Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Outskirts Of It All

I woke up a few Fridays ago, what... three Fridays ago now?  Does time travel that quickly while feeling like it all just happened???  But nonetheless, I woke up early early in the morning and did my final travel checks and then I got a text from Connor at 4:48 am.  "No more sleeps!"

Indeed.  No more sleeps.

"Well, two more road sleeps." But that, in my mind didn't matter.  I was already nervous/anxious/excited and above all else, it was still too early for my body.  Dealt with that and with one last "have an amazing time" phone call from Jason, we were on the road.  Well, technically, on the ferry.

Where it was utterly foggy.  And, I was once again amazed at how long it took for my cell phone to switch over from my coverage to a US carrier.  I know, it's the little things.

There were those travel moments that you had to be there for... the "fog so thick it blocked the sun....for a few moments" and the golden labs who were both adorable and hilarious and me trying to not get too excited about the fact that I was once again on my way to Burning Man.

The border guard asked weird (to me) questions and we stopped for gas at a gas station that sold more camo gear than I'd know what to do with and I bought my first bar of chocolate wax (which Connor found so nasty he tried to throw it out when I wasn't looking, but I caught him and ate it myself.  ha!)  (ahem.)

The part of the drive we were most concerned about (heading through Portland) was fine, other than a small accident that delayed things, and then we just kept wondering how far we'd actually be able to get.

Long (but didn't feel long) story short, we made it twice as far South this year our first day of travel.  I suppose that's what happens when you take a much smaller, more efficient vehicle and don't stop for a leisurely breakfast or lunch.

We got to Klamath Falls, Oregon (our home away from home from last year) around six and I think because we were a day ahead of ourselves, we didn't see as many burners as I remember seeing last year.

There were also swarms of midge bugs that weren't there last year that caused a great deal of amusement (when I'm happy and in a good place, it doesn't take much to amuse me, really) and I got utterly overwhelmed at the BIGNESS of it all when we walked to a BBQ joint for dinner.  It was all just TOO MUCH and I was overwhelmed with having been with Connor all day and having had noise (radio) all day and just... too much.  I was really not in a good place and didn't know what to do.

Last year there was the four of us so I felt like someone else could entertain Connor or each other and this year I suddenly felt the responsibility was all mine and it was too much.

I felt like I was going to lose it so I told him how I was feeling and I felt so much better after that.  It was like giving myself permission to be honest about the suckage made it better.  I told him I was overwhelmed and didn't want to feel responsible for him and he said basically no worries, take care of you, I'm good.

I don't think I slept particularly well or much that night and I remember having a dream where Jason was DD (of all people) and his ex kept trying to feed me edible marijuana sticks (is that a thing?) and I just wanted to talk to her and it was a weird night.

We had a lazy morning, did our grocery shopping, saw that the Kmart we'd shopped in the year prior had closed.  We had to go buy pillows as Connor had forgotten his... for the fourth year running (but he loves his new pillow very much so it's all good in the end) and then we checked into an actual hotel (instead of camping!) and man oh man was that ever comfy.  I revelled in how comfy the massive bed was.  We went out for Chinese for dinner but it wasn't quite as expected (deep fried everything) and I had a shower... with running water (knew it'd be the last for a while) and I fell into another not terribly great sleep.

Early wakeup Sunday (ugh) and then?  WE WERE OFF!  TO BURNING MAN!  LET'S GO, LET'S GO, LET'S GO!

I was so excited and happy.  But super nervous.  I took a gravol just make sure things didn't get... unhappy and then I waited and waited for us to hit Nevada.

Oh Nevada.  The one little corner we drive through is all hills and rocks and more hills and it's so beautiful and different and it's lovely.

Not that Oregon and California aren't pretty too, but once we hit Nevada I feel like we're there.  So close.

We hit traffic too.  I don't mean "traffic" the way city dwellers know it, I just mean there were other cars on the road for the first time and it was weird.  Burner cars.  And trucks.  And vans.  And busses.  With bikes.  And lots of stuff.  And... we're all going to the same place aren't we?

And then... I had to pee.  I mean, I often have to pee, but usually I don't have to PEE pee, but this time I had to pee.  And I didn't say anything for too long and then I was like "uh, Connor?  I have to pee"  He was like "on a scale of 1-10?" Um... 10. Been 10 for a while now... I was reaching for my pee funnel and bottle (it's a thing... it's worth it) when he realized I was serious and there was a quick pull over and ahhhhhhhhhh... we got away from some of the traffic too as a bonus.  Whew.  No peeing in the truck necessary.  (Plus, the damn seat belt pushed right on my bladder, I swear!)

We got to the highway turnoff and... oh.  Shoot.

Connor had said he didn't want to turn up too early because there'd be a line and it seemed he was right.

I also started to get warm and took evasive action (!)  I stripped down to my skivvies... (while putting on pretty sparkly makeup) and got out my fan and put up a sun shade on my side.  I wasn't going to get overheated this time, but it was warm.

And then we were on the playa.  In line, but... at Burning Man.  We'd made it.  No matter what, we'd made it and we were there and I was happy.

We had a super easy in, and in less than two hours (holy smokes!) we were through the gate.  We found a spot to camp vaguely near where we'd wanted to be and we set up the shade shelter and just sat.

We both wanted to be out of the heat (it was mid-day by this point) and just get used to the elevation and temperature.  And, plus... we were there.  There and .... yeah.  Awesome.

Last year, we arrived at Burning Man late Monday... like, early Tuesday morning, technically. This time?  It was Sunday mid day and we were there.



Jason Langlois said...

I'm having trouble coming up with words to describe how reading this made me feel. I've done the drive to Portland more than a few times, and I've been through Nevada (going from Utah into California), so I got a kind of nostalgic rush.

But I also feel this huge joy, reading about how you were honest about feeling like you were going to lose it, and how you were prepared for things like the heat or having to pee in the vehicle. Just so much joy, and amused at myself for having such a reaction because should I really be thinking "I'm proud of her"?

Then there's the eager anticipation of reading the next post. Hoping to experience vicariously some of the wonders of Burning Man through your eyes. I feel impatient, like the next post can't come soon enough. What was the rain like (rain? in the desert? and that much???), what did you see, who did you meet, what did you do... the questions just sit unanswered right now.

Your words and ability to craft them into a story of your life was sore missed. I'm very glad you're back.

And I guess I could find the words, after all.

Victoria said...

Jason, the things you say almost always make me cry.

Thank you. Very much.

You are awesome :)

Jason Langlois said...

I hope it's almost crying in a good crying sense, and not in a bad sense, because I don't want to be making you bad cry. No bad crying, please.

And thank you for saying I'm awesome, even though I'm not the one who was in glitter and at Burning Man.

Victoria said...

All cries are good cries.

Well, ok, that's not always true, but this one was/is :)

And as for the glitter? WE CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN!!!! ;)

Jason Langlois said...

I am always in for glitter!

Victoria said...

Wooot! :D

Jason Langlois said...

Just let me know when and where, but you'll have to bring the glitter!

Jason Langlois said...

Okay, that's probably not true. I could bring my own glitter.

Victoria said...

Yay! ;)