Adventures Abroad

Adventures Abroad
Machu Picchu

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Camping With The Rainbow Family

Hello, fellow adventurers!

B and I recently went on a camping adventure in Tennessee. It was quite interesting and not what I expected. We hiked about 2 miles into the Cherokee National Forest with our packs on. Let me tell you, it was rough in 100 degree temperature. Oh, did I mention it was uphill?

B and I hiking
Okay, enough of me complaining about the hike. So, I bet you are wondering why we chose such a random destination for camping. Well, it was for the Annual Rainbow Family Gathering. Or in other words, a new and exciting adventure!

What is the Rainbow Gathering?
"Many people gathering together to pray for peace and healing in the world. Openly and with mutual respect."

Why Are They Called Rainbows?
"The gatherings are called rainbow because they are for all the peoples of the earth, from many families, tribes, and nations. Some say that the Hopi people native to North America tell a vision of a time when mother earth, the land, air, waters, and creatures of all kinds were sick with poisons and ill treatment by people, the children of the white races, or more specifically the people who lived the cultures of those who displaced the native peoples of the Americas - not just Caucasians, would grow their hair long, wear beads, and come together with the children of all the nations to heal the earth."

An elder singing songs of peace.
When and Who Attends?
"The Annual Rainbow Family Gathering is celebrated during the first week of July (1st - 7th) and is hosted in a different National Forest within the United States. Since approximately 1972 there has been an Annual Rainbow Family Gathering every year with some states having hosted more then one Gathering within it's borders. Of all the various types of Rainbow Family Gatherings, The Annual Rainbow Family Gathering of the Living Light is by far the largest of Family Gatherings. In high years the mass of family can exceed 30,000 souls and has also enjoyed the energy much the same with as few as 7,000 belly buttons in attendance.

These rather large freeform gatherings are attended by a broad and diverse spectrum of people although the hippie movement has a larger appeal to the media. Truth is, you can meet almost anyone from almost anywhere at a gathering. The celebration is commercial free and there is absolutely no charge to attend a Rainbow Family Gathering."

My Experiences:
After B and I set up camp, we went to explore and find the "Full Circle." I was surprised to see lots of nudists walking around. Of course, there were fully clothed people and just topless people. Seeing those people did not scare me, so we continued walking up into the mountain. There was a huge party going on at the top. People were painted, juggling, dancing, and everything in-between. Check out the video to get a taste of our 4th of July experience!
***Warning: There is some nudity in the video

Honestly, all of the people were so kind. People offered out free food and free water to everyone. If you wanted to help, then you just show up at a camp site and ask if you can assist. B and I helped make  cinnamon buns and in return "Lovin Oven" gave us free breakfast. 

B next to a handmade oven!
There was a part of the mountain that was called "Trading Circle." This was where people with random beads, artwork, flashlights, snacks, etc. came to trade. Anyone and everyone could participate in it...if you had things that were worthy of trading. **Money is not used here!

Trading Circle: Notice the people on the sides of the path?
Random Picture Time?

B juggling during a talent show.
Dance Party!

Spirit House: A place to say goodbye to loved ones.

As the Rainbows say, "Welcome Home."
For more information:
Event Calendar
Staying In Touch
About Cherokee National Forest

Are you adventurous enough to camp out and party with hippies? Or did you go? If so, share your pictures and stories! Have questions for me? Then, ask already!

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