I think the teardown at Burning Man is pretty brutal. You are exhausted from the week of not being able to sleep until 5am due to music (if you are camped in a central location like Moon Cheese), or after 8am due to the sun. Also mentally it feels defeating to spend days taking structures apart that you just spent days setting up less than a week ago. On top of that, the dust that sticks so tight and is impossible to escape has spent a week coating everything and everyone with it. I stayed to break down camp and watch the Temple burn on Sunday and then spent all day Monday finishing up the teardown still. When George and I headed out from the playa as the sun was setting on Monday night, we were exhausted and barely made it to southern Oregon on the first day of the drive.
I’m glad I planned ahead and found another hot springs, Hunter Hot Springs, which turned out to be the perfect place to soak away all the Burning Man grime for cheap. Usually there is a geyser on the property, but it was absent when we were there because the water table was too low this summer. It was fun to be back in cell-phone coverage and catch up on a week’s worth of news from the default world and take a serious shower.
We decided to take a different route home through Oregon and Washington than we did on the way down. This time we stayed on US-395 North for the majority of the drive. We started bright and early, passing through a lot of small lakes and generally water-laden countryside.
We stopped at Lake Abert, which was the only saltwater lake in Oregon, and for some reason it is slowly disappearing and no one knows why. The receding water line is killing everything except the tiny brine shrimp, and exposing the alkali dust at the bottom of the lake.
Driving up the rest of Oregon wavered between more desert-like terrain and various National Forests. In Umatilla National Forest near Dale OR there was this great marker:
We followed 395 North and crossed the Columbia River near Richland, Kennewick & Pasco, which is referred to as Tri-Cities WA. We were too late in the day to see much, but I want to go back to check out the area- Hanford Site, Ice Harbor Dam. As it was, we made it home just in time to see a great Central Washington sunset.