The road to PorcFest is paved with State Troopers.

I mean, jeez, no one really cares about some libertarians having a camping adventure, but I saw cops everywhere on the drive up to Lancaster, New Hampshire. I had to let my crazy basement-dwelling anarchist doom porn side take over. As I sped my car up the narrow I-93 through the White Mountains — a place that is supposed to be remote and spiritual (when it’s not overridden with tourists and Bike Week enthusiasts) — I wondered if I’d make it through the State Trooper Gauntlet.

When I laughed and turned my doomsday libertarian vision off, I saw a beautiful crowd of people (if you want to call staties “people”) driving north for the weekend. We were all there for our own reasons, but also all there for the same reason: to enjoy our liberty.

Spontaneous order is magical. Burly gangs of motorcycle dudes. Quebecois grannies in floppy hats (and probably wearing fanny packs) driving funny, tiny convertables. The roof was down, of course. Bien. Bouncy bro-stuffed pickup trucks with loosely secured kayaks hanging out the bed. We snuck by Mt. Cannon and Mt. Lafayette and even saw Mt. Washington in the distance, a feat that is easily accomplished from anywhere in New Hampshire, really, since it’s 6,288 feet high. Eventually we made it to Lancaster, the last bit of civilization before the North Woods bleed into Canada.


Lancaster is a cool, little passerby town for mountain tourists, complete with antique shops, brick mill buildings, artisan bakeries, and dirt-cheap motor inns. There’s even a radio station. Well, it’s a house with a sign on the front that claims it’s a radio station. That’s awesome.

Property is cheap and entrepeneurial opportunity is ample. But I’m here to gonzo the place. When I checked into my room for the night, I played a game I call “Find the Bottle Opener.” Every hotel room has one, screwed to a wall somewhere, but always in a weird place, like the bathroom. I found this one in a closet. Weird. It was hard to track down because it’s painted the same color as the wall, but I’m an expert tracker. I cracked a celebratory Omission Lager and set up my laptop to write. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf came on when I hit the PLAY button on my radio.

That choppy guitar riff blows my mind every time. “Head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure, and whatever comes our way…” It’s definitely the theme song of my wild ride! and don’t you forget it. We were born, born to be wild. Thoreau once wrote, “I rejoice that horses and steers have to be broken before they can be made the slaves of men, and that men themselves have some wild oats still left to sow before they become submissive members of society. Undoubtedly, all men are not equally fit subjects for civilization; and because the majority, like dogs and sheep, are tame by inherited disposition, this is no reason why the others should have their natures broken that they may be reduced to the same level.” Count me in!

There is nothing I look forward to more in the year than PorcFest. One week out of 52 is more than enough to motivate me to keep fighting for the free society. It is a chance to be wild and free, the way I was meant to be.

In the parking lot of the motor inn, there were bikers and grannies smoking cigarettes in plastic chairs. What a way to live within the parameters set for us to “live” within. I took a walk through Lancaster in the sunset to smoke a camel light and enjoy the weather. It will be a great week, I think. I wrote a list of all the wonderful friends I will see this week, and my heart is filled with excitement and love and adventure.


For the next week, a bit of private property down the highway called Roger’s Campground will host a grand experiment — an anarchist city — sponsored by the Free State Project. They call it the Porcupine Freedom Fest — or PorcFest, for short (PF, if you’re in the know, man).

Roger’s Campground will be home for as many as 3,000 libertarians, anarchists, a few lefties who are cool, possibly a few agents provocateur, some locals who know how to have fun, definitely some state representatives who know how to have fun — and if I don’t see the perrenial madman presidential candidate Vermin Supreme, I’ll be at the wrong PorcFest. Or he got lost on the way.

Some people are there to network with other libertarians and do some family-friendly camping. Some people will drink, some will smoke all sorts of things, take all sorts of things; some will take nothing at all but sunshine and crystal clear mountain water. Some of us will stay up til sunrise by the bonfire drinking and getting to know each other, only to not remember any of it; the rest will be asleep so they can get a head start on the seminars, panels, lectures, dance lessons, dance parties, gun safety courses, agorist window shopping, live radio shows, board game extravaganzas, live silver melts, and all around experiencing total liberty with no worries about those awful State Troopers lurking around every bend.

In fact, there are no needs for any sort of government anything at PorcFest. Private security is provided. Private medical care is provided. Heck, there is even a bitcoin challenge: get by the whole week on just bitcoin (the “challenge” is really from the lack of cell service traditionally experienced in the White Mountains. Perhaps the market will provide some wifi this year!). Get this: the campground even has roads. Private roads — that someone who wasn’t a government employee paved. And they’re nice roads. And no one dies on them. And no one will care if you carry a bottle you purchased (that may be filled with complementary alcohol) down that road.

Last year upon returning home, I was pretty depressed to venture back into statist land. Living in a temporary autonomous zone is a life changing event. Here in statist land, I would have broken six or seven laws, but at PorcFest I was just doing things I wanted to do, not harming anyone. I instantly made great new friends, including people not only from New Hampshire, but from Montreal, Belgium, Pennsylvania, Germany, California, Texas, and yes, even the horrible place called Massachusetts. I look forward to seeing them all this week. I even met anarchist dogs, piglets, and bought things from kidtrepeneurs peddling wares for bitcoin. Oh, New Hampshire is a special place…

In his keynote at Keenevention last year, Free Stater activist James Cleaveland told us that he drove up from his home state in the south to PorcFest — and he never went back.

Yes, PorcFest does that to people. And in New Hampshire, even on a bad day, a libertarian can still smile that there are 1700 Free Staters and over 2000 in-state friends of the FSP (including yours truly!) within a stone’s throw. Only, please don’t throw stones. Just call ’em or say hi to them in the grocery store. How many times have you bumped into a guy wearing a Rothbard shirt while you’re wearing a Rose Wilder Lane shirt at the local grocery store? That happens here.

For all the extreme activism and behavior that the FSP and its events garner, it doesn’t get much media coverage. A few choice pieces, for sure, but hardly ever negative. In a recent blog post, Carla Gericke wrote, “Frankly, short of finding an Abenaki tribal partner and declaring Roger’s Campground a sovereign nation during PorcFest, garnering that volume of media attention and signers in such a short timeframe, is doubtful.”

We libertarians have a powerful defense for being loud and proud: the mainstream media won’t write about our activities. This is because negative articles and news stories about libertarians only help spread the message. Why is that? Because people like freedom.

What did Ron Paul always say? Oh yeah, “Freedom is popular!”

But activism reaps rewards. Every single time. Even if it’s just one person. That’s huge.

PorcFest will surely be Liberty Writ Large. It is a real, concrete thing that can be enjoyed for the price of admission, starting tomorrow and running until next Sunday. I’ll be sure to keep you posted, if I can’t meet you, friends.