The MAN… Burning Man 2017: Part 14

Full view of Man at Burning Man 2017

The Man, as far as I know, has always stood on his own at Burning Man. This year he was located in a structure called the Temple of the Golden Spike.


I’ve never seen the Man enclosed in a building before. This year was a first; it changed his look. The reason made sense. The theme was Radical Ritual and one of Burning Man’s longest rituals has been to choose the Man’s location first each year and then build everything else on the Playa and in Black Rock City around him. The organization starts with pounding a ‘golden spike’ into the ground where the Man will be located, thus the name of the structure: the Temple of the Golden Spike.  It came with a long golden spike on top. I found the setting rather attractive.

I stopped by to pay my respects to the Man several times this year: in the evening, the morning, the day, and the night. And, of course, I was there on Saturday evening, the night the Man traditionally burns in a ceremony that serves as a climax for the week-long festival. I’ll divide this post into two parts. The first will feature the Man during the week; the second, which I will put up on Saturday, will focus on burn night.

Evening view of Temple of Golden Spike, Burning Man 2017

I made my first trip out to the Man when I arrived on Wednesday evening. The sun had just set. The tower on top represents the ‘golden spike’ that Burning Man pounds into the ground to serve as the central point from which Black Rock City is planned each year.

Man looks over edge at Temple of Gplden Spike, Burning Man 2017

Here, the Man peers out from the second story of the structure.

Looking up at Man in Temple of the Golden Spike, Burning Man 2017

Burners could either enter the building on the ground floor and look up at the man…

Man in Temple of Golden Spike at night, Burning Man 2 2017

Seen here at night…

Man in Temple of Golden Spike in evening, Burning Man 2017

Or admire him from the second floor, which also provided views of the Playa, Black Rock City and the desert.

Man in Temple of Golden Spike at night 3, Burning Man 2017

Another shot of the Man from outside the Temple. He’s come a long way from when he was first burned in San Francisco on Baker Beach in 1986.

Gongs in Temple of Golden Spike, Burning Man 2017

Gongs inside the temple provided a meditative sound.

Temple of Golden Spike is prepared for burning, Burning Man 2017

Visiting hours are closed as of Saturday when crews load the Man and structure up with fireworks in preparation for the Saturday night burn.


NEXT POST: The Man burns.




20 thoughts on “The MAN… Burning Man 2017: Part 14

    • I thought it was a clever way to emphasize the central point that Burning Man evolved from the burning of the Man and is planned out from his location. Beyond that it reminded me of the completion of the TransContinental Railroad across the US in the 1800s that was celebrated by pounding in a golden spike on the last rail. –Curt

  1. I’m so glad we’re almost done with the Burning Man posts. I try very hard to pay attention, and be respectful, and appreciate the creativity, but… I’ll just say I’m glad you enjoy it as much as you do, and leave it at that. 🙂

    • I know it’s not your thing, Linda. But I’m glad you take the time to look through my posts on it. Now you have another whole year of other stuff! Ut-oh, I have a week of carved pumpkins coming up. Not sure that they are your favorites either. 🙂 But I have some pretty fall colors first. –Curt

      • I love me some pumpkins! I have my own pumpkin tales I could tell, too — including one that involves Marin Avenue in Berkeley. But maybe I should just let that story rest — as the pumpkin finally did, at the bottom of that rather significant hill!

      • Laughing, Linda. Then I think you are going to like this. The kids took us to the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Providence, Rhode Island that features 5000 carved pumpkins! –Curt

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