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Author Topic: The one where Bill and Anna burn the Man  (Read 14256 times)
Bill Peckham
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« on: August 28, 2009, 02:28:57 PM »

There is something about a road trip that is good for the soul. In my mind an ideal road trip has certain features. It should be to somewhere beyond adjoining states, it should be to something you don't see every day, to a place unlike home and it's best if there is an event to center the trip around. Burning Man is the perfect road trip. Anna and I leave Wednesday 9/2 stopping in Klamath Falls for dialysis before heading across the boarder and into adventure.

I've been twice - in 1994 and 1995. There were about 4 to 5 thousand participants back then, this year they are expecting 40,000 to 45,000 people to spend Labor Day Weekend in the Black Rock desert. For that weekend the encampment - Black Rock City - will be the third largest city in Nevada. A city featuring communal wi-fi, a radio station, a news paper and a vibrant arts community. And a 40' Burning Man with a neon exoskeleton, that will rise above a 'tangled bank' consisting of irregular wooden triangles. On Saturday night we'll watch as it burns to the ground.

Sunday we'll leave for Klamath Falls so I may dialyze.

I'll update this post as we go along - hope to be able to include photos - Meinuk will be updating too. The one rule is to go without expectations - I'm going to try. But Anna did say it's going to be 85 on Friday so that better happen.

SATURDAY 8.29
I rounded up two bikes for the trip. One off of craigslist - a kids bike for $30. And one was left at my house by a tenant about two years ago. It needed a seat cover and a new shift cable, as well as tire air and chain oil. That cost about $70 all in to have the bike shop give it a once over and replace the shift cable, and get a couple bike noise makers and a tire patch kit.

Also purchased an inexpensive digital camera from COSTCO - a birthday present from my Mom. It's a Coolpix S220 hope it makes through a weekend in the desert and comes back with some good pics. My reading material for the drive will be the camera manual.

Didn't get near what I wanted to get done today and tomorrow I'm going hiking in the mountains, so Monday and Tuesday will be busy days.

MONDAY 8.31
I spent the day getting more stuff for the camp and pulling my dialysis stuff together. We should be pretty comfortable.You can follow what's going on at Black Rock City through the official blog http://blog.burningman.com/ Burning Man officially starts tonight at one minute after midnight.

Anna is somewhere over the inter mountain West; she should be here about 10PM. We'll have a busy day tomorrow loading up for the trip. Counting down the hours - we're about 36 hours form launch.

TUESDAY 9.1
Anna and I spent the day gathering up supplies and loading the uhaul rental trailer with water, my dialysate, a couch, fire wood and a couple bikes. Tomorrow morning after I get off dialysis I'll load in dialysis supplies and hopefully be on the road by mid morning. I don't know what else we could need but as long as we both bring our meds and I have supplies to do dialysis (I brought 3 treatments) we should be good to go.

I was looking at the pictures from 1995 when there was 4,000 attendees. What will it be like 50,000? It'll be interesting to see it after so many years.

THURSDAY 9.3
450 miles later, a dialysis treatment and some good sleep we're getting ready to head back out. I was tired last night - it was all I could do to set up the machine and get ready to dialyze. This is an old school hotel with metal keys and a 19: staticey TV but it also has a 24 hour pool and sauna so this will look real good in about 90 hours when we return.

200 miles today through NE California and then on to Black Rock City.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 07:19:44 AM by Bill Peckham » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 02:29:12 PM »

I'll update soon.  But for now, I'll just say - "Yeah, what he said..."

If I am being held responsible for the weather, then... hmmm.... I have to think about that...  Nah - no expectations....

Saturday 8.29
I am still in NYC, packing.  I fly to Seattle on Monday.  Bill has been doing the brunt of the work.  My sleeping pack is stuffed, my backpack almost packed and now I am just organizing myself for the trip. This will be my first trip to Burning Man.  I've wanted to go for years and was instantly jealous when Bill told me about his past trips.  Bill is officially a "Burner".  Me, well, they have another name for first timers....

Burning Man encourages Radical Self Reliance.  Fitting that we are writing about it here on IHD.  Was it radical when Bill decided to go it alone on home hemodialysis all those years ago?  I know that people thought I was pretty radical when I followed in his footsteps.  And for both of us, solo home hemodialysis changed our lives by keeping us healthy, active and well... self reliant.

And so, we will drive to the desert, set up camp and experience a city and a culture of 45,000 people that exists for only one week. (we'll be there for three days) Then we'll pack up camp, leave no trace behind and carry with us the what we experienced...possibly... burning the man, the sights and sounds of Black Rock City (fingers crossed, a sunrise or two), a lot of dust, pictures and memories of living for three days in the desert, years after our native kidneys stopped working and we rely on medicine, science & technology to be alive.

Wednesday 9/2

We are on the road.  Bill just ran in for some coffee, we have goodies from the bakery... next stop Klamath falls.  the trailer & car are fully loaded.  We will post more tonight from the hotel.

It was a typical road trip drive.  We played the "How far is that?" game (I lost - repeatedly).  We saw some breathtaking scenery - driving through the cascades.  The i-pod gave us a sound track, and mother nature gave us some surprises.  The first was a huge fire that was burning in some fields in Oregon.  We oohed and awwed, and then thought of Karol and the wildfires in Southern California.  I wondered about the towering cloud of smoke - was this a sign?  After all, we were on our way to Burning Man.  We got to the hotel,  unpacked the NxStage and Bill set it up.  We had sandwiches from Bakery Nouveau, stopped at the hotel bar for a quick drink, and then it was time for Bill to dialyize, and me to sleep.

Thursday 9/3

An early start, a nice crisp morning, coffee, loaded up the NxStage, showered and loaded the car, now we are going to have our last "Electric Breakfast" for a few days.  I'm going for the waffles!! (I actually went for the corned beef hash and scrambled eggs...)

We drove through Portland yesterday, and it was just as Bill explained, it is a little Jewel of a city.  Some great architecture, fun modern buildings and a funky mini suspension bridge.  Then we drove through the Cascades, and my jaw dropped.  I had forgotten just how beautiful nature can be. 

We've taken some pictures, and as soon as we get settled, there will be some uploading. (providing that the wifi cloud at Burning Man is working)

The long and winding road to Burning Man...

We drove through some desolate areas.  No houses, no power lines.  I saw my first tumbleweed.  We stopped to get ice in Altruas (and resisted the free puppies on offer on the community bulletin board)  As it was a road trip, I got a Mountain Dew.  In the 80's Mountain Dew was the energy drink of choice - way before red bull...

And we hit the mountains.  And we saw other burners on their way to the desert.  In our final descent from the mountains into the desert, I got my first taste of the Black Rock Desert. (I will be tasting the desert for a very long time).

We stopped in Gerlach for gas (the cheapest of the trip) stopped at a temporary mall camp for Burners and had some fried spring rolls for lunch, then I had my first stop at a desert porta potty.  (Bill has amazing patience for my Urinatior habits)

As we turned into the access road to the Playa, we saw a cloud of dust.  And as we drove closer to the entrance, we were surrounded by dust and it was a "tanout" (If a snowstorm gives a "whiteout", and a NYC power loss is a "blackout", then a dust storm must be a "tanout" - that is pure Anna logic at its finest!)

Bill, having read the e-mailed instructions - drove into the wall of dust with complete faith that we would end up at the place we were supposed to be.  He was right.  We did.

Friday 9/4

Our first night was LOUD.  We walked around the city in the morning - Bill stopped to post at a wifi hotspot @ the intersection of 9:00 and Biodiversity, we then walked on, gasping at the line waiting to buy ice, (not by the length, but by the variety) stopping for lemon-aid at center camp, and then on to see displays surrounding the Man.  Some Art Cars, the MOM installation and an amazing art piece on Perspective where we got to speak to the artist, who came from Bristol England.  Then we were drawn to the Stainless Steele Rocketship  - it was like a magnet calling out to us.  The irate man who was guarding the launch pad was in the middle of job burn out, and we got a front row seat as he barked at various people to "Get the F**ck off the Rocket"  and "We're gonna launch this at 10:00 tonight  - we were intrigued, this was not a rocket to be launched.  Our curiosity was piqued, and we decided to return that evening.

Around 9:00 Bill & I made our way to the center ring of the city that the Rocket would launch from.  We waited, and waited, and watched the crowd swell, and there was so much.  a parade of flame spewing vehicles, a parade of "Little Black Dresses" (male and female models - there had been an earlier fashion show) and an eccentric parade of art cars and people.  We decided to circumnavigate the center ring of the city, and as we walked, and avoided dropped bicycles, drunken revelers and "Dark Wads" (I was a Dark Wad - anyone who is not wearing neon - a very nice man stopped me, and gave me a necklace, so that I would fit in. (and maybe not be hit by a car or a bicycle).  It was while we were working our way through the crowd, we saw the most amazing sight.  An articulated city bus that had modified to be a party bus.  I have never seen anything like it, and I live in NYC!

Here is a daytime video of the bus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpSx49NCfSU

Sunday 9/6

An amazing time, and we have pictures, but Burning Man was really off the grid for us.  We had ventured out to walk around the camp and find a wifi signal. Bill's last update was done while we were sitting in Camp Singularity - a camp for open discussion, where people met and a topic was spoken on, and the audience participated in a "salon".  We stumbled across it not in use and it was a quiet, shaded place near the wifi hotspot of section 9:00.  After that post, we were unplugged for the rest of our stay at Black Rock City.

We are now back at the hotel in Klamath Falls, having left Saturday afternoon. Friday night was an amazing, exhausting night, but there had been terrible wind/dust in the night and by the afternoon on Saturday, the wind was gusting up to 40 MPH and we made the decision to hit the road, rather than be a part of the mass exodus on Sunday morning.  I'll admit it, "radical self reliance" for me, from now on will always include a shower.  We tried a "bottle mister" shower on Sat am, although refreshing, the layers of dust still made my hair prematurely white and rather like I had some bizarre clay styling gel in it.  The hotel has an indoor pool and a sauna.  That and a cheeseburger was our goal on Saturday night. 

Bill has been amazing doing all of the driving.  It was a sold 4-5 hour drive on Saturday, and I felt really bad that he was doing all the driving and that he may be exhausted, so I offered to drive.  His reply "Well, that will definitely keep me awake." - He had declared back in LA in the Spring, that I am "not allowed to drive in Seattle." When we were driving around the day after we went to the RSN play "Who Lives" I may have run a stop sign or two - geesh... and maybe I cut a few people off... My friends & family (who you all know are reading this by the comments) are laughing and nodding their heads as they read this in admiration of Bill's self preservation.

It really was an amazing time for me, and an interesting look for Bill, having now seen such change.  He was lauded as being one of the early "Burners". Some of our camp neighbors came to visit, share some food or drinks that they brought and hear about what Burning Man was like back in the day.  And for me, I am no longer a "Burning Man Virgin" - even though we didn't watch the man burn in person (we streamed it live from the comfort of the hotel). 

Earlier, I pondered "if I didn't see the man burn, does that mean that I am still a Burning Man virgin? - was it like I only got to Burning Man third base?" As we were driving through the desert through the dust and wind twords the "Default World" of highways, hotels and cell phones, Bill had a great answer "Nope, you made it all the way, there just wasn't any protection - @ Burning Man, an RV would have been the protection."

For right now, it is all about washing off the layers of Black Rock City playa dust & sunscreen.  Today, there will be sauna, swimming, restaurant food, and then an 8 - 9 hour drive back to Seattle.

Thursday 9/10

I am back in New York, The Burning Man Road Trip`09 is officially a memory.  Here is a link to some of the pictures http://picasaweb.google.com/Anna.Bennett.Photos/BurningMan2009#
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 07:21:01 PM by Meinuk » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 02:40:09 PM »

ROAD TRIP!!  :yahoo;

That sounds great! My husband's uncle is an artist - he's been to Burning Man many times and he says you'll see "everything and anything" over the weekend. Have a great time and take lots of photos!
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 02:59:43 PM »

Well i have never been to burning man but have seen a few documentaries (gotta take what you can).

Sounds like it is very updated.  Also sounds like a good roadtrip for sure.  Hope the weather holds and
you both/all have a good time.

Bill will you pitch a tent or just stay up all night and leave the next morning?
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2009, 03:23:38 PM »


Bill will you pitch a tent or just stay up all night and leave the next morning?

Three nights in a tent but we're bringing a couch so there's that too.
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 03:27:08 PM »

Have fun while you are there!  I had to go look up a pic!
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2009, 03:36:03 PM »

Have fun while you are there!  I had to go look up a pic!

I've been having a blast just planning the trip.  The minute the couch became a part of our camp, it brought everything to a new level. (I was also pushing for a fireplace mantel and a stuffed moose head, but Bill was wise and didn't indulge me. (and we would have needed a bigger trailer)


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Transplant post 11/08):  http://ihatedialysis.com/forum/index.php?topic=10893.msg187492#msg187492
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2009, 03:46:10 PM »

What a fun trip!  Pictures   :pics;   as you travel along.   I like the couch idea!     :2thumbsup;
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2009, 04:16:25 PM »

Have a great trip you two.
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2009, 06:36:06 PM »

So is this place in Oregon or California? 

                         :flower;
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2009, 07:27:05 PM »

I can't believe I never heard of this.  Sounds like a real experience!  I've been to many big music festivals, but never a giant art-focused festival.  Have fun and take lots of pictures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Man
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2009, 12:25:54 PM »

My husband and I love road trips. Never thought about Burning Man, though.
Have a good time.
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2009, 01:05:19 PM »

    Oh Gee      I think it is in Nevada.....      but I have never heard of this either...... Being a Oregonian and all   and  I do feel that I spend alot of time  outdoors and have been all over the state in just about every stream, lake and river.......    I was wondering why I have never heard of this.......   I  thought.......
    Oh yea     there is going to be 40000 people there.... isn't that what Bill said......  Hey..... that is not a place of me..... WAY TO MANY PEOPLE.... I like the quiet places.... and even those are getting harder to find......   I am in to rock collecting too and Nevada is a great place to find some cool rocks......

      So Bill  make sure you bring home a piece of the rock....too.......
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2009, 01:40:46 PM »

From the official website http://www.burningman.com/

WHAT IS BURNING MAN?

Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. In this section you will find the peripheral definitions of what the event is as a whole, but to truly understand this event, one must participate. This site serves to try to paint a picture of the Burning Man experience to those who are new to the project, as well as to give those participants looking to keep the fire burning in their daily lives an environment in which to connect to their fellow community members.

The impact of the Burning Man experience has been so profound that a culture has formed around it. This culture pushes the limits of Burning Man and has led to people banding together nation-wide, and putting on their own events, in attempt to rekindle that magic feeling that only being part of this community can provide.

more info on their webpage above
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Jenna is our daughter, bad bladder damaged her kidneys.
Was on in-center hemodialysis 2003-2007.
7 yr transplant lost due to rejection.
She did PD Sept. 2013 - July 2017
Found a swap living donor using social media, friends, family.
New kidney in a paired donation swap July 26, 2017.
Her story ---> https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
Please watch her video: http://youtu.be/D9ZuVJ_s80Y
Living Donors Rock! http://www.livingdonorsonline.org -
News video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-7KvgQDWpU
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2009, 05:39:32 PM »

I've been having a blast just planning the trip.  The minute the couch became a part of our camp, it brought everything to a new level. (I was also pushing for a fireplace mantel and a stuffed moose head, but Bill was wise and didn't indulge me. (and we would have needed a bigger trailer)

 :clap;
You two have a great trip. I am looking forward to the travelogue.

Alene
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2009, 06:08:33 PM »

My niece has been to Burning Man all the way from NZ!  I think she's planning to go again next year.  It's huge.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2009, 08:54:23 PM »

Just had a great send-off for Anna in NYC to celebrate her first excursion to Burning Man and an adventure into new territory...

Good Luck Bill and Anna...lots of pictures and wild posts expected...whoooppee!

Remark & Yarden & Yori...
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2009, 11:48:43 AM »

I have heard of that, it is suppose to be totally fulfilling... have a great time and don't forget the pics :yahoo;
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« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2009, 06:56:03 PM »

You can follow what's going on at Black Rock City on the official blog
http://blog.burningman.com/ Burning Man officially starts at one minute after midnight.

Anna is somewhere over the inter mountain West

We're updating the first posts as things happen so check back to the beginning for updates from us.

ETA: If you're wonder what Radical Self Reliance can mean out on the Black Rock here are some pictures from my last time there in 1995. The first picture shows a column of hail and rain - complete with thunder and lightning - that rolled straight through camp. The other two pictures are the before and after shots of our camp.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 07:09:10 PM by Bill Peckham » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2009, 07:30:20 AM »

We're off to the desert.  Sunscreen at the ready.
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deceased donor transplant 11/2/08
nxstage 10/07 - 11/08;  30LS/S; 20LT/W/R  @450
temp. permcath:  inserted 5/07 - removed 7/19/07
in-center hemo:  m/w/f 1/12/07
list: 6/05
a/v fistula: 5/05
NxStage training diary post (10/07):  http://ihatedialysis.com/forum/index.php?topic=5229.0
Newspaper article: Me dialyzing alone:  http://ihatedialysis.com/forum/index.php?topic=7332.0
Transplant post 11/08):  http://ihatedialysis.com/forum/index.php?topic=10893.msg187492#msg187492
Fistula removal post (7/10): http://ihatedialysis.com/forum/index.php?topic=18735.msg324217#msg324217
Post Transplant Skin Cancer (2/14): http://ihatedialysis.com/forum/index.php?topic=30659.msg476547#msg476547

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of thought.” - Henri Poincare
remark
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2009, 05:14:28 PM »

HEY ANNA & BILL----

ARE YOU SMOLDERING IN THE HOT DESERT OF THE NEVADAS YET??????????????????

KRAMER & YANOVERS
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Bill Peckham
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2009, 09:32:53 AM »

HEY ANNA & BILL----

ARE YOU SMOLDERING IN THE HOT DESERT OF THE NEVADAS YET??????????????????

KRAMER & YANOVERS

First morning at Burning Man. Walked about half the city last night - a lot of creativity and hospitality. We have nice neighbors.

My battery is getting low - more when I get some juice.

Visited the man twice. I'll upload pictures I promise.

Message from Anna to Remark: Candles are six thirty.

Me: I have know idea. Must be some kind of code that I'm not holding her hostage.
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http://www.billpeckham.com  "Dialysis from the sharp end of the needle" tracking  industry news and trends - in advocacy, reimbursement, politics and the provision of dialysis
Incenter Hemodialysis: 1990 - 2001
Home Hemodialysis: 2001 - Present
NxStage System One Cycler 2007 - Present
        * 4 to 6 days a week 30 Liters (using PureFlow) @ ~250 Qb ~ 8 hour per treatment FF~28
remark
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2009, 09:55:15 AM »

Thanks for the update: 

njk
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 08:06:41 PM by remark » Logged
okarol
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Photo is Jenna - after Disneyland - 1988

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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2009, 10:08:37 AM »

 ??? code indeed
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Admin for IHateDialysis 2008 - 2014, retired.
Jenna is our daughter, bad bladder damaged her kidneys.
Was on in-center hemodialysis 2003-2007.
7 yr transplant lost due to rejection.
She did PD Sept. 2013 - July 2017
Found a swap living donor using social media, friends, family.
New kidney in a paired donation swap July 26, 2017.
Her story ---> https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
Please watch her video: http://youtu.be/D9ZuVJ_s80Y
Living Donors Rock! http://www.livingdonorsonline.org -
News video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-7KvgQDWpU
remark
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2009, 10:40:50 AM »



....

Looking forward to battery increase and more updates.

Remark & the NYC Clan................
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 08:08:09 PM by remark » Logged
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