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Kenny’s introduction & guide to attending your first Rainbow Gathering; or “A Primer on Visiting the World of the Future”


With summer rapidly approaching, many of you are likely starting to get quite excited to attend your first Rainbow Gathering. This year, just like every year since 1972, thousands of beautiful humans will come together in a national forest to practice living cooperatively, walking lightly on the land, and loving each other. Every year, hundreds of people attend the Gathering for their first time, and this year in particular I’m excited to be bringing dozens of friends & family to their first, and so it only makes sense to create a little introductory walk-through to help ease things along for everyone 🙂

What is the Rainbow Gathering?

The Rainbow Gathering is a portal to the world of the future that those of us who identify as anarchists, voluntaryists, hippies, etc want to see come to pass. The Gathering is completely free, self-organizing, non-hierarchical, and operates entirely on volunteers, donations, and consensus-based decision-making. The first Gathering was in 1972, and it has since grown to over 100 annual events, the largest of which is the “US National” gathering: July 1st – 7th every year. For a WHOLE lot more details about the Gathering’s history, philosophy, and structure, please read my 5-part series “The Rainbow Gathering: 5 Decades of Beta-Testing Anarchist Society” (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), or watch the presentation I gave at this year’s Anarchapulco by the same title.

Where is the 2017 Gathering?

This year’s Gathering will be held in Oregon, in a National Forest as always. The exact location of the Gathering will be decided by consensus at Spring Council, in just under 2 weeks. As soon as the exact location is decided, GPS coordinates & directions will appear at the top of this page

What to bring

What I generally tell people is to bring your usual camping gear, a cup/bowl & spork, and whatever you want to share with everyone else at the Gathering. You can come in with an entire car-load of equipment, or you can simply bring the necessities, and trust that all will be provided for (and it will). For those of you who want a specific breakdown, here’s a guide I found a couple of years ago:

How to get involved

Every single thing that gets done at Rainbow happens because someone volunteered to do it. As with most things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out of it. If you want to have the most life-changing experience possible at the Gathering, I highly recommend helping out often, and in a variety of ways. There is always something to be done, from cutting vegetables to helping someone carry their gear in, from collecting and chopping firewood to digging shitters. Any time you’re bored, just stop by Instant Soup (the 24-hour vegan kitchen where I cook), and we’ll have plenty of ways you can plug in and help us feed all the wonderful people.


How to get water & food

The most important things to bring to the Gathering are your cup/bowl and spoon/fork. As long as you have those things, food and water will just manifest for you left and right. Every evening at 6pm, the whole of the Gathering comes together for a family dinner, where you can try a huge variety of foods from a dozen or more kitchens. At any other time of day, there will be lots of other kitchens serving food to whoever is hungry, like my own kitchen: Instant Soup. We are (usually) the only kitchen around that serves food 24-hours/day. Water is similarly easy to come by, simply find the nearest kitchen, and chances are they will have a water filtration system. One of the goals when choosing a location for a Gathering is a water source to gravity-feed to the kitchens.

How to poop in the woods

At the Gathering, everyone uses trench latrines, called “shitters”, which are approximately 4 foot deep, 8 foot long composting toilets. From any kitchen or camp, there will generally be orange markers leading to the nearest shitter. When you finish, near the toilet paper there will be a can of ash or lime, to be sprinkled on top of your poop to make sure flies don’t get to it and contaminate the food supply.


How to get to/from the Gathering

There are an unlimited number of ways to make your way to the Gathering, from the most simple like driving your own car from your house to the gathering, all the way to train-hopping like my good friend Stxs. Probably the largest number of people get to the Gathering by hitch-hiking or piling into a bus full of hippies and car-pool there. Some of the tools that I highly recommend are the Ride-Share options on Craigslist or Facebook. To use CL, simply go to the closest major city to where you are, go to ride-shares, and make a post explaining where you are and where you’re trying to get to. What is even more successful are the FB Rainbow/Hippie ride-share groups, a few of which I’ll list here for you:


Of all the events I’ve attended, from festivals to conferences, retreats to seminars, there is nothing I recommend as highly as the Rainbow Gathering. The combination of being a truly anarchist, self-organizing event, being the only one which doesn’t involve money, fossil fuels, cities, or anything else of Babylon, and being the one place where everyone truly remembers that they are, and acts like family, make it a breath-taking experience. Also, based on my understanding of how the universe works, the most effective way to manifest something is to act as if you already have it, and that’s exactly what Rainbow is, thousands of people acting as if they already have a world of freedom, peace, cooperation, love, and abundance.

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Taking the scenic route. 6 days from Portland to Denver, and all of the beauty in between

Last week, I hit the road with my cousin from Portland to Denver, heading out to catch a series of events with We Are Change Colorado. This was the first time I’ve done the trip between OR & CO without being in a hurry to get to an event, so we spent 6 days working our way east, camping and checking out some of the beautiful nature in between. Here’s the run-down of my journey, featuring lots of photos and my recommendations for the next time you’re traveling the same path.

Day 1: Crossing Oregon

We got out of Portland at a decent hour, and immediately pushed to get some good distance for the day. We skipped Multnomah Falls as we had both been many times, and it was quite busy, and probably would have killed our momentum a bit. I HIGHLY recommend checking it out, and the side-trails just about a mile down from the main tourist location lead to even more beautiful waterfalls. A little further down the freeway, we stopped at the Washington Stonehenge, a beautiful structure just off I-84, that most people have no idea is there.
This thing is such an awesome piece of construction, and it offers AMAZING photo opportunities, especially around sunset. The thing that is not so cool about this Stonehenge is the intention behind it; it was built as a memorial for local troops who died in WWI. The centerpiece of this monument is a plaque that reads (when translated from double-speak & euphemisms) “We immortalize the sacrifice of these poor souls who were tricked into fighting for the profit & power of others, in order to ensure that more young men will be easily tricked into killing & dying for the benefit of those same parasites”
Besides visiting the henge, we drove straight through the day, ending up Boise just before sunset. I had found a campground for us on Free Campsites, so we drove through downtown, through the suburbs, and into the hills. The campsite was just a couple of miles down a road that my cousin’s Corolla could barely make it down. The site was absolutely gorgeous, with a wonderful view west across all of Boise.
Boise Sunset
Setting up camp took a little while, mostly because the ground was too hard to drive stakes into. About the time I began drifting off to sleep, the wind decided to roll in; suddenly the rocks holding down the corners of my tent were no longer cutting it. I ended up having to get up, go to the car, and bring over everything that I own in order to weigh down my tent to the point that it would stop collapsing on me. Even with all the excitement, I still felt energized & well-rested when I woke up that morning.

Day 2: Meandering around Idaho

Our first day of actual sight-seeing started off with Balanced Rock, and on the way out to it we drove past a number of “geological sites” and “historical sites”. Upon backtracking to look at some of these, we were a little let-down to find that most were simply a pull-off from the highway with a big sign talking about something in history that happened in the area.
After monkeying around in the rocks for an hour or so while my cousin strolled around (that elevation change catches people off-guard), we headed into the nearby town of Buhl to visit the public library so we could charge electronics, use wi-fi, and come up with a plan. From there we wandered over to Twin Falls, ID, got some veggie burgers in town, and heading to the nearby Shoshone Falls.
Have I mentioned how much I love waterfalls? This place was beautiful, and not too busy. We had an entire area of picnic tables to ourselves to eat and burn one, then headed over to take in the scenery. I made some calls to friends in Utah, making some plans for the next couple of days, and then realized the fun that can be had with a phone camera’s “panorama” feature and weird angles.
Our plan was to next go check out the nearby ice caves and mammoth cave, but they were already closed for the day, so we headed over closer to the Utah border and found our campground for the night.

Day 3: Visiting SLC, land of the Mormons (queue South Park song)

The campsite we ended up with at the end of day 2 was quiet, well-forested, and next to a river, making for an amazing night’s sleep. Better yet, we got up that morning and headed straight for Lava Hot Springs to soak and relax for a couple of hours. After the springs, into Utah we went. The plan was to meet my friend @firstwords when he got home that evening, so we figured we’d knock out the tourist-y stuff in Salt Lake City that day. By the time we made it to the city, it was early afternoon and we were both very hungry, so we decided to land atThe Pie Hole, a local pizza joint that accepts Bitcoin.
PH Front
It’s become a regular thing for me, when approaching a town, to check online and see where all the local businesses that accept BTC are. As soon as I clicked on Pie Hole’s website and saw that they offer a daily vegan pizza, I immediately know where we’d be eating that day. The place has an awesomely low-key, retro vibe to it, arcade games in the back and everything. That day’s vegan slice was the “Mellvar”: spinach, bell peppers, onions, carrots, and cilantro with a hummus spread; let’s just say I started with 2 slices and went back for 2 more. The employees were both extremely friendly, and the BTC process went much easier than it has in many places. I highly recommend this spot to anyone passing through SLC and looking for some delicious food, whether you are looking to spend BTC or not.
With our appetites sated, we started moving around the city, checking out a variety of the gardens & other tourist spots. First up was the Gilgal garden, a small park filled with sculptures and stone pathways engraved with bible verses. The range of statuary was extensive, from the broken-up body of a giant, to a sphinx with the head of Joseph Smith on it.
Next up was a visit to Temple Square, at which point my camera died, which is quite unfortunate. The architecture is well-documented online, but the things that really spoke to me and I wanted to share were the Bible quotes all over the walls in the basement of the “North Visitor Center”, all about being of service to others and doing the right thing. I just realized how interesting it is that those are downstairs, tucked away in one area… This same building, on the top floor has a BEAUTIFUL mural of the cosmos.

There was so much beauty in the Temple Square (statues, paintings, architecture), but it’s hard to be there without your skin crawling more than a bit, seeing the amount of energy that so many people are pouring into that belief system. After the square, we headed out of town to meet up with friends, and ended up talking well into the morning.

Day 4: Hiking in the foothills

It was nice to sleep indoors for a night, and in the morning we all headed out into the hills for the day, to do some hiking and soak in that beautiful nature. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I LOVE trail-running, and the place we went was just perfect for it, so I would sprint out until I start feeling winded, then wait for everyone else to catch up. I forget the name of the “National” forest we were in, but there was a river running right through it, and on the other side of the highway had beautiful cliffs and rock structures to look out at.

Day 5: The International Peace Garden… and clouds of Mayflies

After saying our goodbyes to friends (and trading their housemate some Bitcoin for FRNs), we went back into SLC. This time we had lunch at The Blue Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant, splitting one of the amazing vegetable combos that they all seem to have, and meeting up with my friend Brett. After eating, we made our way to the International Peace Garden, and spent quite a few hours wandering around there and taking in all the art & plants from around the world.
After wandering the park for most of the afternoon, we headed out to Utah Lake to set up camp for the night. The mile-long road from the highway down to the lake had a mile-long cloud of mayflies hovering about 10 feet above it, as did the entire beach of the lake. The sound of trillions of bugs was a little disconcerting, especially before we confirmed that they were not mosquitoes. While gathering firewood, we found quite a few black widows in the area, and about the time we headed to our tents, we got to listen to a rodent of some kind scream for a few minutes as it was killed by (presumably) a snake… a macabre lullaby for sure.

Day 6: Entering Colorado; sacred geometry on street-corners and blasting off in the forest

The sunrise on Utah Lake was magnificent, and we woke up motivated to make some good distance again, since we were now just 1 day from the first event in Denver. Down the the I-70 we went, and it was time to cross into Colorado again. We pretty much drove straight through to Glenwood Springs, a nice little town (where Doc Holladay died). We decided to stop so we could charge & wi-fi at the library, walk around town, and get something to eat. We had lunch at The Grind, and WOW!, their falafel burger was absolutely amazing, quite possibly the juiciest falafel I’ve ever eaten.
After eating, we stopped into a local crystal shop, poked our heads into a dispensary ($18+/gram… just ridiculous), and prepared to roll out. The campsite I had found for the night was only about 25 miles east, and there was only one remotely tricky part in finding it:
The site itself was right up against the Colorado River, and there were a good 10 camps altogether, 3 of which were occupied. We set up camp, had some food, and I spent about an hour gathering firewood. The “wood” was mostly dried vines, small twigs, and a few actually branches, so needless to say it took longer to gather than to burn. Once I was satisfied with the fire, I pulled out the little pouch of 5-MeO a friend had given me, and sat in prayer for a few minutes. Whenever taking in psychedelic medicines, it is VERY important to create a container for yourself, call in the support, guidance, and healing you are looking for, and give thanks to the medicine and everyone who helped it come to you.
As soon as I took my first hit off the pipe, I started to get fractals and other visuals like I’m used to with psychedelics. After the second hit, my body began to feel disconnected from my mind, and I was just able to take a third hit before I had to lay back down on the dirt. I don’t really remember any specific details of what I saw, but I remember them all being things I had experienced in this life, but with the overwhelming sense of being at home, cuddled up nest-like. This was the farthest I’ve ever gone with DMT, and I feel like I was about to go even further down the rabbit hole, but I got that feeling like I might lost control of my bowels, and as soon as my mind connected with that and I started to clench, my trip started winding down. I spent the next hour meditating with the fire, then went into my tent for the night, and wrote about 3 pages before going to sleep 🙂

Day 7: Hello Denver! Just in time for some amazing live music

Waking up right next to the Colorado River… you’ve got to try it. There was still enough firewood piled to get warmed up for the morning, and after breaking down camp, it was time to finally head into the big city. We spent the day walking around downtown Denver, stumbled across the Topless Parade, hung out down by a creek for many hours, and visited a couple of my friends, before heading to the Liberty Lodge for the night’s festivities.

sneak peek at the food I made that night

To Be Continued…

Next up will be my adventures in Denver last week, including a speaking event by Adam Kokesh, a fundraiser for the pipeline protest in North Dakota, an open mic, a few concerts, and much more. Be sure to follow me to follow my travels.

Feeding the Masses… For Free!

One of the most common questions I get from people about my travels is how I manage to stick with my organic vegan diet while traveling with almost no money, and more than that, feed tons of people that same medicine food. There is no one answer to that, as it involves a combination of home-grown foods, farmers’ markets, shopping the “reduced produce” shelf, and… dumpster diving.

What a usual dumpster run looks like.
What a usual dumpster run looks like.

For some reason, “western” culture is so dedicated to upholding the illusion of scarcity that businesses would rather toss pounds of food every day into the landfill than lower their prices a little bit. A lot of people tend to get stuck on that inefficiency, complaining about the percentage of food in America that ends up in the trash, and sometimes even asking for violent threats to be used against any company that throws edible food away. As with any issue, once you are aware of it, the best thing you can do is focus on possible solutions to it. In this case, by simply visiting your local grocery stores a little after they close, you are not only feeding people for free, but you are turning a “loss” as the company sees it into abundance.

Like so many things in the paradigm that we are transitioning out of, the idea that there isn’t enough food is not only based on a scarcity-mindset (and therefore not in alignment with reality), but is factually untrue.

This slideshow from last night, Saturday, March 12th, shows what our abundance-reclamation team came up with on a very short run, about 15 miles round trip and maybe an hour of our time. Besides 20+ pounds of potatoes (none of which were soft, sprouted, or moldy), 5 bags of apples (each of which had 2-3 smashed ones and 8-10 perfect ones), this particular evening one store had emptied its meat freezer.

While I personally do not consume meat, I know a lot of people who will eat these finds. The only thing I find worse than raising these animals in captivity for the explicit purpose of killing them, is to then throw away the meat, which is the entire justification for the genocide to begin with, “We need meat to feed people”. All of this meat was still packaged, still frozen, and it will be perfectly usable for many months to come. Sticker price on all this meat was just about $690. Let that sink in for a minute…

Here’s the breakdown of the meat that was tossed out:

  • 11x Beef Tenderloin (7oz)
  • 9x New York Strip (10oz)
  • 4x Rib-eye (10oz)
  • 10x Beef Stew Meat (16oz)
  • 3x Whole Chickens (~4Lbs)
  • 1x Chicken Breast (1Lb)
  • 1x Pork Chop (1Lb)
  • 1x Salmon Filet (8oz)

That’s well over 25 pounds of meat. 25 pounds of animal flesh, that would not even have been able to break down and feed insects & micro-organisms if we hadn’t reclaimed it, as it was all sealed in plastic.

We live in a universe of infinite abundance. Any time there seems to be scarcity, not enough of something, it’s an illusion.