The Rainbow Gathering was absolutely wonderful. I spent six days with 20,000 happy hippies in one of the most beautiful natural settings imaginable. It rained a lot up till the day I arrived (June 30) and then was sunny and warm every day, though the nights were very cold. There was still a lot of snow on the road when I arrived:
I made my camp near the D.R.E.E.M. Reality kitchen. The vibe was very high. Here’s a pic of the meadow by the camp:
I stayed up till dawn singing the most amazing songs with resonate meditative harmonies around the camp fire. The first night my friend Diego led many of the songs. Here’s a pic with him on the left:
Diego sang songs in English, Spanish, and Hebrew. He is an amazing musician full of much love. The environment was vibrant with life. Everything was deep green. The smells were rich and full. Folks made bridges over the many streams like this one:
I also spent a lot of time at Lovin Ovens just down the trail. The specialize in baking sweet rolls and pizzas. Yumm! They made their ovens from steel drums embedded in mud which was adorned with art:
They filled the wooden racks with their baked goods:
And here’s another kitchen by the river with tee pees:
And here I am by the main trail with lots of folks passing by:
Here’s another view of another big part of the gathering.
I wandered through the forest for six days, but did not see every camp. The gathering was HUGE! There were kitchens for every kind of person. There were Christian camps like the Bread of Life (which served much filtered water for the thirst travelers) and Jesus Camp and Christ cafe. There was a Jewish Camp, a Krishna Camp, and even a kitchen called “Nic at Nite” that would hand out free cigarettes to anyone who asked. I had tea and great conversation at the Chai Bahai Cafe. Here’s a pic of me standing on the stage of the Granola Funk kitchen – note that the whole structure was made from fallen logs found at the site:
And here’s a bunch of folks by the main trail:
There was art everywhere … and a lot of it was based on the pattern of mandalas (see my recent post on the Bible Wheel as a Mandala):
It’s wonderful how everything came together. I felt very much “at home” in the Rainbow. My first gathering was in 1988 in Texas. It was transformative. I also made it to the Pennsylvania regional gathering in the Allegheny mountains that same year, and the national gathering in Nevada in 1989. But then I got distracted by life, and began following the path that led to the discovery of the Bible Wheel and fell into conservative Christianity, cut my hair, and forgot the Rainbow for nearly two decades. It’s good to be back home!