The trip went off without a hitch. I took a cab from the Reno airport to the Rideshare Point and within fifteen minutes I had a ride. Her name was Heather and we (me and another guy, Cameron) tossed our stuff in her rental can and drove the three hours to Black Rock.
The whole goal of taking the plane was to avoid the thirteen hour drive up. But the three hour flight ultimately took eight hours. In hindsight I should have put more effort into getting a ride, but then I wouldn’t have been able to leave early.
So we get there and, hey what do you know, regular attendees weren’t allowed through the gates until Monday. I was looking at an nine hour wait at the gate and a two mile schlep of seventy five pounds of gear except that Heather’s boyfriend was working the gate and I convinced him that I’d be helping set up our camp (or any camp, just let me in!).
By 10pm that night our camp had been already busted twice for pot (not me). The rangers said that if it happened one more time they’d search the whole camp. Wait, I thought this was Burningman. Rather than spend their time catching real criminals our government is more interested in persecuting victimless crimes.
In the early days of the week Burningman isn’t much to look at. The camps all have similar themes; Field of Tents, Parking Lot, Abandoned, Not Ready Yet and Can’t get our Shit Together were all popular choices.
The Night of the Marijuana Brownie
I spent most of the days either reading Salem’s Lot or sitting in the shade with the Idaho contingent; Andy, Brett and his wife Kathiy.
I’d never had a Marijuana Brownie before and I figured, “Sure, how strong can they be?” That was about 7pm. Within a few minutes I’d decided to gear up and take a walk around the playa. Seemed like a good idea. The wind was pretty strong and I couldn’t find my night-time goggles so I figured my day-time goggles would do, sure they’re tinted yellow and the curve of the lens distorts what I’m seeing but not that much, whatever.
Over the next two hours the brownie I’d so casually eaten had became a larger part of my life. Between the THC, the goggles and the goings on of Burningman I had one of the most surreal walks of my life.
About 9pm I realized that my legs were having trouble doing the kind of things I depended on them for. Now normally when this happens I just have a seat and stop doing the activity that is interfering with my motor control. But I couldn’t stop having eaten the brownie, so the little sit down became a clutch-desperately-to-a-bench-while-this-runs-its-course moment that became a slide-slowly-back-onto-the-bench-and-out-of-consciousness-for-three-hours moment followed by an exercise in staggering-back-to-camp.