Black Rock Desert, Nevada
By Jim Urquhart
For the fourth year in a row I have found myself spending a week in – the heat and dust in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada north of Reno – surrounded by over 65,000 people attending the Burning Man Festival.
At this point I feel I am starting to get an idea of how to handle myself out here. It is a tough environment to work in. You have to bring in all your supplies to live and work with. This includes all your food and water for a week. Nothing is sold in Burning Man outside of ice and coffee. Your transportation options are pretty limited to mainly foot or bicycle.
In past years I have camped with other photographers but this year I brought along my wife Dayna to share the experience. When I’ve come home reeking of body odor and failure she has always asked me what it is like to be here. I’ve shown her photos and tried to explain it but I always feel like my explanations fall short in explaining the whole experience.
She has handled the experience like a pro and was even able to get past the first 24-hour shock in the city, that includes not only being overwhelmed with the sights and sounds and the unusual characters but also getting hit by a biker at night with no lights on.
“I thought it was just a bunch of free-loving hippies doing drugs and alcohol, but it is not,” Dayna said.