On July 10th, I went back to the site of the Rainbow Gathering to check out the progress of the cleanup. As I went in the front gate, I was a bit surprised how few cars there were. There were about 3 along the road (FR119) and a handful at the main gate, or "A" camp. In all there was less than 10 vehicles near the main entrance.
But, as I hiked down the trail, there were people hiking out. And once I got down to the Main Meadow, there were still lot's of people around. I met Breeze at "A" camp and had a nice chat about his oven he built at the kitchen there, and other things ...
Down at the Main Meadow, I talked with "Tigger" and then near the Granola Funk site (now cleaned up), I met Chris and his buddy who built the infamous "Z" bridge.
After walking through most of the area, I realized that it's mostly cleaned up and restored already! Some of the bridges are removed and a lot of the structures are gone (Granola Funk Stage for example). Most of the big kitchens are already gone, and there is hardly any trace of them. The cleanup job is impressive!
Yes, there is evidence of damage left behind, but compared to an oil operation, it's really nothing to complain about! Even hunters and fisherman who often consider themselves conservative or environmentally friendly, cause more damage in much smaller numbers, than this group of 12,000 did.
This day (July 10th) there were still about 200 people at the Gathering site.
It's relatively early into the clean up, but I'm very impressed with what I saw!
Peace and love!
A hippie dog with a backpack - leaving home!
Floats left in swimming hole- they may still be in use
The water system still intact
Art hanging from tree
The Goshawk nesting tree was in this roped off area and was not disturbed
The main meadow
A fire pit
The extension ladder that "mysteriously" arrived on scene
An abandon umbrella without a shaft
Looking east in the main meadow
One of the few bicycles I seen at the gathering!
This is where the Granola Funk stage was set up
And this is where the grass hut was standing
The great "Z" Bridge that is partially dissembled
This is the master engineer who built the "Z" bridge
It was hard to tell what camps might still be in use and which are abandon. This one might be still in use .......
.....Where this might be abandon bedding. Way too many tents and sleeping bags are just thrown out by the Rainbows! Too bad they can't decontaminate them and re-cycle, like good earth friendly environmentalists would!
The remnants of "CALM"
Abandon clothing- also a great waste
The Toetum pole- A historic monument that should be left on scene- as a perminent historical marker- How often does 12,000 people meet in a national forest in one central gathering? For the record, nobody died, nobody hurt bad, and one person was born!
The main swimming hole! Looks inviting don't it? Now imagine it with twenty something nude Rainbows in it! Too stagnant for me to get in!
Another makeshift bridge
They need more dog food! Apparently those who brought big dogs, didn't carry a 50lb bag of dog food with them to feed their dogs for a week (or more) .... Maybe next time leave the dam dogs home! (Dogs don't use the latrines!)
Here's one use for an abandon tent .... a billboard!
The rainbow pole
Where do you get this material?
A very cool natural shelter in the woods
"All are welcome to hang out around this debris hut- make yourself at home"
The bedding was rain soaked, so I guess this might be abandon and in need of clean up
A back view of the "debris hut". I would imagine the hunters in this area would appreciate a well built lean-to like this
Stone art- something else that could be left behind
These were a distance from the main meadow and I believe these are abandon camps
The sign says "Gone fishin'"
Somebody hopped out of here with one flip flop!
Now this is a dangerous thing to leave behind! Just off trail, somebody could walk or mountain bike into this rusty pipe- left behind by the oil industry many years ago
Obviously the forestry hasn't yet asked the oil industry to remove this when they left! An obvious "double standard"? It's easier to pick on hippies than oil producers!
For some odd reason, the paint on the trees and signs were done AFTER the Gathering! Not sure if this was done by Rainbows
A shady shelter from the scalding sun!
The trail leading away from home!
It seems to go on for ever! But it's actually only two miles!
Why the added painted arrows?
This is where the green alien camp was- cleaned up nicely!
The long trail back to the car- An abandon rail road grade at this section
On my way back to my car, I took a short cut through the woods, around "A" camp. I ran into this deer that was "observing" the A camp goings on .... I snuck up on her. And for some odd reason she let me get very close. As you can see there are less and less leaves between me and her ... I ended up getting within 10 yards or so before I shouted "BOO" and sent her bouncing off!
After- This is where the green alien camp was- cleaned up nicely!
After- This is where the Granola Funk stage was set up
Before- The thatch dome hut and the main entrance to Granola Funk
After- all gone!
Before- the "Z" bridge
After- This is the master engineer who built the "Z" bridge, after it was returned to a "natural" log jam
If you would like to be added to my outdoors list, for trip announcements or trip reports of our outings in the Allegheny National Forest, just use the link below to contact me and I'll add you to the list.
NOTE: I fully understand that they intend to work on it until it is as restored as good as can be. I am just documenting it over a period of time, this is my first report! This will be an ongoing project for me. I'm giving "progress reports" not "premature" final verdicts!
Also from the mail bag: "There is a lot to be cleaned up still! And it WILL be cleaned. I especially enjoyed your before and after photos of the Granola Funk stage and some of the other sites. THAT is the kind of stuff that the Rangers and public needs to see! You are doing an awesome job of documenting this and I thank you for it! We all do. Your documentation and comments are very valuable, and will help keep the future Gatherings alive for another 38 years".
UPDATE:I got this in my e-mail on 7/26/10-
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