Tuesday, 22 September 2015

What I Did Manage To Write Down

The best laid schemes of mice and men..... but I did manage to write down the first couple of days' worth of ... whatever.

I woke up that Friday morning at the first hint of my alarm (very early o'clock) and it was dark.... and raining!

It hadn't rained in ages and so I hadn't even thought to pack pants, or planned on wearing them at all this trip but I threw a pair on (and then was grateful I had as this was a colder year down in the desert!) and headed out.

I took a gravol, as usual, as my stomach really doesn't like extra early wakeups, but man this one hit me hard and I kept having to keep myself awake most of the morning!

We got the first ferry out, and Connor had me wait in the customs line and I got the giggles.  I got the giggles because it felt very much like we were all cattle in a cattle line waiting to go to the slaughter house!  That, and the girl behind me didn't stop sniffing and the guy in front of me got more and more disturbed by her sniffing!  Oh, and it was still five something in the morning.  And my feet were wet because pants?  But sandals.  No socks.  Whoops.

So I was super dozy on the ferry and then kept telling Connor I didn't recognize any of the drive.  Like, at all.  "You sure this is the way we've always gone?"  "Yup."   Huh... I guess taking gravol each time I've taken this trip really makes me not notice stuff, eh? So, yeah, I got a whole new trip all morning, which was rather novel.

At a certain point mid day we decided to stop for gas and lunch and Connor realized we'd accidentally stopped at the same little place/town as last year.  Go figure!  I got wifi in the starbucks and grumbled that the US travel package I'd bought still wasn't letting me receive texts.  Grumble indeed.

We made it to Klamath Falls mid afternoon (ish) and I remember a whole lot of bugs at the door to the place we were staying.  Made me wonder if the bug-apocalypse that had been happening during build week down in Black Rock City had really ended like they were saying... swarms of bugs ick me out.

One of the things that was really noticable on the trip was the lack of water.  Especially once we hit Oregon.

I know we've talked and heard about being in a drought, and it's been in the news and we're aware of it, but seeing it up close and personal was shocking.  We'd pass lake after lake and the water wasn't just low?  It was barely there.  You could see the water line and the level of the actual water far far far below.  Rivers too.  It was frightening.  It's one thing to see it in a picture and go gee, that looks bad.  It's an entirely different experience to see the effect the lack of rainfall and precipitation is having on bodies of water.

I wish I'd stopped to take a picture, it really was that bad.

I knew Max was already on playa, he'd left the night before and I hadn't heard from him since. (We'd been texting back and forth for a month or so, and not hearing from him was unusual)  I could have put it down to lack of cell service or him being on playa and turning his phone off as he said he would but I kind of told myself it must mean he's not all that interested and... fine, I wasn't all that interested either.  Self preservation much?  (Rolling my eyes at myself, really, because come on... just breathe silly.)

Connor still is madly in love with the section of the drive I could have sworn we do on the second day, but it's the straightest highway ever.  Just... straight.  Yes, we have that in the prairies but this is somehow better.  So says Connor, anyway!

I felt like we were travelling with more burners than in previous years, or maybe the gravol had just worn off by then... we also hit construction that Connor swears has been ongoing for years now and nearly got stuck in a tunnel (yay for that not happening!) because traffic had to stop due to some kind of flagger miscommunication and, well, I'm just glad it all worked out is all.  Oh, and that Connor didn't continue the conversation he started with "do you want to think about how much weight is over top of us right now?" as we drove through the tunnel.  No, Connor, I really don't, thanks.

I felt a bit squirmy sitting for so long, body wise and my tummy was still a bit iffy (I haven't mentioned it but the super amazing food on the cruise was also super rich and my tummy wasn't sure how to handle it, even though it was all gluten free) so dinner was a bit of a whoops as I got the extra hot wings and... then had to sit for a few after dinner going uh.... that may have been a mistake.  Poor tummy.

The drive itself was easy and I'm always grateful for a safe, easy drive.  Connor tried hard to bug me by quoting a tv show character every time he burped, but I managed to half ignore (having grown up with a brother helps with that skill!) and half laugh.  So Friday was good. We made it safe to Klamath Falls... no one got annoyed at anyone.  My tummy survived, my body survived, and I purposely wasn't getting too excited about potentially meeting Max.

Like, seriously.  I wrote it down.  "Not getting excited about Max."  I made the note.  It was a thing.  Not excited.

(Which means somewhere inside I was totally excited about meeting Max)

Saturday I slept in til nine.  I had weird dreams, including one where Connor insisted on going onto the playa with a massive gaping back wound from where his doctor had removed a giant melanoma (skin cancer).  I told Connor about the dream because I woke up so mad at him... he wouldn't listen to me saying he should cover the open wound!  He laughed... but then asked me to try to analyze the dream... what did I think the cancer represented?  I told him I didn't know, but maybe he should listen to me more.

We went for an early lunch at the place we've always gone to and then in the parking lot ran into an older couple in an RV going to their first burn.  We exchanged pleasantries and they asked if we had any advice and I thought of a few things and then blanked.  They had early entry and were heading in that day to his brother's camp, but one of their friends was watching the weather and had texted them from home to say it was far too windy and there were whiteouts and gate was closed so they were going to wait it out for a while in Klamath Falls.

We told them to just go anyway, and didn't learn til later that Saturday was pretty much a whiteout and no one got anything done and no one got in for hours at a time.  Whoops.  Hope they didn't listen to us after all!

We went grocery shopping and had a massive chip decision to make.  Ended up with just plain dorito mini bags rather than an assortment.  Last year we got an assortment and ended up not eating the cool ranch doritos because ick.  So we decided to not repeat the cool ranch fiasco and stuck with the plain.

While we were packing up our groceries, someone in the parking lot yelled out at us to "have fun" and it made me so happy.  That, and the battery powered hand held spray fans Connor found in the sporting store!  New best friend that thing would become!

The place we were staying had double booked the Saturday night so we went back to the hotel we'd stopped at on the way last year.  Turns out they'd over charged Connor last year and so we got a "reduced" rate.  Which was great.  But.... well, anyway.  I'll let that one one.  Wasn't my VISA that got overcharged and Connor was happy.

I was a bit grumpy mid day, which is fine as usually by the first evening I get super grumpy.  I think part of it was Connor letting me choose the music for most of the day.  Honestly, I think that can really help me stay calm and less out of my zone.  We stopped in the liquor store and the gal told us we looked "really normal" for burners.  Which... I guess that's a compliment?  Sure!  I'm normal looking you guys.  And I go to Burning Man.  Who knew?

I was a little surprised at how much money I'd burned through in just two days, but travel will do that to you.  Ferries, gas, food, "mexican drinking juice" (Connor was tired too and couldn't remember the word for tequila.)  By the end of the day Saturday, I'd used up most of the US cash I'd brought with me, but I kept some aside for ice.

Oh, and I got stamps with some of that money!  Ahem.

So yeah, travel day, rest day.  All good.

Oh, and I called my cell provider to ask why the travel package wasn't working and felt just a little bit silly when he talked me through turning on my roaming.

Uh, yeah... I knew that.  Just... kinda... forgot.



Blogger Jason Langlois said...

I love your writing about Burning Man. It conveys so much of the joy and excitement you feel, but doesn't sugar coat the anxiety and difficulty. It is so easy to see why you go back, and why so many people become a part of it.

Can't wait for more.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 7:15:00 am  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I had to do the same with my phone when we went to Ireland - the only part I got stuck on (and that my other half discovered by accident) was that you have to reboot the phone. She didn't reboot hers - she dropped it on the floor, and the battery fell out.... put it back together, and roaming had started working :/

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 11:33:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Thanks Jason, I appreciate that! :)

Gotta love those moments, eh Jonathan? ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 8:44:00 pm  

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