Being on playa before the infrastructure is set up, is an amazing privilege… but i it has it’s challenges.
One of the only things available for sale on the playa, is ice… but Camp Arctica (the ice store) was not open for business yet when we arrived 8 days prior to opening day.
By our second day, things got a little sketchy since; ice and power were not yet available to us. Our perishables were a risk of spoiling, so I put myself in charge of the quest for ice for our camp. As a Service Camp (part of the Burning Man Org), we were provided provisions like ice and power… but we had to work for it.
My quest began with a visit my sister Clare, who had been on playa for two weeks already so she knew how to get things. She sent us to the Depot to get our camp’s ‘Ice Pog’, which led to a series of radio calls to various department leaders.
We were then sent to rendevous with the keeper of the golden Ice Pogs at the Commissary at dinner time. We hung around asking if anyone had seen her and basically stalked her. After about 30 minutes, we found our target and were awarded with the Holy Grail Ice Pog. (Insert angels singing here)
But the story doesn’t end there… we then had to find someone to get ice from the ice truck for us. Asking for such a person was like Oliver Twist asking for more gruel.
Finally we found the surly ice maiden, who made it clear that she was not supposed to be on ice duty. Sadly, we were denied possession of the chilly booty because we didn’t have a vehicle yet to haul it away. Oh.. so close.
After a quick trip back to camp to hijack an unattended car, we returned within just seconds of the Ice Hours closing. Our same surly Ice Maiden had just closed up the ice truck door and when she saw us, she dramatically hung her head in defeat. In the end, she reluctantly surrendered bags of ice.
We triumphantly returned to camp with ice for everyone and immediately celebrated with cold drinks. The Quest for Ice had come to and end… and there was much rejoicing. Yaaaay!