Mike Peters
Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters 50 Years On Weird Load

Ken Kesey in 1997, with his bus “further,” a descendant of the vehicle that carried him and the Merry Pranksters on their 1964 trip across the U.S.

Fifty years ago, July 1964, a 1939 school bus furnished with bunk beds, basic kitchen facilities, and wired-up audio equipment, sets out from Palo Alto, California to journey across America. It is painted in bright psychedelic colors with the destination sign of, “Further,” on the front and, “Caution: Weird Load,” on the rear. It carries on board ten or so 60s drop-outs from various walks of life, as the bus makes its erratic way towards Route 60 and the road to New York.