Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Friday Morning

Or, to quote myself directly from my journal "Friday - August something or other"

Because that's how awesome holidays are and especially holidays to Burning Man.  I had NO idea what day it was other than what day of the week.  Nice.

According to my notes (I have no real memory of this, which is why I love keeping a journal/diary type thing) I woke up groggy and decided to go back to sleep.  When I woke up again it was around 8:30, my latest sleep in yet!  Why?  Well, I stepped outside of my tent and discovered it was cloudy and super dusty!  I sat and chatted with our neighbour (who apparently stumbled in to their RV and woke all the other boys so he decided to come and sit and chill in our space with his music (which I'd happily woken up to)  I eventually woke Connor up and we went for breakfast, driving along one of the middle roads out to the farthest street where we drove straight into a whiteout!  IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

My first real white out.  Last year, the closest I'd come to one was biking through the deep Playa with Jay and not being able to see him for a while, but that lasted minutes, was mild compared to this.  This was stunning, and I was so happy to be actually witnessing a real whiteout!

Breakfast, I made special note was bacon, fruit salad and a salmon egg scramble wrap (using some of last night's left over fish it would seem) and "yum" was the quote I left myself.  I also said "dust storm baby!" as I was totally enjoying the whole experience.

Whiteouts....are awesome.  As in, they fill you with awe.  You may have been in a snow whiteout or a fog whiteout or something but a dust storm whiteout?  Crazy.  Everything gets coated in this thin, powdery dust.  Everything.  And you can't see what's not immediately in front of you so people appear like ghostly shadows out of nowhere and it's so cool.  All you can see is the dusty sort of grey-yellow haze and sometimes the sun, a pale ball of light trying to make its way through.  "Whiteout-wow" is the next note I left... (I thought it was awesome, clearly!)

We walked along the innermost road (Esplanade) after breakfast.  It was so cool.  You could barely see anything.  It was awesome.

Oh, I suppose I should point out that we were all wearing goggles and masks to protect our eyes and to try to filter the dust going into our lungs.  (Duh... I forget that if you've never been you might not know that)  So yeah, you're wandering around in this amazing whiteout of dust with your dust mask and goggles getting absolutely coated in the stuff.  And you're coming across people who also can't see barreling towards you on their bikes and wheeeee! 

It started to clear up a bit (meaning you could see a few feet in front of you now) and we went and got ice.  Yes, you need ice that much and it's that important and is one of the only two things sold at Burning Man (coffee being the other) and was something I hated feeling like I was wasting time getting but something that was necessary to keeping drinks and therefore us cool.

The whiteout was a little less whiteout-y as we made our way home (the "city" can tend to act as a bit of a filter for some of the dust at times) and when we got back to camp I cursed myself for not having fully sealed my tent when we left.

See, I'd been leaving it a bit unzipped to let in some air throughout the day but I hadn't known the dust storm was going to kick up or I'd have sealed it.  Good news bad news, I always cover my sleeping stuff and main gear with an extra sheet so they were still clean under the sheets, but EVERYTHING in my tent was coated with a layer of dust.  Damn.  Oh well, lessons learned...


Elliott said...

The whiteout sounds cool and scary at the same time. I've ever only experienced winter whiteouts and they are terrifying...especially if you are on the wide open highways and the wind is howling...also cool, but very, very scary in a moving car.

And rather than a thin layer of dust, we usually have the joy of moving feet of snow when it's done.

Glad you had an amazing time there this year. And really glad to not ready about some the issues you had last year about how you felt.

Victoria said...

Cool and scary at the same time covers it, especially if you're caught away from camp when it blows in. (Which is also why I always leave camp with my backpack of gear)

And yeah, different than last year, for sure :)

Jonathan said...

The only frame of reference I have for it is the morning mist we sometimes get in the winter. I always wish I had a camera when it happens.

Victoria said...

I love a good mist (fog) :)