The Long Trip Home
I left Burning Man a day or two earlier than I had planned. After Cindy and Skye had left I was ready to go. I helped with breakdown as best I could and loaded up all my stuff as well as some gear Skye had brought. I was overloaded, especially with the ten foot galvanized pipe that we never ended up using. I left at night to avoid too much of the traffic of exodus. I got lucky in that it only took around an hour maybe two to get out of Black Rock City. After many hours I got to Reno which looked like a Burning Man decompression. There were burners everywhere and most hotels were booked up. I was still wide awake so I decided to keep going. Many hours later, I finally arrived in Mammoth and checked into a hotel.
I Came, I Saw, I Was Conquered
There were several reasons I headed to Mammoth Lakes, CA after TTITD aka Burning Man. One of the main ones was to check out the real estate. We were hoping to purchase a rental property, a condo where we would stay in on occasion but rent out out the majority of the time. We've always loved it in Mammoth and have been talking about buying there for at least 20 years. And with some major developers looking to buy and build in the next couple of years it was probably going to be out last shot.
As it turns out, we weren't the only ones thinking like this. There was practically no inventory, especially in our price range. But there was one and it looked ideal.I went to check it and it was pretty close to perfect. Except for when Cindy and I discussed it and we realized how unfortunately given our ties to Atlanta and our finances which took some major hits, Burning Man, my extended time off, the little trailer home, a couple of new cars, etc etc. So we decided that the strain, not only financially but also emotionally, as in feeling obligated to vacation at our Mammoth property would cancel out vacationing in other parts of the country and world.
So that part of the investigative field trip was over. Time to enjoy my time and get some juijitsu practice in and organize some of the stuff I was hauling all over the country.
I found a refuse center on-line in nearby Bishop where I could dump a lot of the "stuff" that I had taken to Burning Man that I had no use for and no other practical way of getting rid of. I felt incredibly guilt for tossing out perfectly good galvanized pipe but had no remorse on dumping the trunk that I'd been hauling all over the country constantly worried about rain destroying it.
Unfortunately I didn't have the address for said dump, didn't have internet reception and when I called 411 for a phone number I was connected to the dump in Mammoth Lakes where I had just been. Turns out there is a dump in Mammoth Lakes, actually very close to where I was staying and for a mere $15 I was rid of all of my excess "stuff" or at least a good deal of it.
Getting Back "In Shape"
I went to the gym to basically take a soak and get a shower. But as I was checking in the local jiujitsu instructor walks by and informs me that a class was about to start. So I decided to go.
And it almost killed me.
I was out of shape and not used to the elevation yet (8500').
I could barely finish the warm up. A couple of things I have in my favor is my experience, I was the highest ranked person there, including the instructor and my size. I was the third biggest person in class. It still was rough but I had a great time.
Too Much Stuff
I still had more stuff that I wasn't necessarily keeping but I wasn't ready to toss at the dump. This stuff continues to haunt me.
Checking Out and Checking Out My New Digs
I stayed in the hotel for a few days to shower and unwind before setting up at a campsite. It was the end of the season but there were a couple local events that kept the campgrounds fuller than they normally would be. So I grabbed the first one I found where there was room to back up the trailer and unhitch.
Jon Danniells is an adventurer and traveler, a teacher and student, a husband and a father, a cook and a farmer, a "week-end warrior" (very amateur athlete) and has not earned any money on these labors of love.When I googled myself what showed up first was my IMDB listing, which is basically a resume for my 20 and then some year career in film, for which I fortunately do get paid.