Last Minute Camp

Steve and I were looking for a place to set up camp. We had decided to go to burning man this year without friends or a camp to call home. We were riding solo.

So the plan was No Plan.

We would just show up and find a place to park the RV we rented, which according to the rules is allowed. However, once there, it was confusing as to what land had been “grabbed,” what land was parcel of an official “camp,” and what was open parking. Twice we stopped at an open parcel of land and asked neighbors if we could set up there, but were told it was taken. 

We felt a bit lost and driving a freaking RV is not easy. So we were feeling a bit low, until attempt number three. When I approached Mandy I asked him if the land next to him was open. He informed me that it was part of a camp.

Ugh. I asked for advice on where to park to set up for camp. He asked what camp we were at. Internal voice getting worried: Are we the only people who are doing this?  Is not being part of a camp that big a deal?! 

I embarrassingly told him we were “campless. That it is just the two of us.”

Welcome Home he said and bear hugged me. He immediately helped us back the RV into his camp. He did not ask us for a dollar or anything (as there are usually dues). He just welcomed us to our new home, “Last Minute Camp.” A camp of all strangers who plan things last minute. As usual the playa provided and we were in the perfect place. This is exactly where we should be. How perfect. We are surrounded by our own people. They too were on the no plan plan. And the camp was like everything at burning man, a spectrum, a rainbow. A spectrum of people that we would NEVER have met in the real world.

The ages ranged from 28 to mid 50’s, with multiple ethnicities, and the socio-economic backgrounds went from homeless to Steve and I. But none of that mattered, we were a family and took care of each other.

Upon arrival, our RV broke. We would have ZERO electricity and air.  It felt weird to complain as most of our camp was tenting and had no access to such luxuries, but they didn’t judge our disappointment, instead they helped us fix it. 

During the burn we supported each other without ANY expectation of reciprocation. We bandaged each other’s wounds (literally), we made each other meals, we sat and listened to each other’s stories, dreams and expectations. Not much talk about what you did. No one even questioned when one of us seemed VERY skilled at breaking into cars. 

You don’t question family:)

And for one week that is what we are. A family that no matter what, one of us will find you and take you home. If a group of strangers can form a family…well then…anything is possible, even in the LAST MINUTE.

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