Posted by: adventuressetravels | June 3, 2011

Fresh off the Boat

Fresh off the boat I had no plans other than a ticket to Kansas for my father’s 80th, but the flight wasn’t until the 24th.  I had 2 weeks to kill, what would I do in Florida for two weeks?  I was back on land!  The possibilities were endless…

Permaculture, a boy I had met the previous summer wrote me to see if I wanted to come on a road trip to a festival with him.  I didn’t have plans so I called him, a road trip and a festival sounded great.

Permaculture assured me that I would love the festival.  It was totally and completely indescribable, but wonderful.  It wouldn’t’ be like anything I had ever experienced.   The festival was near Tallahassee though, extremely far from Miami where my ticket was out of.

That wasn’t a problem, Permaculture assured me.  We could extend the road trip and drive to Kansas after the festival!  It would be great!  Now this was the type of madcap adventure I was all about.  I bought a bus ticket up to Miami and left a few hours later.

The next day, Permaculture picked me up in a white soccer-mom mini-van.  The 6’8” man looked very different from when I met him last summer.  He was wearing wire-framed glasses and had close-cropped dark hair, as opposed to the glasses-less indie-shaggy hair with sun highlights from the previous summer.   It was a long way to Tallahassee and there was no time to lose.  We were embarking on an adventure!

We drove late into the night before pulling over and getting a few hours of sleep in the van.  Northern Florida was cold in March.

It was afternoon before we found ourselves driving down a long dirt road in the middle of the woods.  I was exhausted and just wanted to set up Permaculture’s tent and go to sleep.  By this point I had deduced that the Rainbow festival involved camping, but beyond that I couldn’t get much out of him.  Indescribable was about as specific as he got.

At last we made the final turn-off and rolled into the Rainbow gathering.  I froze … tie-dye, Jerry Garcia shirts, and dirt-smeared faces greeted my gaze.  Broken-toothed gutter-punks in ripped black shirts with dreads smeared with a layer of filth so old it could vote crouched by an ancient van to one side of the road.  Less than a minute in the Rainbow gathering and I could already tell.  This was not my scene.

In the middle of nowhere, with no sleep, no cell phone, no cell phone reception, and no one to get in touch with if I did have a phone I was on the verge of panicking.

Permaculture on the other hand, was in his element.  He thought this was all wonderful, but I was quite clearly not comfortable.  I wanted a way out, a way back to civilization, a way to undo this road trip.

“You haven’t had much sleep.  Give the gathering a chance.  It might look better in the morning,” he tried to calm me down.

I took a deep breath, I did need sleep.  I was pretty sure there was no way in hell the Rainbow Gathering would grow on me, and really hoped no parasites from the Rainbow Gathering started growing on me,  but I could look at it like a anthropologic study.  From an observer’s standpoint the whole thing really was interesting.


  1. Bad trip. Can’t win ’em all.

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