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Barter Faire 2011
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 euphoria.
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 awesomeJ
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.