A week before we headed out for BM, Nicholas ran into a college classmate who was also attending, and had organized a group of folks to camp together. Kava put together a great guide for the rest of us, packing list and other recommendations from a BM veteran, and it was nice to roll into a spot that had been staked out and have a crew to go exploring with.
The crew was interesting, and grew throughout the week. Kava, Eric, Dan, Laura, Joe, Annie, Deegan (sp?), and Corey made up the crew, with a few late arrivals at the tail end of the week that I can't remember names for.
Most were from the west coast, with one New Yorker contemplating the move to LA, and one pilot based in Vegas.
It was fun to get to know them all to different extents, and see a cross cut of intelligent, 20 somethings, where they are, where they want to be, and what they fill their time with.
As the week progressed more details about each member came out. Nicholas and I were the only people with spouses, no one else had kids, and there's a good chance I was the oldest person in the camp, which was a new experience for me. In terms of stamina, these folks ran circles around both of us, and would often be getting in from an exciting night when we were getting up for breakfast.
Joe: Entrepreneur, based in San Francisco, a kindred spirit who immediately understood my obsession with finding something worthwhile and species-improving to throw myself into. Great conversations were had, and I look forward to keeping in touch.
Deegan, aka Giggles, and Laura.
Joe, Annie, and me attending a Ted talk.
Dan, in the back, is an acquaintance of Nicholas' that camped a mile away, but found his way to our camp on several occasions.
The lady on the hammock next to Joe went by Spirit, not sure what her real name was.
Corey. A great guy, waiting to hear results from his Bar exam, with an amazing collection of outfits.
We spent most of the week away from camp exploring and meeting other people, but it was always nice to come back to camp in the heat of the day, or the middle of the night when the dust wasn't letting up, and have conversations with smart, pleasant people on topics ranging from philosophical whatnot to life changes that everyone seemed to be actively transitioning through.
I didn't catch the name of the young lady on the left. She found Corey in the far reaches of the desert, beyond the perimeter fence, in the wee hours of the morning and they had walked back together, running into us at the perimeter fence while we were waiting for the sun to rise.
Annie. Actress, I believe evaluating other career options, and generally looking at and for what the next chapter will hold.
In our wanderings we met and talked with all sorts of people, and until the weekend crowd moved in, (a different breed, it felt like, focused on the raging party of the weekend rather than the week long experience,) almost everyone had an interesting story, and seemed to be at BM to escape for a time a personality or life course they felt constrained by, or actively looking to be inspired and take a new direction back in the real world.
One of the many lessons I took away: the world is full of energetic, brilliant people, and with no slight meant towards Burning Man, they are starving for something productive to put themselves into.