Here are a few pictures of the folks that participated. Looks like they had great costumes and a ton of Gerlach style fun! Stephen! as a period aviator!
Always in the past, there have been Black Rock Desert Playa activities, but alas, with all the rain, the Playa was a dangerous place and there was no way we were going out there! So, as a backup plan, Matt Watkins had put together a virtual rally. About 20 or so folks participated with the challenge being to get the best time on a route taking Washington State ferries. He had sixteen locations that you had to visit, either via road or ferry. It was all about getting the right ferries at the right time. A good time was had by all that played the game. Sorry I didn't take any pictures, but I was busy trying to figure out the winning route.
After the virtual rally, most folks hung out in the parking lot and porch of the motel. We tried to stay warm and there was plenty of BS going on.
Peter Behm, 2011 Iron Butt Rally winner hanging out with first time Virgin Gerlach attendee, Tyler Zimmerman. Note - special attention goes to all Gerlach virgins. You'll see what a bit later ;-)
Hahaha, looks like Lynda is going to swig the carafe!
We made our way to Planet X mostly via car. I had to laugh at all the people one could shove into a car or SUV or truck. Many people had to pretend they were pretzels to fit into the space available. Regardless, we all made it out to the fire.
Not sure I can get everyone identified, but we'll give it a go. Peter and Paula Behm came all the way from Minnesota. I spy Maura Gatensby from Vancouver, British Columbia and Heidi Still from Yuma, Arizona as well.
As Chuck Hickey pointed out, this is a good time for all of us to reflect on our behavior, that anything can happen in a heartbeat and perhaps we might want to mend some fences and express our love for one another. I think he hit the nail on the head.
Following the memorial talks it was time to focus attention on the Virgins! (hehehehehe, devious laugh!).
Virgins, folks who have never attended Gerlachfest, are initiated by doing the fire walk. It builds extreme anxiety for those sweet virgins and the rest of us relish their anxiety! Everyone who is invited to Gerlachfest has their moment of fire walking. It's great entertainment for the already initiated.
This year the bonfire was HUGE, HUGE, HUGE and I'm pretty sure those virgins were quaking in their boots. They were warned to wear good boots and sturdy pants because we certainly didn't want them to catch fire. Man that fire was BIG.
I think there were at least a half dozen virgins...a few were brave and stepped up to do the deed, but others had to be called out. LOL. I'm not sure who is who in the following pics, but they were virgins and stepped up to the initiation! Good fun and lots of cheering and jeering!
Thus, Gerlachfest 2014 ended. All virgins walked the walk, some several times. Some walked with help and then walked alone. It is quite an intimidating thing, especially with a boatload of folks watching and catcalling. Oh my Gosh, it is truly a highlight.
We then shoved everyone into vehicles and made our way back to Bruno's where festivities and smoothies continued until the wee hours.
It was different from past Gerlachfests, but it was also a great Gerlachfest. The rain certainly impacted our activities (no shooting on the playa) but we came up with alternative activities. In the end, we all came to Gerlachfest for exactly what it was intended to be. A remembrance and memorial for our friends who have passed on and a time to celebrate our friendships.
It was good.