Finding our spot was tricky, and since we arrived early on day one the “great” spot we chose ended up getting buried behind other camps.


Half way through set up the weather decided to stop cooperating and become an obstacle instead. This trend continued all five days. It rained every day, was very windy and was freezing cold. It seemed like camps struggled to get fully set up and had to cancel certain events. Much of the art did not get finished until almost Saturday, and personally the event that we wanted to host got blown apart by the weather.

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However we made due for our cancelled event, and for the burn in general. Instead of having people come to our blown away little camp we mixed our drinks into a gallon jug and grabbed a large bag of pre made souvenirs. We walked around and handed them out to anyone we saw. People were still really grateful. We also met a lot of people this way, including a couple that we had connected with early on at Burning Man.

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Harsh weather, collapsed tents and cancelled events you would think that this event was all but ruined; but Erica kept saying all trip “You can’t keep a burner down” and it’s true. We survived, heck I’d say we did better than survive, we had a blast. Apparently the ten principals are not an empty promise. We jumped on trampolines, climbed all sorts of structures, enjoyed the art and met really great people. There was almost constant gifting of food and drinks which we thought was just amazing for such a small burn. Our one “complaint” of the event itself would be that it seemed to be a bit more of a party burn than we hoped for. Perhaps this was due to so many of the attendees this year being new, but we saw a lot more people drunk and on drugs than we hoped. We also saw a lot of people leaving beer cans and cigarette butts all around that we tried to clean up where we could.

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Just like any burn there was the chance to be a kid again, and to not care what the world thinks about you for a while. For example on one rather cold morning we threw on some fuzzy pajama bottoms and nervously decided to go out that way. Instead of feeling embarrassed in our Minion and Batman pajamas, it turned out to be accidental pajama day, since everyone was cold. With both young and old burners alike wearing their favorite pair of fuzzy warm pajamas. It’s one of those moments that you realize at a burn no matter how weird you feel you are always embraced. This is why burners call it home. Quickly feeling back to normal in our awesome pajamas we went right back to having uninhibited fun. We climbed up scary ladders to trampoline cuddle puddles, painted on walls, and spent time on an art car.

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The temple was beautiful, and the art was creative and inspiring. There is not much like walking around a burn at night and seeing the difference when everything is all lit up. Escaping the cold weather  huddled around fire pits and heaters was a popular plan and a unique chance to meet people. We spent a great night dancing, solved a discussion via sword duel, gave two kids our swords for a impromptu sword fight, had spaghetti tacos, and learned a lot about ourselves. For a tough burn, that may not have been exactly what we expected we still made the best of things and had a great time.

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At the end of the burn, we still got to watch all of the art be lit on fire. Despite the wet and the cold everything still went up really beautifully and then we could all use the fire to keep warm and dry out our jackets and blankets from the rain.

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Oh, and a totally unrelated thought, I guess you could call my bright idea….. If you see someone wearing this hat don’t ask “Hey what’s your bright idea?!” Seriously, your inquirer number 5327 today.

 

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