Sunday Morning (Burning Man... Still Not There!)
We travelled Friday, rested and shopped Saturday.
I woke up at six Sunday morning. Connor was still sleeping, so I let him keep resting while I showered and got ready. Plus, I had not had a good night and wanted to see if I could get it out of my system. I hadn't slept. Much at all, actually. Some combination of nerves over meeting Max, and what that might be like.... would he like me, would I like him, would we like each other, what if not, what if, how would we find each other, where would we camp anyway, would our same spot as last year be open.... all those nerves and then this pretty overpowering feeling of not wanting to go.
Like, I did not want to go to Burning Man. At all.
All night, I tossed and turned and didn't sleep and I just didn't want to go. I seem to remember just lying there thinking about how much work it all is. How it's hot, and tiring and draining and all I would be doing was waiting in a hot car in a hot lineup to camp who knows where and then be hot and dusty while setting up camp that wasn't as easy as a tent peg here or there but would actually involve work. Hot, sweaty, dusty work and the week wouldn't get any easier. No luxuries here. I didn't want to go.
I'm not sure if I contemplated going home or if I just really didn't want to go.
I get like that sometimes, pre-travel... I think about the waiting in the airport or the flights themselves or whatever other discomfort the travel will entail and I sort of mentally decide it'd be better to just not. And this was a very poorly timed feeling of not wanting to go to Burning Man.
Yeah... the night before. Ugh. It wasn't fun.
I was, to be honest, also thrown off by a comment someone left here, randomly, that while I know it wasn't true, upset me and hurt. So I'm sure seeing that the night before and feeling way off from that didn't help, but still. I had a pretty bad night and so woke up with my alarm, just kind of going through with it because what else was I going to do? Stay in the hotel room for a week until Connor came back around on his way home? Probably not.
I don't remember how I got myself out of the funk or if it was better once I woke up or if I just made the decision to go and hate it... but I washed my hair for the last time in a while (ahhh showers... so luxurious when you know you won't have one for another eight days) and woke Connor up (the alarm...lights...and shower hadn't worked so I talked to him til he grunted) and we headed out.
The drive was easy. Always thankful for that. I made a road kill spotting chart and got to 20 poor dead animals by the time we got to the playa. Or by the time I got tired of looking... it's hard to know.
We stopped for a roadside pee somewhere near where we always do and when Connor was done he looked behind us and saw a chunk of traffic coming so we hustled back into the truck to avoid the super slow and kind of sketchy driver we'd passed earlier. (Sometimes you pass people with trailers and you can tell they've not driven with one before and it's often somewhere between scary and dangerous, so they're good to not be near.)
We did well with music, hitting Pink Floyd's Pulse once Connor had had a listen to a song that's been meaning a lot to him and had a moment of personal clarity. (Which was awesome to witness, but I left it to his privacy and didn't ask too much about it. Just handed him the tissues when he asked for them.)
(Connor told me he thought my theme song for this year should be "I Want to Break Free" by Queen, but I wasn't sure I needed a theme song and kind of feel like a lot of my breaking free has already happened... but I sang along anyway and I get where he's coming from.) (Actually, as I'm typing this I'm listening to the song and it means more to me now than it did then. Go figure. Well done Connor.)
At some point, we stopped for gas, with about half of the rest of the known world. (Or ok, maybe just a whole lot of other drivers) but somehow we came in the entrance that they wanted us to and had good karma behind us and had an ultimate gas pump awesomeness! (Probably saved us half an hour, this magical moment) Connor, when he went in to pay, went in with the intention of buying a lighter (always have one on you for safety reasons when camping, is what he said when I told him I had one with me... because I always have on on me when camping and hiking! anyway) and forgot the lighter but was stoked to remember (or be reminded, technically) to get ice so we'd be able to cool our drinks and have ice water during set up, yay, more success! Ice!
This year the highway near the playa was much much busier than at the same time last year. In fact, this year we actually stopped on the highway.
I don't know why. Don't know if it was traffic or pulsing or an accident or what (you hear rumours from drivers ahead of you, but we couldn't get a signal for gate radio or BMIR so were just... waiting) but yeah, the highway was much busier. Plus, we were maybe an hour later than I might have liked, in my perfect world. But hey... we were close.
And the city was dusty! Or at least, it was dusty where I was assuming the city was. The wind and dust we'd heard about from Saturday still seemed to be around, and yes, it was hot. It's the freaking desert in Nevada in August after all.
We hit the turn off of the highway (which is when I start to feel like we're "there") at 11:11. An auspicious timing if I don't say so myself.
I think by this point I was most nervous about our hopeful camp spot still being open and felt like every moment we waited in line was a moment someone else might be pulling into our space.