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“We were on the road 9 hours,” local woman leaves Burning Man after mud trapped thousands

Palm Springs resident and veteran burner Lani Garfield has been attending Burning Man since 2008. 

This was the 13th year that she made her way out to the northern Nevada desert with members of her camp to converge with tens-of-thousands of others at Black Rock City. 

“I love everything about Burning Man. The culture. The music. The art. There’s so much that goes on there that’s exciting and you just can’t get it anywhere else,” said Garfield. 

Her spirits have remained high, even as she traveled back to the Coachella Valley Tuesday morning after an early departure from a muddied Burning Man.

Garfield shared her story with News Channel 3 via Zoom Tuesday, during a mid-trip stop in Bishop, California, roughly 300 miles from Palm Springs.

She and her group were part of a mass exodus that began Monday afternoon, after event organizers started to allow traffic to make its way toward the main road. 

Garfield said it took nine hours before she and the group she was driving with drove the three miles through the playa to the main road. 

Roads were closed after rain on Friday caused flooding and prevented anyone from leaving the event site. Burning Man organizers had also urged the nearly 80,000 attendees to hunker down. 

Due to the conditions, the two ceremonial fires that traditionally mark the end of the event were postponed, with the final effigy torching slated for Tuesday night, one day past its original end date. 

Watch News Channel 3 at 6:00 p.m. for more on Lani Garfield’s story.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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