Volume Seven (Rainbow Gathering)

We left off heading into the heart of the Mark Twain National Forest in southwest Missouri for the Rainbow gathering. We were once again on the twisting back roads, that offer much more scenery than the highways. We curved our way through forests and mountains, all remarkably reminiscent of my home North Carolina scenery. Finally, we followed our directions Home, to the Rainbow gathering.
We parked in Bus Village, a field full of all different years of Volkswagen busses, as well as schoolbusses and tourbusses with VW's welded on the rooves in strategic locations. One well-to-do school bus sported a Vanagon Westy on top, as they could afford such luxuries... :)
For those not familiar with the Rainbow Family concept, I shall try to summarize it as briefly as possible. It is a beautiful gathering of some 20,000 beautiful people on public lands owned by all of us. It is based on the constitutional granting us the right to peaceably assemble on public lands. There are no official leaders, but the elders teach the newer family the rules and ways.
There is no money allowed inside, except to fund the magic hat. Everyone spares what they can for the magic hat, which buys food for everyone. Once inside, you set up camp, and do what you like. The gathering works off the help of everyone. I did everything from gathering firewood, fetching water, helping cook, to digging latrines. While theoretically you could do nothing, and have a free ride, I at least felt a lot better helping out when I could.
The beautiful thing is that in this temporary city of thousands, everyone is your friend. Folks greet you with "Welcome Home", and everyone is your sister or brother. There were hippies, punks, Rastafarians, as well as business people, and some very knowledgeable doctors and such. There were folks from all walks of life, living in harmony. There are impromptu musical groups, as people have brought guitars, drums, and wind instruments. Every night at dinner time, we gathered in the main field for dinner. Everyone who came there was fed, as we all sat in concentric circles. Afterward, there was drumming and dancing around the bonfire until well after I had gone to bed...
Anyway, I shan't go into the wonderful details of our week there, only say that everyone should go, if you get a chance. Fellow Listy Stefan Ufer met us out there, as did another friend of ours from home, in his '63 single cab.
After a week, we decided to head on. Alas, it was time to go home. I had to find out if I had a job to come back to, and others had to retrieve things that they had stored at my house. So, we began that homeward journey.... As I have been enjoying writing so much, I'll drag this out one more week. Stay tuned for the trip home, and some trip summaries of mileage etc... Also, stay tuned for exciting previews of a completely new mystery VW saga soon to be here!
As an aside about t-shirts, I'll see how the response is over the weekend, and post something early next week...I may end up charging a dollar more so that I will have enough to order stickers as well, as soon as the shirts are through. anyway, we shall see. I am also working on a couple other nifty designs... Happy Friday, all!