On September 22, the first day of fall, I embarked on my third shroom trip.

Dose: 1/8 ounce, chopped finely and swallowed with pink lemonade.

My first two trips were primarily indoors, and while they were quite enjoyable I had a strong desire to be out of doors and away from civilization. So for my next trip I decided to go camping so that I could be close to nature and perhaps feel more at peace than last time. Five friends came with me, Ryan, Steven, Przemek, Erin, and Brian, packed tightly in my van with so much gear the suspension sagged dangerously. We picked Clear Lake as our destination as it seemed like it would be far enough away from civilization to give us privacy while tripping. It wasn't what I had hoped for in terms of wilderness, but luckily we found a secluded campsite where we were unlikely to be seen.

The first night we set up camp, cooked dinner over the fire, and then began a two day long, non-stop drug frenzy. It started with copious amounts of alcohol, then proceeded to nitrous hits, and finally several rounds of weed. We went to bed late and woke up very early. After breakfast we took a hike in the hills, then came back for more weed, beer, and lunch, then off to the beach for a quick dip in the lake. After lunch I ate very little in preperation for the shrooms which I planned to take an hour before sunset. The plan was to dose, then walk over to a secluded area of the beach to wait for the trip to start and then walk back when it got dark and/or the ability to walk returned. It didn't work out perfectly, some people took longer than others to finish taking the dose, and so by the time we were all prepared and under way the first wave of effects had already hit me. It got progressively more difficult to walk, and the journey to the beach seemed to take an eternity. I was having some stomach cramps, which I was prepared for, but the walk was taking too long for my liking. Ryan was having some trouble too, his trip must have come on faster even than mine because half way there he had to stop and put his head down for a minute, and after that followed close behind me with wide eyes, not speaking. On the trail ahead I saw a deer going in our direction, which I took as a good omen and knew I was going to have a good trip.

When we reached the beach I promptly spread out a blanket and laid down. If the walk had been any longer I probably would have lost control of my stomach, which is exactly what happened to Ryan after a few minutes on the beach. Przemek, who had only taken a half an eighth since it was his first time, wasn't feeling any effects yet. Patience, the experienced told him, it will start soon. I gazed into the sky and soon patterns began to appear through the clouds,interlocking geometric shapes as if I were under a giant geodesic dome. It became more intricate as I looked. Incan patterns appeared interwoven into overall structure, then these were joined by perfectly formed Celtic knotwork patterns. The consistancy of the visions amazed me, it stayed in one place in the sky so that I could actually focus on different parts of it in detail, and if I looked away from it, it would still be in the same place when I returned my vision there. After a while it became hard to hold my eyes still and the patterns in the sky doubled into upper and lower layers which slid over each other.

My stomach started bothering my again after a little while so I closed my eyes and tried to assume control of the involuntary muscles that were causing the cramps. I traveled inside my body to my stomach and made it relax. After this I tried to leave my body. There was a flock of birds in the trees over us and I wanted to communicate with them. I think I almost made it this time, because I started to sense the auras of my friends, but I couldn't hold my concentration long enough, there were too many distractions.

As the sun got lower the insects became more numerous and we decided to head back to camp. I told my friends to all go ahead, as I felt like I might vomit at that moment, but when I kneeled and prepared myself, the desire to throw up went away. I got up, gathered my blanket and water, and went back to the trail. When I left the beach I entered wonderland. I could almost feel a consiousness coming from the plants all around me, and I half expected to see a white rabbit in a top hat running down the path ahead of me. I soon caught up with my companions. Steven was standing still in a fork in the path with a tall walking stick trying to decide which direction to take. He looked to me like a statue, waiting for me to approach to come to life. But as we went further down the path wonderland started to fade, and reality returned when we hit the rest of the camp sites, but not for very long.

Back at our camp the fire was still going. I wrapped myself tightly in my blanket and watched the stars come out.

Przemek: "Hey look, a satellite."
Steven: "Where?"
Przemek: "The one that's moving."
Me: "All the stars are moving."
Przemek: "I think I can tell the difference between a moving satellite and a moving star."

I don't think I've ever felt as comfortable as I was then, snug in my blanket, sitting around the fire with my close friends. It took me back to childhood once again, all worries were removed, all hungers and desires were eliminated. I was perfectly content. Thinking back on it now, it was like satori, everything was beautiful, and I couldn't have possibly been more at peace.

We must have come down at about ten o'clock, although if asked what time we thought it was we all probably would have replied about one AM. It seemed like an eternity had passed since we were at the beach. It's fortunate that it wasn't really that late though, since we were not being at all quiet or subtle about what we were doing. The sound of our laughter probably carried across several campsites, and if it had been quiet hours and a ranger showed up in our camp it would have put a major damper on the trip.

Sad to see the trip coming to an end we went back in the tent to smoke a bowl, which reactivated the shrooms a little bit. As I was lying on my sleeping bag with my eyes closed I could see brightly colored kaleidoscopic patterns of fractals with faces and other shapes interwoven. It reminded me of Grateful Dead artwork. I wanted to sleep then, but I was unable to because of my stomach. I ate something, and then we all smoked another bowl and I was finally able to sleep about an hour later.

This was my best trip so far, which I attribute to being away from civilization, and being with a group of friends who were on the same drug.

Writeups of my first two trips can be found at Reliving my childhood on shrooms and July 23, 2001