Internet technology intersects tree hugging 24/7 woods hippie culture

sillyhead (
Thu, 19 Aug 1999 02:16:51 -0500 (CDT)

A few years back, I got word that there were a bunch of hippies in the
woods near where I lived down in south Mississippi. Always having felt
left out, and wishing we'd been born sooner, my best friend and I grabbed
a cooler, some blankets, hit the beer store and headed into the woods to
find them. After following tiny hints, asking cops and knocking on a
redneck's door at 11pm ("Um, yes, have you heard of any hippies in the
woods around here" -oops-), we pulled up to A-Camp, the first "kitchen"
or "klan" of hippies one runs into when arriving at a rainbow gathering.
They were wise, friendly, smelly, and had really cool stories to tell.
And they wanted our beer. Beer's not allowed inside the gathering, so we
happily surrendered ours and trotted off down the trail toward the sound
of drums. When we came upon the circle, my life took a swerve. It was
like walking into a book, a groovy one filled with drums, patchoulie,
pretty smiles, lots of drugs. I dropped out of college and hit the road,
living from Ntl forest to Ntl forest for 8 months. It was magic, scary,
blissful, hard work that got me a step further to here.

Anyhow, I grew up, got myself back in school, took a degree and landed a
kickass job, all the time dreaming of a day when I can be out
there whenever I want, and still have a safe place to come back to. The
weekend of the fourth was 6 years since I'd been to a Gathering, and the
big ones are on the fourth, the ones with, oh, 30K hippies or so, and we
had nothing better to do, so we went.

It was in PA, and it was at least 90 degrees at midnight most nights. And
we were trying to carry too much shit in; the hike was 1.5 miles in, but
over some pretty treacherous ground, so we basically wore ourselves out.
I tried to enjoy it, but I was too fucking tired. (: But I made it to
Tea Time, my home kitchen, or klan, saw some old friends, ate some really
good venison, heard some new songs and lots of old chants....and saw a
Rainbow Wedding:

His hair was blonde and punked up a bit on the top, his skin pale and
sweaty, and I think he was wearing a skirt. I couldn't see her very well,
as the only light was from the moon and a small gas lantern, but she was
smiling. The MC was a discordian lunatic who directed a semi-kinky collar
exchange and chanted too quickly things we wouldn't have understood
anyway. We congratulated them and sent them on their way to go be
extremely hedonistic or something.

Anyhow, the next day, the groom came up to us, and was all excited about
my roommate's cap, a Linux cap, going on and on about irc and how he's
jonesing, loves linux, etc we talked some more and I told him
that, as a wedding gift, I'd give him a shell. (: I just think it's
pretty neat to sit on IRC and talk with him and teatimer, who's another
person I met at this gathering and who was a "road dog" for 7 years. We
talk about the woods and the people and chant the chants

Another exciting thing about it is that there is a plan in place to buy
a parcel of land and the materials to build a house and a farm, or
large garden, depending on how many pepole will actually live there,
for the Tea Timers, whether fulltime, vacationing, or blissing out as
weekend warriors. We have a maillist, mostly comprised of folks with
hotmail, yahoo, etc email accounts who occasionally hit a cafe, or run
into a warm soul who's let him/her stay then night and use the computer.
It's gone really crazy, Tea Time has. We always did say "This is Tea
Time, the gathering is over there," or "What gathering? We're just hangin
out in the woods cookin tea!" and have always had the prankster mentality
(TRIPPERS BEWARE OF TEA TIME!), so I guess it's not too crazy that a bunch
of hippies are hanging out on the net. It's the next place to go. And
besides, the US govt.'s not too fond of us gathering peacably anymore. click on the Forest Service Regulations link. (:
and, (nope, no pics of me there.)