First Impressions of Black Rock City

burning man, statue
We start searching for the correct time – Black Rock City is laid out like a clock – and park our RV. We are immediately struck by an awe-inspiring landscape. It is both heart stopping and humbling; a sight that completely takes your breath away.

Too impressive to describe

We enjoy the spectacular sight of the morning sun rising into a clear blue sky, whilst toasting high our plastic flutes topped up with champagne. This place of dust, eternal dust is hard to describe. To capture it; imagine you are on the moon located in a vast crater. All around are rolling mountains and instead of darkness there is heartwarming light, ready to infuse the soul with unimaginable excitement.

Our deal and new identity

Whilst shaking hands, we pronounce simultaneously: ‘What happens on Burning Man stays on Burning Man’, a pact made to free our spirits and our minds although, this shouldn’t be a problem with the spicy names we’ve selected for this festival. My alias is Madame Freakatastic. We may be sleep deprived, but after drinking a few glasses of champagne, we are more than ready to explore ‘The City’, a moment we have all longed for.

Black Rock City: The city of our dreams

We bike towards The Playa, ready to talk to new people and discover works of art, but most off all to feel free. There is no ticking clock, no schedule and there are no concerns or obligations. We cycle towards The Man and use a permanent marker to leave secret messages. Although the city doesn’t have any fixed rules, I’m able to break an unofficial one: I bike underneath the statue of the (not yet) Burning Man, which is not allowed. Luckily the repercussion isn’t serious; a Black Rock Ranger asks me to say ‘Burning Man’ three times in a row. I am forgiven

Ready for a nap

After approximately two hours discovering new works of art – its hard to tell exactly as no one is wearing a watch – we head back to our RV, in need of sleep to process this beautiful and strange landscape. Our only mistake: we didn’t take our new best friend on this journey: H2O. So here it is, lesson 1: always, always, even if you’re on a roll, take some water with you!

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