After a gentle 14 hour flight to San Francisco on United Airlines with their inedible food and abrupt service, I caught a Megabus to Reno for $14. Contrary to their name, they are just regular sized double-decker buses but they are MEGA cheap. Each year, Reno welcomes thousands of Burners in the days leading up to and following Burning Man so it's pretty hilarious seeing all these wild, hippy, alternative types mixing with middle class American gamblers.
Reno = Poor man's Vegas meets Woodstock.
I stayed a night at the Grand Sierra Resort and Hurricane flew in early Saturday morning. She had organised to rent a 1989, 34 foot beast of an RV called Bertha. We did a giant grocery shop at Trader Joes and picked up supplies at Walmart. (You need at least 5 litres of water per/person per/day!) Everyone cruises around the festival on a bicycle and most people pick one up from Walmart for $80.
FACT: The days before Burning Man is Walmart's busiest weekend of the year, out of every store across America. It's a freakin war zone!
The drive from Reno to Black Rock City can vary anywhere from 3 to 28 hours, depending on traffic and weather. 15 'Burners' from our CAMP ANITA COCKTAIL got early passes and went in 2 nights before it officially opened. Hurricane and I hit the road and we got to the gates within about 4 hours. On arrival I was singled out as a Virgin, hugged a LOT and had to hit a giant bell and was invited to roll in the dust on my front and back. 9 days without a shower and now I'm dusty in the first 5 min. When in Nevada...
Camp Anita Cocktail has been running for 6 years and there is a huge amount of equipment and shade structures that are stored in Reno and erected by the setup crew. It was started in homage to ANITA COCKTAIL, a New York drag queen who was murdered in the 70's. Over the next few days our 120 campers started to trickle in. They are coming from all over the globe, at least 10 different countries and I can't wait to meet them all!
Camp Name: CAMP ANITA COCKTAIL
Sector: 6:30 & ISFAHAN
Camps started to pop up out of the Playa dust around me and I was amazed watching the transformation of the city over the next 48 hours. It's hard to accept that much of the beauty created around me will be burned and the lake bed returned to it's untouched barrenness.