My second shroom trip

After my first trip in the meadow on my bike trip, it was two years later that I next ingested Psilocybin mushrooms. The setting is California's Ansel Adams Wilderness just outside Yosemite. Our group of 5 guys and 3 or 4 women had backpacked in to a beautiful granite bowl, probably 3 or 4 miles in, on the previous day. I was friends with two of the women, who'd invited me, but had never met any of the other guys before the backpacking trip.

We had driven up to the trailhead the previous morning in a couple of 4WD pickup trucks with camper shells, smoking kind bud all the way with great sound systems cranking out some groovin righteous reggae (The one album I remember was Linton Kwesi Johnson's 'Bass Culture' CD - killer album!).

We got to the trailhead around noon I guess, got out of the trucks and mounted our backpacks. Then the guys started passing around acid. I was offerred a hit, but I was afraid. I ended up taking about 1/3 of a blotter, my one and only LSD experience. 1 full blotter is the typical minimum dose, but I wanted to try a very light dose. The only effects were perma-grin for most of the hike in, and some slight dissociation of my arm at one point after we'd gotten to the campsite (my arm looked like it was not part of me - not that it appeared detatched or anything, it just looked like an object that was not part of me in the same way all the other objects of my vision like rocks, trees, etc., were simply not part of me. It's hard to explain.).

The first morning the day after the hike in, we all took off to run around and play in the wilderness. There was about a quarter ounce of shrooms which the guys reluctantly shared with me (they hadn't planned for a 5th mouth for their shrooms - we all ended up with a rather mild dose, I think). For some reason, none of the women partook.

We all took off running through the wilderness. I remember at one point we were jumping down this steep slope, leaping from landing to landing and gallopping down the hill, a combination of downhill skiing motions and a galloping run for rapid travel down the hill side.

We got down to a little bog with a pond. I think we sat around and talked a bit, then decided to go run around some more. At this point all the women decided to head back to camp.

All us guys took off running. We came to a big pond in a granite gorge. My generous new friends broke out the kind bud and passed around the pipe (for the first of many times throughout the day =)). They then broke out hackey-sacks and in the beautiful morning sunshine, probably a little after an hour after we ate the shrooms and they were just starting to come on, at the start of a 3 day weekend in the breathtaking High Sierra Mountains of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, we hacked. We were absolutely stoked, and were grooving with the shroom flow.

Soon we gathered our things and took off scrambling and running up the granite scupltured mountainside, up to a plateau, and then down into the next valley.

A little while later we came to a creek flowing through a granite hillside. This must have been 2 hours after eating the shrooms. This must have been around when the shrooms were peaking.

We were standing around a small pool, and at the top of the pool a small stream of water cascaded down from the pool above. Where the cascade left the rock was a crack between two flowing waves of granite. To me, the rock seemed shaped exactly like a woman's legs, spread. In great detail, the water flowed from out of her legs as though a woman lay there urinating (a woman with beautiful legs). I was a bit anxious, as we'd gotten stoned, and I didn't know any of these guys very well, and was feeling shy and reserved, so I didn't point it out to them, but I'm sure they saw it too, or saw me seeing it, as they all urged and goaded me to drink from the cascade, and they all had mischevious 'we see it too' grins on their faces. I laughed and declined to drink.

The next pond we came too was swollen at it's middle sloping to a point at each end. At the far end, the little inlet created by the point, grew a thick green patch of water reeds, pointing up a field of green spikes. It looked to me exactly like a pregnant woman's belly, sloping down to her womb, complete with lush green pubic hair! Right out of the point of her hair erupted a straight evergreen tree trunk. It looked to me exactly like sexual intercourse! I remember seeing sexuality, especially female sexuality, everywhere. I don't think I was painting the world with my sexually dominated subjectivity; rather, I believe I saw the naked female sexuality in nature. I grew to understand the meaning of the sly grins on the other guy's faces when they talked exuberantly about and then went "climbing cracks." (literally climbing crevices in granite.) =)

After scrambling around on some boulders and climbin a few cracks, we decided to head up to the top of the granite ridge above our camp, above the treeline. I took off to one side to challenge a wall, which I remember as being about 30 feet high. To an expert climber, this wall would have been a walk in the park, with no need for a rope whatsoever. However, to me, (perhaps especially since I was stoned and shrooming, as well as the fact that I didn't have any real climbing experience or know- ledge) it was a challenge. At one point only maybe 8 feet up, the wall sloped outward. This was the only really challenging part, but I got over the slope. At this point I realized how stupid this was. I was under the influence of drugs, alone, with no climbing skill, trying to scale what now looked like a sheer, vertical rock wall. However, there was no way I could climb back around that bulge. I couldn't see or feel any foot holds below it, and was afraid I'd fall if I tried to go back. It seemed my only route out was upward. I remember nothing psychedlic in this part of the trip, but I include it because I think it's an essential aspect of experimenting with psychedellic drugs-the ability to manage ones fear in a tight spot. This is actually a spot I get myself into everytime I climb, and I always at that moment swear I'll never climb again. Finally what you must do time after time is simply conquer fear, relax, and focus the mind on the immediate dynamics of balance, weight, center of gravity, slope of the wall, friction between feet and stone. If you focus back to those immediately relevant dynamics, and take your attention off of the specter of falling to the rock far below, you realize once again how safe you are if you just stay focused and present on the immediate task of moving calmly and gracefully over stone. This is precisely what you must on a pschedellic trip if you start to panic focus your mind on the immediate safety of your physical body and surroundings, and recognize the safety of the drug (provided you've done your homework and thoroughly researched the drug, it's effects, it's proper dosage and delivery method, etc.) and the dose you took (It's a good idea to be fairly confident in what a proper dose is and that you took the amount you thought you did, before you take the trip). I believe the techniques for getting out of a tight spot in climbing (or any other challenging endeavor with some potential for danger) are ideal techniques for thwarting panic while tripping.

The last thing I remember about my second real shroom trip was when we got to the top of the ridge. The sun was setting behind us, and there was a bank of mist or fog in front of us, but we were not in it. The mist before us acted like a boiling screen onto which our silouhettes were projected as shadows from the sunset behind us. Some sort of refraction of the sunlight in the mist and our shroom vision served to create a rainbow-colored circle of light around each one of our sillouhettes on the 'screen'. It was beautiful and awesome as the cool sunset breeze wipped along the ridgetop.

Today, my first trip was 5 years ago, and my second trip was 3 years ago. I had not tripped since, but over the past 6 weeks or so I've done 4 more trips. My next article will be interesting highlights from all of these. My last trip, last night, was by FAR the most intense ever, and I'll tell you all about that one, too.