In 1972, disgruntled flower children realized they weren’t getting
laid anymore and the debauchery of cocaine and disco remained the stuff
of futuristic fantasy. They flocked to a forest in the wilds of Colorado
and prayed for peace in a week of communal bliss. The rag-tag band of
rebels known as the Rainbow Family continue to meet annually in lucky
expanses of unspoiled wilderness.
Utah’s Uinta Mountains drew the short straw this year.
I keep an open mind as my car chugs up the winding mountain pass on
a mission to blend into the gathering cornucopia of counter-culture.
With an open mind, devoid of pre-conceived notions, I eagerly await
my meeting with the unkempt hippie revellers having group sex and doing
drugs in the muddy mountains above me. I am born anew. For once, I won’t
be the guy who ran into Wizards and Dreams yelling, “If Jerry
Garcia hadn’t died, I would’ve killed him with this rubber
Having logged time at the Suge Knight Fantasy Camp and a Klan Rally/family
reunion, my weighty credentials as an undercover journalist prepare
me for the unexpected.
Monday, June 30
“Welcome home, brother.” I was greeted at the “gate”
to the gathering with a patchoulli-soaked hug and a hearty bowl of “welcome
soup.” The “denizens” of the rainbow “camp”
divide daily “duties” equally “among” the self
proclaimed “non-members.” The “camp” contains
“several” communal “kitchens,” including a “site”
outfitted for “Kosher” cuisine.
I helped myself to an ale described colorfully as “the bucket
for tobacco spit” and soon encountered an ailment the poetic pranksters
call “the shits.” A round of “vomiting my spleen across
the room” followed soon after.
Tuesday, July 1
I can honestly say that I’ll never get sick of frenetic dancing.
Nor will I ever tire of a dead-ringer for Gandolf the Wizard espousing
his love for me a dozen times over hits of bong resin.
“The Man” infiltrated Camp Rainbow today. The bear-tagging
bastards at the Forest Service received complaints from other campers
about naked men walking up to a group of Girl Scouts and demanding pot
roast and black-tar heroin. The five-O brought guns into a land of love
and made us turn down The Best of Bread album we were jamming. We joined
hands and sang “Itsy Bitsy Spider” as a form of protest.
Wednesday, July 2
All I can say is that there are two kinds of people in the world…those
who get a sunburn on one arm while driving and those who do not.
reporter Craig Froehlich plays the flute for "welcome soup"
at this year's Rainbow Family Gathering.
Well, I know what another word for “hippie toilet” is…it’s
called a ditch.
The gathering is now a full fledged freakfest. Thousands of artists
and vagabonds—and a variety of other people with aversions to
bathing—approach me asking for money. An alcoholic with a lazy
eye and a bad attitude offered to trade a cup of peanut butter with
gravel in it for my Gore tex rain parka. I declined.
These people bastardize Eastern Religions faster than Madonna in a burka.
The chants are never-ending and sometimes dancing can even be too frenetic
for my tastes.
I met the future mother of a my children—a supple, young nymphet
who promptly made out with a heavily pierced boy whose head resembled
a fishing lure.
They call her Floppy Girl, due to her love for floppy straw hats or,
perhaps, her decade-long rejection of brassieres.
Friday, July 4
Whoever says LSD won’t reveal God and all the heavens above never
had a tree try to eat them.
A visit to Sir Dragon DumArse’s Acid Bath opened up a brave new
world for me. In this world, I actually enjoy drum circles and try to
sit down in the campfire every chance I get.
I made sweet love to Floppy Girl, only to discover it was actually Gandolf
with a toilet seat on his head.
I was just happy to see an actual toilet seat for the first time in