Sunday, June 29, 2008

Report From the Gathering #3

Hey there, this is The Other Karen. I got another
call from Karin, the creator of this blog, from
the Gathering in Wyoming. She gave me lots of info
about what is going on there and how to prepare
for the drive and the hike in.

Again, I apologize for lack of apostrophes and
parenthesis. Karin’s blog, for some reason,
prints gobbledy-gook when I write them.

Here is the news…

The drive in is difficult because the cops are
stopping for every little thing and then, often,
are searching cars. One person has a court
appearance for not having brake lights, even
though she does, because the low sun was shining
on them and they are a bit dim. Another person has
a court appearance because he did not apply his
brake while on a corner, even though he was going
slowly because a cop was following him.

There are four parking lots.

There are two trails into the site. The WAGON
TRAIL is 2.5 miles of flat hiking and then a half
mile on a very steep incline going up. The SNAKE
TRAIL is only 2 miles but goes up and down a lot
and then straight up at the end.

FRONT GATE IS NICE!! You need to seriously allow
yourself 6-8 hours to park, hike in, have
something to eat!, find a campsite, and set up. If
6-8 hours has you hiking or setting up in the
dark, SERIOUSLY consider camping by your car the
first night, or by the fire at Front Gate. Its a
nice scene. Stay and enjoy it.

Karin “hustled it” from Main Meadow to the
front gate, down hill, and it took her two hours!

Once you are in, its level land. There are Aspen,
Pine, and Fir trees. There are blue and yellow
flowers in the fields and big gorgeous granite
boulders. On-site there is minimal cop-movie. They
come through about once a day on ATVs for an hour
and are gone.

This has been a SERIOUS problem this year. There
have been lots of people who have found themselves
with severe headaches and vomiting on their first
day onsite. This includes some long-time Rainbows
who are used to occasional high elevations and
living outdoors.

Allow for altitude sickness when you plan what
time of day to hike into the site. This is another
good reason to hang at Front Gate the first night
and acclimate before the crazy hike in.

Some of the older folks are bitching and moaning
because they feel ineffectual because they cant
walk around too much.

Rob is getting radios together today. This makes
lots of folks happy because the amount of hiking
to pass information around has been very

There are currently 3 CALMS set up.

It tends to be in the mid 70s during the day. The
nights are still very cold and some folks arent
sleeping at all well because of it. Bring long
johns for sleeping and possibly double sleeping
bags. Bring a hat to sleep in. Please bring any
extra blankets or bags for folks that need it!

The nearest gasoline for sale is UNUSUALLY FAR
away from the site this year. Be sure that you
fill up to the TOP before heading up so that you
can get back down. If you have gasoline jugs,
please fill them up and bring them in for your use
or for other folks. This will save on the usual
situation of having to siphon out of some cars to
get other cars back to town.

Its surprising how few people are currently
onsite. There were about 500-1000 at dinner last
night. Population seems sparse and less than
expected as does the quantities of cars coming in
per hour.

There is lots of meat in some of the kitchens.
Warriors of the Light was very recently built.
Yeast Man has not been seen. Some folks are sad.

Garretts mother is on site nearly every day
because there have been rumors that he has been
seen onsite. His mothers family -his parents are
apparently divorced- loves the Rainbows, are very
appreciative of all the work that is being done to
find Garrett, and is coming in a lot to walk the
site and chat folks up. They often bring meat for
the kitchens.

So, the unreported story is that Garrett allegedly
had a fight with his friends the night before he
disappeared. He -I believe she said- came home
that night but was gone by morning. No one was
worried until he failed to show up for work.

When his truck was found at the end of a dead end
road in the forest, there was a bullet hole in the
windshield and one in the fender.

There are flyers with his picture going around the
site and some folks claim they have seen him. But
its getting to the point that he would likely know
he was being searched for.

In my last report you read that the cops deemed it
illegal to yell “Shanti Sena” because it might
incite a riot. This has now been amended. Folks
are allowed to yell it as long as they really are
NOT trying to incite a riot. This of course, is up
to the opinion of the nearest cop.

It is believed that this will be interpreted to
mean that you can call for help if someone is
beating up someone else, but likely not allowed if
there is a cop-action going on and you are calling
for other Rainbows to come witness the action.

So! It is advised that if there IS some sort of
cop-action and you feel compelled to call for
Shanti-Sena to witness the action, that you step
back into the woods, away from the fray, make your
call and then disappear, coming around again to
another place in the circle. Dont stand beside the
nearest cop and call.

Other than the horrendous hike in, the altitude
sickness, the missing locals, and the difficulty
in finding a vegetarian meal at times, there is an
awesome Gathering happening. You should come home.


papa j said...

Thank you so much for posting all this very useful information! I check every day for updates. If you think about or get a chance, would you ask Karin how we will know what trail we are at from the parking lot. Also, I heard that the bus camp was a lot closer, is this true and are cars able to park there also? I have a 9 month old baby and lots of baby "stuff" and was just looking for the easiest/shortest route to take.
Much love sista!

Anonymous said...

Hi - thanks for the information! We are coming on Wednesday from Salt Lake City - yay!

What is the altitude?


Dee from Utah

Anonymous said...

Coming home Wed EARLY Morn... bringing lots of extra blankets... Cpuld you post any info as to what food is needed to donate- any requests- can't bring a lot but will bring what I can carry-
Much Love

Edofin said...

What about Fire pits? permits? *blah*

Anonymous said...

Hello again!

Hey, the paragraph below was on the Pinedale Online news. What does this mean? Do we have to get a permit?

"CLOSURE in effect for upper Big Sandy meadows/Lamreau Meadows/part of Big Sandy Opening There is a closure in effect for the Big Sandy Opening at the upper end of the road. Big Sandy Lodge, Big Sandy trailhead and campground are OPEN. The Closure was implemented by the Forest Service effective Friday, June 27 and is in effect "until rescinded." This is an Occupancy and Use Order imposed for public safety and resource protection. Lamreaux Meadows is closed to camping except to persons with a permit specifically exempting them from this order. Camping includes overnight occupancy and temporary presence of camping equipment. There is a $5,000 fine (individuals), $10,000 fine (organizations), and/or imprisonment for not more than 6 months penalty associated with this closure order. More information available from the USFS Supervisor's Office at 307-733-2752 or Pinedale Ranger District 307-367-4326. Barely noticeable flyers and maps describing this closure are posted wrapped around the posts on the cattle guard at the forest boundary entrance (You have to get out of your car and walk right up to them to see it-the notice is posted on the back side of the posts as you drive in. The closure area was not signed on the road as of Saturday.)"

Anonymous said...

More info on "closure":

I wrote to the editor of Pinedale Online and below is her response.

Dee from Utah

"I think it means the biggest challenge everyone who is coming will have is
finding a place to park. In my untrained eye, they are running out of places
to put vehicles on the National Forest land. Well, there is more room.
People will just have to walk a fairly long ways to haul in their gear to
get to the gathering spot. Those big meadows at the top are definitely too
wet to be in, so closing them was a good thing. There looked to me to
possibly be dry open spots that could be used on the BLM land next to the
first parking area, but I am not sure the BLM will allow that use. Maybe
some of the Rainbows will start offering some kind of a shuttle system, I
don't know. I suspect the official attitude of the BLM and FS might be,
"that's not our problem - we asked them not to be in this location." If we
hear anything more on how this is being resolved, we'll post something about
it. This is all just my conjecture. Since there is no official place to get
information on these things, it's hard to get information about how things
are being handled by the Rainbows.

Once you figure out where to plunk your car, I think finding a camping spot
won't be as much of an issue. There are lots of places to choose from in the
forest around the Rainbow gathering meadows to put your tent.

Don't forget the mosquito repellant and

Note that the law enforcement is out in force, to protect the peace for
everyone, including Rainbows. So, they are ticketing even minor infractions.
Make sure all your lights and turn signals work on your car, insurance and
registration are paid up and stickers on, dogs are on a leash (on the road),
yada yada. K9 dogs are being used to check for drugs.

Dawn Ballou, Editor, Pinedale Online!"

The Other Karen said...


Ahhh, so the closure seems to be about wet meadows they don't want us to park on. That sounded pretty scary there at first!

As for some of your questions, Bus Village does not usually allow vehicles you are not living in so that when someone comes intending to camp in the village is not told there is no room. These folks often come without tents and so would be forced to camp in some more remote parking lot away from their community.

If you have a baby, bring it to the attention of the folks who are directing you. I hear some lots are closer and they are sending old folks and young children to those.

I don't know the specific altitude, sorry!

Food to donate? Try rice and beans in bags, fresh produce that you buy right before you arrive is great. Onions, potatoes, etc. Lightweight items of interest would be huge bottles of spices, salt, sugar, creamer.

Haven't heard if you need specific permits for fires this year, but private fires are always frowned upon. We are not being asked to sign a group-use permit as long as we abide by the operating plan.