Monday was bump-out. A hard work day of taking down the dome and packing up the tents, breaking down the camp in gen­eral. It was also a day of rising tem­pers as camp­mates and free­loaders didn’t pull their weight, as people’s lifts left without them, as others didn’t pack up swiftly enough for their friends.

It was, in other words, typ­ical of any day after a fest­ival has ended, any­where in the world.

Cath­erine, Brad’s partner, had told me there was a chance I’d hear pigs flying over­head around 7am, shortly fol­lowed by their RV pulling up. Just in case, I was up early. As it turned out, they were waiting for another trav­eler and then a storm hit around 3pm.

In between trying to breathe, I kept helping with the bump-out as much as I could. Finally, around 7pm, I thought I’d give up and see if I could find them instead. Just as I did, they drove out of the blinding wind. I flagged them down and we got my stuff on board.

What fol­lowed was the worst Exodus storm in a decade, according to people I’ve spoken with. We could see about a foot in front of our faces, if that. Cath­erine and I were telling Brad when we could see the fences to either side and when we lost sight of them, we knew he was veering out of the lane. We couldn’t see the vehicle in front of us, that was cer­tain.

Pure exhaus­tion after all that meant I slept most of the way to Reno. 

We stayed in a very tacky hotel filled with slot machines on the bottom floor. I felt like I was in an episode of CSI

One very amusing moment was when I noticed the National School Scrabble Cham­pi­on­ship on the tele­vi­sion screens along with many sports. I wonder if people were bet­ting on that too.