Tag Archives: Burning Man

Captain Al

Captain AlAnother story from Burning Man.

On Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 27, I was roaming around and found a bar at a camp. Sitting there was this guy who called himself Captain Al.

We chatted for a while and he told me about himself while I sketched him. Captain Al works at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and rigged the tallest ship in Black Rock City. Although he looked like he walked off the set of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the Captain was very natural and did not have a put-on persona like other people I would run into that week.

He points behind me and tells me he wants to climb this structure in another camp. This thing was at least 40 feet tall, but I trusted Al since he knows his way around high altitude rigging. We climbed up and took these photos.

He corrected anyone who called him a pirate. “I am not a pirate.”

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Pine Ridge Cattle


On the third day of our road trip to Burning Man, Aug. 22, Nick and I drove from the Valtiroty castle in Mitchell, S.D. to Pine Ridge, S.D. After stops at Wall Drug and Badlands National Park, we turned South onto a dirt road towards Pine Ridge. Empty fields rolled for miles in either direction from the road, lined with rusty fencing and spotted with an occasional abandoned shed.

After some time, we passed a herd of hundreds of black cattle, and we stopped so I could take some photos of them. Farther east in the state, we stopped to photograph some fields of sunflowers. I was excited to get up-close-and-personal with the cows, but the feeling was not mutual. A few stared me down angrily, and all of them kept a safe distance. After a few snaps, a chorus of moos broke out, and the herd quickly stampeded away. (I got a few seconds of this on video.)

Me with cows