There’s this place in the desert…

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

There once was a time where we shot explosives from the playa without fear of harassment from the authorities. However, those times were gone the following year: we saw our porto-potty funds drained and redirected to pay off the citation for launching unauthorized fireworks.

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The Everywhen Project began as a small group of friends who camped at the Black Rock Desert over the 4th of July holiday. Without the aid of outside resources, they learned how to become a self-sustaining community, to respect the power of nature, and how to survive and thrive on the unforgiving playa. Hardships were faced, many spats ensued, friends were lost while new bonds forged, and countless lessons were learned - what worked, what failed spectacularly, and what was needed to create a more awesome experience.

Dustin, Frank and Peggy perusing the bullet-riddled “Welcome to the Black Rock Desert!” posts.

The band of campers explored other nomadic camps scattered across the land, and over time their numbers grew, as new neighbors continuously popped up overnight to join our site, eager to make new friends. Despite any differences, their common love for the playa stitched together a culture of sharing meals, an appreciation for protecting (and protection from!) the local environment, lots of shade-building, leaving no trace, bringing awesome toys, and building inspirational art.

The 2018 “4th of Juplaya” Camp, where the crew met Frank the Tank by happenstance

The years of camping in Black Rock Desert brought many memorable and ridiculous experiences. One year there was a hair-singeing game of flaming Skee-Ball where brave souls would glide a green, fiery ball of metal— with welding gloves of course— into a series of rings to compete for the high score. Another incident of excessive arguing over who was or wasn’t well-rested enough to cook scrambled eggs resulted in a frypan’s worth of spilt egg and some empty stomachs. One of the highlights, though, include escorting planes off the front yard, because that’s our damn front yard, damn it.

Frank and his friends brought “Fire Skee-Ball” to the playa. This resulted in several years of confusion and debate among our group on whether or not Frank is a firefighter. Frank is not a firefighter.
Dustin and Tornado enjoy their fireworks bounty on the 4th of July holiday. T-Minus 10 minutes before the authorities roll up to issue a citation.

From these zany and numerous experiences, some patterns emerged and some camp etiquette began forming.

You’re going full-on Rain Man with this list, aren’t you?” - Aftermath

Continue to the next story: Chapter 2: Backyard Art Projects

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