If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Long?

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If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Long?

Post by kirby » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:59 pm

Hi Everybody!
I will be at BM for the first time this year, arriving alone (scared and excited)! I live in California. I will be driving about 8 hours to get to BM. If I arrive at 12:01am on 8/29, will I be stuck in a long line of vehicles waiting to get in at that time? By "long line" I mean 2 or more hours. Because if I will, I won't bother driving at night all by my very own self. I'm only willing to do that if I will avoid a long line by doing so. I mean...mountains, desert, lions and tigers and bears, in the dark...it's not worth it if there's not a pay off. Thanks for any information you have on this! Kirby

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by junglesmacks » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:59 pm

Yes. Expect at least a 4-7 hour wait.

From early Monday morning last year.. We hit dust when it was still dark and didn't get to camp until well after sunrise..

My advice would be to stay in Reno at maybe The Sands ($65/night with BURN11 discount code) and then make the drive in the morning after a good rest.

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Last edited by junglesmacks on Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by kirby » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:09 pm

That sounds like an excellent suggestion, and thanks for the photo to drive it home!

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by junglesmacks » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:16 pm

kirby wrote:That sounds like an excellent suggestion, and thanks for the photo to drive it home!
No problem! Safety firrrrrrrrr.... third, and all. Check out this thread for the hotel info: http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=39201

You're only about 2 hours out of Reno, and the road to the playa is twisty, dark and full of cars with drivers falling asleep. If you are coming from a long distance, PACE yourself.. no need to rush.
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by capjbadger » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:21 pm

junglesmacks wrote:Yes. Expect at least a 4-7 hour wait.

From early Monday morning last year.. We hit dust when it was still dark and didn't get to camp until well after sunrise..
Last year had a bit of a monkey wrench throw in when it rained and gate closed till the roads were safe to drive on again. Did you get caught in that?

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by junglesmacks » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:23 pm

capjbadger wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Yes. Expect at least a 4-7 hour wait.

From early Monday morning last year.. We hit dust when it was still dark and didn't get to camp until well after sunrise..
Last year had a bit of a monkey wrench throw in when it rained and gate closed till the roads were safe to drive on again. Did you get caught in that?

-Badger
Nono.. rain was in the afternoon when I was passed the f out in the truck after driving all night. We were wheels on playa about 1am.. through gate around 7-8am...
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by much2naughty2 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:29 pm

Don't forgrt all the rabbits and deer running across the road. We got in line about 10 Am and still waited 4 hours. Best suggestion I can give is make sure you fill with gas at the last opporunity. There were several cars being pushed through the line last year.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by essjay » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:59 pm

JS is right. That little trek north of I-80 and onto the playa "should" take about 2.5 hours (without traffic). However, 4-8 hours is a good estimate as to when you will actually be parked. Make sure you have drivers that are still sober for the long line on the playa.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Rice » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:02 pm

essjay wrote:JS is right. That little trek north of I-80 and onto the playa "should" take about 2.5 hours (without traffic). However, 4-8 hours is a good estimate as to when you will actually be parked. Make sure you have drivers that are still sober for the long line on the playa.
Beware of the "open container" laws. The cops will pull you over for open containers, yes, even in line,AND after you have passed gate.
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by pizzamancer » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:05 pm

If it is your first time, arrive early and go to D lot. My first year, we planned on that, and although there was a wait, that is where my burn started. Someone fired up the sound system on their art car, and we stood around having a few beers watching people in anticipation. It was a great way to start.
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by NellieX » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:06 pm

junglesmacks wrote:Yes. Expect at least a 4-7 hour wait.

From early Monday morning last year.. We hit dust when it was still dark and didn't get to camp until well after sunrise..

My advice would be to stay in Reno at maybe The Sands ($65/night with BURN11 discount code) and then make the drive in the morning after a good rest.

Image
Reminds me of my years working at the local RenFest...insane line of cars waiting for the parking lot, and watching the sun rise.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Eric » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:09 pm

essjay wrote:Make sure you have drivers that are still sober for the long line on the playa.
Opening a beer in the car before it's completely parked in your camp can get you an "open container" ticket.

Do Not crack open a cold one once you're through Gate or Greeters- there are LEO's with night vision goggles waiting to apply the stupid tax.
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Turnip » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:56 pm

being from the Chicago area, I can take gate traffic in stride. 8)



Don't fear the line, BE the line. :mrgreen:
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Lowz » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:38 pm

Turnip wrote:Don't fear the line, BE the line. :mrgreen:
True ,
Line, Exodus, Dust all thaht is part of the BM, we can make it good ..
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:01 am

If you get there at 12:01, it will be the longest line you have ever seen in your life. 8)
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by pizzamancer » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:09 am

Eric wrote:
essjay wrote:Make sure you have drivers that are still sober for the long line on the playa.
Opening a beer in the car before it's completely parked in your camp can get you an "open container" ticket.

Do Not crack open a cold one once you're through Gate or Greeters- there are LEO's with night vision goggles waiting to apply the stupid tax.
Sober driver is a given. Beer in d lot is also a given
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Igneouss » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:08 am

What everyone else is saying plus:

The biggest surge of entrants are all trying to arrive as close as they can to 12:01. They have places they wait and experience with the amount of time it takes to travel from their 'spot' to the gate.

Two very important things.
1) Do not open any alcohol or light up any pot. There are people out there that DO NOT look like cops who get a thrill out of busting people in line. If your car is not parked permanently at your camp you can get busted anywhere. Inside BM or not.

2) Do not arrive early. Not even one minute. Gate starts by turning people away. When the roads start getting clogged the police signal the gate and all traffic starts being cheerfully directed to 'D' lot. 'D' stands for 'detention'. Folks in D lot are held after 12:01 and then allowed out in a trickle. The gate staff makes sure that being in D lot means that you do not arrive earlier than people who get it right.

One last comment about entry and exodus. To put the issue in perspective. Using basic traffic analysis. If all the vehicles at BM tried to get through Gerlach at the same time it would take about 80 hours. Luckily that does not happen. But this makes it easy to see why there might be a 5 hour back up in the process. And 5 hours would be an excellent job by the gate staff. It should also make it easy to see why the local LE do not want everyone hanging out waiting for midnight. Or all allowed out at exodus in an uncontrolled way. Emergency vehicles and locals still need access etc.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by MoonSplash » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:38 am

If anyone else is looking at timing, both times I've been at BM, we took Monday in Reno as the day to get all our last-minute gear and errands done.

I'm a local from Tahoe, but I still stay in a hotel in Reno to indulge in long, hot showers in anticipation of not having one for the next five days and also dinner at a buffet for a last pig-out. We have ourselves a big fat early breakfast on Tuesday, get going no later than 7 am, and typically hit the playa around 10 or 11, depending on how long of a break we take for gas and snacks in Empire / Gerlach. There is rarely a wait of more than 30 minutes to enter, and still plenty of spaces to choose from (though we typically pick one of the outer rings to camp out on).

It's much more leisurely to do it this way, at least for us. I'd rather wait in line only once, at exodus, rather than both ways.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by essjay » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:00 am

Igneouss wrote: 2) Do not arrive early. Not even one minute. Gate starts by turning people away. When the roads start getting clogged the police signal the gate and all traffic starts being cheerfully directed to 'D' lot. 'D' stands for 'detention'. Folks in D lot are held after 12:01 and then allowed out in a trickle. The gate staff makes sure that being in D lot means that you do not arrive earlier than people who get it right.
I would caution you to not show up even at 12:45 - you might get put in D-lot if you are too close to the beginning time with the people who arrived too early. About 5 yrs ago, we arrived at 12:30am, thinking we had timed it perfectly. However, once the gate traffic got moving, we were directed to D-lot and sat there until well after sunrise. Apparently, we were close enough to the early-arrivers that we were lumped in with them and sent to D-lot for penalty. It is not an exact science for gate, I guess, when they estimate where to cut off the line for early arrival penalty. If you show up too close to opening time, you run the risk of getting stuck in D-lot like we were.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by jojofroyo » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:16 am

I saw someone up on this thread talked about rabbit and other small animals on the road out there.
When you are driving out there, make sure not to swerve to avoid them! it may sound cruel, but with all the people and stuff on its way out to Burning Man, killing a rodent is better than causing an accident! Even if you arent driving with a trailer, you still shouldn't swerve, if you are driving with a trailer swerving is just reckless and dangerous!
So be careful on the drive out there!

Last year I think they made all the people who showed up early go into D lot then when it was filled and the line started backing up down the freeway into Gerlach they opened the gate, but all the people were still stuck in DLOT till the line was empty out! I would not recommend getting stuck in d lot! you could end up spending anywhere from 2 hours to 12 or 14 hours in there depending on the line!

I would say just play it on the safe side, dont leave Reno till like 1130! you wont get in right at midnight, but better safe than sorry!
Expect a long line this year! the gate staff is gonna be searching cars extra hard this year looking for people trying to sneak in!

good Luck!
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Igneouss » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:19 am

My virgin year I rang the bell just as the sun crested the distant mountains. It was beautiful and fitting. On the other hand, the reason I was ringing the bell at 6am (or whatever time it was) was because we had arrived at about 11:50 am. That 10 minutes early was punished with a 6 hour stay in D lot. That year they unloaded D lot 'first in first out'. So folks that arrived hours early got out of D lot in the early am. Folks that were a few minutes early were held until dawn. It was moderately to severly insane. First hand proof that the Org can be really dumb at times.

Not sure the example is clear but imagine that people that arrived 4 hours early were getting to the gate at 2am because they were first out of D lot. If you actually arrived with the intent of getting through the gate at 2am you would be in a 5 hour long line. Early arrivals in D lot were actually getting into the event earlier than legit arrivals who came in after midnight.

Juxtapose that with my group that hit the gate 10 minutes early. We sat for 6 hours in the dark crowded with rows of vehicles. Overflowing porta pottys...

I heard that they fixed the 'first in first out' problem the following year.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Igneouss » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

jojofroyo wrote:I saw someone up on this thread talked about rabbit and other small animals on the road out there.
When you are driving out there, make sure not to swerve to avoid them! it may sound cruel, but with all the people and stuff on its way out to Burning Man, killing a rodent is better than causing an accident! Even if you arent driving with a trailer, you still shouldn't swerve, if you are driving with a trailer swerving is just reckless and dangerous!
So be careful on the drive out there!
good Luck!
Well said!
The real problem is that the shoulders of the road are soft and sandy in lots of places. When someone swerves off the road they easily lose control of the vehicle when it hits the soft dirt. It's equally a problem when people try to park on the shoulder to wait or pee or whatever. They get stuck in the sand/dirt. Another issue is that the area is 'open range' meaning there are no fences along the raod to stop cattle or deer or coyotes or jack rabbits or... from running/walking/even sleeping in the road. Drive carefully! Do not over react to a rabbit or mouse! Do not pull off on the shoulder unless you are very certain it's not soft! Do not over drive your headlights!

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Lassen Forge » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:32 am

jojofroyo wrote:I saw someone up on this thread talked about rabbit and other small animals on the road out there.
When you are driving out there, make sure not to swerve to avoid them!!
+ about 100. Maybe more. This is the BEST advice I've heard on the board today. ;)

Besides - they're split between 2 camps...

One are the Suicidal wabbits. Lot easier getting smacked by an overloaded bus than becoming Coyote Food or Starving/dehydrating. So they say the hell with it, I can't own a firearm, and there are no bridges closeby I can jump off of, so I'll go get whacked by some burner. Some sleep deprived and hallucinating burner who can't wait to get to the playa at 1:46 in the morning, and sees this 24" jackass of a jackrabbit (that looks like the Hyde Rabbit from Bugs Bunny)bound in front of your vehicle.

The other are Homicidal wabbits. They're the ones who KNOW you're gonna take that severely topheavy RV with the overflowing trailer all set to whip into a rollover, and because you look like some hippie raver coming from a Rainbow Gathering, you can't bear to turn Mr. Cottontail into a nice fluffy pancake, and will swerve that dangerous at any speed (but especially on the 70 MPH north of the res) Bane of Nader onto the soggy and deep shoulders on the sides of 447, or worse, 34... The upside for them - there's all that tofu and half the produce from TJ's that are like a banquet for them. (If you were a carnivore, you woulda hit the little murderous bastard!)

Do yourself a favor... if the wabbit runs in front of you, turn it into a Bunny Blini, and get thee to the burn safely and in one piece!

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Lassen Forge » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:39 am

Igneouss wrote:... Another issue is that the area is 'open range' meaning there are no fences along the raod to stop cattle or deer or coyotes or jack rabbits or... from running/walking/even sleeping in the road. Drive carefully! Do not over react to a rabbit or mouse! Do not pull off on the shoulder unless you are very certain it's not soft! Do not over drive your headlights!
And don't be surprised when you see a cattle in the middle of 447. A black cattle. At night. You do NOT want to hit one of those skinny things, which will (a) total your vehicle, and (b) empty your wallet, as you now have to fix your wreck AND pay for the cow you just plowed.

I know a woman who is on this board and posts to threads like this who left these amazing skidmarks on the pavement of 447. The only worse thing? The azzole who flew up BEHIND me and slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting me. And like the Homicidal rabbits, once they've done their damage, they give themselves high 5's and wander off the road, untilt he next unsuspecting burner flys along...

They may not look it, but they are big, slow (stopped), and heavy.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by kirby » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:59 am

I have decided absolutely not to drive to BM at night. I've decided to make it a two day trip, staying overnight at a hotel. I think I'll arrive on Tuesday, because I have a bad back and can't sit in a car in line for four or more hours. I'll never get out (of the car, in an upright position). Thank you so much for your information! The Kirb- Meister

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by headquarters » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:03 pm

To echo what someone else had said about staying in Reno over night.

We come from Seattle, our first few years we drove right through the night and got in around 5am. Line wasn't too bad. But we were bummed out from driving so long and felt like we wasted all the day Monday recovering.

Since then we've been staying in Alturas, CA about 2 hours away from BM. We get into Alturas at ~9pm, sleep in beds, take showers, gas up and go at about 8am. Let me tell you, it's the best idea we've ever come up with. Starting the day Monday refreshed and full of rest changed the entire perspective of the week. I can't recommend it enough!

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by AntiM » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:07 pm

This is open range. Not 447, in NM, but you get the idea. Honking at them simply makes them stop and look at you, stupidly. In the adrk, you'd not see the at all.



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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by junglesmacks » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:43 pm

Image

Reminds me of this sign on Mauna Kea in Hawaii..
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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Lord Of Ruin » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:30 pm

Igneouss wrote:My virgin year I rang the bell just as the sun crested the distant mountains. It was beautiful and fitting. On the other hand, the reason I was ringing the bell at 6am (or whatever time it was) was because we had arrived at about 11:50 am. That 10 minutes early was punished with a 6 hour stay in D lot. That year they unloaded D lot 'first in first out'. So folks that arrived hours early got out of D lot in the early am. Folks that were a few minutes early were held until dawn. It was moderately to severly insane. First hand proof that the Org can be really dumb at times.

Not sure the example is clear but imagine that people that arrived 4 hours early were getting to the gate at 2am because they were first out of D lot. If you actually arrived with the intent of getting through the gate at 2am you would be in a 5 hour long line. Early arrivals in D lot were actually getting into the event earlier than legit arrivals who came in after midnight.

Juxtapose that with my group that hit the gate 10 minutes early. We sat for 6 hours in the dark crowded with rows of vehicles. Overflowing porta pottys...

I heard that they fixed the 'first in first out' problem the following year.
Just to shed some light on this:

Yes, there is as much art as science to the DLot and Stack lots...(they are different). DLot is as people here say...it's a place to get "sorted out." People end up there for a variety of reasons. The stack lot is the holding place for people that are otherwise ready to get in, but they do NOT have Early Arrival passes and the event is not yet open.

Prior posters were correct: get there early and Gate will simply turn you around and send you back down the road. LEO in all the small towns ticket for loitering and trespassing, so at that point you're stuck finding your way back far enough towards reno to stay out of trouble.

Later, early folks at some point are directed to the stack lot for admission once the gates are open. LEO and Gate are both watching and interacting with this lot. Depending on how early you end up in it, the rules in it can be fairly draconian. Why? Because it's not a staffed party place. It's a place we had to dream up because fucktards decide to jump the gun and get there early. The "nicer" we make it, the more peole come early for the "pre party." "Memba that year when the fiasco above happened? (not to mention the year before that when people decided that they'd had enough time in Dlot and drove through the fences, making Gate volunteers dive out of the way so they wouldn't be hit, so they could get into line). The year AFTER the big fiasco the stack lot "pre arrival" population was way down. Why? No one wanted to go through the unpleasant fiasco again. So you do the human nature math.

As for the "Org can be really dumb"....well, maybe. But let's just say it wasn't our INTENT to make people that got there just a few minutes before opening get stuck until morning. But once you have some people not following rules in a corral full o' cars, it's really hard to tell them apart and then keep it fair. REALLY hard when they start lying that they too were there early. So hard in fact that you drop FAIRNESS to settle for ORDERLY in the hopes of mitigating the problem.

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Re: If I Arrive At Gate At 12:01am on 8/29, Will Line Be Lon

Post by Rabbette » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:45 pm

junglesmacks wrote:Image

Reminds me of this sign on Mauna Kea in Hawaii..
Interesting - I suppose that is a sign you walk up to and read (odd that it is to caution when one is driving) I hope this is posted well before the threat of the invisible cow - and I also wonder why they didn't just use the word black instead of invisible? Is it politically incorrect to call the cows black? Maybe using the word invisible makes more people read the sign because they wonder why there is a warning against something that is invisible.

None the less - I love the sign, (in seriousness and in humor) thanks for posting!
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