Reno's Efforts to Help Burners Kill Time

RENO, NV - Rain on the Playa means thousands of Burners were stranded Monday night, looking for ways to burn off time before hitting the desert.

Burners from all across the country, filled with mixed emotions as rain set them back a day on their journey to Black Rock Desert.

"Today is very upsetting," said Charlene Dobbs. "The Playa floor is like a lake bed now.

This year marks Charlene Dobbs' 9th year at Burning Man and she says this has never happened before.

"This is the first year that I've gotten text messages from friends that aren't even going this year, telling me to stay in Reno, so it's super sad," she said.

Many of them are left stranded on the side of the road or filling up parking lots, trying to figure out where they're spending the night.

"If you haven't started up State Route 447 yet, it's best to stay in urban areas like Reno, Fernley, things of that nature before heading up," said Sgt. Eddie Bowers from the Nevada Highway Patrol.

NHP says staying on the freeway Monday night is dangerous and will only cause a traffic nightmare in the morning.

"The shoulders of the highway are very unforgiving; there's just not much there in the way of places to pull off and if you choose the wrong place to pull off, you're just going to be stuck in very soft sand and not be able to get out," Sgt. Bowers added.

While the rain poses a major setback for some, others are taking it in stride.

"Just hiking our pants here, soaking up some cosmic rays," said Sasha Nezke from Maui.

"I'm just going along for the ride, enjoying the adventure as it comes. We're still having fun you know, taking it day by day," said Malek Hurd from Hawaii. "It's the experience that counts. Got to be positive."

Local hotels and casinos offered lodging specials and even nightclubs, like LEX at the Grand Sierra Resort, threw impromptu parties (free cover and no dress code) to help Burners kill some time.


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