National Rainbow Gathering 2010 in Allegheny National Forest, PA
I used to go to a lot of Rainbow Gatherings in my youth. The national “Gathering of the Tribes” is held the first week of July each year in a National Forest. The location changes each year and is usually held in a different state. Unfortunately, not all states have National Forests so many states have had multiple gatherings over the years. The first official national Rainbow Gathering was held in Colorado in the early 70′s. There are regional gatherings held in other states and countries throughout the year.
In 2008 I went to the Wyoming Gathering, my first in 21 years. Both my sons were there too. We had a blast. It is all free and it’s all about sharing what you have with others. It’s a cultural phenomenon and its all done with the greatest respect to “Mother Nature.” The impact of sometimes tens of thousands of rainbow brothers and sisters can be significant but the teams of people who stay behind to remediate the damage is unprecedented. Ask the Forest Service.
The Gatherings are not without drama and controversy. Every year the Government sends in “the troops”, armed enforcement officers to terrorize the “natives.” Apparently they don’t like us exercising our constitutional rights to gather on government land. Well, too bad. We know our rights and they hate that they can’t prevent us from gathering.
I won’t be able to attend the Pennsylvania Gathering this year. I am going to my 35th high school reunion later on in July. I’m sure there will be some good tales to tell from anyone who attends. If you are looking for info on how to get there and what to bring, click here. Remember to tread lightly and carpool. Or better yet, maybe stay home and go to a Regional Gathering. There is one near Usk, WA the last week of August.
The pics are from the 2008 Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes held in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. If I get ambitious, I can dig up some old pics from the old days and scan them to add to these more current photos. I have pics of me when I was in my early 20′s. I looked like a frickin’ toothpick. Damn, I wish I was young again. haha
Click here for my latest post on the Rainbow Gathering.