Situated on a flat playa that stretches out for over 100 miles, Burning Man is dwarfed by surrounding mountains and a vast, flat, desert floor. Once, the playa was filled with a huge, glacier fed lake that was over 500 feet deep. Wooly mammoths and Native Americans lived on its shore and called it home. Like other Great Basin Lakes, there were no outlets. Water that flowed into the lake stayed there and sediments carried in from the surrounding mountains sank to the bottom. As the climate changed, becoming hotter and drier, the lake dried up and the sediments became the base for today’s Playa.
By the 1840s and 50s pioneers and gold seekers from the young United States of America made their first forays into the desert heading for the goldfields of Northern California and Southern Oregon. The Applegate brothers created a trail through the Black Rock Desert that bears their name. I live in the Applegate Valley of Oregon beside the Applegate River, all named for the family. I also have family connections. Applegates and Mekemsons intermarried in the early 1800s.
Today, I am going to post several photos that place Burning Man in its Black Rock Desert surroundings.
NEXT POST: I was reading Walter Isaacson’s book on Leonardo Da Vinci this morning and Isaacson was discussing how incredibly observant Da Vinci was. This led me to look up at our house from a slightly different perspective. I was struck by some of the weird things we collect and decided it would make a fun post. The next post: A Home Full of Whimsy… What’s in your House?
18 thoughts on “The Beauty of the Black Rock Desert… My 11 Years at Burning Man”
The rainbow shots are awesome!
The backdrop didn’t hurt. 🙂 Thanks, Cindy. –Curt
You made some spectacular photos, Curt.
Thanks, Ray. The desert encourages photography! –Curt
So beautiful! You got some great shots if the setting Curt.
Thanks, Alison. Partially, it’s about Burning Man, but more than that it is about the beauty of deserts. –Curt
What amazing colors in the desert sky!!
Hard to beat a good sunset, G. Wherever you find it! –Curt
Oh, cats have 100% alien blood running in their veins! Glorious sky shots.
I am so glad to have that confirmed by experts! 🙂 And thanks. –Curt
As always, I admire your photos so very much. Thank you for sharing this beauty.
Rainbows in the desert. Who’da thunk it?
And all the more beautiful because of it, Dave!
Gorgeous photos of the natural setting, Curt. The rainbows are especially lovely, but I suppose they seem extra special because they’re so transient. Those mountains will still be there every morning (or evening, for that matter).
There’s a good chance that my great, great grandmother would have noticed those mountains when she came across the country in a wagon train, Linda. She may have been more concerned with surviving the desert than appreciating the beauty, however!
The pictures are Beyond Beautiful!
Thanks for sharing such an amazing post!
Thanks, Rubzy! Much appreciated. –Curt