|Everything was quiet when I woke up at 3 AM. That didn’t seem right.
High in the sky, I could make out the constellation Orion.
I went back to sleep until just before sunrise, Monday, August 26th. I maybe got 7 hours of sleep. I desperately needed to wash my hair, but I didn’t want to take a full shower until it got warmer. So, I leaned over my foot-washing basin and poured a canteen of water over my head. With cleaner hair, I put on a clean shirt. It was a pretty sunrise.
|I got ready for my afternoon Ranger shift. I signed up to be an Operator
that shift. The position of Operator was relatively new for the
Rangers. It involved listening to the radio and entering information into
a database. I made sure to go in early so that I’d have a chance to get
a feel for the software. There was a version online that people could download
and practice at home, but it was only for Apple machines. I saw Inkwell
working one of the check-in windows. The Operator office was around back.
I met up with Ranger Jeopardy, charming as ever. The software was easier
to use than I expected. There was still a learning curve.
Listening to the radio all afternoon was harder than it sounds. There were long times where no calls were coming through, and then we’d get three or four at a time. It helped to have more than one Operator listening. There were several medical calls. I messed up one entry, but I made a note of it for later. A lot of broke-down vehicle reports came in. Two different vehicles in line at the Gate both had their batteries die at the same time.
|I was overwhelmingly relieved when I walked back to camp. The MASH
tent was already set up when I got back, the kitchen moved inside. The
shower was still not set up. Supper was a tuna cup and a can of fruit cocktail.
Spoon was in the bar! It was good to see him again. He was following a guy in a chicken suit; for some reason, wherever the chicken went, there was a party. We talked and got to catch up on stuff. The chicken left while Spoon was using the ninja potties. The bar had cold beer on tap, and cider, too.
|As soon as it started to get dark, Gravity Mike fired up his forge.
He was melting down the aluminum cans from the bar to make medallions,
belt buckles and awards. I met Jason, who explained that Gerlach rhymed
with “Spock.” Dr. Jon walked around in a top hat.
Someone brought a ride-able purple dinosaur, like something from an amusement park. When people rode it, it looked so wrong. Danger Ranger paid the bar a visit that evening.
|After the Sun went down, I went for a walk. There were amazing art
cars all over the place. In Center Camp, a woman was singing opera. Her
voice was thrilling, and soared across the playa. At Pandora’s, I saw Raven,
who was taking it easy on a couch. Zay shook my hand, and Stacey waved
to me. I spotted Nova off in a crowd.
I walked out to one art installation, a big, wooden structure. Inside, I was amazed to see a life-sized replica of the Russian MIR Space Station-- all built out of wood. It was an incredible feat of construction. (At the end of the week, they burned it.)
It was a long day, and I went to bed about midnight.