And now, the Rocket Run Report!
I just got back from the Playa.
Yup, due to a strange set of circumstances Marian and I drove to Playa on Saturday, had a great time at the Early Man Burn, set up some camp stuff and then drove back on Sunday… Rocket Run indeed.
But that means I can report to you regarding the conditions there and things to look out for.
First of all, the Playa is in great condition. Very firm with only a few random patches of soft berm dust.
The site of the Man itself is actually damn overwhelming. The center of the City currently has a nest of trees stretching 20 feet high, and the Man's not even on top of them yet. Very cool.
It was not overly warm there over the weekend, as it remained fairly overcast. But we did get RAIN… not a lot, but be prepared to deal with wet conditions.
The real issue is traffic. There are major road closures going over 80 in the Sierras. We just missed those going up. But coming down, we were screwed and I had to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for an extra hour around Vacaville. Plan accordingly and try to travel during the day as much as possible, as the roadcrews are working at night and shutting down the roads completely in some cases. There is even a website in place to plan your trip over the Sierras at http://getacross80.com/
Be advised that past Truckee and before the Nevada border the road shrinks down to a single lane of traffic with concrete dividers on either side of the road. It's a bit like slot car racing and very nerve-racking. What this really means though is don't pack your vehicle so that it extends much on either side AND if you make it through there without being stuck behind some jackass in a Art Bus that's scraping the dividers, count yourself lucky.
Just remember to plan accordingly, leave early and expect delays.
PS- Some of you noticed that I was sending Text messages and posting to Twitter from my phone while actually out on the Playa. The rumors are true, THERE IS CELL PHONE SERVICE on the Playa. But… and here's the funny part… I wouldn't plan on using it. Apparently a fella rented out some land from the farmer that owns the land at the nearby Frog Pond and he installed a temporary tower to provide service. But, as it's only one tower it only has the capacity to handle about 3,000 users at a time, and with limited connectivity at that. So when 50,000 people all try texting at once… you get the picture. The farmer didn't know that the Burning Man Org really isn't too keen on the idea, and so he probably won't make that deal again next year, but for this year the tower is in place.
I can also tell you that texting is frowned upon on the Playa. I got chewed out for texting by several folks. The funniest thing, they all told me to go text in the Porta Pottie if I really had to. So beware, if you're waiting in line at the Porta Pottie's the person in front of you might have been doing something really dirty, like posting a Tweet.