We Love You

Click here to find out where the gathering will be.
Click here to find out how to get into the gathering without receiving a mandatory court appearance ticket. (check the right hand side of the page)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Roll Call (I have your stuff)

Hi family,

If you were at the gathering in Vermont and lost something, I may have your stuff.

I have things for the following people
  • Timothy Magner
  • Elizabeth Dickson
  • Jack Stewart
  • John Dowdell
  • Robert Rowland, Jr.
  • Antonio Mancilla
  • Bradley Wojcik
  • Leo Zupan IV

If you are any of these people, please email me.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ronny Call Your Mama

And everyone should call their mama at least one a month. If you don't want to talk to your mama, have a friend call. When you're on the road and traveling, your mama will be worried. Check in via any method: call, text, email, IM, etc.  Just let her know you are OK.

So if you run into Ronny Radicalface McGowan, his Mama hasn't heard from him in over six weeks
and she is a very worried.  If you are sure you've seen him, you could drop her a message and let her know her son is fine (if you can't convince him to reach out on his own). If you FaceBook, Julia McGowan., otherwise you can send news to  find her at juliamcgowan92 at y a h o o dot com.

And to all you traveler's out there, you can Call Your Mom on Facebook will help do the communication for you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I Love Us

~~~My thoughts on this gathering~~~

 "I love us" - the new saying heard around the gathering this year, joining the heavily used "we love you" and the half assed "loven you."  I LOVE US sums up my gathering in three easy words.  We were amazing.

Vermont felt to me like we finally found our way back home after the years of conflict with the USFS.  The last few years of no drama allowed us to dust off collective wisdom on how to gather safely.  Last year in South Dakota we were on our best behavior and small in numbers. This year we swelled over the July 4th weekend. Some people said 10,000, I might guess more like 8,000 but no matter the number there were so many positive faces on the land all I could do was say "I love us!" We had lots of new family and lot's of old family who hadn't made it home in 15 years or more come home.

What was great about this gathering?

Even though Vermont was in the midst of a drought, we were getting enough rain and a couple of days with downpours that that the ground stayed damp, the fire danger was low, and people were generally keeping the fire scene chill. Most of the evenings were warm (except for two nights while I was there) so people didn't even need to over do the number of campfires. Of course, the valley was still full of fire smoke in the evenings.

Main meadow was a clearing maintained by the USFS to create non-forested wildlife habitat. There were a number of these areas around the gathering that were off-limits to parking.

Circles, councils/counsels, and workshops galore. A huge shout out to the Shining Light Crew for bringing the lodges (tipees) where many workshops took place. In the evenings after dinner circle, it almost felt like a conference center with a wonderful sister directing people to one of many workshops taking place in different lodges.

We had multiple sister circles and I know of at least one brother circle and at least one grandfather circle that took place.  The men were rocking it!

At least four weddings took place including one where the couple first fell in love at the Annual Gathering of the Tribes in Colorado (1992) and then lost touch with each other until one of them went to give a "kind rainbow sister" a ride to this gathering and discovered his long lost love.  And it turns out the groom was also long lost friend of mine from regional gatherings in the 90s.  Even as I type this, my eyes are welling up with tears of joy and I wish the happy couple an entire universe full of joy and happiness.

We ate a lot of veggies at this gathering thanks to the wonderful farmers of Vermont and the great crew doing Main Supply and making sure our diet was varied.  I heard many stories of Vermont farmers showing up at the Supply Gate with donations of food they had grown. The kitchens were rocking it all over the place. In fact the last few days of June, the amount of people who had come home thus far were small in number. The kitchens seemed to have anticipated a larger turnout for the end of June so we were eating wonderful food and lots of it. That changed slightly for the dinner circles on July 2nd and 3rd when the number of gathering participants increased rapidly but by dinner circle on July 5th, food was plentiful again.

We had a wonderful and interesting 4th.  For the last 5 or 6 years, we've been oming before and during the arrival of the children's parade and therefore had been asking people to hold the om/silence until all the kids were in the center.  Loving family who hadn't been home in a few years, thought we should be silent when the children come into the circle so they tried to shush the om. Then we ended up singing along with the children: "All we are saying is give peace a chance."  Then we om'd and broke the om quickly. Some people started hooting and hollering, but after a moment or two, everyone went back into the om and it was beautiful to see so many of my amazing family wanting that om to last, wanting that energy to build, wanting to speak the language of the universe in peace and harmony for a little while longer.

We had many camps experience positive transitions and some Shanti Sena movies that involved lots of counciling and ultimately resolutions that were physically peaceful if not always harmonious to all individuals. I had the joy of sitting in Shanti Sena council with many of my younger brothers and sisters who were working hard on the peace things and I give mass shout outs to you for the respect and heartfelt manner you gave to the process -- you know who you are!

Of course a huge shout out to INFO for holding space, sharing information, and helping tripping hippies late at night. To everyone who worked the bench, you kicked ass! And a huge shout out to the folks who built INFO.  I love you all!  Call Your Mama camp had a book at INFO that anyone could write their note to be passed along to their mothers.  Great idea!  I hope it returns in 2017. Finally, I have to give a shout out to INFO's neighbor, Wanna Burn who fed us, hydrated us, and generally did an amazing job while making sure everyone did it clean!

I made a lot of new friends and found all sorts of young people doing the hard physical labor of gathering.  Music to my heart!

The problem areas

Of course, no gathering is perfect and most of the big issues centered on the parking situation. This was a road parking gathering and road parking is always tough. This year more so then it was in Washington 2011. This forest service (FS) road was also the main thoroughfare between the towns of Mt. Tabor/Danby to the west and Londonderry to the east. FS 10 was the local community's highway to get to work and then thousands of hippies landed on the road and the problems began. The road had a maximum speed of limit of 50 MPH or slower depending on conditions. 

Early on, we were able to manage family dropping off people and supplies at the main trail head (old FS Road 31) but things started getting crazy on July 1st. 

A huge shout out to my family. While I love you and wanted you to be able to drop heavy gear and people at the gate, when I tell you you've unloaded and it's time to move your car, it's time to move your car. My apologies for yelling at some of you, but when the road starts to back up, you have to move your car.

Family working the road were trying to manage the the traffic. There were a few hiccups, but mostly people were doing a professional job. Shout out to Front Gate Camp for the orange safety vests and trying to make sure people were trained on how to be professional about the task and for keeping those who could not conduct themselves appropriately off the road.

The USFS LEOs got so many complaints from the locals about "their highway" that the LEOs started hassling us for trying to manage traffic on a 2 lane road with cars parked on one side. By July 2 the road had become a cluster f%#k and the stretch of road from the a bit west of the west gate to a bit east past the east gate was closed to vehicle traffic by the LEOs. It took hours before we were able to work out the shuttle situation and people had to hike 1-3 miles on FS 10 to get to one of the trailheads.  Then it was all uphill into the gathering. To my beautiful family who were smiling during the hike, you are the magic!

Part of the road situation was the number of outs-and-ins or people driving into Danby and back daily. Especially on July 1st, it seemed to me there was as much traffic on the road from outs-and-ins as from family coming home.  This tends to happen when town is < 10 miles away.

While there was a very small bus village, it was filled by June 26 or so and was located east of the east gate - so not an easy commute. A few people hung at the baseball fields in Mt. Tabor where there was parking for large vehicles.  Other larger vehicles parked on the side of the road in line with the cars if they could do so in a manner that still allowed two way traffic.  

Often we have a parking area called "Handicamp" with close parking so those who have special needs can minimize their walk in but that didn't happen this year. The one place that could have been used was initially off limits to parking as it was a wildlife clearing and then Camp Awesome ended up there (all this happened before I arrived so I don't have a good sense of how that movie played out). Thanks to the hard work of one of the road fairies, a few people with handicapped placards were allowed in during the road closure and the LEOs found them found places to park, but that was a catch as catch can movie.

A huge shout out to people who drove shuttle from the evening of July 2nd to whenever the shuttles ended (I'm guessing the morning of the 4th but wasn't out on the road on the 4th).  

We had a locked gate at the bottom of FS 31 (Main Trail) which made it hard for wheelchairs to get through. Similar situation to other gatherings except this time we did not create an elevated path for wheelchairs to go around. Some people were able to make it under or hobble around and meet their chair on the other side.  It wasn't easy. In discussions with the USFS on opening the gate to allow ingress/egress for wheelchairs, I was told if we had signed a permit, we could negotiate thing like the gates. This is the same message they gave us in 2011.  Not that I'm advocating signing a permit, just sharing this as a point of information.

Early on during the road closure, we had problems with medical evacuation issues and non-emergency rides to the hospital but that seemed to be a short lived issue and then we had passes for such needs. Unfortunately even during the 6-10 hours that the problem was occurring, we had some family leave the gathering because of the issue.

Water on the road was tough during the blockade and even before it. There were no safe sources of water along the road so people staying on the road had to travel into the gathering or drive into town to get water. There was no water at the baseball field, and family kicked in funds for porta potties so they would have some place to poop. I wish more of my family would come into the woods and camp.

Sister / brother sensitivity issues.  Not all of us have the same level of tolerance for comments. Please treat every one you meet like you want your daughter or son treated. Just be cause "f u" is a sign of love with your close friends, doesn't mean everyone will take it that way. Unless you are in a private conversation with someone you know, please use gentler language so everyone feels welcomed. The great news is that people on the land were discussing these issues and I believe gathering participants are working towards treating everyone with respect. Some suggestions I heard were ask before hugging someone, don't use foul language with people who may be very intimidated by it, always make sure that tripping family in the woods late at night have someone hanging with them to make sure they are staying hydrated, safe, and feeling like they are in a safe space.  I also heard calls for people to leave the four letter words and confrontational energy outside of Kiddie Village.

I am thrilled that we were communicating as a family, sharing ideas on how to do things better, learning, and growing. I look forward to seeing this year's sprouts burst into full bloom in Oregon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Vision Council Consensus

"A consensus made with love, respect, and earth conscious intent by the individuals assembled as the 2016 rainbow family of living light gathering of the tribes vision counsel on the land in the Green Mountains of Vermont near the peak of Willard Mountain...
...states that all individuals deserve to feel safe at the gathering. Be aware and respectful of consent before hugging, kissing, or touching another individual.
...states that some substances can be detrimental to individuals and communities and encourages individuals to be mindful of the manner in which they consume, offer, or share any substance.
... affirms an intent in our hearts and minds to be as earth conscious as possible in our personal, camp, group, and economic decisions on the land, in our travels, and in our homes.
... encourages individuals to join in a prayer for peace on July 4th, 2017, and to gather in solidarity from July 1st to the 7th of 2017 in Oregon."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Earlies' Hipstory

On July 3rd at Granola Funk, some of the earlies shared their Hipstory. This is the video for those who missed it.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


You may have heard that the road into the Rainbow Gathering has been closed by the Forest Service and it has been, but all is pretty well and all should continue to travel HOME.  Read below for important info on where to park and regarding shuttles.

But know that things are working out and you should continue to COME HOME. 
Forest Service Road 10, aka Brooklyn Road has a large closed section on EACH side of the Main Trail Gate (this is the trail head into the Gathering, past which there are no cars, and where you must start walking). This closed section of road does NOT extend all the way to Danby/Mt. Tabor on one end of the road, nor does it extend all the way to Londonderry/Landgrove the other direction. Only part way.
You can still approach the Gathering from either town, Danby or Londonderry and park along Forest Service Road 10.
RAINBOW has been given FOUR SHUTTLE PASSES by the Forest Service. That means that four of our Rainbow vehicles can act as shuttle when there are volunteers to drive the trucks/vans. These shuttle drivers are allowed to drive on the closed section of road all the way to the Main Gate, and can drop you off at the trail head.
The available parking area along Forest Service Road 10 from Danby is reaching capacity and there will be no place left to park "soon". Not sure when that means. If you approach the Gathering from the Londonderry/Landgrove side, you will find much plentiful parking. Park where you can and start looking for, and asking about shuttles. PARK AS FAR OFF THE ROAD AS POSSIBLE WITH ALL CARS ON THE SAME SIDE.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rainbow Hipstory

Come listen to the stories of how the first Rainbow Gathering came to be, by some of the people who were there! 

Medicine Story will be c
oming HOME to Vermont this year, possibly for the last time since he is now 86 and lives nearby in NH. We are having a special Hipstory session with him and several other "earlies" who were at the first Rainbow Gathering in Granby, Colorado, 1972. 

The event will take place at 2pm, on July 3rd, on the land at Granola Funk Theater.

Do not miss this!

It will be filmed and posted for those who aren't on the land.



Monday, June 27, 2016

Lost & Found: People, Pets, Things

Every year people, pets and various objects are lost at the gathering or people not at the gathering fear people have been lost. 

Lost People

Every year people go to the gathering and their loved ones worry.  Just a reminder, there is no cell phone or Internet reception at this year's gathering.

If you haven't heard from your friends and/or family since they went into the gathering, odds are they are still down in the gathering and can't call you.  Either way, it's generally safer for people to stay inside the gathering, then to run the cop gauntlet to make a phone call.  Even if your loved one promised to call every day, that's a promise they will be unable to keep as that would require them to spend their entire gathering going out to some place with reception and then coming back in again.

Even if there is a place on the top of a nearby mountain where you can get cell reception if you stand on your right foot only with your left arm outstretched and the cell phone positioned exactly on your naval - one 5 minute call will eat up all your charge.  Unless your loved one can hike from 5,000 feet to 8,000 feet and brought a solar panel to recharge their phone, the calls aren't going to happen for a bit. NOTE:  You may think this situation is made up, but everyone I know is leaving the gathering to get reception.

Again, on the road where the cars and cops are is the area where problems occur. We strongly recommend that people stay inside the gathering. Going in and out increases a persons risk of a negative experience with law enforcement. Again, people on the land will strongly suggest to your loved one that they stay inside the gathering until it's over.

That being said, if you're going to the gathering, call your Mama or someone else, let them know you are going in and will be out of cell reception until after you leave the gathering.

If something serious happened to your loved one, then they are no longer at the gathering and would be found in a local hospital, jail, or mental health facility. If you check those places and your loved one is not there, then they are probably inside the gathering.

Most people usually surface by July 15th as the clean up crew starts shrinking by then, but some people will be on the land until at least the end of July (and on the land means no or haphazard access to telephones).  If after July 10, you still haven't heard, email ghost cry boo at gmail.com and/or kzirk at earthlink dot net a recent photo and include this information:

    How old is he/she?
    Was this her/his first gathering? 
    Was he/she planning to camp with any camp in particular?
    Did she/he travel to the gathering with friends who have since left the gathering?
    Did she/he have any mental and/or physical health issues? 
    What kind of drugs (if any) does he/she typically use?
    Was there a specific previously agreed on plan for he/she to return home at a certain time or at least check in?

You can try to get a message to the Call Yer Mom folks for distribution by posting on Facebook.

Lost Things

For those people who go to the gathering and lose something, found items are taken to Info or sometimes to the nearest kitchen so don't give up yet.  If you didn't check the lost and found items at INFO, your stuff may be there. Even if you did, many items are discovered during cleanup. At the end of cleanup, all the valuable lost and found items will be taken out of the gathering site. Check back mid-July for who to contact regarding lost things.  Keep in mind, lost and found at this level is for things like wallets, cameras, expensive gear.  We don't try to reunite people with lost t-shirts, bliss wear, etc.

Lost Animals

For those people who left without all the animals they brought, please go back to the site and retrieve your pets. I do not care if you have to be back to work or whatever. If you brought an animal, you need to go home with that animal. If you don't, folks on the land will find a home for your pet and it won't be your home. We never leave any pets behind.  Every pet will leave the gathering with a human companion ~ hopefully the one they came with. If you can't go back yourself, try to connect up with a friend in the area to retrieve your pet. Just a reminder, pets on leashes don't get lost as often as those not on a leash. The gathering is a scary experience for animals who aren't used to it. Read the Pup Rap for more info.  If you are a local who feels we drop off pets at the local shelter, we never do that. Other people may be stealing loose dogs from the gathering and dropping them off, but we don't. All dogs brought to the gathering, leave with people who were at the gathering.  Same is true about cats. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

(Almost) All the Information You Need To Know

Rainbow Gathering Vermont 2016,
Our 45th Annual!

This post was last updated Sun, June 26, 8 AM, eastern time.
I will update this post as new info becomes available.
Please check back frequently.

Important: When this post is updated, I will edit it in place rather than re-posting and re-pinning. This way all the comments will remain intact. Check the "last updated" above as Blogger will still show the date/time of the original post on June 26th at the very top.

Micro Version (chafing at the bit? just want coordinates?)
N 43.36087 W 72.90240 (pop in any GPS or map program and pray … it'll probably work )
Mini Version (takes just a minute of your precious divided attention)
There are 2 ways in depending on whether you're coming from the WEST (NYC, Florida and all points west) or the EAST (I-91, Boston, Cape Cod, Amherst, Berkshires, New Haven, Hartford, Maine). For both, use the same coordinates as above. From the WEST you will come thru Danby, VT. From the EAST the village is Londonderry, VT.
>> Here's Mark Squire's ("New Scout") directions (previously posted) coming from points WEST:
From all points South take highway 7 from Manchester Vermont. Go 10 miles and turn right on Forest Road 10 (Brooklyn Rd). The site is 6 miles on your left.
From all points North take Highway 7 from Rutland Vermont. Go 20 miles and take a left turn on Forest Road 10 (Brooklyn Rd). The site is 6 miles on your left
>> Coming from points EAST:
Come in thru Londonderry, VT (avoid Weston!). Shop @ Clark's IGA which has BLOCK ICE (closes 9 PM)! Take hwy 11 west a half mile. Turn right on Landgrove and go 2.8 miles. At the fork follow Landgrove to the left for another 1.2 miles. Watch for Little Michigan Rd where you will go left for just .4 miles. Take a right on Forest Road 10 (little brown forest servce sign, AKA Mt Tabor Rd or Seasonal Forestry Rd). Go 7 miles to Welcome Home! 

The LONG / MAXO version (for really patient hippies who can tolerate reading for more than a New York minute)
So here's ALL the most important info YOU need to know to get in, park and have a safe and fun 45th annual Rainbow Gathering! Since this post has gotten way too long, here's a 

Photo by Darryl Bush/Chronicle for SFGate
>> Public Transit (bus, train, flying)
>> Re. Weston, VT
>> Brattleboro, VT shopping
>> Elevation
>> Temperature and Weather
>> Water
>> Parking
>> Handicamp
>> Compost Pits
>> Poisonous Plants
>> Ticks and Lyme Disease
>> Bugs and Insects
>> Topo Map
>> Site Map
>> YouTube videos
>> Bus Village
>> Baseball Field in Mt Tabor

>> Public Transit (bus, train, flying). Click here for Karin's blog and scroll down to "Using Public Transit"http://northeastrainbowgathering.blogspot.com/…/howdy-folks…
>> Re. Weston, VT. If you use GPS or a map program coming in from the EAST, it will probably bring you in thru Weston which just cuts off 3 miles (from the Londonderry directions above). This works ok BUT … 1) Weston only has tiny stores and 2) hwy 100 is closed a couple miles north of town. This isn't an issue since most people are coming in from I-91 exit 6 which doesn't come over the closed road. If you are coming in from the north over 100, there is a detour but it's very poorly marked. So best to just avoid Weston and drive the extra 3 miles.
>> Brattleboro, VT shopping. For folks coming from the EAST, do your final shopping in Brattleboro on I-91 just over the state line from Mass. It's a great town with a HUGE food co-op (feels like Whole Foods inside) and box stores. They like us … give them your business! If you can make it to Londonderry before 9 PM though, skip the ice in Brattleboro and buy the block ice at Clark's IGA in Londonderry. Clark's closes at 9 PM.
>> Elevation: about 2000 feet
>> Temperature and Weather: warm days, cool nights. So far little rain.
>> Water: so far so good
>> Parking … is along FR 10 (AKA Mt Tabor Rd or Seasonal Forestry Rd) on the north side of the road only. F.S. has requested that all vehicles face west (towards Danby/Mt Tabor) which means if you come in from the west you'll have to turn around to park. If you have a good reason or need to park facing east it's ok. Otherwise they'd prefer we face west. Check all along FR 10 (both east and west of the 2 gates) and going south on FR 30. If needed the F.S. will open FR 60 for parking (a couple miles west of the gates).
>> Handicamp … Due to the very narrow roads, almost no meadows near the gates, we really don't have one this year. Main trail from the west gate (see map in comment below) is wheelchair friendly and fairly level or slightly uphill. Drop off at the gate and park on the road. As I write this on June 26th, there is still parking within 1/3rd mile of the east/supply gate although it will be filling up. For closest parking check all along FR 10 (both east and west of the 2 gates) and going south on FR 30.
>> Compost Pits … The Operations Plan is requiring all compost pits to be covered this year out of concern for wildlife.
>> Poisonous Plants … The Operations Plan mentions at least one plant we should avoid. It has been called "Poison Parsnip", "Wild Parsnip" and "Pastinaca Sativa". This page has good info:http://www.nyis.info/index.php?action=invasive_detail&id=61. No need to be alarmed as I have not seen anyone with a rash yet and people on site don't seem unconcerned.
>> Ticks and Lyme Disease … These are real concerns this year. Over 60% of the ticks in this forest are Lyme carriers however I have only heard of one person who had a tick on them. There are several posts in this group. Here's one of the better ones. RAP 101 on TICKS.https://www.facebook.com/groups/112810215728003/permalink/291130171229339/
>> Bugs and Insects … abundant as usual at east coast Gatherings and worst @ sunset. Many vampire like deer flies are the most bothersome. Mosquitoes aren't too bad. Bring your favorite sprays and remedies!
>> Topo Map, see the first comment below
>> YouTube videos … none yet but check this link as I'm sure they will start showing up any day.
If you don't have a bus or big rig you can skip everything from here down.
>> Bus Village … the Operations Plan states:
"Buses may also be parked in areas designated for vehicle parking to the extent they are parked in a manner that does not interfere with ingress/egress of normal vehicle traffic flow … Overflow and bus parking (which cannot comply with the prior parking standards) is available on the baseball field in the town of Mt Tabor …"
Unfortunately there isn't anywhere for our normal B.V. area this year. It's almost all roadside parking. Your best bet is to find a spot along a road where you can park far to the right so that traffic can easily pass and you should be fine. There is a tiny B.V. 1/2 mi. east of the east/supply gate however it's full. So as mentioned above under "Parking" check all along both FR 10 and FR 30. Eventually there may also be overflow on FR 60.
>> Baseball Field in Mt Tabor … This is right on FR 10 (Brooklyn Rd). There is zero shade and a couple of porta potties. As I write this there isn't a source for filtered water so you'll have to haul it in. There is a stream if you need wash water. You will be 6 mi from the Gathering. We have dubbed this "Welcome Homeplate, Camp Almost Home".

Friday, June 24, 2016

Map of the Site

Site Map with Trails, camps and kitchens.
For a link to a high resolution copy, 

USFS Public Meeting June 28 in Danby at Fire Hall/Station

NOTE:   This is a meeting focalized by the US Forest Service.

There will be an informational meeting organized by the US Forest Service that will take place at 6:00pm in the town of Danby, at the Fire Hall/Fire Station. Townsfolk and Rainbow participants are welcome to attend. We need peaceful, loving Gathering participants to show up and help answer questions, meet the townsfolk, etc.

Update from the site June 24

Hi all,

Site is lovely. Wagons, wagons, wagons.  Parking going OK but it's tight. Please squeeze as many people into the car as possible.  See rap on large vehicles on this blog.

Horses have right of way on roads in Vermont, Ran into people walking horses down the dirt road on the ay out this morning.

Bugs not too bad. Evenings they come out.

Lot's of kitchens on site.  Very mellow peaceful scene.  When you drive in, only park on the side of the road were cars are already parked - some pranksters are taking down the "no parking" signs.

When you drive in an see cars parked along the road, park yourself behind the last car in line as far over as you can get and facing the same directions as the other cars.

There is places to get cell reception on site but signal is coming from a long way and you'll burn your battery quickly

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Important Info for Buses and Other Large Live-in Vehicles

For Directions to the Vermont Rainbow Gathering, please see the post called HOWDY FOLKS.

Here is a message from the 2016 Vermont Bus Village Parking Crew:

SERIOUS WARNING to big bus and RV drivers: (important to share with others coming to Vermont Gathering)

Come in from the West at Mt Tabor turnoff from Hwy7 about halfway between Manchester and Rutland and do not try to take your rigs up the long steep narrow winding road the 7 miles to the gathering site as there are no places left there to park for big rigs and no safe place to even turn around!

Tow trucks have been seen going up there yesterday and today at the vehicle owners' expense. 

There is a vehicle-eating ditch hidden by grasses at the edge of the pavement and gravel road all the way up.

Instead, park at the designated Bus Village Parking lot 100 yards from that Brooklyn Road turnoff from Hwy7 about 50 feet past the railroad tracks.

Slow down to a crawl at the railroad crossing so you don't miss the driveway on the left across the street from the gravel pile or you will miss the driveway on the left that is marked with a sign and green cordon tape but that only entrance is obscured from view by trees until you are right there.

If you miss that turn there is no room to turn around until about half mile up the road on the right where the driveway to the Mount Tabor Town Office is big enough to back in and turn back down the road. If you are towing a vehicle and miss the turn to this lot you are pretty much screwed and likely will need to disconnect the trailer there and reconnect it after making that 3point turn at the Town Office.

Try to arrive here in daylight so your rig can be carefully guided to park on the edges of this flower field and sensitive wildlife habitat to preserve as much as we can for the fireflies and wild turkeys nesting there, which also means all dogs must be completely controlled at all times, and on leash without fail when walking around! You know they will hunt those turkey chicks if they get loose to romp in the Meadow !

Please keep completely away from the center of the far right outfield of this abandoned baseball field to protect the wildlife nesting grounds.

When we guide you to your parking spot here, that will be your home until the gathering is over, absolutely no driving in and out during that time as the rigs will be packed in tightly around the tree line with a few feet on the side so you have space outside next to the trees.

Individuals here have chipped in to rent portapotties here at the road edge just before the driveway as you come in, another marker to find the driveway as you come in.

If you think someone is saving you a parking space up above, you will need to park temporarily someplace nearby before this lot and get a shuttle ride up to the site to confirm before taking the very serious risk of damage by driving your rig up there to check it out.

Please share this very important and very serious warning to anyone you want to protect from a nightmare on the way Home.

Bring lots of water because the only source here as of this morning is the adjacent creek water that you need to filter for drinking.

Camp Almost Home, 

Welcome Homeplate, 

Overflow Bus Village Parking Crew

Sunday, June 19, 2016

On Parking and Shuttles

Updated 6/20/16 2:30 PM Cali time

Since so many people have questions about shuttles and parking, I thought I would take the time to provide some basic information.

First off, I'm not on the land so I don't know what the parking/shuttle/handicapped parking scene is like today, but I've been to enough gatherings to know a few things about how this works.

Expect a dynamic situation. Especially in these early days, the situation is probably changing daily if not every few days.  Even when I get info, by the time you read it, things may have changed.

A key concept to understand is there are two forces at work here:
  • United States Forest Service (USFS) which controls where parking is legal and where it is not legal.
  • The gathering participants who do their best to communicate the parking logistics and who drive shuttles. 
Gathering participants are not organized in any traditional sense of the word.  If you don't understand what the gathering is and how it functions, read Carla's rap or go to the Welcome Home archive & hipstory and read.  The key concept to remember is that NO ONE IS IN CHARGE.  This means that people plug into different functions when they are so inclined and for as long as they are so inclined.


  • As of today (6/19) I'm guessing the situation is still fluid.
  • Normally all 4 wheels must be off the road when you park your car - however heard a rumor that may not be the case here. Check with the parking crew on site.
  • The USFS may change the parking requirements after you have parked your car. This means the "legal" parking place you selected when you arrived is now "illegal" and you may be subject to ticketing or towing. This is especially true in the early days but should all be sorted out by June 28 or 29.  To avoid getting towed, make sure you check in with "dinner circle" once it starts happening as announcements about parking changes will be made there. Also check in with INFO once they are set up as they will have info on parking and cars that have been towed.
  • At other gatherings I have been to, there has been a drop off point where you can drop off gear and passengers and then go park your car. I expect the same is true here. Please do not drop off your gear without a trusted friend to keep an eye on it. People can accidently or purposefully take a critical piece of your gear.  
  • Listen to what the parking crew is telling you to do. Parking crew can be tired and cranky but are always trying to help you avoid any legal problems. If you stop to unload, you better be quick or someone will be yelling at you to move on. Please be tolerant. Parking is a job many people don't choose to do so the few volunteers may have been up for 24 hours straight taking care of this critical function.
  • Rumor is there is no real bus village and no parking buses on the road.   Rumor is bus parking is in the town of Mt. Tabor population < 500.
  • If you can, please help out with parking.


  • The gathering does not provide shuttles. Individual gathering participants offer to drive or use their vehicles as shuttles.
  • Driving shuttle is a tiring and stressful endeavor. Please be kind to the shuttle drivers.
  • Shuttles consume gas. Either bring a few gallons of gas to donate or a few dollars to donate.
  • Shuttles come in all shapes and sizes from vans to pickup trucks and what ever else you can imagine. Please listen to the shuttle driver as the person driving will be up to date on the shifting parking scene. (see above). As to dogs on shuttles, that is up to the shuttle driver. I imagine most folks using a pickup to drive shuttle won't mind. Other types of vehicles could vary.
  • Don't let your gear get on a different shuttle than you. Stay with your gear at all times. Things get lost or occassionally walk off with someone else. 
  • Sometimes there will be a lot of shuttles running. Other times there won't be. Shuttle drivers stop when they have had enough or start when the spirit moves them to pitch in.
  • If you are young and abled bodied without children you may want to hike it and leave the shuttles for those who really need it. But again, the situation is fluid. So if the shuttle is half empty, hop on board. If there is a single mama with 3 small kids or an elderly person, please let them go first.   Think of how you would want people to treat your immediate family and treat your Rainbow family the same.
  • If you can, please help out with shuttles.

Handicapped Parking & Camping

  • Parking at this gathering will be tough and handicapped parking will be limited.
  • There may not be a handicapped live in vehicle area near the gathering.
  • If you are coming to stay, trying to drop the gear and person with mobility challenges at the trail head and then have a more abled bodied person go park and come back.
  • We are hoping a handicamp space will set up close to the road and an easy walk into the gathering, but if it does, it will be tent camping only.
  • Rumor is that Forest Service Road 31 is relatively wheelchair friendly.
  • Find the "snow mobile gate"  and ask the "welcome home" crew what is going on.
  • If you can't carry your gear, ask for "sherpas."  If someone is your sherpa, please stay with her/him and your gear unless you know them very well. See comments above.
  • The closer it gets to the 4th of July, the harder the handicapped parking situation will be.
  • Placards are usefully but not golden in getting into Handicapped parking areas.
  • We are a family. If you have mobility challenges, let the strong and healthy folks help you. If you are strong and healthy, please help those that need it. When we help our family we all benefit. Interdependence is the key.

Bus Parking

"Buses may also be parked in areas designated for vehicle parking to the extent they are parked in a manner that does not interfere with ingress/egress of normal vehicle traffic flow … Overflow and bus parking (which cannot comply with the prior parking standards) is available on the baseball field in the town of Mt Tabor …"

There are no facilities or water at the ball field. There is zero shade. The driveway is not marked at all. It is behind (west of) the back stop. If you miss it and just drive onto the field, there is a big drop off from the road (read: "CLIFF"!) and your vehicle risks destruction. Be sure to only enter this field from the driveway behind the back stop. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Early Gatherers Share Hipstories

Updated 6/22/16 @ 11 AM Cali time


Every year on July 5th @ dark thirty (usually at Granola Funk), we do a Hipstory where we tell the stories of the gatherings starting in 1972 and continuing until present.  Of late, anyone who was at a gathering is free to tell her/his story about that year.

This year Medicine Story will be coming HOME for the last time as he is in his mid 80's and lives nearby in New Hampshire.  He is one of the original Rainbows from our first gathering in Granby, Colorado in 1972.  There will be a few others from that era who will join Medicine Story for an additional/special Hipstory session about how Rainbow got started.   We have scheduled this for Sunday, July 3rd around 2:00 PM.  It will possibly be at or near Granola Funk but check with INFO.

We are excited to have an amazing story teller, Medicine Story, sharing his hipstory. Click here for more info on Medicine Story. I'm sure a few more "earlies" make make an appearance as well.

Rumor has it that Garrick B., Plunker and Glowing Feather will be here as well.

We expect that several people will be video-ing this Hipstory for the record since these precious memories are quickly fading away as our Family's "earlies" pass on.  You won't want to miss this!  There will be a special area designated for anyone who prefers not to appear in the videos.

Medicine Story's brief bio

Manitonquat (Medicine Story) is a storyteller, an elder and a keeper of the lore of the Assonet Band of the Wampanoag Nation of Massachusetts. Author of ten published books and a former columnist and poetry editor with the internationally acclaimed journal Akwesasne Notes, he has also edited Heritage, a journal of Native American liberation. He continues to develop tools for creating a more humane society based upon teachings of the elders of the First Nations and the explorations of his camps under the designation The Circle Way.

Manitonquat has spoken to peace conferences and groups on 3 continents, was the keynote speaker at the United Nations observance of the 50th anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination, directs prison programs for native spirituality, advises a nature school, and, with his wife Ellika, Circle Way workshops and annual international family camps in 10 European countries and the US.

Rainbow Ride Share

In a galaxy far far away sometime after dinosaurs went extinct, there was no internet. In those days of prehistory (circa the 1980s and 1990s), people used to focalize ride share over the various lightlines. But these days with so many web based opportunities, getting a ride to or from where you need to go should be easy. If you're not sure how to find some of these opportunities, google Rainbow Ride Share or visit Star's Rainbow Ride Board.

That being said, I noticed last year, a lot of people were hooking up with people on their local Craigs list - of for same people flying into a town, that town's Craigs list ride share.  If you use FaceBook, try the Rainbow Ride Share Redone group.

No matter how you make your initial contact. Here's some tips:

If you are offering a ride or have a ride to share, please take the time to meet with the people you’ll be traveling with ahead of time at your local coffee shop and work out the travel rules: smoking, no-smoking, who pays what, who drives, what's allowed in the car, etc.

If you don't feel comfortable with someone, don't travel with them. Trust your instincts. There will be other opportunities for both of you. It's probably a long ride from your point of departure to the gathering, and if it's not right, it's not going to be a positive experience for everyone.

Please make sure your car is 100% legal and you have a valid driver’s license, registration and insurance.

The last few years there have been checkpoints coming into the gathering and people have been hassled pretty badly. Some years, people even got a mandatory court appearance ticket for a beads hanging from their rear view mirrors and no front plates even when the car was registered in a state that doesn't issue front plates (sigh). So cross your ‘t’s and dot your ‘i’s and you’ll come home safely.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On Lyme Disease

Now I'm not a doctor and don't claim to be an expert in Lyme disease. However, when folks go camping they sometimes get bitten by ticks and some ticks spread Lyme disease. Because I have had friends whose Lyme disease went undetected for years and were told they had all sorts of other really nasty issues, I want to make sure you take a few minutes to educate your self on the symptoms of Lyme disease.

Here's a handy article on checking yourself for ticks.  Some people use DEET to keep ticks aways, but  if you don't want to use DEET, I have had wonderful results protecting myself by wearing long pants and shirts while dousing myself in Euculyptus, Citronella and Pennyroyal oil. (Note if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, DO NOT use Pennyroyal oil).

I do know that the longer your Lyme disease goes without being treated, the harder it is to treat.

So take the time to read this handy article on PubMed Health.  If at the gathering, you suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, please go to CALM.  If after the gathering you suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, please inform your health care provider that you want to be tested for Lyme disease.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Let the Games Begin

Every year once the gathering location is sorted out, the media goes into a feeding frenzy that fuels negative reactions from the local community.

The best way to counteract this is to contact the media, introduce yourself, invite reporters to come out to the site, and put our best foot forward.

If you are in town and see family who are engaging in negative activity, Shanti Sena the situation using peaceful loving methods and help family get back up to the site while trying your best to get their needs met. Remember with freedom comes responsibility.

If you spend money in town, introduce yourself as someone who is here for the gathering. Be polite and respectful.  Share your personal perspective.  Help out someone in the local community. Spend money in town.

Hopefully, folks on the land are planning a town hall meeting where we invite the community to get to know us in a space that is more comfortable for the local community.  Make sure to let the media know when and where so a good cross section of the community can participate. 

Some people who live in small towns aren't used to dealing with the diversity of people the gathering draws. Creating a time and space where we can meet each other one-on-one is a critical way to dispel rumors and misinformation. 

Please encourage people to use the medical resources at the gathering and not burden the local hospitals.  Once CALM is set up, go there or send a runner for any critical needs.  CALM will treat you on site at no cost and/or make appropriate arrangements for transport to the best provider for your needs as they will be reaching out to the local facilities to determine protocols etc. Most years we have medical doctors, EMTs, and all flavors of nurses on site who can assess your needs.  Please do not call 911 yourself unless it is a life/death situation like a heart attack.  We will provide no cost transportation to the hospital if that's where you need to go.

Please let your family help you!

Monday, June 13, 2016


 Updated 6/24/16 7:30 p.m. California time
Welcome Home
45th Annual Rainbow Family Gathering of the Tribes

Last week of June (give or take) to July 7

We, who are brothers & sisters, children of God, families of life on earth, friends of nature & of all people, children of humankind calling ourselves Rainbow Family Tribe, humbly invite:
  •     All races, peoples, tribes, communes, men, women, children, individuals -- out of love.
  •     All nations & national leaders -- out of respect
  •     All religions & religious leaders -- out of faith
  •     All politicians -- out of charity
 to join with us in gathering together for the purpose of expressing our sincere desire that there shall be peace on earth, harmony among all people. & to hold open worship, prayer, chanting or whatever is the want or desire of the people, for three days, but upon the fourth day of July at noon to ask that there be a meditative, contemplative silence wherein we, the invited people of the world may consider & give honor & respect to anyone or anything that has aided in the positive evolution of humankind & nature upon this, our most beloved & beautiful world -- asking blessing upon we people of this world & hope that we people can effectively proceed to evolve, expand, & live in harmony & peace.

Feel free to arrive a few weeks early to create the gathering and/or stay a few weeks late to clean it all up.

RAP 107 ~ Gathering Consciousness

Please protect this Beautiful Land.

Walk softly. Harm no living thing. Harmonize - Blend in. Use only down, dead wood. Cut no living trees. Preserve the Meadows...camp in the Woods. We are caretakers of this land.
Everyone sharing makes a strong Human Tribe!

Please Protect the Water Sources by staying out of DELICATE spring areas. Avoid camping, peeing, washing above spring areas. Keep ALL soap (including biodegrable, Dr. Bronners, etc) out of streams, springs or the creek! Use a bucket to take your bath 60 feet away from the water source.
To be certain of drinking water: boil it for 20 minutes!  Use the slit trenches or covered latrines - cover your paper & waste with ashes or lime, wash hands. Break the fly/illness connection: shit-fly-food-you! Dig no shitters near water areas or kitchens.

Protect our Health! Use your own cup, bowl & spoon! Wash them after eating and rinse in disinfectant-water.
Visit C.A.L.M./M.A.S.H. if you feel ill - especially if you have a contagious disease - or are injured.

Camp Together - Establish neighborhoods. Community Fires only! ~ Each with 5 gallon water bucket and shovel for Fire Protection. If you are the last to leave a fire PUT IT OUT!

Watch your gear: Be Responsible ~ "Tempt Not Lest Ye Be Lifted From."

Pets are discouraged but if you must bring them keep them fed, on a leash and out of the kitchens, springs & fights. Clean up their poop. Clean up their poop. Love them.


Cleanup begins when you arrive. Bring in only what is necessary. There is no janitor here...you are the cleanup crew. Separate Garbage for recycling. Don't litter - Find collection point. Compost in pits only.

You are the Gathering! Participate in Shanti Sena, the peace keepers council, and all activities, councils, work crews, workshops. Volunteer wherever needed: kitchens, welcome home, firewatch, parking lot, shitter digging, supply, front gate, etc. R-E-S-P-E-C-T your Sisters & Brothers energies. Keep the Balance: Earth, Sky, Trees, Water & People!

Alcohol is Discouraged, Guns are Inappropriate, Violence is contrary to the Spirit. Please take no photographs or videos of people without permission. Discourage Drug Abuse.

Buying and selling endangers our legal right to be here. The Magic Hat is our Bank, donate early to fund our Needs. The Magic Hat goes around at mealtime circles and with the Magic Hat Band.

Our power together is many times our power separated.

Enjoy the Rainbow with an open heart and you Will see the Vision.

Join us for the July 4th Silent Contemplation & Prayer for Peace, respect those maintaining silence from dawn. Hold the silence until the arrival of the Children's Parade and all the children are in the center of our circle.

Click here for the some suggestions on what to bring. Remember the more you bring in the more you need to hike out and take home.


Spring counsel for the 45th annual rainbow family of living light gathering of the tribes reached consensus by passing the feather in silence that we encourage individuals to gather at the Berry Field site.

***** DIRECTIONS *****

From all points South take Highway 7 from Manchester Vermont towards Danby, Vermont (north of Manchester, VT). Go 10 miles and turn right on Forest Road 10 (aka Brooklyn Rd) in Danby. Check the odometer and call this @0.0.  Hairpin turns and climbing. Big Branch Picnic Area @2.5. Appalachian trail @3.0. The site is 6 miles on your left. FS31 @ 6.2.

From Interstate 91 in Vermont
Take I-91 North to Exit 6 in Vermont. Take US-5 West towards Chester, Vermont (US-5 becomes or intersects 103 West - you want to end up on 103 West heading towards Chester).  Continue through Chester, Vermont where the road becomes VT-11 (was 103 West).  Drive approximately 14 miles. You will see a Clarks Grocer Store on the left down a small hill. Shortly after that turn right onto Landgrove Road. Drive 2.8 miles.  Landgrove Road will do a 90 degree turn to the left. Drive 1.8 miles past the turn you will see the Landgrove Inn on your right. Go approximately 1/4 miles past the Inn. Take a left turn onto Little Michigan Road. Drive approximately 1/4 mile and take a right hand turn on to Forest Road 10. Go 7 miles to site.

Alternate route from I-91 in Vermont
From points East (like Boston, Cape Cod, Berkshires, Maine, etc) via Interstate 91 in Vermont.
Make your way to Londonderry, Vermont using any map or GPS. Shop @ Clark's IGA which has BLOCK ICE (closes 9 PM)!  Take hwy 11 west a half mile.  Turn right on Landgrove and go 2.8 miles. At the fork follow Landgrove to the left for another 1.2 miles. Watch for Little Michigan Rd where you will go left for just .4 miles. Take a right on Forest Road 10 (brown forest servce sign).  Go 7 miles to the site.

NEW:   If you decide to take 30 North out of Brattleboro to get to Londonderry, VT, note that 30 North joins up with 100 North, just after the town of Townshend, and the road carries both names for a while. To get to Londonderry, you will need to take the 100 North when the two roads split apart, at the village of Rawsonville. Look for a Honeypie Restaurant and "Ski and Sport Shop" on your left- where you turn right onto 100 North.  100 North will take you to the Clark's IGA mentioned above.

From all points North
Take Highway 7 from Rutland, Vermont. Go 20 miles and take a left turn on Forest Road 10. The site is 6 miles on your left.

GPS: N 43.36087 W 72.90240
The 2 main trails start between FS 31 and FS 30 on FS 10 near Danby, VT. Walk north. FS 31 is gated and one of the main trails.

Parking is mostly on the road please pay attention to any for any forest service signs related to parking.   Keep in mind that we will be using a shuttle system for parking at some point and unless you're pulling in soon, you will be parking at a distance and hopping a shuttle or walking to the trailhead.

TIP!  In the early days, the USFS may change the parking rules multiple times and the parking that was legal when you put your car there may become illegal two days later. Stay plugged in to the parking rules on a daily basis for at least the next week or two if you want to avoid your car being ticketed to towed.

NEW INFO!    It seems that the Law Enforcement Officers (LEO's) are pretty regularly parked on the side of Forest Service Road 10, watching and pulling people over. They are set up "just past the last houses" and also between mile marker 3 and mile marker 3.5    Please make sure your car is legal and going within the allowed speed limit.

Please note there are Wilderness Areas near here and we want to stay out of the Wilderness Areas unless you're taking a hike.

Site Map with Trails, camps and kitchens.
For a link to a high resolution copy, click HERE.

Topo Map of Site Showing Major Locations

Click here for a Google Map from Danby, VT.
Click here for a topo map of the area with the coordinates circled in red.

Using Public Transit

Best place to get to if your busing, training, or flying is Albany, NY. We will be near Danby which is just off route seven about 75 miles north east of Albany, NY.

There is a bus which leaves the Albany, NY airport 7 days a week at 2:30 pm which travels up rte seven. The closest town where there is a stop is Manchester VT -- about 15 miles away from Danby. The price is $12.00 each way.  For more info, contact https://www.vttranslines.com/.

The nearest commercial airport is actually in Rutland, VT but it is really expensive to fly into that airport and the plane is a little puddle jumper

There is also a Yankee bus service which goes three times daily between Bennington, VT and downtown Albany. Bennington is about 40 miles south of Danby. The fare is $4. One would still have to get transportation from the airport to downtown Albany, NY.  There is city bus service to and from the airport.

A bus runs from Manchester to Rutland and from Rutland to Manchester and stops in Danby in both directions. Cost is $2. Driver will make unscheduled stops upon request, so you should be able ask the driver to stop at Forest Road 10 (aka Brooklyn Rd).  Click here for bus schedule. 

Please check back before you hit the road or leave internet access as updates will be provided as I get them.  Generally the more information becomes available a few days after the initial directions are posted. I will put a note at the top of this post with the date/time updated.

Click here for a handy printable version of this information in PDF format.

Rumor has it that there is good shopping in Brattleboro Vermont of I-91 at the southern end of Vermont.

Tips for avoiding New York State toll roads: 
How to get across New York state to the gathering without paying any tolls. Irom I 70 in Hagerstown, Maryland take I-81 north to Binghampton, NYI 88 northeast from Binghampton to Albany from Albany take NY rte 7 east which turns in Vermont Route 9 at the border. take a left when you get to Vermont Route 7 and head north to Danby, Vermont.

Misc. Info

 Elevation is 600 meters or about 2000 feet.

Please keep compost pits covered.
 For folks coming from the EAST, do your final shopping in Brattleboro, VT on I-91 just over the state line from Mass. It's a great town with a HUGE food co-op (feels like Whole Foods inside) and box stores. They like us … give them your business! If you can make it to Londonderry before 9 PM though, skip the ice in Brattleboro and buy the block ice at Clark's IGA in Londonderry. Clark's closes at 9 PM.

If you have questions about parking and shuttles, click here

Please copy and distribute freely. Ignore all rumors of cancellation.