Welcome home!
Where the energy is drawn.

Welcome home.
Where the love creates the wind.
Where 20000 souls combine happiness.

Welcome home.
Where life is full.
Where peace is never ending.
Where LOVE builds a halo around all.

Welcome home.
Where music soothes.
Where crystals & sage lift the spirit.
Where hugs & ohms manifest peace.
Where prayer bells & such open hearts.

Welcome home.
Where hippies, yogis & others enlighten.
Where violence & sin is prevented.
Where caresses of emotion heal.

Welcome home.
Where nature is king, lord & the divine.
Where life is perfect & tears are made of joy.

Welcome home.
Where it is the way it is!

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I have always wanted to make it too the national gathering but I seam to be at the furthest point away when it is time. If it is in PA then im in LA. When it is in Montana then I am on the east cost or Texas.

Finally, in 2014 I was layed over in Nebraska and the gathering was near Salt Lake City. It was as close as I was ever going to get and rideshares were abundant so I pulled the trigger.

My mom wanted to go to a festival in Omaha so I replied to a few ride offers on the rainbow forum that were leaving Omaha the day after the Celebrates America fest featuring Blues Travelers and Sugar Ray. My previous visit to this event was rained out and this show was again in jeopardy with a 70% chance of storms. The park sits on a massive hill reaching 150 yards wide by 400 yards long and with the stage at the bottom it forms the perfect amphitheater for over 25000.

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After a night of enjoying fireworks, music and lovely ladies, we checked into a nearby hotel. In the morning I loaded up with food and supplies from the hotel buffet and hugged everyone goodbye.

I had not been able to find much public info on my driver but her communication had been fairly punctual with minor worrisome delays. Once I heard from her, I was able to send everyone on their way. There is always a bit of stress in these moments, especially if your backup ride does not have a mobile phone and is venturing 140 miles away.

My ride showed up punctually as I watched Brasil sneak by Chile in the mornings cup match. The wonderful miss Kira was waiting in the parking lot dressed in athletic tie dye. Her modelesck 5’5 frame met me with a hug and gorgeous smile. It was going to be a very enjoyable ride. Just when I thought the energy was peaking, Kira informed me we were waiting for another goddess from Kansas.

Kira shared the history of her moves from Omaha to Pittsburgh to Brooklyn. Her family was now following to Pittsburgh to be closer to her and others. She had timed the move so she could go to the gathering and then help drive them from Omaha to Pitt upon her return.

As she continued to speak I couldnt look away from the amazing spectrum of neutral colors gleaming in her eyes and a tiny little hoop piercing on her lower lip.

As we entered our 20th minute of chat a small SUV with Kansas plates pulled up and TWO beautiful college girls in sun dresses appeared from the back seats. Layce was near 5’10 with a slender light skin and dark dreads and her friend Bella was a bit as shorter with died lavender hair with a thin build and light complextion.

Layce’s mom was a free spirit and encouraged the girls to take the journey before committing to summer job committments so she drove them up from Topeka to catch our ride.

They piled in back while I took shotgun and we were on our way. As we traveled across Nebraska, the girls revealed a lot about their personalities. Kira had 7 national gatherings and nearly a hundred road trip adventures in her pocket so she played the leader position well for our group. Layce was a bit shy at first but grew as we went along. She would continue to have a timidness about her but I wouldnt be suprised if at some point she just let loose once we got to the forrest destination. Bella had taken a few road trips and we relied on her to start up conversations each time we went through more than 30 minutes of silence.

By nightfall we had reached the Rockies and found our way to Kira’s friendly home where we would be sheltered for the evening.

Our host, David, was a computer programmer and fit the description fairly well but also benefitted from the outdoor life of the average Boulder resident. His wife, Jackie, was an athletically built plant biologist whom had so much positive energy that you could see a white lining if you squinted at her just right.

After we made our introductions, I found my way to their balcony to pray and meditate as the sunset over the mountains. I enjoyed a certain cloud in the shape of a walrus in the western sky as it changed colors with the dimming sunlight. I continued writing and reading as I waited for dinner plans to be announced.

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Our hosts wanted to show us their neighborhood health food pub called Southern Sun. I spurged on a humus reuben and salad loaded with too many veggies to name. Every bite was out of this world and I enjoyed praying and meditation with the infinite flavors shocking my system. Unfortunately Bella was turning out to be full of frustration for all the wrongs in the world and in her youth she has not realized how to control her vocal volume and mannerisms. Far too often up to this point Bella continues her negative rants not understanding she is in the company of several enlightened spirits whom understand her complaints and are aware of their needed solutions. I pray she soon discovers that her quiet voice is just as powerful in our company. It was a very challenging 2 hours of blocking her out while moving about to observe the nearby art while savoring each bite.

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Once back to the crib we played a card game they called defense where the last person stuck with a card bought a round. By 2 I found my way to a couch and fell asleep watching a flick on my phone.

SUnday 6/29

Shortly after I awoke, Jackie followed and set me up with a bike for the day. I started with a 10 mile ride down Marshall Creek road passed a bunch of old mining and farming antiques and cabins. Then I circled around some ponds and explored a cave before soaring 40 mph down a 2 mile return which led me to the perfect street for a morning bath.

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As 10am approached for the Netherlands Mexico game, I rolled on towards downtown. The trails were nicer then their roads and nearly one third of the traffic was on foot or bicycle transport. As I entered Pearl street flashbacks of Santa Monica overwhelmed my vision. It was so similar that if I didnt identify the familiarity I would have thought I was experiencing dejavu.

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I enjoyed a few street performances including a Caribbean yogi contortionist, African drummer and a Didg player. There were so many to choose from that it was halftime before I made it to O’Neils.

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After the Mexico defender ruined their countries hopes in the 92nd minute, I went to an art walk 3 blocks over and then cooled down in a swimming hole.

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I had almost 2 hours before the Costa Rica game so I took the Boulder Creek trail 4 miles east and experienced several serene sights including a rock sculpture where rocks were set on top of iron beams. I also found some sand volleyball and an observatory where you could look under the water at the trout.

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I returned to O’Neils to watch Costa Rica pull off their shootout win over Greece while munching a salad and then went swimming again. I then started biking Boulder Creek up the mountains.

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I didn’t plan on doing it when I started the day. I was only going to go to the base of the first ridge but once I reached it, the incline was so gradual that I kept going about 4 miles up and over the first 6 ridges.

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I found the perfect rock and sat in the river to work on some writing until the sun set leaving me enough light to find my way to the Chautauqua music hall.

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Through out the past few days I had been exchanging messages with my first true love. When I was 16 I met Samantha while swimming in the Red Cloud Nebraska pool during a Wilson family reuion. We spent all day and night hanging out with my family while getting to know each other. We exchanged numbers and kiddy pecks on the cheek.

Over the next year we wrote every few weeks and I would return to visit her several times including a sleep over when she moved further away to Smith Center Kansas. One day the letters stoped coming and my next one was returned to sender. When I called the number was disconnected so I drove down and found the house empty. A neighbor told me they packed up and left overnight.

I made up some note cards asking for anyone who knew her families whereabouts to call me but never heard back. After a month with no replies, I started calling listings with her name in Tucson. She had told me her grandparents were there so I hoped I would find them. I didnt know it then but they were her mom’s parents and she never mentioned their last name.

Every few weeks while I was at college, I would search her name and pray I would find her. Still no luck and years started rolling by. Every month for 18 years I struck out searching. Finally one day in 2012, I got a friend request on facebook from her under an alias.

She had found our letters and pictures and couldnt stand not knowing if I would ever forgive her. She told me that she was in a coma and had to be transported to a larger city and her mom moved to be there. Her mom didnt think our friendship was serious enough to call me and by the time Sam recovered she was afraid I had moved on and didnt want to deal with my posssible unacceptance.

18 years later we finally picked up where we left off but she had just reached a serious level in her relationship with a possesive guy and she didnt want to jeopardize it by texting too much. We exchanged messages a few times and when ever I was coming to Denver, I would let her know. She was never able to come meet me because her boyfriend was not willing to go and would get furious if she tried to leave.

Finally, 20 years after our last hug, we were getting together at the  Chautauqua orchestra.

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Once Sam arrived, I biked down to the car and loaded up the bike before walking her and 6 yearold Serenity up to the concert hall. We sat in the very back to chat and catch up.

She drove me back to the apartment and we exchanged kisses and tears of pure bliss.

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My Rainbow family loaded up and we were on our way. As I was getting settled for the final 9 hour drive Sam sent me one of the most loving texts of all time expressing her excitement to be with me again.

Signal was spotty along the way but every chance I could get I was checking world cup updates and uploading my stories. The sun was just setting as we entered the state park near Heber Utah.

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Once we found a parking area, we sorted our gear and got in line for the shuttle. The girls filled in the last few spots of a truck bed so I went over to a minivan. The driver was to the point, yelling “put your shit on the roof and get the fuck in”. Several people hesitated but I was getting the feeling it was a long walk so I tossed up my small bag and snuck back in the corner with my pack. I should of done it the other way around because my money and important items were now in jeopardy on the roof as we traveled over a very bumpy road. As I entered the van a caring brother gifted me a pair of thermal pants after hearing I didnt have any with me.

It was a 15 minute ride and along the way we picked up people until we were to the point where there was a second layer laying on top of us. Amongst the dogs and dirty hippies who showed little respect for their body, two brothers caught my attention. Next to me was a 30 something bearded brother from New Orleans and across was a teenager who looked and talked like Napolean Dynamite. I told NOLA about my fall stay to help repair central park after Katrina.

By the time we pilled out of the van it was dark and I couldnt find Kira so I walked up the entrance and back playing Marco Polo until we heard eachother. We passed several camp villages and went about 10 minutes until we hit the end of a trail and put up the tents. It was nearing 11 so Kira let me bunk with her and the other girls went out and found some cuddling buddies.

On the morning of Monday July 1st, I jogged a mile further out of the grounds and found a watering hole. When i got back Kira was ready to move. we packed up and moved Kiras tent to the other side of the rainbow grounds to an area above Kids Camp. We went past a trade circle where there was a enormous amount of jewelry and other items. It was the second day on the gathering Calendar and already there was 15000 people with campsites as far as the eye could see stretching like fingers out from the center circle peace pole in a massive meadow.

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Kira found some friends to camp by way up on a mountain side. We leveled a spot out but it was still pretty slanted so sleeping was not going to be great. After everything was together, I sorted my day and night bags and then walked with Kira until she found her friends.  I wandered out on my own and found a Indian Krishna camp serving great rice dishes and soups.

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They didnt have any need for volunteers at the moment so I went up to Granola funk to help build the theatre stage and do some writing.

Granola funk is where the artistic crowd hangs out at night with a different themed show every night from the 1st to the 5th. This year it was designed like a TV.

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At sunset I went to Kirshna camp and ate dinner and that was followed with a prayer and song service with sitar music. To finish the night I went and danced around the drum circle.

 

PART 2

https://freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/welcome-home

 

 

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