On Monday morning (6/30) Sandrine and Karine arrived at Pete's house to pick up me and Freebird, and we drove for the Rainbow Gathering. They ate dinner with us there the first evening, and then decided to go back to Moab. The following morning, we ran into Daniel and Jake and met Daryl and Daniel Divine. And we continued to meet incredible people throughout the week. The whole week was beyond words, like nothing I've ever experienced! To see a gathering of about 10,000 people in the mountains, all getting along so peacefully, just blew my mind. So many kind-hearted, generous people were met. Kristen gave me a bowl so I could go about the kitchens collecting food (free, delicious food was everywhere, whether you go to the kitchens or the large, communal dinner circle in the evenings). Roger and Sunny gave me a piece of climbing equipment so that I could trade for a heavier blanket, when they noticed that I didn't have enough gear and was getting cold at night. I witnessed so many kind acts between others too. One of them that stands out to me now is when a woman brought a man who wasn't feeling well over to a hammock near us and made sure that he had dinner and plenty of water. Or the time that the dinner circle was asked to make as much noise as they could so that a man lost in the woods could find his way back to us. Beauty was everywhere. Children freely played and ran about the gathering, people brought all sorts of animal companions (kittens, dogs, raccoons, a parrot, an iguana, etc.), and we greeted each other with smiles, hugs, and laughter. There are so many amazing stories that would be difficult to fit into a whole book. All I'm going to leave you with is that this whole gathering can be described as love, though words will never suffice. Words aside, here's some pictures of the drive there, followed by pictures of the gathering...
|Getting into the mountains of northern Utah.|
|Bridal Veil Falls.|
|Just outside of the national forest's borders, where the gathering was held, sheep and cows graze along the roads.|
|Driving top-down in a red Mustang convertible with Sandrine and Karine. Karine is snapping a picture.|
|The parking lot.|
|Sandrine modeling for us.|
|Karine "C'est La Vie," Freebird, and Sandrine "Oo La La."|
|People flocking in. We arrived the day before the gathering officially started.|
|The dinner circle.|
|The first sunrise there. Our camp had a great view in a quiet neighborhood.|
|Daniel Divine and Chris.|
|Freebird, Daniel, Jake, Julia, Daryl, and Nate.|
|Kristen and her son, Gaiel.|
|After almost a whole week, we finally found Bing!|
|G-Funk, where they put on nightly talent shows and other performances.|
Rather than go to Dinner Circle for our last night there, Freebird and I watched the sunset together. Alex and Rudy showed up and joined us. They had just arrived at the Gathering that evening in search of us and the moneyless tribe. Daniel, Jake, Daryl, and Julia had already left at this point. They returned to Moab. Alex and Rudy went out into the night to check out the fire and drum circles, while we went to bed. We were to be up early the next morning, catching a ride to northern California.
So the next day, Freebird and I packed up, watched the sunrise, then met Stev in the parking lot. We drove with him 12 hours to Truckee, where currently we are at. Today we leave to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. When I find Internet again, I'll post more pictures.