December 05, 2005

Snotel 6 Ski Cabin - Trip #1, December 02-05 2005

Yes! The 05/06 ski season started early - we managed to rent a place from early December through late April. The first storms came through just days before our opening weekend.

I skipped dessert at my company's holiday party to catch a ride with Portia. Weather forecast promised an easy drive, nevertheless on the last 20 miles, a snow storm popped up out of nowhere. Chain control once again.

Saturday was Tom's birthday. Opening day at Squaw - the perfect setting for a powderful celebration. There wasn't too much snow over all, but the quality was good. We got discounted tickets and the lines were short (at least at Shirley Lake, where we spent most of the day).

In the evening, Melissa had prepared an amazing crab dinner for us. The following party culminated in the first axe throwing contest of the season. Needless to say, Birthday Boy won.

After bacon & eggs and bloody maries as hangover cure, we headed back to the city Sunday noon.

Posted by Uli at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2005

Burning Man 2005

Burning Man 2005 Gallery LinkFinally... end of August once again. Just a few days left until Labor Day.
What does that mean? Time to head out to the Nevada desert and come home to Black Rock City.

As you can read in last year's article, I was quite excited about my first visit. So it didn't take me a long time to decide that I want to come back in 2005. I bought some tickets the second day after they went on sale...

Our trip started Wednesday night with the drive to Reno. Tori, Daryl and I met Beth there. After having a "real" shower for the last time and filling up our provisions, we left for the Playa on Thursday. Jeff was hitching a ride with us.
Setting up camp was a bit more involved this year. Since late April, I had felt the strong urge to build one particular thing. The four of us constructed a shade structure. The roof was made of 200 large trash bag bubbles attached to fish net, creating a cloudy sea constantly moving in the wind. Check out the images in the gallery.

Friday night, we saw Soul in the Machine performing. After a hypnotic hour of live electronica, I found out that "Passage" was my favorite 2005 art installation.

Burn night was great. The Man exploded in fireworks and flames raged, but he held up extremely well. Even after the supporting structure which had been the Funhouse collapsed.
Once the Man had lost his struggle, we spent time at the truly mindbending Inner Mind all the way out at the trash fence. We played with SoLA and warmed ourselves up in the body of the Angel of the Apocalypse. The Angel truly became the heart of Black Rock City once the Man was gone.
Later, I spent time at the 2:00 dance clubs, met some friends and experienced Satan's Calliope for the first time.

Burning Man 2005 Gallery LinkSunday is always a more sombre and introspective day. A strong contrast to the wild party atmosphere of the burn night.
This year's Sunday though had a very special touch to it. News about the catastrophy in New Orleans had finally spread throughout the city. The burner community started to find ways of helping the victims in the south. Early afternoon, all radio stations announced that Joan Baez was attending Burning Man and offered a fundraiser concert at the Temples of Dreams.
We hopped on our bikes and witnessed a very moving non-faith/inter-faith ceremony held by Rev. Billy from The Church of Stop Shopping. He was accompanied by a jazz band and Joan Baez singing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Amazing Grace" through a bull horn. Then, volunteers walked around with empty water bottles and asked for donations.
Sunday culminated with the remarkable temple burn, ending the existence of the Temples of Dreams.
Later that night, I spent time listening to a classic-electronic trip hop trio performing at the Passage installation. Between the many dust storms, I enjoyed Pyrokinetics' Pendulums of Fire. Finally, I found my way to the burn of the clock tower (see the image above).

Exodus went smooth this year. It took us less than two hours to leave the city limits. Leaving later on Monday was definitely a plus. So the lesson is to build even more stuff next year to make the breakdown take longer.
Every stop on the way home to Santa Cruz involved meeting other burners. Nothing is easier to tell whether or not a car and its passengers just spent a week in the desert.

Posted by Uli at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2005

Bear Haus Ski Cabin - Trip #4, April 14-17 2005

Ski Cabin Tahoe 2005 Gallery LinkEnd of an Era - our epic season ending party weekend. I took off early and spent Thursday night in Jackson, on the way to Kirkwood. Jackson is conveniently located alongside Highway 88 and makes a great stopover on the way. The drive from Jackson to Kirkwood is one of the most beautiful ones in the Sierra Nevada.

Kirkwood on Friday was brilliant. Hardly anyone there, no clouds in the sky, warm weather combined with decent snow conditions. It took me roughly two hours to get to the cabin in the evening.

Saturday, I skied Squaw with Scott and Jan. Craziness all day. After a barbecue dinner and the first rounds of dancing, the 2nd annual Night Snow Golf Tournament took place. I think it must have been Lovisa who managed to win.

Sunday marked my last day in this years cabin, and the first on which I didn't make it to the slopes. Shame on me, but the night before took its toll.

Posted by Uli at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2004

Burning Man Decompression Party 2004

Gallery LinkWhen you're back from the desert just long enough to be re-integrated with your normal life, the Decompression Party hits you. Less dust and easier to reach, but with all the art, fire and fancy costumes you need to add color to a grey day.

The incredible counter culture event comes back to its hometown San Francisco. A street fair in Potrero Hill occupying four blocks between Mariposa and 21st Street is designed to twist your head once again when you just had found back home.

Check out the Burning Man Decompression album at the image gallery.


Posted by Uli at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)