We left the house
at 230 am to get an early start for our long ride to Barter Faire in Okanogan. This was going to by my 3rd year
in a row and had become the event I look forward to all year long. Aside from coming extremely close to taking
out 2 deer on the way, it was smooth sailing on Highway 20 over the Cascade
Mountains. The 5 of us rolled up to the
short line of cars, shut the SUV off, relaxed and waited til they started
moving everyone in. Took around 3.5
hours to get to Okanogan from Sedro Woolley where I picked up a friend on the
way. As we were waiting in line, a truck
pulled up next to us. A younger Hispanic
kid looked over at my from the driver side, smiled, and simply said “Barter
Faire” and put up the “rock on” hand signal.
I smiled back, hopped out of the truck and proceeded to introduce
myself. To my surprise, 5 people rolled
out of his truck. I immediately busted
up laughing as I had no idea that many could fit in there. We all started chatting, showing each other
our stash’s and had a great smokeout before we even got inside.
The only downside
to this was the $60 per head charge, so $320 for the five of us. I wanted to set up camp as quickly as
possible and make our way into the faire.
Throughout this first day, I was able to Barter quite a bit of stuff for
my girlfriend. I think I ended up
trading around 14 g’s of Strawberry Cough for all sorts of unique things, all
for my girlfriend. The only thing I was
looking to trade for was a drum, which sadly, I never found someone willing to
barter for one. It was a long shot, drums
aren’t cheap and I was well aware of this.
The booths had everything you could possible think of; handmade
clothing, blankets, all sorts of art work, jams & jellys, honey…etc. We met very interesting people along the way,
pretty much all hippies and dead heads alike.
After looking at
all the booths and getting a feel for it again, I began to hunt down my
doses. I came across a kid who had
blotter, molly and Amazonian cubensis.
My friend got some molly as I snatched up the cubensis, beautiful bluish
color. As this was the first night, I
wanted to save these for the following night.
With the sun starting to set and the temp starting to drop, we kept
pretty warm by having many smoke outs.
As I walked passed another young man, he quietly said “doses”, I turn to
him and say “hey!” with a smile. We walk
around the corner near a couple cars. As
I have only taken acid the previous year at this same location(all 5 hits were
bunk)I asked how much should I take. He
said try just one drop for now, family recipe he told meJ I put my hand out, dropped it in my palm and
I happily licked it up.
My 4 friends and I
make our way back to our camp to warm up by the fire. I knew the night was just starting as I grew
eager to head to the drum circle. A mutual
friend of ours who was at another campsite came over to kick it and smoke. As we got to know each other a little better,
he handed me a mushroom caramel. I
thanked him and savored it as I chewed.
I remember saying “this tastes great, I can already feel it”. Of course, this wasn’t the mushroom caramel I
was feeling, the acid was kicking in. I
didn’t put two and two together until later in the night. We smoked some hash and made our way back to
the faire to enjoy the bonfire, drum circle and all the other happy souls.
I wanted the others
to enjoy this time as much as I was, so I split the Amazonian’s I had gotten
earlier and gave them to my friends.
Everyone was enjoying themselves to the fullest. My friend said the amount of mushies I gave
him was perfect and he was on cloud nine.
He doesn’t trip a whole lot, so it was great to see him in this state of
Somewhere along the
way, we all go split up. It was a given
this would happen, especially since I was sidetracked by the smallest light or
sound. People up in the hills were
swinging glow & light sticks, and since it was pitch dark, they appeared to
be floating. I eventually stumbled my
way to the bonfire and there I remained for the next 3 hours. Getting lost in the sounds of the drums, the
dancers, the people…everything was so beautiful, so right. I felt myself closing my eyes, swaying my
head to the drums, looking up at the stars and thanking GOD for this moment of
happiness and togetherness. The acid was
running strong and the mushroom caramel had my body feeling like jello, so
Then, this person
walks up to the fire, slowly, embracing the energy and smiling as he looked at
everyone around the fire. I remembered
this person from the year before, it had stuck in my head for some reason. Someone around the fire immediately handed
him a drum as he sat and began to tap on it. I immediately took notice of him as he carried
an aura. I leaned to my gf and said
“there’s something about this guy, I don’t know what it is, but he’s very
intriguing.” She nodded her head in
agreement as I again got lost in my own head, closed my eyes and began to
bounce a little with the beat of the drums. As I open my eyes, I see this
individual hitting the drum in a repetitive manner, tilting his head and
bobbing to the beat. He then stands up,
looks to the sky and begins to move his arms up and around his body. I couldn’t take my eyes off him…and then it
hit me, he’s a shaman. I watched as he
put his hands to the sky, then back down to his body, both palms open as if
giving something back. I was blown away
by what I was seeing. Up to this point,
I had never encountered this type of person, but have had an
interest/understanding of what shamanism is.
He didn’t speak much, but you could almost hear what he was thinking by
his expressions. When he did talk to someone,
they listened and nodded in agreement.
I was only
“assuming” he was a shaman from his mannerisms, the aura he carried…and his
clothing. He had a long coat with skins
sewn onto the back (wolf skins?), hair in a ponytail. Thought the acid and small amount of
mushrooms were running through me, I was feeling something a little different (very
hard to put into words). He sat back
down and was handed a bottle of water.
He thankfully took the small bottle, lifted it with both hands to the
sky as if to say thank you and proceeded to drink. I eventually got pulled away from the bonfire
by my friends and made our way back to the campsite. I was explaining to them what I saw and how
interesting it was, but sadly, they just didn’t get it.
My friend who I had
given the mushrooms to earlier stayed up with me as we had a “heart to heart”
around the fire. We were up til 3 or 4
am as we talked about life, my philosophy on mushrooms, society and everything
between. My gf was the only one who knew
how much this meant to me, encountering a person of this magnitude. I crawled into the suv where my gf was sound
asleep and tried to do the same. Visuals
were still flickering, but I eventually drifted off.