Where in the Appalachian Bioregion are we going?

Where in the Appalachian Bioregion are we going? The consensus was for the White Mountain National Forest (in the Northeast), or the Appalachian states of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia. Spring Council selected a site in North Eastern Tennessee.

If you're not familiar with the gauntlet on the road into the gathering, and want to avoid a mandatory court appearance ticket click here.

For the Howdy Folks and directions to the gathering, click here. For the United States Forest Service Incident Command website with groovy maps and updates, click here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Directions to Spring Council

Updated 5/31/2012 @ 6:30 AM PDST

Spring Council for the 2012 Gathering is happening at the location of the 2005 gathering:  Cranberry Glades Botanical Area of the Monongahela National Forest. 

Directions from I-64 in West Virginia (south of Spring Council).  I-64 runs East/West between I-77 and I-81 (the north/south Interstates in the area)

Take Interstate 64 to Lewisberg, West Virginia. 

Take 219 North (exit 169). Continue north on 219 to 55/39 Turn Right   LEFT on 55/39. Go 6 miles passing WV150 on the right. Proceed with caution --- If the GATE is open --- about 0.2 miles from WV 150 on 55/39 ----- turn right into the opening. If the gate is NOT open -----then Continue West on WV55/WV39 for 0.6 miles to Forest Road 102. Park on 102.

N 38.18403 W 80.26079

Cranberry glade IS in black bear territory so be careful w/ your food stuff there.

additional pertinent information: Spring Council is where the site for the 2012 Gathering will be determined and gathering layout begins. There will be travel to see sites the scouts propose, lots of walking, discussion and consensus. Come & plug in. Be prepard and self sufficient. Bring clothes for warm, wet and cold weather, good boots/shoes. Water and Food to share, shelter (tent, sleeping bag, etc) your own cup bowl spoon, all the stuff you'd need for gathering & a sense of humor. This site was chosen for Spring Council because it is centrally located to proposed sites and has no bearing on where the gathering will be.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day, The Gathering and Veterans

Tomorrow is Memorial Day when we take time to honor and remember the men and women who have died in wars.  In 1989, I was in Washington DC for Memorial Day and experienced Rolling Thunder - the annual motorcycle rally that calls for the government's recognition and protection of Prisoners of War (POWs) and those Missing in Action (MIAs).

Feeling the thunder from the motorcycles in my chest was one thing, but the events after still bring tears to my eyes after all these years.  We stood in circle, mostly veterans, a few civilians. The veterans were mostly men. Large gruff men with tattoos and long hair.  We went around and shared a story or two about a loved one who disappeared. Some of the men in the circle I was in had been POWs.  As the circle went around, we cried. Not just me but all of us. We cried for the lives lost, we cried for the pain and suffering, we cried for not knowing what happened to brothers, son or fathers.  Holding hands with a 200 pound six foot man crying for his lost friend is ....  well I don't really have the words to express it.  But it's community. Being with your community, your family has power.

Often times, veterans and soldiers don't think they have a place at a peace and healing gathering.  Well, I'm here to tell you you're wrong.  Please come home, gather on the land, participate in a circle or two, or just chop wood.  While we may not have a lot, we have boundless love, endless pots of beans and rice and plenty of campfires to sit around and share stories. 

Many of the earlies were veterans of the Vietnam War and found love in the community we create and the mediation/prayer for world peace.  Many veterans have found hope in this family over many a year.  We're coming. We're stinky, a bit chaotic but full of love and we want you to come home to the land, to the healing and to the circle on the morning of July 4th.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hipstories on July 5 @ The Gathering

If you're new to the gathering or just missed it, every year about dark-thirty on July 5 people gather at Granola Funk Theater to share hipstories.  The last few years the format has been to start with 1972 and have people share a story or five from the first gathering. Then we move on to 1973, then 1974, then 1975  and, well you get the point.  Everyone is invited to share their stories.  Some of the folks who share are amazing storytellers and learning our hipstories from many, many mouths is the best way to get a sense of the long strange trip it's been.  

This blog is really just an attempt to share the wealth of wisdom and stories I have learned at the gathering based on my own mistakes or from other family who shared with me the mistakes and successes they've had as well as things that many gatherers need to know.

One of the earlies (earlies are folks who were at the gathering in 1972) is a master story teller.  Here's a hipstory he emailed around a few weeks ago.  

******* Begin Garrick's Hipstory **********

Dear, Dear Friends of the Rainbow,

One of the true Original Rainbows died last Friday. David Lescht, AKA David Light, was one of the original Rainbow Visionaries.

In the earliest days of the Rainbow adventure -- two years before the First Rainbow Gathering in Colorado in 1972, and a month before the Vortex Festival, Davey had put out invitations to a Gathering at Emerald Lakes in the Three Sisters Wilderness. We looked on maps, there were no '"Emerald Lakes." But there were Green Lakes and about 120 of  'us' made it up the 8 mile trail into that nascent Gathering. It was an incredibly beautiful scene, and for many of us it was a clue, a hint, a sign and an omen that the Vision of the Rainbow could become real. We made beautiful meals and prayer circles; we plunged into the icy waters of the 'Emerald' lakes; we did a group ascension of The South Sister.

And at the end of that Gathering, some eighty strong we arrived at the set up for Vortex 1 with a force of community and strength of purpose that helped make the Vortex Festival the amazing success it was. It was at Vortex that the Gathering took on the name Rainbow. There are so many more stories to tell about Davey. He had such a measured sense of his Spirituality. He was such a balanced character. He was the cool, even-minded one among us. He was kind and sincere and he figured out how to translate that into service for others.

He founded Outside In in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and began bringing music to people who were institutionalized. People in nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, women's shelters, youth 'reformatories,' prisons -- anywhere people were shut in, Davey and his team came and brought the Light of Music. He hired local bands and national acts. He brought Santana to the Maximum Security and Michael Franti to the the youth prison. In the past decade he produced over two hundred live shows each year for those unable - for whatever reason - to get out to hear the music.

What a guy. We all dream of doing that kind of good. And he figured out how to do it for real. He never gave up his Rainbow Roots. He never quit believing in Peace and Love.

He died of a heart attack at home. He had four beautiful children and a loving relationship with his wife Sara.

The man is gone, but the good he did lives on.


Link to newspaper article.  

For some other hipstories, click here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

For those flying to the gathering

I have it from a reliable source that flying into Knoxville, Tennessee would put a person within a few hundred miles of the sites that are under serious consideration for this year's gathering.  Keep in mind that I used plural as in multiple sites are still under consideration.  The location of Spring Council is not finalized yet and may be a bit further.

As always, Spring Council could go wild and wacky, but ......

Updated 6/13/12
Yup, Knoxville is the closest major airport at about 150 miles from the site.  There is a regional airport about 100 miles closer called the Tri Cities Regional Airport in Tennessee and they have a website.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Helping Supply The Gathering

The gathering is a magical experience for many people. Drum circles, yoga workshops, councils and cooking for your family are just some of the many ways in which we contribute to the positive evolution of the planet. However, no matter what you like to do when you gather, I'm guessing getting sick isn't one of them.  There are so many important things to do at the gathering, but the most important of all is to keep every belly healthy and to take care of the sick ones with the best care love has to share. 

As we get closer to the gathering, its time to start gathering supplies that will help to create a healthy gathering for everyone.  There are two areas of the gathering where buying supplies helps create good health for gathering participants:  CALM and Water Crew. 

 ~ ~ ~ CALM ~ ~ ~

CALM is the Center for Alternative Living Medicine.  Every year, individuals donated thousands of dollars of supplies and cash to buy supplies to make sure that we can provide free medical care to anyone who needs or wants it. CALM provides all sorts of boo boo related things: band aids, tampons, etc. But more importantly, we have amazing medical doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, herbalists, acupuncturists and massage therapy professionals who take come to the gathering to share their skills with the world (or at least the part of the world that comes to the gathering.

Baby's are born at gatherings, people have heart attacks, legs get broken, snake bites happen and all the care is 100% free.  People get intenstital aliments that can easily spread throughout the gathering without proper treatment. But as most of you know, back boards and defribiliation equipment isn't cheap and while we have some of these things in stock, the need for treatment for poison ivy/oak, oxygen tanks, batteries/flashlights and the one hundred and one things that our healers provide costs a lot of money.  So while you're getting ready for the gathering, please take the time to purchase supplies (find a list here). If you have the ability to purchase and bring to the gathering any of the needed supplies, please email CALM and let them know what you are committing to bring so folks can plan accordingly. If bringing supplies doesn't work for you, you can donate $$$ via PayPal (click the donate button above) and let the CALM Folks purchase the needed supplies.

~ ~ ~ Safe Drinking Water ~ ~ ~

One way we can help maintain health is to insure that we have abundant supplies of filtered drinking water. While many of you may be used to drinking "live water" where you live, you're body as adjusted to the micro-organisms in your area. The ones at the gathering will be different. Not to mention, water coming downhill from a spring is coming in a plastic pipe. All it takes is for one person (or dog) to create a crack in the line and then all sorts of stuff gets in the drinking water.   Imagine an off-leash dog taking a dump on a cracked water line and you drinking the water unfiltered.  Pretty ugly isn't it.  Let's make sure that all the major kitchens and various other points have good water filtration systems.  Shorter lines means people drink more filtered water. More filtered water means less dirreaha.  Less dirreach means we all stay healther and CALM doesn't have as much of a work load. While all the time and effort that creates the amazing Hydration Stations is 100% powered by free hippie labor, the filters are not. Good filters to build our amazing Rainbow drinking water supply system run between $160 and $300 per filter.

Water is life.  If you want to help out with the water crew, email J Water Guy and let him know you're willing to buy a filter or pipe. He can give you the specs.  But please email him ASAP as it takes time to find and purchase these filters.   However, if kicking down some $$ to buy water filters is more your style, click on this Donate button to kick down some green energy for water filters.  None of us can stay healthy if those around us are sick.

Together we have the power to keep
each and every one of us healthy.   

I personally vouch for the two people who have offered up their PayPal accounts. Both are my friends and both work tirelessly to care for their family. The money WILL be spent as I have  indicated.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Love You

I love all you wonderful bellies talking about very important ideas surrounding the gathering. 

You are the my motivation for continuing to try to create the world the way we want it to exist. 

Thank each and everyone of you for sharing your unique perspective. We are such an amazing family and I'm glad you all are my brothers and sisters.

Keep the faith!