I go against my usual behavior and sign up for a group outing. It sounds like a group that suits me: Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Friends of Black Rock. The area is famous as the site of Burning Man. A huge dry lake bed, called “the Playa”, stretches out in an area where the rules are famously sparse. As a result, aside a from a sign that warns that the playa is “unforgiving when wet”, you’re on your own if you get stuck. When we arrive it has clearly just rained, but the rendezvous signs are still up, so we venture timidly onto the surface. There is a thin layer of sticky mud in places, but we make it to the site, where a few brave souls tell us that everyone has evacuated. They are far more confident than we feel, and we make a bee line for higher ground, where we stumble upon the improvised new rendezvous site at the old Cassidy mine.
We set up camp a short walk away, in a spot we’re confident we can escape in a hard rain.
There’s an active sulfur mine in the area, and many of the rocks has a sulfurous look.
Despite the scary mud, we approve of the area. I’m sure I’ll learn more on a conservation project tomorrow.