Burning Man

I was 16 years old when the first Burning Man event happened at Baker Beach in San Francisco. I was born and raised in San Francisco, but I only vaguely remember hearing about Burning Man. Over the next 20 years, I would hear about Burning Man, but I was (for no apparent reason) not curious about it.

However, in the last few years, as more people talked about it, my curiosity stirred. Still, I didn't want to know too much about it. I love surprises. Even bad ones. Therefore, even when I bought my ticket, I didn't know what to expect.

I had heard a few rumors that Burning Man is about sex, drugs, and rave music. I wanted to find out how true the rumors were. I'll address that in the next 3 articles. But first, let's get oriented....

Burning Man aerial view by Jim Urquhart

Here's an aerial view of Burning Man 2012.

The location is called Black Rock City, and it is arranged like a clock.

  • We are looking at the city from roughly 9:00 (some will say 9:30) position. 
  • On the opposite side, in distance, is 3 o'clock. 
  • On the right, you can see Center Camp, at the 6:00 position. 
  • The open circular space in the middle is called the Esplanade; in the center is the Man. 
  • To the left of the Man, at the 12:00 position, is the Temple of Juno. 
  • The wide open space on the left is called the Deep Playa, since it is far from civilization. 
  • The further away from the center, the perpendicular streets to the "clock streets" are called A, B, C, D, E, etc... 

Hence, at the bottom of this picture you'll find 3:00 and G.

This logic helps you get oriented, although it can be confusing when it's dark and you're on drugs.

See the upcoming three articles to learn and see more about the most surreal event in the Solar System. Each article gets juicier and juicier....

Today, Burning Man 2013 starts. I wish I was there. Instead, I'm in Guinea, where the local population would be amazed by what happens in Burning Man.

In fact, anyone who has not been to Burning Man would be amazed by what happens there.

Here's what happened in 2012, when I went to my first Burning Man and lost my Burning Man virginity....

The Man

This was the Man in 2012. Every year his shape changes slightly, but his overall look and feel remain like the one you see here. The Man is always made of wood, which makes him easy to burn.

This was my favorite Mutant Vehicle, the Pulpo. Photo by Scott London.
That may sound strange given that I've basically never taken any drugs. I've always avoided drinking coffee and alcohol. They both taste revolting to me. Yes, it's an "acquired" taste. So is drinking piss. No thanks.

I've also never smoked cigarettes. They stink. It's also an "acquired" taste. What's the upside of acquiring it?

Drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, and meth (speed) have little appeal since they seem to only make you excited in some way. I have plenty of excitement in my life without an artificial boost.

Prairie farm house at Burning Man. Photo by Scott London.

The only drugs that interest me are the ones that make you hallucinate. Hallucinating is fascinating. The top hallucinogenic drugs are mushrooms and LSD.

Magic mushrooms

In the Netherlands, I legally bought some Mexican mushrooms and had a hilarious experience. It was the first time I tried them. For about 4 hours I thought everything was funny. I could not stop laughing for 4 hours. By the end of the day, my stomach hurt from all the giggling. It was wonderful.

So I was interested in trying magic mushrooms again in Burning Man. And I was even more curious about trying LSD.

Your comment will be deleted if:

  • It doesn't add value. (So don't just say, "Nice post!")
  • You use a fake name, like "Cheap Hotels."
  • You embed a self-serving link in your comment.