We will gather peacefully for silent meditation the morning of July 4th, 2018 from dawn until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the southern Appalachian Mountains. DIRECTIONS TO THE GATHERING ARE HERE (and contain road closure info, and other critical information. This post is updated frequently so check back for the latest.To learn how to get into the gathering without getting a mandatory court appearance ticket, click here.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Meeting with USFS Resource Folks on June 25

Hi everyone who is in the area,

There will be a meeting with the USFS Resource folks at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 25. The meeting will take place at CALM.  This is the perfect time to discuss access for handicapped people, how to protect the Hellbender Salamander and to find out what areas to avoid to protect the endangered carnivorous pitcher plant and swamp pink that lives in bogs in the area.

All folks on the land are strongly encourage to attend to find out how we can protect the beautiful area in which we are gathering. Be there, get there early, bring snacks for people as it may be a long meeting, bring drinking water.

Preliminary information on sensitive species in the area is available here.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Court on June 25 in Gainsville Georgia

Hi everyone,

There is a mandatory court appearance for many people who received federal tickets on Monday, June 25 in Gainsville, Georgia.

People with Forest Service tickets should be seen by the federal court:

Honorable J. Clay Fuller, United States Magistrate Judge121 Spring Street S.E., Suite 106
Gainesville, GA 30501

Courtroom: 103
Chambers: 106
        Chambers Phone:           (678) 450-2790
        Courtroom Deputy:           (678) 450-2792

I will update this blog post if I get additional information.

It would be really helpful if people who care would bring food to share. Also, legal assistance is needed for people who have tickets. So if you are an attorney who can practice in Georgia or if anyone you know is an attorney who can practice in Georgia and you have time to come down and assist people, your karma will be enhanced.

Also since court starts early in the morning, it would be helpful if there was a place in Gainesville, Georgia for people to sleep at on Sunday evening so they could travel on Sunday and get cleaned up before their court appearance on Monday morning. Many people who have received citations do not have the money for a motel.  Any help either by letting people sleep in a garage or by helping people get motel rooms would be much appreciated.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Please protect our sensitive species

Updated 6/24/18 6:15 p.m. eastern time
Hi all,

This blog post will contain information on sensitive species. So far I only have information on the Hellbender Salamander but others will come.

Hellebender Salamander

To protect the Hellbender, do not move or disturb rocks in streams.
Hellbender Salamander
Please print out this flyer in color if you can and bring to your camp and post.  To learn more, read this article.

Swamp Pink

Swamp pink is a threatened species at both the state and federal level.

Swamp Pink in Bloom
It lives in shady seepage swamps and sphagnum bogs with continually saturated, though not flooded, soils; often occurs with red maple, purple pitcherplant, mountain laurel, rosebay rhododendron, and tag alder.

Learn more here.

Alterations in the hydrology that stem from increased runoff and poor wetland buffering can cause entire populations to die off.

Please print out this flyer in color if you can and bring to your camp and post.

Haley's Photos From the Gathering

Thanks to Haley Gilreath, a local reporter, I am able to share some of the photos she has taken during her coverage of the gathering.   To read her article on the gathering, click here.

Georgia ACLU Complaint Form

Hi all,

If you feel that you have been harassed, illegally detained/arrested, profiled, or otherwise had your
ACLU Georgia Logo
civil rights violated, please take them time to fill out a complaint form with the Georgia ACLU. It may not help your immediate problems, but creating a record of the number of civil rights and profiling violations will help us in the long run to get the forest service to back of.

Click here for the complaint form.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What is... The Rainbow Gathering?

A friend of mine started a blog to inform local and other about the Rainbow Gathering.

Click here for more information. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

USFS, Local Sheriff, Arrests and Check Points

I'm hearing that there is a mandatory and probably illegal checkpoint on the roads going into the gathering. People are being searched and their belongings gone through. This is a tactic the USFS uses every year to deter people from coming to the gathering.

If you are caught up in this "checkpoint," please video tape everything that you can, do not consent to a search of your vehicle or your person, do not admit anything. DO NOT ADMIT TO ANYTHING!

Know your rights!

Read Rap 420.

Read my rap on getting into the gathering.

Arrests by local sheriff or state police

 Apparently, if you are stopped on state land, the local sheriff is taking a zero tolerance approach to any amount of drugs. Some people have been arrested and taken immediately to jail. The  Lumpkin County Jail is supposed to have 120 beds. To see who is currently in the Lumpkin County Jail, click here.  If you search in descending order by arrest date, you will see arrests that may be related to people heading to the gathering. I see five for June 18 as of 5 p.m. eastern time. Some of these people were arrested for less than an ounce of weed and minor vehicle issues.

The Appalachian Drug Task Force (ADTF) is a Multi-Agency Narcotics Unit that serves Lumpkin, Towns, Union and White Counties in Northeast Georgia and is very active in the area around the gathering. Click here for more information on the ADTF.

Arrests by Federal law enforcement aka United States Forest Service

If you are ticketed by the FEDS (U.S. Forest Service), please go to your court date. For more information on how the federal citations work, click here.At the Missouri 1996 gathering, a summary judgement indicated that
the Court finds that the government's interest in general deterrence is not substantial enough to outweigh the liberty interests of Park and other Rainbow Family attendees. While the Court finds that the Forest Service has a legitimate concern on how to handle such a great influx of people on national forest lands, the Fourth Amendment prevents the Forest Service from flexing its law enforcement muscle as a way to accomplish that goal. The Forest Service may not use the Rainbow Family gathering as an excuse to canvas the myriad of participants—most of whom are law abiding—in hopes of ferreting out a few lawbreaker
For all the documentation on this case, click here. Unfortunately, this case was heard by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and the gathering is in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals so the case law may not be binding, but I'll leave that up to the lawyers to argue.

Be aware of illegal police actions and DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Critical Care Camp (CCC) and Handicamp Needs and Support (Guest Post)

Updated on 6/24/18 at 1:45 a.m. Eastern Time
 Karin's Note: Critical Care Camp is for people who need medical supervision as indicated below. Handicamp is for people with mobility issues who do not anticipate needing on-going medical supervision. If you have a handicapped placard, please show it to the parking crew and ask to be directed to Handicamp.  If you have serious medical conditions and would like to be directed to Critical Care Camp, please explain your situation to the parking crew. Too many able bodied people try to use these spaces and we're trying very hard to keep them for those in need.

The situation is in flux and the later your arrive, the hardier it will be to get a space in Handicamp as parking always runs out. Please be patient and plan on arriving early in the day so people can get you where you need to be.

****** Handicamp/CCC update as of 6/24.18 1:45 a.m. *****************

Handicamp/CCC (Critical Care Camp) report. I just talked to WSOTR by phone who is in town at the moment. They are set up about 6 to 8 miles from main circle and the Forest Service is preventing them from using the meadow that is closer that they preferred. There is a drop off point about 1/2 mile from main circle with a fairly level trail to hike in. Doesn't sound wheelchair friendly but there are plenty of sherpas available to help carry folks and their gear in if needed. In addition CALM (medical station) is between the drop off and main circle if folks want to stop and rest. It has been raining once or twice a day for short periods of time and it's muddy. The locals say it always rains some on July 4th.

*************** Copied from Facebook ****************

Critical . Care . Camp /Handycamp Wishlist

This is only our 2nd year and because we are relatively new we are still trying to put it all together. We are the camp that provides support for our family with heavy-duty health-related needs... including dialysis trips in and out, C-PAP and other generator needs, oxygen, etc. This year we will probably be adjacent to HandyCamp and will coordinate with them to meet Family needs.


kitchen folk 🆘

construction folk🔧

healers ✨👐✨

📢 ShantiSena parking aides

general support folk (fire tenders 🔥 and wood gatherers etc)

massage therapists 🙌 we are bringing one massage table

sherpas- 💪need cart and cart-pushers to get people inside to their camp of preference and
to help bring everybody in on July 4th

jokesters 👾 music makers🎼 heartbreakers

seed camp construction needs- we need seed camp constructors to help put up kitchen, create handwash and dishwash stations
make a built up common and kitchen firepits, dig shitters, create showers, put up tarps . . . . .

we need cart donations or help constructing carrying devices for people on the 4th and for those who want to camp inside

folks with good legal vehicles to make town runs & specifically 2 good “ambulance” type vehicles with keys to be left with our CCC focalizers for emergency evac needs🚨

just as for most ANY Rainbow kitchen/community camp

shovels, axes, bowsaws, hatchets, lanterns, flashlights

large tarps for shade/rain cover for camp and for prayer circle on the 4th and smaller tarps to cover woodpile and supplies etc

matches, lighters, propane tanks and fuel canisters

waterpipe PVC and fittings to connect with water crew stuff 💦

Medical supplies – we have a decent supply of first aid stuff but we always need as much as possible of the following: medicinal herbs, homeopathic remedies, rescue remedy, antibiotic ointment, calendula, sunblock, aloe plants, hydrogen Peroxide, rubbing alcohol and grain alcohol, bandaids, wrapping gauze, 1st aide tape...

RADIOS (walkie talkie type)

toilet paper, paper towels or clean rags

batteries: C, D, double and triple A

ropes of various lengths and gauges, lashing twine, tent stakes…

heavy duty trash/contractor bags

agricultural lime for shitter vector control plywood sheets to cover shitters

containers for lime and handwash

1 standup tent with screen porch area if possible for medical private interviewing/treatment and smaller tents for supplies

Grates for cooking- can use metal refrigerator shelf grating

cooking supplies such as:

pots, pans, knives 🔪mixing bowls, cooking utensils, eating bowls, eating utensils 🍴 cups

large tupperware type containers with lids for food storage, 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids approximately 15-20

sugar, salt and black pepper- we already are already bringing enough other culinary herbs

Teas, honey, coffee, powdered milk, hot chocolate

bulk foods such as: beans and whole grains, eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, whole garlic bulbs, , oats, cold cereals, peanut butter, jams/preserves, bread, olive oil

biodegradable dishsoap and handsoap

“The great spiritual Teachers who walked the Earthand taught the basics of the truths of the
Whirling Rainbow Prophecy will return and
walk amongst us once more, sharing their power and understanding with all. We will learn how to see and hear in a sacred manner. Men and women will be equals in the way Creator intended them to be; all children will be safe anywhere they want to go. Elders will be respected and valued for their contributions to life. Their wisdom will be sought out. The whole Human race will be called The People and there will be no more war, sickness or hunger forever.”

Navajo-Hopi Prophecy of the Whirling Rainbow

If you are able please help out . . it is incumbent upon Rainbow to care for the people who have been part of the Gatherings since the very beginning and who sacrificed so much to help create the Visions that we all share.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Remember to Breathe

The first week at the gathering site is always full of chaos, rumors and confusion. Things generally work themselves out. Have faith in your family.

In the meantime, enjoy this video from Soaring Eagle that will remind you about why we gather. Thank you Soaring Eagle for making such a beautiful video.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lumpkin County Town Hall Meeting June 22nd

Sheriff Stacy M. Jarrard will be hosting a Town Hall meeting on Friday, June 22nd at the Lumpkin Park & Rec starting at 6:00pm.  Find the facility at 365 Riley Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533.

Gatherers, please attend this meeting and be on your most loving behavior so we can connect with the local community.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Howdy Folks (a.k.a. Directions to the Gathering)

Updated June 24 at 5:30 pm. Eastern Time

47th Annual Rainbow Family Gathering of the Tribes

Last week of June (give or take) to July 7

Join us July 4 for the silent meditation/prayer for world peace from dawn until high noon

We, who are brothers & sisters, children of spirit, families of life on earth, friends of nature & of all people, children of humankind calling ourselves the rainbow gathering, humbly invite:
  • All races, peoples, tribes, communes, men, women, children, individuals -- out of love.
  • All nations & national leaders -- out of respect
  • All religions & religious leaders -- out of faith
  • All politicians -- out of charity
to join with us in gathering together for the purpose of expressing our sincere desire that there shall be peace on earth, harmony among all people. & to hold open worship, prayer, chanting or whatever is the want or desire of the people, for three days, but upon the fourth day of July at noon to ask that there be a meditative, contemplative silence wherein we, the invited people of the world may consider & give honor & respect to anyone or anything that has aided in the positive evolution of humankind & nature upon this, our most beloved & beautiful world -- asking blessing upon we people of this world & hope that we people can effectively proceed to evolve, expand, & live in harmony & peace.

Feel free to arrive a few weeks early to create the gathering and/or stay a few weeks late to clean it all up. Please be respectful of the First Nations' land, culture, and spirituality.

We love you!

Where is the gathering?
The gathering is taking place in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia.  Coordinates 34.586450, -84.124448
Main Circle is at N 34.60726 W -84.12053

DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 75 south east of Chattanooga, Tennessee, take highway 76 east  approximately 68 miles towards East Ellijay, Georgia. From East Ellijay, take Highway 52 east towards Dahlonega.

From Atlanta, Georgia take Interstate 75 North to Interstate 575 North to Hwy 136. Turn right on 136 go approximately 19 miles toward Talking Rock Mountain until you hit a "T" intersection at Hwy 183. Turn left on Hwy 183. Go 4 miles until you hit another "T" intersection and then turn right on Hwy 52. Go approximately 8 miles. Turn left on Nimblewill Church Road.

From Greenville, South Carolina, take Interstate 85 south.  From I-85, take exit 22 for US-129 North toward Gainesville/Jefferson. From Gainsville, take GA-60 North approximately 22 miles to Dahlonega. From Dahlonega, take Highway 52/9 west towards East Ellijay approximately 5 miles from where Hwy 52 and 9 split. Turn right on Nimblewill Church Road.

TIP: Nimblewill Church Road is an upside "U" shape so if you come from the west you enter one end of the road and if you come from the left you enter another end. 

From all directions: Go north on Forest Service Road 28-1 to Winding Stair Gap Road and turn left. Parking is on one side of the road only. Park as close as you can to the next car while leaving room for them to get out. Make sure you are not blocking the road to the extent that emergency vehicles such as fire trucks are denied access. Look for family to tell you what to do next.

KITCHENS:  For kitchen unloading only from 28-1 turn left on Road 83/Bull Mountain Parking Road. Go 1.5 miles. No parking is allowed on Road 83 and I've heard the turn around is tough.

For a PDF version of the directions, click here.

There are rolling and intermittent mandatory check points that people are going through.   Please read Rap 420 and make sure you know your rights.

Only motorized vehicles that are licensed and legal for use on public highways in the state of Georgia may be operated on Forest Service roads. Motorized vehicles are NOT allowed on trails or closed roads unless posted. Some trails are restricted for a certain type of use. Motorcycles, bicycles, equestrians and others should be sure they remain on designated trails marked specifically for their use.

USFS Parking Rules as of 3:45 PM on Sunday, June 17:
Several temporary closures and restrictions are in place at Bull Mountain in the Nimblewill area of Lumpkin County for public safety related to the 2018 national gathering of the Rainbow Family of Living Light. This is an update to the road closure plan shared on June 15.
Several temporary closures and restrictions are in place in the Nimblewill area of Lumpkin County for public safety related to the 2018 national gathering of the Rainbow Family. This is an update to the road closures announced on June 15.


    FS77 from 28A to FS42
    FS77A (except to private landowners)


    FS28-1 from Nimblewill Church Road (126) to FS80
    FS83 (Bull Mountain parking lot is open)


    FS77 from FS28-1 to FS28A

Roadside parking on designated routes must allow adequate access for through traffic. Road shoulders may be narrow or soft. Do not block gates. Access for emergency response is paramount.Roadside parking along the right side of these designated parking routes must allow adequate access for through traffic. Access for emergency response is paramount. Be cautious as road shoulders may be narrow or soft. Do not block any gates. Violators will be towed.

We appreciate your understanding as this situation evolves and we determine the best methods for keeping visitors, neighbors, partners and our employees safe. Please see signs posted in the area for more information, and stay tuned for further updates.
Visitors to the area should also be aware of the possibility they may encounter Army training activities authorized through a long-standing permit between Camp Frank D. Merrill and the U.S. Forest Service. These activities are conducted under a joint operating plan that intends to reduce conflicts between Army training activities and public visitors. However, interaction on roads and visibility of Army activities on the national forest should be expected. These regularly recurring activities are not related to the 2018 national gathering.

USFS Map of Road Closures. Click to enlarge


Ignore all rumors of cancellation or organization!
Live lightly with the Land and People!
Be the peaceful and loving person you want to see more of in this world.
Please copy and distribute this information widely


Roads and parking situations will be in flux for the next week. When you make it home, please listen to the people on the land and park where they tell you. Then in a few days touch base with INFO to see if the parking rules have changed so your car doesn't get towed. YES, the USFS does that. They tell people they can park in an area, then USFS changes their mind and puts a 72 hour notice on your car to move it.

Folks on the land are working with the USFS to open up new parking areas. Please go home and follow the parking instructions given by the parking crew. Please park tight as parking will be hard this year. Please save Handicamp for those with mobility issues.

Misc. Additional Information

Dahlonega is supposed to be a university town with a health food store.

Main circle is 1700', Most of the site is 1500-1800' It will cool down a decent amount at night due to elevation but not that much. Expect 80s day and 60s night. It is very wet and rainy lately so it will be humid.

Due to rain, Mosquitoes are very bad this year. Yes to ticks (also worse than normal). Yes there is Lyme in this area but not huge. Chiggers likely.

It is a tad far north for most venomous snakes, there could be but not likely. Don't know site specific but yes poison ivy is common in this area.

Apparently this area is not used for cattle grazing. 

If you are interested in the USFS information on critters, floods, etc., including weather reports for the forest, click here

Public Transportation Options:

Greyhound has a bus station at the Atlanta airport which can take you from the airport to Gainesville, Georgia that is about 20 miles from Dahlonega for just over $20. The buses leave the airport for the connection at the downtown station at about 5:40 am and about 2:30 pm, so if you get there in time for either of those, take the bus. Someone has commented that they think the bus leaves at 4 PM but when I checked Greyhound it indicates it leaves the downtown at 6:40 p.m. and from at airport at 2:30 pm. If you check for yourself, in the from location for the airport select "Atlanta Arpt, GA"

Amtrak's "Crescent" leaves Atlanta's Brookwood Station at 8:21 pm and arrives in Gainesville, Georgia at 9:16 pm. Not much schedule flexibility though. Only the one train daily. Base fare is about $14.
Gainsville, Georgia  is about 60 miles North East of Atlanta. Gainsville, Georgia is about 20 miles south of Dahlonega.

There is a bus network called MATS in Gilmer County that operates on a non-fixed route, taking passengers to their requested destinations. They work to accommodate all passengers and their vehicles are equipped to aid individuals with disabilities. They do request advance notice, so call them at (706) 276.6287 for details. Pretty cheap $2 or $3.

You can also take Greyhound from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Dalton, Georgia. From there you can try MATS or hitchhike the route listed above.

For more info on the gathering, visit Welcome Home or Karin's Blog. If you FaceBook, try Group 1 or Group 2 or use an old fashioned telephone and call the Atlanta Lightline 770-662-6112.

 For a printable, downloadable PDF flyer with directions, click here.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

On Showing Up

Lately I've been pondering the importance of showing up if you want your voice to be heard.  I am part of a community group working to save a local and urban creek and we always need more people to plug in.  As I talk to people, they are always willing to complain about the trash along the creek or some such, but when you invite them to a work party, ask them to find volunteers for our periodic cleanups, or invite them to a community workshop on proposed changes for the area, they are no where to be found.

Now different people can plug in in different ways based on their interests and abilities and the commitment required for plugging in could be a few hours a month to a few hours a week.  Saving our creek does not prevent anyone from holding a job, caring for their families, or what ever it is they do with their time.  All of it doesn't even need to be done in person.

All of this brings me to the gathering. What is unique about the gathering is that our decision make process works face to face for the most part.  Sometimes conference calls are arranged to discuss where we can meet face to face.  Other phone calls help people connect with each other when they are out and about and are trying to find a place to meet face to face.  Sense a pattern?

As a long time activist, who shares my birthday, once said "just show up."  If you want to get involved with the world, show up.  Sure the Internet is useful. I use it all the time to make information available to people, to informally connect with others, and to quickly gather information, but it's not that same as being present with people who are committed to making change.

Now the creek work is much more conducive to disembodied things like making formal comments on environmental impact reports and lobbying our elected officials, but much like the gathering, the important work gets done in councils (rainbow speak for meetings), on the land (rainbow speak for at the creek), or in community (rainbow speak for the core group of folks saving the creek).

Every year the Internet (and most especially FaceBook) fills up with ideas, opinions, perspectives, and dictates that are shared and discussed by people on-line --- many of whom don't regularly attend the annual gathering for world peace and the positive evolution of the planet. But what needs to be realized is that if you want to impact how things unfold, then you need to "show up" on the land, participate in formal or informal councils, and be part of the process.

The great thing about gatherings is that we need everyone's perspective from the person who just showed up and asked "what's council?" to the person who's been gathering since the 1970s.  This gathering thing we do is an embodied sort of experience where people gain the full benefit of the many ways humans communicate: words, facial expressions, body positions, auras, and what ever telepathic ways we communicate with each other.

As many of my friends point out, gathering and all the related things done in the name of gathering are verbs, not nouns.  Please join us in verbing.