The eastern sky was a dull pink Sunday morning, August 25th. I switched my watch to Nevada time, which meant it was 6 AM (8 AM Oklahoma time). There was no sound anywhere. The air was very chilly. I went for a walk and found the potties. Up around Rod’s Road, I found Pandora’s, about halfway to Ranger HQ. Off to the south were some pretty lenticular clouds, so I hurried out onto the inner playa to take some pictures. I wanted to get the Man in the foreground of the clouds. That year’s Man base was a big flying saucer, and the Man was set up to rotate up on top of the flying saucer base. 
 
When the Sun came up, the smoke in the air turned it into a giant pink disc. I hurried on over to the other side of the inner playa to get more pictures. I was wishing I'd ridden my bike instead of walking. The Man was still closed off as they were finishing construction.
 
I walked among the different CORE effigies scattered all around. There were 24 regional effigies from around the world scattered in groups all around the Man. A guy on a bike said hi. He was wearing a Soviet fur hat, and said the lenticular clouds “looked like God was smoking.” Center Camp was still closed off. Down the side street towards Pandora’s, I found a service road that led behind HOTD. That’s where I saw Billy D., who was on his way to bed. I met up with Sandy and saw Kenny. A bug flew by; that was unusual. I met a pretty blonde girl called Ducky. She may have been with the DPW, because she said she’d already been on-playa for a couple of weeks. I met her friend Hey You, who had an impressive mustache. He met a girl who had the same back problem he had. At 9:20, it was still chilly out. The Lamplighters were right down the service road. Breakfast was a tuna cup and a can of V-8.
 
I talked to Sandy and Blurose, then moved my van around to the back of camp. I put it west of the big shade structure, and then set up my tent on the shady side. I only cared about having shade in the morning. I couldn’t sleep in the afternoon, anyway. It turned into a cool, pleasant morning. Some camp across the way was playing Star Wars music. I sat around with folks as they slowly got up. I got out my camp chairs for people to sit on, but then one of them broke! That was disappointing. Steph had a bruise behind one knee that needed treatment.
 
A little after noon, we started putting up the big shade structures. There was one for the bar and one for the stage, to be put up next to each other. The roofs were already put together, so we strung Christmas lights on the frame. I met Robin, and saw Honeybee (formerly Honey Badger) and Ollie. Peanut arrives to help out; he hadn’t attended Burning Man in years. We stretched tarps across the roofs and tied them down. After putting legs on the roof structures, we raised them one side at a time, keeping in mind which way the wind was blowing. Putting them up the wrong way could turn them into big kites. 
 
As soon as the shade structures were up, somebody came around warning of a big thunderstorm coming in a half hour. So, we scrambled to get everything under cover, including the musical instruments. We set up the stage and got the bar connected in record time. The storm was a bust, but we did get some straight-line winds and a lot of dust. The bar included Brian’s latest invention: a mechanical boxing glove set up to punch people in the crotch. Peanut was the first to be punched—and his crotch broke it. Peanut, Rerun and Brian worked to fix it and make the device better. 
 
Kathykat dropped by and gave me a hug. I had spoken to Blurose about a 6-wheeled vehicle I saw on Ebay. He said that wasn’t enough to get clearance for Burning Man; it needed to be decorated. Just then, two guys in a 6-wheeled vehicle drove up to the bar for drinks. They turned out to be staff, so that was different. Kathykat rode off with them when they left.
 
The shower remained to be completed. I used two of the zip ties to fix the license plate on my bike. I talked to Rangers Amazon and India Pale, and met a pretty girl named Polly. Gravity Mike gave me an awesome HOTD medallion -- he made them himself. The skies cleared. Colleen made two gallons of mai thais—they were very tasty. The camp had ordered its own porta potty for the event, but we happened to be placed right across the service road with some hidden ninja potties. I think they were put up for DPW, or maybe Center Camp staff. They started out locked, but people kept taking the locks off. Since they were so handy, the camp cancelled the private potty.

Sitting around the bar, I spoke to people from England and Ireland, and to a beautiful girl on stilts; she had to duck to get under the shade structure. Otis came by for a visit, with blonde hair now. I was talking to him and a guy who said he was a friend of the disturbed Paul Addis when someone suddenly stormed over and started yelling at Otis. The unexpected rush of anger left us stunned. Darkness fell, and the lights under the shade structure looked great. I stayed up late, relaxing and talking to people. It frustrated me that I couldn’t find my sweatpants. They were on my checklist and everything. A search of my gear revealed I must have left them behind at home.
 

 
  
 
Prologue  Aug. 21  Aug. 22  Aug. 23  Aug. 24 
Sunday  Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday  Monday 
Sept. 3  Sept. 4  Sept. 5  Sept. 6 & Epilogue
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LINKS: Lenticular Clouds  
Last updated: September, 2013