Every year people go to the gathering and their loved ones worry. Just a reminder, there is no cell phone or Internet reception at this year's gathering.
If you haven't heard from your friends and/or family since they went into the gathering, odds are they are still down in the meadow and can't call you. Either way, it's generally safer for people to stay inside the gathering, then to run the cop gauntlet to make a phone call. Even if your loved one promised to call every day, that's a promise they will be unable to keep as that would require them to spend their entire gathering going out to some place with reception and then coming back in again.
Even if there is a place on the top of a nearby mountain where you can get cell reception if you stand on your right foot only with your left arm outstretched and the cell phone positioned exactly on your naval - one 5 minute call will eat up all your charge. Unless your loved one can hike from 5,000 feet to 8,000 feet and brought a solar panel to recharge their phone, the calls aren't going to happen for a bit. NOTE: You may think this situation is made up, but folks how have been on the land in Oregon have to drive over 3 miles to get cell reception.
Again, on the road where the cars and cops are is the area where problems occur. We strongly recommend that people stay inside the gathering. Going in and out increases a persons risk of a negative experience with law enforcement. Again, people on the land will strongly suggest to your loved one that they stay inside the gathering until it's over.
That being said, if you're going to the gathering, call your Mama or someone else, let them know you are going in and will be out of cell reception until after you leave the gathering.
If something serious happened to your loved one, then they are no longer at the gathering and would be found in a local hospital, jail, or mental health facility. If you check those places and your loved one is not there, then they are probably inside the gathering.
Most people usually surface by July 15th as the clean up crew starts shrinking by then, but some people will be on the land until at least the end of July (and on the land means no or haphazard access to telephones). If after July 10, you still haven't heard, email me a recent photo and include this information:
How old is he/she?
Was this her/his first gathering?
Was he/she planning to camp with any camp in particular?
Did she/he travel to the gathering with friends who have since left the gathering?
Did she/he have any mental and/or physical health issues?
What kind of drugs (if any) does he/she typically use?
Was there a specific previously agreed on plan for he/she to return home at a certain time or at least check in?
For those people who go to the gathering and lose something, found items are taken to Info or sometimes to the nearest kitchen so don't give up yet. If you didn't check the lost and found items at INFO, your stuff may be there. Even if you did, many items are discovered during cleanup. At the end of cleanup, all the valuable lost and found items will be taken out of the gathering site. To try to get reconnected with your stuff, at the end of July call the Northwest Tribes Lightline @ (503) 727-2498. Leave your name, phone # and a brief description of what you lost. Someone will call you back if your or similar items are there. Keep in mind, lost and found at this level is for things like wallets, cameras, expensive gear. We don't try to reunite people with lost t-shirts, bliss wear, etc.
For those people who left without all the animals they brought, please go back to the site and retrieve your pets. I do not care if you have to be back to work or whatever. If you brought an animal, you need to go home with that animal. If you don't, folks on the land will find a home for your pet and it won't be your home. We never leave any pets behind. Every pet will leave the gathering with a human companion ~ hopefully the one they came with. If you can't go back yourself, try to connect up with a friend in the area to retrieve your pet. Just a reminder, pets on leashes don't get lost as often as those not on a leash. The gathering is a scary experience for animals who aren't used to it. Read the Pup Rap for more info. If you are a local who feel we drop off pets at the local shelter, we never do that. Other people may be stealing dogs from the gathering and dropping them off, but we don't. All dogs brought to the gathering, leave with people who were at the gathering.