Welcome Home

Posted: August 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

WELCOME HOME 

PART 2 continued from:

https://freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/welcome-home/

 

 

On the morning of Wednesday July 2nd, I wrote Kira a note saying i was going to find a hammock spot at Krishna. After putting up the hammock I found pancakes at Jesus camp next door.

After eating I went to join a yoga group at center circle followed by a meditation group about a 100 yards up the pointer finger path at a tribe called United People.

The meditation session included a good mix of Kundalini yoga which focuses on breathing and mindful body awareness.

 

yoga

 

After an hour of Kundalini concluded it was time for center circle council. Council is the main gathering event where a newbie can gain knowledge by self educating. You will learn how the idea of one large national rainbow gathering was planted among a few western groups during local gatherings at Morningstar Ranch and near Portland Oregon. You also learn about the importance of all the volunteer tasks that keep the gathering operational such as front gate security, food delivery/prep, cleanup, camp setup and much more.

After my learning experience at council was over, I hiked the same trail past the final tribe called green path.

 

As I left green path I met a gorgeous goddess named Kristen. I asked what was behind her at the end of the trail and she said I was almost to a parking lot. I told her I guess I was going off path to follow the creek and find a swimming hole. She looked intrigued so I asked her to go with and she was down.

 

I learned a lot about Kristen over the next hour. She spent a lot of time in India studying yoga so most of our talk was about her experiences. We hiked from the outter middle finger boundary to the spot past where the pointer finger path met a steep cliff. We spotted a water hole and made an agreement to meet the next day at hippy noon center circle to hike to it.

 

SageField

 

I walked her to center circle dinner and then had to run back to green path because I forgot my water bottle.

At center circle dinner, everyone sits down on marked circles with backs together to allow the servers a path to get by with their carts. When I returned Kristin was no where to be seen. I noticed another beautiful girl that had walked completely around the circle so I told her, “if you don’t find your friends after walking a complete circle, you should sit with the first person that invites you.”

She introduced herself as Amanda and then said, “it looks like this is our spot then doesn’t it?” Amanda was from Omaha so we talked about friends in common like good old Irl Rickman who is a leading organizer for the Omaha fire spinning community.

I waited around at the after dinner party circle until it got dark hoping to find Kristin. Once it gets dark and cool everyone relocates to the meadow with 3 fire pits to dance around. I enjoy watching a few naked women dance around the fires for awhile then find my way out.

 

CenterCircle

 

I walked back to Krishna to get some hot tea and then sat around the fire. Five girls came and sat down by me as a Polynesian goddess played her traditional string instrument. She quickly stopped, blaming the smoke and then said she would be up at Aloha which was at the outer tip of the pointer finger. I then remembered I was invited by another cute sister to meet up at Granola funk.

It was midnight and the show was over but I wanted to go make sure if she was there. The 5 girls asked me to lead them to g funk so it wasn’t going to matter if the other girl was there now since I had their company. The g funk fire was too chill for me so I told them I wanted to make the rounds. Three of them from nearby Utah came with. Jen, Delphie and Sara were all beautiful. As we walked the main path, we were approached by the very same Napolean Dynamite that I rode the shuttle with. “Would you guys like to trade some tokes and play a mind game,” he asked? As we joined in Napolean explains, “you are in the dessert with a cube and it can be any size. There is also a ladder and a horse. Now, describe your vision to the circle.” After everyone described their images, Napolean reloaded his pipe and passed it around while continuing the mind game. “Now imagine there is a storm and tell us how it is affecting the vision. The size of the cube represents your ego and the horses relation to the cube represents how you perceive your friends interactions with your ego. The placement of the ladder shows if you place yourself above or below others and the storm represents how in control of your life you are.”

It was a fun bonding exercise for everyone. We said goodbye and continued on our way up the mountain to Lovin Ovens as we compared stories. We talked about how we should copy the whole interaction with Napolean and his friends as a comedy skit for the next nights Gong Show at G Funk.

Jen stayed by my side the next 4 hours as we toured all the major music areas ending with pizza at Lovin Ovens which is the outer edge of the pinky trail. We sampled an amazing desert pizza made with apples and fig. As the sun began rising over the mountains I made the same arrangement as I did with Kristen earlier and told them to meet me at a morning event and go hiking. I walked them down the trail until we came to a violin playing inside a lit tipi. I stayed a few more minutes as they socialized and warmed up by the fire and then headed on to pass out in my hammock as the sun rose.

tipi

 

On Thursday July 3rd, I was completely exhausted from the all nighter. I washed in the creek to wake up and then walked a new path while getting my morning meditation on. The next camp up the middle finger had some elders chatting so I joined in. After a few minutes I was offered an avocado; pepper; humus; pesto; carrot and tomato sandwich for breakfast. After we were all done it was time to go to the next camp up again for kandalini yoga with YogaConsciousnessChannel.com.

Along the way I found a rep of the Ithaca free clinic, giving a botany lecture. As I was learning about edible plants Jen walked up beside me. She wanted to go do meditation with me so we continued up the trail to the United People camp.

After meditation, I walked her to their camp site and ate a grape and peach breakfast with them. They decided not to go hiking so I headed out to look for Kristin. I followed the outer perimeters and stumbled upon an amazing rock garden that was being assembled by the family artists.

 

RockGarden

 

As I approached the end of the camp trail and the beginning of my true wilderness hike, I met a gypsie girl named Adrianne from San Fran. I complimented her on her outfit and as we were talking, a group covered in all sorts of colorful hemp jewelry asked us to take their pictures. I then told Adrianne what I was doing and mentioned she should join me. She was excited to have someone guide her away from the craziness for awhile. I figured she would make it about 30 minutes and turn around once it got rough but 45 minutes later we were climbing over and under fallen trees in the creek bed as we did our best to avoid the mosquito’s.

 

Adrianne

 

Adrianne stayed by my side a full hour and half and just as we were about to turn back, the trees thinned out and on the ground in front of us was an 1800s rail track for a miners cart. I surveyed the surroundings and positioned myself in order to see where the once distant ridge was now level with the base of our mountain and two creeks combined. As we walked around the creek, we finally caught a glimpse of the swimming hole beyond a massive open field of sage.

I looked closer in the distance of a meadow the size of two soccer pitches and I noticed a pile of square rocks out of sync with the natural surrounding. As we approached the formation we stumbled upon another rail and then a boiler stack at the base of the rocks. There were also several other iron bits and what was most likely the walls of a mining cart. After studying the area up close, I realized I was standing in a caved in mine entrance. I gingerly walked around the area before inviting Adrianne over to join me. We then got out our lunch bags and enjoyed some watermelon and beats.

 

mineShaft

 

After we walked the river bed and the water hole we headed 2 miles back up the mountain to the camp and then she wanted to continue on to the bathing hole I built. I couldn’t wait to strip and wash all the bug bites and sweat off. Adrianne wasn’t shy at all but she just wasn’t feeling the desire to wash more than her feet so she sat on a ledge next to me.

 

bath

 

After we were refreshed I walked Adrianne to the dinner circle where she joined her friend and then I walked around to see if i could find Kristen. For the second day in a row, Kristen was no where to be found so I sat across from Adrianne.

Rain clouds were starting to build up and approach so as soon as the last dish was served I ran back to my hammock to cover everything and get my night bag and clothes.

I returned to the center circle for the sunset. The rain was redirecting over the neighboring ridge so I commenced my evening yoga and meditation while the drums and dancers went on around me. As dark set in, I went to join Fantuzzi at the ancient stories tent and fire. As I approached, he was leading a song as usual. Every time I come across such a sing along jam session I recorded them on my phone. There will be a link to the edited tracks here soon.

After the jam concluded, I went up to GFunk to experience the Gong Show. On the way up the mountain I encountered a lovely goddess of middle eastern descent named Joyti. Her ancestors were from Iran and she had just returned with an amazing love story. She went to the opposite side of the world with a group she had never met before and bonded with a boy from her area of San Francisco. She fell for him and they made plans to keep traveling once they returned to the states. She was at Rainbow per his request. As she concluded her story we took our seats together in front of the stage and the lights came up.

The host of the show was a dead ringer for Chris Farley. His presentation as MC for the gong show was a real belly buster. The MCs assistants were a Joe Dirt impersonator complete with mullet and guitar and a BiSexual Cowboy dressed in full gear complete with chaps and a rope.

 

GongShow

 

While contestants were preparing, Joe Dirt would come out and sing a funny song. I turned to Joyti and started sharing my story about getting reacquainted with my first girlfriend after 17 years of lost contact. Over the next 2 hours we got treated to several wonderful talent acts and then she had to leave before it was over to meetup with her boyfriend. Anytime the audience got bored with the acts, they would flash their lights at the channel button on the tv, the judges would hit the gong and the cowboy would come out and rope the act off the stage. The audience repeatedly heckled calls for the acts to show their butts and at one point the MC shinned his light on the loud hippies as a whole row of them bent over with their pants down. The show concluded with a skit on breaking the ice between two strangers trying to hook up for the night. The one liners and their role playing had everyone laughing. As everything wound down, the cowboy came running around the front rows with his butt cheeks flapping out the back of the chaps.

After the gong show I found my way to the Aloha camp to catch up with Fantuzzi for some more late night camp fire singing from about 1-3am. Each campfire experience built upon the others it seemed like. The amount of energy and singing souls kept increasing from camp to camp and on this night the sounds totally lifted my spirit to a new level.

Everyone was embracing and singing or dancing. I thought to myself, “what a perfect way to end the day, if only it could be like this every night!”

As the group concluded and dispersed, I made my way back to the hammock and passed out looking at the stars and dreaming about my recent encounters.

 

 

Friday July 4th, as I arose from my slumber I noticed the entire camp was silent and those around me were doing their morning tasks with the minimal amount of clatter possible.

After shaking my morning goobers, I stumbled over to the Krishna kitchen and volunteered to was dishes. A man approached unaware of the morning meditation and prayer silence, and he began asking me when food would be served. As he turned to ask the kitchen, I noticed his glasses on the ground beside me so my natural reaction was to verbally get his attention. My krishna organizer gave me the shhh sign and I then went on my way.

 

Krishna

 

I was off to find a good meditation spot before heading over to center circle. I worked my way down to circle, stopping a few times along the way to do some poses. Once I reached the circle I laid out my tarp and began my normal yoga practice. As the moments passed, more and more gathered around me doing their thing. As the silent clock struck noon, several elders approached the middle and broke the silence instructing everyone to form inner and outer circles.

I stayed with the mid elders in the second center circle while the oldest and most spiritual varieties joined hands closer to the peace pole. About 10000 others formed larger circles surrounding as far as the eye could see around our horizon. Ohmes started resonating from deep within those near the peace pole and then spread like a wild fire amongst those in the outer circles.

 

9 years to the day my father passed away from multiple cancer issues so the 4th of July has its own deep spiritual meaning for me. While in the circle of energy I prayed for my father and held his spirit in my heart as my body began to shake. I was already being overwhelmed with the surrounding love of thousands when the children began descending from the mountain top.

The children and parents were parading down the mountain singing hymns and carrying flags and banners. As the entered each circle they marched around clockwise until finally working their way to the peace pole. Everyone joined in unisentual chants as tears of happiness poured from my eyes and the elders on both sides of me soon followed.

After reaching a climactic volume and returning to near silence, the leading elders, including Fantuzzi, shouted out in a final prayer and then drums began beating. Louder and louder the drums pounded as the circles separated and people began dancing and celebrating.

 

PrayerDance

 

I began walking towards the happiness kitchen across the path from center circle. I knew that was the main hangout for Kira and it was about time to check in with her. The timing was perfect as I spotted her on my walk and asked her what the plan was. “I think I’ll be ready as the sun starts setting,” Kira told me. “See if you can find the girls and let them know to pack up and meet at happiness camp at dinner time.”

I was expecting to have one more night so I was a bit bummed but I knew I needed to return to my storage unit project and get it done. I headed towards the girls at tea time camp on the thumb trail. As I neared the creek bridge, I spotted them walking towards me. It was perfect as it saved me from using up my final hours tracking them. After passing on the message, I headed to my hammock to pack everything up. After packing I strolled passed the party at center circle and over to happiness kitchen. I helped find servers and then filled up my plate.

I had long since given up hope of ever finding my hiking friend again. As I approached the camps eating circle I noticed the back of a familiar looking figure. As I came around her side I tried not to be too obvious but I about fainted when I discovered it was my Kristen right there before my very eyes. All week I had prayed for a chance to give her my information and in my final moments when all hopes had nearly vanished, there she was.

She was in a deep conversation so I waited until she finished and then joined my ongoing conversation with my neighbor and Kristens. Bella and Layce joined in and then before long, Kira was ready to go.

I swapped contacts and hugs with Kristen and then the four of us began our 2 mile hike back to the car. Bella was wasted and could barely walk let alone carry her gear so I hiked beside them at a super slow pace. As we neared the trail head I picked up my pace out of frustration in order to tell Kira to go on a head and pull the car as close to the rest of us as she could.

Kira and I turned around to holar at the girls and they had vanished. With no sight of them after a few minutes of waiting, we began hiking back down the trail expecting one of them to be taking a nature break. With no sign of them after hiking beyond the point I last left them, we began yelling their names and then asking everyone we passed if they had seen two girls walking with a sleeping bag drooped over their head. Finally someone mentioned they witnessed the girls getting dropped off a mile up the road at bus town. At this point Kira and i had hiked an extra 30 minutes in full gear and were cussing profusely how teenagers need constant supervision. I didn’t think nothing of it then but back at the parking lot at the trail head I had noticed a van load of people out of the corner of my eye. It turned out that Bella and Layce had hoped in that van.

Kira and I didn’t have confirmation of that yet though so we made the decision to continue on to the car and worry about them if they weren’t there. As we neared bus town we continued asking by passers if they had seen them and before long someone mentioned they saw them getting out of a van up ahead. As we entered bus town, there was a barricade of law enforcement hassling whoever they felt like apparently. We slipped by them and then stopped at a group of 6 rowdy youngsters drinking by an open van about another 50 feet up the road.

I again asked, “have you seen two girls wrapped in a sleeping bag hiking past here looking like they are about to fall over.” They said that they were the ones whom gave them a lift and that they were probably at the car already. I got harsh and lectured them on hiking buddy etiquette. “Never allow girls that fucked up to get separated from their group,” I hollered out of frustration. They apologized saying they had no idea the girls had others with them.

Once Kira and I got back at the car, Bella and Layce were there waiting with a couple brothers. We both gave them a quick verbal lashing and then dropped the subject after speaking our peace. After hiking an extra 30 minutes and losing our day light to see the dangerous mountain road, we were really pressed to find our happy place for the first few hours of our drive. The girls had not bathed for several days and the mud and body paint showed it. Thankfully they had Lavender oil to keep the car odor pleasant.

 

departure

 

We safely made it down the mountain pass as fireworks lit the sky. By 3am we were ready for a pit stop in Rawlins WY. As we pulled into the truck stop I noticed a hat by the pump. I went over to get a closer look. It was a new $30 climate gear Adidas hat. Total ground score!! And that was not even the best part of the night. Once inside, the place was practically empty. I walked around the corner to the bathroom and about collided with one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. Ashley was working in the back and it was just the two of us. “I bet you could name 10 other things you rather be doing right now,” I told her. “What do you have in mind?, she flirted back. “Well, when you are ready to blow this joint look me up and I’ll hook you up with our caravans. We are always on an adventure somewhere. We are passing through from the Rainbow Gathering right now actually.”

“If I had a place for my pup and paid a fine I owe, I would walk out right now,” Amanda pleaded. We exchanged contacts and I told her we would be napping in the parking lot until sunrise.

Amanda and I would become facebook friends and stay in touch from then on. She moved a week later to a park community east of Salt Lake City where she wouldn’t be stranded with nothing but a grave yard shift at a truck stop in her life. I’m sure its just a matter of time before we are carpooling or meeting up at a festival.

We went on our way and reached my final destination in Grand Island about noon. I had been telling the girls all morning that there were sandpit swimming holes so they were anxious to stop at the closest one to my home. I took them to my favorite spot at LE Ray on the south eadge of GI. I led them to a peninsula that has a secluded beach away from highway view and stripped down. I dove in and by the time I surfaced the girls were slowly adapting their birthday suits to the clean pure aquifer water.

There were only a few others within view. A jogger stopped mid stride and a father son team turned their canoe around as quick as they came around a bend as we laughed and sunk into the water.

The girls were not shy about dressing in full view on the beach as we headed back to the car. Once at my moms house we all got out and gave each other hugs and I showed them how to get back to the interstate. As they drove away it started to dawn on me that one of my greatest short term adventures had just concluded.

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Comments
  1. denise says:

    That was such a clear, vivid story……I felt as if I too had been there…….thanks for a great mental adventure……

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