Interstellar Travel in the Black Rock System

To Infinity and Beyond

Once again the siren song of the playa lured me out of my comfortable life and into the harsh environs of the desert. Having resolved last year to once again test my skills with a skill saw, I fell upon the plan of constructing a giant space bar. It's theme related, it involves getting people drunk, it's sure to be a hit! With a van full of wood and a head full of decorating ideas, I set out into the great beyond. Thus begins this tale of action and adventure in the far reaches of the Black Rock System...

The Spacebar construction began in my living room.

With the help of a few power tools, things soon began to take shape.

The bar itself would remain largely a mystery until it was constructed on the playa.

Obligatory arrival and unloading shot.

We toiled and toiled on Monday, setting up the dual Red Jades.

Adam took a moment to enjoy our newly constructed shade. Look at that spotless kitchen!

When dusk was upon us, Tom rolled out the Heart of Gold and wired her up.

The full moon poked its head over the mountains to say hello.

The next day, we undertook final assembly of the Spacebar.

With the cover in place, it looked surprisingly like I had originally imagined — thanks in large part to the lenience of stretchy nylon.

The seats came together without difficulty and the final product shone brilliantly in the afternoon sun.

Meanwhile we were settling comfortably into our fine digs.

Annie and Danny set out in search of an impromptu production of The Arabian Nights.

Andrei spun fantastic tales...

...and Sean listened intently.

On Wednesday night we broke out the liquor and availed ourselves of the Spacebar. Janus started the night off with the funkiest of beats.

Not many people made the long trek to our corner of the playaverse, but we lavished those that did with affection and tasty beverages.

The following morning we found no major structural damage, so we did it again!

Later in the week, I made a pilgrimage to the Temple of Stars.

I discovered great crowds gazing in awe.

The temple stretched for an eighth of a mile in either direction.

I braved a dust storm on my way to our favorite afternoon hang out, The Deep End.

I was, of course, doing my part to help collect the dust.

En route to the bathroom the following morning, I witnessed some aftermath of the storm.

Having my camera out, I decided to document my lavatorial journey. Here we pass Sedna the furthest object in our solar system.

Pluto is our next way point.

At Yer Anus, I discovered the home of the giant circular saw that brought me such great pleasure as it cut across the playa in the dark of night.

Next stop, Saturn, where one can relax for a moment and take in a game of billiards.

Near Jupiter, I was distracted by this glue gun extravaganza.

Just a hop past Mars and we arrive at Earth, the latrine of the solar system.

The girls hatched a plan to bake cupcakes at the event this year and like all good playa plans it underwent magical transformations, first to give away cupcakes and then to give away cupcakes to those who would sing us a song.

I decided to document the precise moment that people reached gleefully for their hard-earned cupcakes.

Nothing says loving like a sweet, tasty cupcake.

She smiles as if she has received a cup of the nectar of life itself.

This guy was sure he couldn't sing but after we coaxed a song out of him he was more than happy to claim his tasty reward.

We badly wanted to give her a cupcake but she insisted she couldn't sing. Perhaps she used up her entire imagination in creating that lovely costume.

Don't those cupcakes look just fantastic?

We had a few duets.

Some chose to eat their cupcake right on the spot.

Some without unwrapping it first.

This girl busted a funky rhyme.

This guy made me wonder if silver paint blocks UV.

This guy's tongue got the jump on the rest of his mouth.

I have those same hotpants! Oh the fashion challenges of being on the playa.

He was apparently cute.

She was definitely cute.

Our cupcakes transformed into happiness and joy before our very eyes.

This fellow soothed our ears with a lovely tune in spite of being heckled by his friends.

The girls enthusiastically shaded some of our singers.

As you can see, there were no fashion requirements for our singers.

There were more duets.

Tom arrived on the Heart of Gold bearing a wayward traveler, so we offered her a cupcake.

Some people were more enthusiastic than others.

Quite enthusiastic.

For some, enthusiasm knew no bounds.

As our journey came to an end we met a wise old man...

...and a precocious young one.

The playa was once again home to many fantastic attractions, like fish observation...

...death defying battles with gravity (complete with cage dancers)...

...and giant baubles strewn about as if it were a playground for the gods.

The morning following the burn saw us up at sunrise...

...we hugged...

...and danced...

...and gazed lovingly into one another's eyes.

Our dear, dear man. Many thanks and we'll see you again next year.

©1999–2022 Michael Bayne