August 9-10, 2015
The tribe asked that we work to pay for our stay. I thought it would be fun to go out and do some farm work for a day. I talked the guys into helping harvest some veggies. We worked all day picking onions and carrots, then swam in the river.
In exchange, the tribe fed us dinner at their restaurant and gave us shelter for the night. My leg was starting to feel better, so I was thinking about trail again!
The tribe is essentially a religious cult that helps “unfortunates” in exchange for worldly possessions and individuated lifestyles. Many of the people I met who told me stories were people in very bad situations looking for a new life. I still wonder if this is what the Tribe thinks of hikers? I know that hikers to have this judgement placed upon them because we are stinky, poor, starving and essentially homeless. I received mixed responses from society throughout the entirety of my hike, but to pity those who are happy…to me…seems like a grave mistake.
I have heard many rumors about the tribe and there were a lot of jokes going around about not drinking the mate’. I didn’t witness any bad things while staying with these people. Many of them were genuinely kind. The cult itself is certainly structured on sexist beliefs, but hey…I didn’t expect otherwise.
However I am left with an extreme curiosity about their funding. I don’t understand where their capital comes from or how they function financially. It bothered me a lot because they seemed extremely corporate for their flaunted do-it-yourself communalism. I am skeptical beyond words.
My experience of the Twelve Tribes in Lancaster also differed dramatically from Rutland.
I stayed an extra day and was reunited with Cinderella, Rapunzel, Stache’ and Wild Turkey! Wild Turkey was going to quit. He was calling someone to pick him up as I limped over. We chatted for a long while because he was feeling down. I told him he wasn’t allowed to quit unless he couldn’t walk anymore. He got back on trail and finished way ahead of me. I don’t know if it was right, but it helped me pull along to know that he was struggling through it too. We were both down because of trail relationships. And I think maybe walking is the only way to think those out.
Great job Wild Turkey!!!! You are such an inspiration.
I stole your picture.