We love camping with gypsies, but not just any gypsies will do.  We met Master Blacksmyth Michel Olson and Grand Storyteller Christy Horne at the Kern County Fair, or all places, a few years back.  We were wandering the fair and we come across a rolling castle, on a freightliner chassis, complete with a drawbridge, blacksmith shop and adorned with brass portholes.  The sign next to the rig said said Gypsy Time Travelers.  Holy shit, I thought, are the Grateful Dead playing the Kern County Fair this year?  Isn’t Jerry still dead?  How are these people here?

So we approached Michel and Christy only to discover that we were brothers!  Well, his mother and my mother never met, and I’m pretty sure our fathers never co-inseminated either of our mothers, but our life histories sure crossed, and as we told hour after hour of story, we realized we were related by adventure.

They have introduced us to a fantastic menagerie of people, crafters, tinkerers, dreamers, restorers and hoopers and we have shared many a holiday and many campsite.  Freezing Man in January and Thanksgiving in  the sand dunes of Death Valley and watched magnificent men in their crazy flying machines at King of the Hammers.  They travel through space and time in Florence the Freighliner, which according to Michel is the result of a welder and too much time on your hands.  It is a magnificent machine that houses their Blacksmith and Storytelling show and fairs and events throughout the country.

We strongly suggest you catch their show if you can, encourage your local  fair or festival  to investigate them if you are so moved, and if you see them hooping somewhere that you never imagined to find a nomadic castle – stop and see what radical self reliance looks like!




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