Playa wind nightmare stories

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

Postby doppelGanger » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:54 am

I read this topic and thought, "Jeez the wind and dust is one of my favorite parts..."

Then I read the stories. Yikes.
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Postby accordionMan » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:40 pm

I'd like to share another dust storm story.

It occurred that year that there was a double rainbow.

I'm riding my bike and off in the distance I saw a major storm... it was huge and it was almost black in color and density.

I thought that the storm in the distance would be a great photo so I rode my bike closer to get a super shot. The storm was just sitting there. I took out my camera and all of a sudden the wind changes and this storm is now barreling down toward me like a freight train.

I'm thinking SHIT!!!!!!!!! I'm like one of those people that saw the ocean pull back and walked on dry land only to see a 2 story wave from a tsunami come slamming into them. Ahhhhh good times!

So now I'm pedaling as fast as I can but the storm catches me. I sought shelter with a bunch of other folks in a big tent... pulled out my accordion and we all had a good time as folks banged on pots and danced.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:42 pm

Strong, bold barbarians were huddled against the wind and fearful blackness of the dust storm. Even with GI grade gas masks, the density of the stinging particles was too great to bear. Men became quivering sobbing wrecks. "Please let's leave this wretched place! This not fun anymore!"

Suddenly we heard a sickening CRACK as the Man Himself was destroyed and carried away into the uncharted Open Playa, never to be seen again. This was the End of Burning Man. :(
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Postby Fire_Moose » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:45 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:This was the End of Burning Man. :(




AH! Finally, now we can move on with our lives.
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Postby ZaphodBurner » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:39 pm

Of course, the more typical dust storm horror story goes like this:

During my first burn I saw a dust devil between 9 o'clock and the Temple, so I tore out toward it in my bike, paddling as hard as my playa-virgin bike legs could take me, trying to calculate an intercept path to ride through the twister...

Suddenly, the playa turned orange, I heard a *POOOF* sound and felt a wave of heat, and a viking boat with a fire-breathing dragon on the bow and strippers spinning on the mast blew right past me blaring death metal. 5mph my ass...they missed the dust devil completely and had to make a large circle to make another pass.

I didn't miss, but while I collecting my wits and wiping the dust and awe from my goggles... *POOOF!* I couldn't see through the dust but I knew I was in danger of being hit by a fire-breathing viking boat in the middle of a desert dust tornado. An admittedly unique way to die. The sound that followed immediately after was the playa virginity being ripped from my psyche.

The problem with dust storms is, they don't come up at your leisure. If you're truly a participant, odds are they're gonna hit you when you have shit to do like building, serving, flying or operating an art car.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:55 pm

accordionMan wrote:...So now I'm pedaling as fast as I can but the storm catches me...


If this was 2006, then I likely watched this. I remember watching this scene happen to several people...
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Postby accordionMan » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:59 pm

Dust devils are one thing... but how about fire devils... spinning off the pyre at the base of the man!



Scary.


Tip to virgins: Don't sit downwind of the man on the night of the burn.
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Postby FIGJAM » Mon May 31, 2010 1:07 pm

Dusty bump.
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Postby babysnakes » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:19 pm

My first year, 2008, arrived really late Sunday night/ Monday morning. Got set up by probably 10am on Monday morning and then the dust storms rolled in. Tried to get some sleep before going out exploring but could barely get comfortable in our very open shade structure. My tent, which was new but kind of cheap, broke. As in the poll split before I even got to sleep in it one night. I ended up spending the rest of the time in this tiny one man pup tent. It was hot in there. I remember wandering around Monday night on my thin tired bike unable to traverse the deep playa and barely able to see anything and way too sober and thinking: this place might not be for me.
BUT then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday happened and I was wrong.
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Postby AntiM » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:25 pm

2008 sucked ass. My worst year, still better than anything else I do. And I'm counting 2004, my cancer year.

We had early entry in 2008, Sunday morning. We arrived before sun up and took a short nap. Tried to get camp up, but barely got one clamshell carport up. Monday was just as bad. We finally finished on Tuesday. The playa surface was rough and soft, made going anywhere difficult. Couldn't haul around our mobile art project. Took the Home for Wayward Art down a day early. Saturday the fire conclave was canceled after we schlepped the fuel out early. Asshat put his ciggie out on MyLarry's forehead. Bad year.
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Postby bm_cricket » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:40 am

accordionMan wrote:Tip to virgins: Don't sit downwind of the man on the night of the burn.


Or if you do, wear fire retardant clothing. I enjoy the experience. :-)
)'(
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Postby falk » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:36 pm

In '08 my tent wound up directly in the path of Entheon's speaker stack. 'Nuff said.

Seriously folks, if you're going to be a sound camp, then be a sound camp and get yourselves placed accordingly.
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Postby Sham » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:54 pm

2008 was the year of the 12 hour dust storm. The entrances were closed pretty much the whole day on Monday. I had come in on Sunday and set up our camp and we pretty much had the event to ourselves. I think I ended up dehydrated with all the activity I was doing setting up camp and was in a really crabby mood. Someone in the camp noticed what an asshole I was being and suggested water. It worked---I was less assholeyish! (I saved that word from a previous posting)

The dunes were huge that year and my art car had the door ripped off of it. Duct tape is your friend. The deep playa had very few bikes out that way since the ground was so soft, and the footprint of the event was increased by 2 square miles. There were a few more major dust storms that week, but no major camp damage. I am still to this day finding dust in various places on my body! :shock:
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Postby Nitevenus » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:28 pm

One particular white out kinda day in 2007 was cause for concern and commotion in our Lazy-A$$ F'ers camp. My camp contribution that year was a brand new carport shade to add to the 3 others for camp shade. Mine being on the windy end was threatening to become airborne, everyone hauled out of their hiding spots and hung (literally) on for dear life until extra ratchets in the tie downs could be done. We weren't so "lazy" that afternoon....
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Postby Eric » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:46 pm

dragonfly Jafe wrote:Surely there are some horrifying stories from that huge dust devil that hit the city in 2006...it missed our camp by 50 yards or so (I ran out to meet it), and was at least a 1/4 mile wide...


We got caught in that. Piss Clear was on the outer ring road around Center Camp that year and we got it full on. Our dome & the tents all held, but the parachute covering the dome was shredded, and it was only two years old. Everything in camp was layered in dust, and I have a feeling the parachute shreds that got caught in the wind ended up as moop waaaaaay outside of BRC. We gathered up all we could find, but.... damn.

Image

That was solid, basically new parachute on Monday.
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Postby MistressSybs » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:47 pm

Nitevenus wrote:One particular white out kinda day in 2007 was cause for concern and commotion in our Lazy-A$$ F'ers camp. My camp contribution that year was a brand new carport shade to add to the 3 others for camp shade. Mine being on the windy end was threatening to become airborne, everyone hauled out of their hiding spots and hung (literally) on for dear life until extra ratchets in the tie downs could be done. We weren't so "lazy" that afternoon....


we had to do that at flipside last year during a surprise thunderstorm (we think some tornadic winds as well) with our coleman event shade... more than one camp lost shit that day... got a northpole and some serious candycane stakes for the playa... do not want to have to go through that again.
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Postby AntiM » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:52 pm

We lost our Coleman cabin tent pole at the Utah regional. 70 mph gusts snapped that sucker. That close to the GSL, we get really high winds now and then.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Postby MistressSybs » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:53 pm

AntiM wrote:We lost our Coleman cabin tent pole at the Utah regional. 70 mph gusts snapped that sucker. That close to the GSL, we get really high winds now and then.


those damn colemans!
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Postby bm_cricket » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:02 pm

Eric wrote:Image


Holy Jebus!

Would you mind if I used that image in the shade structure wiki? "Make sure you can withstand the wind."
)'(
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Postby Eric » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:08 pm

bm_cricket wrote:Would you mind if I used that image in the shade structure wiki? "Make sure you can withstand the wind."


Go right ahead. I just ask that you leave my copyright visible.

This was a vented parachute- the wind should have gone through it. This storm knocked down half of recycle camps dome (they were behind us), so I'm not sure what you would use to survive that one.
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Postby bm_cricket » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:32 pm

Eric wrote:
bm_cricket wrote:Would you mind if I used that image in the shade structure wiki? "Make sure you can withstand the wind."


Go right ahead. I just ask that you leave my copyright visible.

This was a vented parachute- the wind should have gone through it. This storm knocked down half of recycle camps dome (they were behind us), so I'm not sure what you would use to survive that one.


Thanks! Kick ass and take names it's on the wiki now.
)'(
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Postby klark44 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:52 pm

before and after [img]/Users/fryselectronics/Desktop/befor the wind.jpg/Users/fryselectronics/Desktop/after the playa tornado.jpg[/img]
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Postby capjbadger » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:30 am

klark44 wrote:before and after [img]/Users/fryselectronics/Desktop/befor%20the%20wind.jpg/Users/fryselectronics/Desktop/after%20the%20playa%20tornado.jpg[/img]

Linking to a picture sitting on your computer doesn't work. It has to be hosted on a site somewhere on the net like Flickr.

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Postby Gage » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:55 pm

2008/virgin year. We arrived early on Monday morning, roughly 10am-ish. Our camp told us where to setup, and just as we started pulling out rebar, Danielle & I were getting pelted by 50mph winds. She was inside the tent pushing outward, and I was holding onto tent poles from the outside. We got 5 minutes of assistance from our campmates, then nothing after that outside of 2 cold otter pops. The wind ripped our main door zipper, so we had to flip the tent around and use tarp to close of that side.

6 hours into our 1st Burning Man experience... We walked directly to our main dome/bar, started pounding the cocktails with our neighbors from Tennis Camp, and after a nice buzz, decided to hit our bikes and check out the city, man, etc...

Glad the rest of the week wasn't like that 1st Monday (except Satruday - The burn was almost cancelled after that all-day wind storm)...
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Postby bm_cricket » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:17 pm

GageNdG wrote:Glad the rest of the week wasn't like that 1st Monday


Oooh, but the dust storms were great in their own way. It was far more post-apocalyptic.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:08 pm

Dusty bump.
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Postby EspressoDude » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:39 pm

bm_cricket wrote:
GageNdG wrote:Glad the rest of the week wasn't like that 1st Monday


Oooh, but the dust storms were great in their own way. It was far more post-apocalyptic.


so, you must have been down wind of Apokiliptika....
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Postby Dr Helix » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:48 am

Okay it's 2008 and it's my first burn. Camping with an experienced group though, who are rebar staking everything in sight. But one other newbie is a self proclaimed "camping expert" who pooh pooh's the camps preperations as "over the top". He sets up a tent and then puts a popup over it, securing it with minimal tent stakes. Of course the winds come and we wait it out. When the dust clears, his popup is gone and his tent is shredded. We find the popup a block down the street on another camps roof. It is damaged but not destroyed. We retrieve it and help him repair it. But he insists once again that tent stakes are all he needs to secure it. So he does. Winds come again. And again, it is gone. This time it is destroyed. He was not asked back the following year to our camp. Some people just can't learn I guess.
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Postby LostinReno » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:02 am

Just curious if anyone has used these instead of rebar? (Rockbuster polymer stakes) I bought some yesterday, they seem like they'd be easier to deal with.
Image
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Postby bm_cricket » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:38 am

LostinReno wrote:Just curious if anyone has used these instead of rebar? (Rockbuster polymer stakes) I bought some yesterday, they seem like they'd be easier to deal with.
Image


It's worth a try if you just want to hold small things to the playa. Nothing bigger than a small tent. If the wind picks up and it isn't enough to keep you on the playa then say "Hi" to everyone for me.

Image
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