The trip to and from Burning Man itself was a whole separate event than being at Burning Man itself. Nacie and I were traveling together again this year. I adore this girl and will go with her again.
So, I was looking for options to get us to Burning Man a cheaply as possible. Free sounded pretty good, right? The deal was that I drive a piece of someone’s art car to Burning Man, they pay gas, and we get there at no cost. Basically, they employ me to get their stuff up there.
We tell them we want to leave Friday morning on the 20th of August, which is why I wanted to pick up the van to be used on the Thursday previous.
Even with 5 days notice nothing is ready and I am told to be at their house at 6am to help clean out the van before I can begin loading our camping gear. It is at this point I am told we will not be able to leave until the middle to late afternoon. Stressed and sleepy, cleaning the van takes as long as it takes Frick and Frack to examine each piece they are pulling out. Meanwhile, Nacie and I are taking arm loads of shit and piling it into the garage.
He forward the guys who owned the art car will be known as Frick and Frack… but that will change in part 2.
Fast forward to 4pm when I have picked up Nacie, packed the van with our crap, and called to confirm the transporting trailer for their art car was present. Ideally, at least in my head, we could be heading north by 6pm.
Frick and Frack are still working on their art car so we are once again delayed and sitting around waiting… waiting… waiting.
Somewhere after dusk the train was ready to be loaded and we had been sitting their for hours and were losing patience faster then the ticking seconds on a clock… grrr. Frick and Frack decide it is time to take their car on a joy-ride through the neighborhood.
Soon the art car is loaded and all the nice things going along with it, which lands us somewhere around after 10pm. By this time I was completely at peace with the fact it will be a night long drive. Meanwhile, Nacie is slowing checking out psychologially on me. However, soon, we are on our way.
The first thing I do is clip a pole and we’re all back to the house for a long discussion about whether or not it can be fixed that night or not. Thankfully, Burner veterans and friends who made the arrangement appear convincing them we can still go that night if a repair could be made. An hour later the fender looks like was almost new again – a miracle… and by midnight-ish we were gone. Frack was a genius with a welder.
Frick and Frack arrived a few days later at Burning Man with the second piece of their art car and it was an amazing week. That is detailed elsewhere.
When preparing to leave Sunday, Nacie and I are informed that we will be departing Monday evening at 5pm. Which, according to the Burning Man guide is one of the worst times to join the Exodus.
We are also told that we, Frick and Frack, all have to travel back together. This is because their RV barely has any tread on their tires and broke down 3 times on the way up.
5 hours waiting to get out of Burning Man at a slow crawl meeting fabulous people on the way… 1/3 tank of gas to get me close to 100 miles in a pig of a machine. The refusal of Frick and Frack to acknowledge my concerns… Frick and Frack was to become Drunk and Drunker! Drunk and Drunker drank from sun-up to sun-down and getting ready for a long road trip was nothing different.
5 hours of waiting, we only could imagine how many Miller Lites that Drunk and Drunker put down.
They skipped the first gas station and as we did I saw straps were loose on our trailer so I signalled Drunk and Drunker to pull over while we checked them… and off they went into the distance without a though.
We picked them up further along the way and explained what happen, but reminded them I barely had enough gas; Drunk and Drunker were unfazed.
The empty gas light came on 20 miles previous to the next gas station.
WE HAD to stop at Walmart in Fernley so Drunk and Drunker could get spark plugs because their 6 cylinder engine was working only on 4. They bought 6 quarts of oil, spark plugs and a new oil filter. Heading back out to the cars 6 hours after attempting to leave a place that was literally 100 miles away Nacie and I were starving. Hold on Frack says, whcile checking the engine oil and confirming they needed to get some work done further down the road. They urgently prepared for departure, but Nacie and I had to put our foot down demanding we be allowed to get some dinner.
We went to Jakes at the Silverado Casino that was across the way… the same place we ate at last year and loved it.
Upon returning the RV housing Drunk and Drunker is dark, but the door is ajar. “Where are they?” we wonder… after about 15 minutes we call inside seeing they were napping.
It is at this time they decide to install the spark-plugs instead of doing it the 1 hour we were eating close by… so more delays.
Then by 11pm we are back on the road once again.
30 Miles South of Tonopaugh, an hour in which I refused to look at a clock, we stopped to nap.
Sunrise: they decide to change the oil on the van I was driving. Theydumped the oil into the side of the road, Frick chucking the used oil filter into a close berm, and off we go.
The last miles back were just as painful and grating as the time spend at their house waiting for the art car to be loaded. We made it back though in one piece and no break-downs… we’ll call that a win.