This year, burningman was truly cool. I volunteered as a Blackrock Ranger. I took five 8 hour shifts and patrolled around a lot. It was so incredible. I just can't describe it. The only down side was the fact that I did the graveyard shift every day. So I'd sleep from 6-11pm, then ranger for 8 hours, then sleep from 8 until whenever the sun baked me out of my tent, usually around 10-11am. So I didn't get much sleep. :-) And I missed both The Man and the Temple burn. But it really was neat. I saw all sorts of things, got to fiddle with radios, and helped out a few folks! I figure that after 5 years, it's time to give something back!
I carried my GPS unit with me from the 2nd shift on, though unfortunately, I ran out of batteries about sometime during my last shift, which was by far the toughest one, since there was only ONE other ranger besides me to patrol the entire city on Monday morning. And I'm still definitely a bit green. I had a medical situation (some guy was unconscious from alcohol and maybe mushrooms and kinda hypothermic), and I didn't call it in right, etc. But we worked it out, and he survived. :-) But, on the other hand, my 2nd night, there was a fellow who was really on another planet without any clothes there at night who we helped back to sanctuary to warm up. He couldn't talk and was kinda afraid of everything, so I held his hand and tried to make him feel comfortable until he fell asleep. He was picked up by his friends in the morning, and I thought that was the end of it. The last day, I was going by a burn platform, and I heard a voice say "Ranger! Ranger!". It was him! He was doing well, and he said he couldn't remember much about that evening, but he did remember me smiling at him and nodding. I was SO happy to see that everything turned out well! That really made my week. I helped at least one person enjoy their experience.
Anyways, the map of where I went can be found Here! It kinda shows it all, doesn't it? :-) Most of this was on a bike, but I did walk some portions of the esplenade(sp?).
Words fail. It truly is amazing.
Back up to backpacking...