Milliways is a communal main circle kitchen with a staff and crew from diverse geographic origins. It first appeared in the Mark Twain National Forest at the Missouri annual gathering in 1996. Josie started the kitchen with nothing but a large full standing mirror.

When Mellow and other acquaintances from the holding camp arrived, they spanged a few pots, pans, and other essential kitchen necessities – as they wanted to carry on the spirit from holding camp. As the camp was set up across the creek from Kid Village, it was called “across the creek kitchen”. Jasper had come to Missouri intending to set up a tea kitchen, and she had a basic set of cast iron enamel coated pots and pans. In addition, she had a collection of “Milliways this a way,” and “… that a way,” signs she was placing along the trail as she hiked in. When she arrived at “across the creek kitchen” with her coveted pots and pans, she was convinced (coerced) to merge with that kitchen. As the signs were already up, the deal was that if the pots and pans were to stay, the name would change – and Milliways was born.

Due to an injury that prevented her from further crossing the creek, Josie moved in with Cowboy at the Hummingbird Café. As Cowboy and Gary were doing supply that year, and thanx to Aire Faire, Milliways had access to supplies to feed main circle and meals out of the kitchen daily. Freeman would often bake zuzus during the night, and David Shane set up Milliways on its own water system. Milliways was noted for its bad British accents, human television (TV Mike), non-traveling traveling band (Walter), ice cream (Jasper), and ever increasing levels of sanitation and cleanliness (Erin)

Milliways appeared continuously at annuals until its gear and bus were lost in a wildfire while stored in Colorado in 2002. Highlights of that period include appearances by celebrities Douglas Adams in Arizona 1998, and a 6 hour drum circle led by Mickey Heart at the bliss pit go-go cage in Pennsylvania 1999.

In 2006 two defunct Colorado regional kitchens (the Colorado Kitchen, and Phatty Platter) donated gear and Milliways reappeared. Milliways spent 2007 in Colorado at the regional at Hat Springs, and returned to the annual in Wyoming in 2008 and New Mexico in 2009. At this time rumor has it all Milliwavians are dead, or never really existed at all. Another and probably more credible rumor is that those limey bastards are just waiting to ground score more gear at the next rest area, and we’ll see them at a gathering all too soon.

September 14th, 2016 by John Anderson