Carolyn Garcia

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Carolyn Garcia
Carolyn Elizabeth Adams

(1946-05-07) May 7, 1946 (age 77)
Other namesMountain Girl
Spouse(s)George Walker (1966–1978),
Jerry Garcia (1981–1994)

Carolyn Elizabeth Garcia (née Adams; born May 7, 1946), also known as Mountain Girl, is an American Merry Prankster and the former wife of Jerry Garcia, the lead vocalist and guitar player with the American rock band, Grateful Dead.


Carolyn Elizabeth Adams was born on May 6, 1946, in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she also grew up.[1] She attended Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park.[2] Shortly after she was expelled from high school, she traveled to Palo Alto, California, in 1963 with her older brother, Don.[3] She got a job at Stanford University, working for Carl Djerassi in the organic chemistry lab analyzing psychiatric drugs, and she was eventually fired for "dipping into the experimental psychedelic chemicals she was analyzing."[1]

In early 1964, she met Neal Cassady, who introduced her to Ken Kesey and his friends, one of whom gave her the name "Mountain Girl" because she was a "little bit wild."[4] Journalist Tom Wolfe described his first impression of a teenage Adams as "a tall girl, big and beautiful with dark brown hair falling down to her shoulders except that the lower two-thirds of her falling hair looks like a paintbrush dipped in cadmium yellow from where she dyed it blond in Mexico."[5]

Cassady took her to La Honda, California, Kesey's base of operations, where she quickly joined the inner circle of Pranksters and became romantically involved with Kesey, having a daughter by him named Sunshine.[5] Kesey was arrested for marijuana possession in La Honda, in 1965 and fled to Mexico. He returned to the United States and, just nights after being sentenced to six months in the San Mateo County Jail, he was arrested again, this time with Adams, while smoking marijuana on the rooftop of Stewart Brand's home on Telegraph Hill, San Francisco.[6]

She had a relationship with another Prankster named George Walker, who would become her husband in 1966. They separated in December 1966 and were divorced in 1978. After splitting with Walker, she took up with Jerry Garcia, but they did not marry for many years after. While living together over the next decade, they raised Sunshine along with their two daughters.[1] The family had a house in San Rafael, California, as well as a beach house in Stinson Beach, California.[7]

Garcia and Adams separated in 1975 after he began a relationship with filmmaker Deborah Koons. Although Garcia and Adams reconciled after the dissolution of his relationship with Koons in 1977, they stopped cohabiting a year later (save for occasional holiday reunions) due to the guitarist's heroin and cocaine addictions.

After marrying "partly for tax purposes and partly out of a fond flickering of a once-bright romance"[8][1] in late 1981, this arrangement persisted until Garcia entered a diabetic coma in 1986. While that led to a lengthy period of cohabitation in which Carolyn Garcia played an integral role in her husband's recovery, they gradually drifted apart once more when Garcia began an extramarital relationship and fathered a child with Manasha Matheson.

Jerry and Carolyn Garcia divorced in 1994[1] but remained friends until his death. During this period, he rekindled his relationship with Koons, who had been largely out of his life since the late 1970s; they would ultimately marry in February 1994. A month after the Grateful Dead's summer 1995 tour concluded, Garcia died at a rehabilitation facility in August 1995.

Following Jerry Garcia's death, Carolyn Garcia was involved in litigation to obtain payments as per their divorce settlement agreement, ultimately agreeing to a $1,250,000 settlement to avoid further legal costs.[9][10]

Carolyn Garcia currently sits on the boards of the Rex Foundation and the Furthur Foundation, and is on the advisory board of the Marijuana Policy Project.[11][12] She formerly served on the board of the Women's Visionary Council.[13] Garcia lives near her daughter, Annabelle Garcia, on the Kesey family farm southeast of Eugene, Oregon, in Pleasant Hill.[1]


  • Mountain Girl (1976). Primo Plant: Growing Sinsemilla Marijuana. Berkeley: Bookpeople. ISBN 9780915070046. OL 9661953W. Garcia's early book on marijuana growing.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Robins, Cynthia (1997-05-25). "She Never Got Off The Bus". SFGate. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  2. ^ Mountain Girl: Her tale begins in Hyde Park Archived November 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Poughkeepsie Journal; accessed August 8, 2009.
  3. ^ Kushner, David. "Mountain Girl's heartbreaking memoir: An icon of the Sixties opens up about Jerry Garcia, Ken Kesey, and what the age of free love was really like". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  4. ^ Robins, Cynthia (1997-05-25). "SHE NEVER GOT OFF THE BUS". SFGate. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  5. ^ a b Wolfe, Tom (1968). The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. New York: Bantam. p. 14. ISBN 0-553-38064-8.
  6. ^ Charles Perry, From eternity to here, Rolling Stone, February 26, 1976; retrieved January 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Horowitz, Donna (1996-12-24). "Jerry Garcia's widow tells her story". SFGATE. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  8. ^ McNally, Dennis (18 December 2007). A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead. Crown/Archetype. ISBN 9780307418777 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Doyle, Jim. (October 15, 1998). "Garcia's Ex-Wife to Get $1.25 Million: 'Mountain Girl' had sued star's estate". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A21.
  10. ^ Ingram, Erik. (December 12, 1996). "Grateful Dead star's death leads to battle where it's... GARCIA VS. GARCIA". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A23
  11. ^ Rex Foundation Board and Staff page Archived 2012-11-26 at the Wayback Machine, accessed December 14, 2010.
  12. ^ Furthur Foundation website,; accessed December 14, 2010.
  13. ^ Women's Visionary Congress speaker biographies Archived November 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, accessed December 14, 2010.

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