Safely (and comfortably) settled in, on the “Ridge” far from the drugs, bedlam and drumming of the “downtown” campsites. The following days were a mix of quietude, companionship, fireside gatherings, sharing of meals. During the day I sometimes went alone to explore other camps… down steep paths, across dry and lumpy dirt moguls, across spongy muddy meadows, and handmade bridges (where trolls demanded corny jokes.) Cats perched on head and shoulders and mongrels of every age/variety checking each others stuff out. Clothing, no clothing, mud covered, normally or outrageous adorned, it was “rainbow minestrone.” I met eyes with a free and motley array of hippies, burners, weekend warriors and dreamers. “Welcome home” a common greeting and “loving you!” the campwide exclamation. Fat girls in fishnets, a man dressed as a circus Marshall, one women in mink, another in a Victorian hi necked gown and even a super hero “wedgie woman” who was taking one for the “team.” Lovely, laughable and free. From babes in arms to a woman older than dirt (a tuft of hair on her chin like a goat) most able bodied but some on oxygen, in wheel chairs and another on life support. Tenacity and a connection to their Rainbow family keep them coming back. I found camps of beautiful music, Jesus freaks, yogis, lovely conscious food, tight rope walkers, meditation, sweat lodges, skill teaching and many bright and shiny people interspersed with loud and lost ones – void of contribution (or fair trade) hands out, and heart-filled with an intense, unflinching need for for dope, drugs and the next party.