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today ::
posted :: 29-May-2001

S T A T S
PYROPOLIS, TEXAS:
N 30.06.998
W 98.10.861
ELEVATION: 1625
POPULATION: 561
1391 miles from the Man.


C R E D I T S
MUSIC:
'ZZ Top
Willie Nelson
Jerry Jeff Walker
Jo Carol Pierce
Steve Earl
Johnny Cash
Southern Culture On The Skids.
CELLULAR SERVICE:
BEST- Verizon dualband
WORST- AT&T digital.

:: the journal :: < last :: next >

* This is a place of fierce independence, love of the land and respect for your neighbor. In Texas, you pay for your gas after you pump it, there is no helmet law, and most residents have the right to carry a concealed weapon.

[05.24.01 PYROPOLIS]
Burning Man, Texas style [BIGGER]

[PYROPOLIS, TEXAS] :: Home On The Strange :: The biggest regional Burn outside Black Rock City, our Sister City Pyropolis is located on private property just south of a town called Dripping Springs— about 25 miles west of Austin. The area is beautifully wooded hill country with lots of greenery and flowing streams. Finding your way to Home On The Strange was much like finding your way to early Burning Man. Many people got lost... drive to a small town, turn at the 4th street past the first light, go 6 miles down a narrow winding road, take the left fork, drive another 2 miles, look for the big?! rock by the mail box and turn left.

[05.24.01 PYROPOLIS]
One of the Greeters [BIGGER]
[05.26.01 PYROPOLIS]
Large art on a sea of grass [BIGGER]

The Silver Seed rolled up the gravel road onto Recreation Plantation, which used to be a working cattle ranch, but now we are the mutant cattle that populate this range. Just for effect, there are three large longhorn cattle grazing peacefully near the Gate, where I pay the entrance fee and look at the back of the ticket... "You voluntarily assume any risk of serious injury or death by attending....". Proceeding a short distance to the Greeters Station, I am welcomed enthusiastically by 4 costumed and decorated Greeters. Then driving on, passing a large ranch house, I encounter rows of parked cars just before crossing a cattle guard into the main camping area. Beyond that, the road drops into an open grassy meadow which covers several acres alongside a creek. There is a permanent stage, shade pavilion and an aboveground swimming pool in the central area. A bulletin board displays photos and past history and provides a list of planned events and activities. Theme camps, tents and a couple of large domes form an oval around the perimeter. In the middle of all this, is a large rock-lined fire pit where "The Stranger" stands. Looming overhead, the 3-sided, painted and decorated figure will be this years' sacrifice to the fire. It feels like coming home.

[05.24.01 PYROPOLIS]
Imagine Black Rock with a swimming hole. [BIGGER]

On the first day, an approaching storm was tracked on radar via online computers at the Ranger Station until it arrived that evening. It rained until late at night, which kept everyone under cover and the ground wet until the next day's mid-afternoon sun dried everything out. Continued sun and an occasional gentle breeze, provided wonderful weather for the rest of the weekend. At times when the heat did become an issue, the rock-lined swimming hole behind the dam turned out to be more popular than the aboveground plastic pool in the middle of camp.

[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS] Baksheesh Mini-camp. [BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
The Aquarium room in the Bacsheesh Dome. [BIGGER]

The Baksheesh Dome was one of the most elaborate theme camps. A 50-foot diameter parachute covered this geodesic dome, enclosing a central area with towering columns. Variously decorated mini-theme rooms occupied the spaces between the columns around the inner edge. Hand-painted fabric covered the main floor and unified the spacious interior.

[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Theme camp prop, or hitchhiker from Roswell? You decide... [BIGGER]

Other camps included the Ded Keg Saloon, Temple DeSade, Camp Skynyrd, Trippy Love Cult, and the ever popular Tiki Fest Bar. The Circle of Fire was an open area, which provided a central point for the nighttime activities of fire-spinners, fire-dancers, and fire-breathers. The Barter Swap Station was a simple idea— items clothespinned on a line, which had me stopping by every few hours to see what was new. "Take what you need, Leave what you can."

[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Painting Art Car body. [BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Painting other body!
[BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Magnetic poetry Art Car.
[BIGGER]

^ Daytime scenes

[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
The Trickster attended.
[BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
No spectators here.
[BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Texas angel.
[BIGGER]

^ Nearly everyone in Pyropolis makes the effort to costume.

[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Ranger Cypher.
[BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Champa, an organizer.
[BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
TipiDan- Biologist, Mystic. [BIGGER]

^ Local personalities...

[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Heterogeneous Man, aka Yellow Man. [BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
Another Texas Longhorn.
[BIGGER]

^ Local color...

[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS] Sparky voices a common sentiment. [BIGGER]

<-- "Don't Mess with Texas" is their version of "Leave No Trace", but it's been adopted on a statewide scale. The roadways and rangeland of Texas are nearly spotless and betray almost no evidence of Man in the enormous spaces between cities.


[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
The Stranger.
[BIGGER]
[05.28.01 PYROPOLIS]
The Burn.
[BIGGER]

The night of the Burn was filled with activity, with the usual, seemingly long wait for the Procession and the ignition of the Stranger. A multicolored version of the L2 lights raced around the Stranger in various intricate patterns, keeping the assembled masses amused when they were not amusing themselves.

Throughout the event, most people made an extraordinary effort to costume and participate. They have taken the best of what we have learned at Burning Man and applied it to a Texas regional gathering, with organization and structure, including the Greeters, Rangers, DPW, Earth Guardians and Volunteers.

No Vending.

No Spectators.

It was a Community of Fire and Freedom.

-Danger Ranger

*

*

*

[05.25.01 PYROPOLIS]
Danger strolls on the calm Edge of Chaos. [BIGGER]

--> It was also here in Texas— on a dark night long ago— that Danger roared through the trans- dimensional gate at 130 MPH, behind the wheel of a turbocharged ’73 Chrysler Police Interceptor Special. They never found the man or the handcuffs.

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