I’ve been touring the country “mostly solo” (and now with a Real Dog!) for over 5 years now, and initiated myself into the Rainbow in 2015 in Colorado. That year, the National Gathering was in South Dakota, only a month before the CO regional that I arrived at, very literally, on my 30th birthday. It was an important year for me, and for Rainbow culture as well. That year, during Nationals time, there was a Great Lakes regional gathering happening as well. Obviously (if you have Logic), I was not there, but I remember hearing a LOT about it at 2016 Nationals in Vermont. Word of mouth and my research both show me that, that year, Michigan Regional was quite the gathering. In fact, it is the ONLY Regional that is mentioned on the “Annual Gathering History” given on greatlakesrainbow.info.
What actually happened there is only knowable to those who were there. I only picked up on the vibes, and let me tell you, it was something else again.
The location is still available on the Web:
So, on my way back East after Wisconsin 2019, I navigated my way to the site, to see what it looked like: did it show evidence of a heavy presence there, 4 years later?
I’ll tell you right off the bat that I did NOT walk into the trailhead. There were a few reasons for this: first, it just didn’t feel “right.” I always do my best to trust my intuition. Something told me that I didn’t have to, or shouldn’t. Perhaps there were spiritual reasons for this, or maybe practical. I got a sense that if I did go in there, it may have led to a multi-day expedition and journey, and I was not prepared for that. I had just left 2019 Nationals. I wasn’t ready to expose myself to the shades of another past legendary Gathering. I would have picked up on so much stuff, but I was in decompression mode, pre-integration period. It was healthiest for me to stay outside this time. Anyway, I wasn’t there in the first place. So I would have no way of comparing what it looked like now, to what it looked like then.
I WILL be soon publishing a Revisiting the Rainbow for the 2016 Nationals in Vermont. And, I WAS there, so the project will be much more extensive. Stay tuned, and let’s stick with what we have here, for now.
I took the directions that I found on the Great Lakes Regional Facebook page from back then, and drove in.
I found that it looked very much like any other Forest Service Road. If the Gathering had about 2000 people (see this local news article citing 450 at seed camp, and estimating 2000 at full; I have a feeling it was more like 3000), let’s assume 4 people per vehicle. That’s 500 vehicles on this road. You can’t see any impact. It just looks like any other road. Perhaps it may be wider than it was before?
My writing is more exciting than the content, this time.
There was a little “boulevard” (or a two-track road with some fresh leafy greenies popping up in the middle)
The trees here are really beautiful.
But I was hit in the heart when I saw this:
I’m no arborist but that looks like logging. If anyone with more expertise in this area of knowledge thinks it’s something else, please correct me.
One of the things we (as Rainbow Gatherers) do is defend the Forests against Those Who Threaten The Trees. Even just our being there is an occupation. We know that, and the Forest Service knows that, too. The real question is, who is Serving the Forest? Well, it isn’t the ones cutting down live wood, is it? I mean, hello… hi!!! Duh!!! Worthwhile questions to ask. Ultimately, the Rainbow People and the Forest Service are on the same side. We both give our lives as we live them to the preservation and sanctity of the Forest and Trees. The Forest Service knows that, too, deep down, though they have to suck up to the USA Government, which inherently makes them double agents, or mediators, if you will. The thing is, though, you can only serve one Mistress. I choose Gaia. Hi, guys. Welcome Home. Love you. Stay safe and sane and consensual.
For those of you who made it to the end, here’s a video I took while driving down the road. You can see the environs much better this way.
Can’t catch me ridin’ dirty… from all that dirt on my feet from the Huron-Manistee National Forest, brah’!!!!!