I spent the majority of this summer making a dream come true. For the last ten years I have wanted to go to the Burning Man festival near Gerlach, NV. I live in the Bay Area and it's near impossible not to know someone who has been to Burning Man at least once, if not a veteran who attends every year. Back in 2003 I started a new job where my entire office headed to Burning Man and I was left behind to answer the phones. Ever since then I was intrigued about the festival, but every year there was a reason not to go. Unsupportive husband, work demands, lack of funds, new supportive husband, pregnancies and small babies.

Last Christmas my husband gave me a camelback bag and a pair of binoculars and said "This is the year". I took his encouragement seriously. I couldn't wait to participate. I joined a theme camp before I even found a ticket. I found Dye With Dignity a group of people dying silk scarves with Barbie Death Camp. Seeing as I had always wanted to dye my own yarn, I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet new people and learn a new skill. I was totally right on both counts.

Unfortunately, Burning Man requires a ton of preparation. I found myself dustproofing a tent, building a swamp cooler, soldering wires and outfitting bicycles with light up wire. This mean that there wasn't a whole lot of knitting or writing about knitting going on.

But this is a good thing. Sometimes, no matter how awesome something like knitting is you need to shake your life up. You need to challenge yourself and expose yourself to new people and situations. Burning Man does that for you in spades. Because of Burning Man I taught someone how to knit and that skill helped them through a difficult time. Because of Burning Man I've made a ton of new friends. Burning Man brought me closer to my husband even though he didn't come with me.

Frequently, Burners feel a big come down after the big event and get a little depressed, but I find myself completely reinvigorated and excited for next year. I think the best way to think about it is that Burning Man is like Disneyland. One year is no where near enough to get the whole experience. Your first year only shows you how to do better for the future. I will carry the Burning Man spirit with me all year long because it makes me more focused, charitable, considerate and open.

Here are some pictures that don't do the event any justice.


What did you do this summer?


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