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lost in dark woods

(Preface: All times and distances are estimates that may be way off, cuz I was TRIPPIN!

(Preface: All times and distances are estimates that may be way off, cuz I was TRIPPIN!)

Date: Dec. 16 '00.

Place: Santa Cruz, ah yeah.

I had the greatest trip this weekend. I was visiting a friend in Santa Cruz. The afternoon after seeing a sick punk show, we bought two eighths of shrooms and picked up another half-eighth of weed just in case we ran out of the all important ganja. About 3:30pm/4:00pm started out towards the UCSC campus, stopping for chocolate shakes along the way to wash down the shrooms. We parked in some parking lot next to the start of a hiking trail along campus. I'm not that familiar with the geography of that area by UCSC, but our destination was some place my friend refered to as "the second meadow". If you're a UCSC student, maybe you know where I'm talking about. Now I'm not sure how far it actually was up the fire trail, cuz I started feeling the trip about 5 minutes into the walk, but I believe it was like a mile and a half. I know it was at least at the top of the hill or a little beyond, cuz we went past a huge water tower (those tend to be at the top of hills). Anyways, we reached the meadow at about 4:00/4:30, and threw down a blanket to chill for a while. We both started to trip really hard as we lay there staring at the the clouds, the awesome colors of the oncoming sunset, and smoking cigarettes. My friend decided to try and roll a joint (which was pretty funny cuz he's an excellent joint roller, but was having no luck cuz he was frying so hard). We then took our funny looking, loosely rolled joint with us on a short walk into the woods. The sun was already close enough to setting that it was too dark to see into the woods from the meadow, so it seemed like it would be a fun adventure. About 50-100 yards into the trees, something caught our attention, there was a huge fallen redwood, with all the roots and stuff facing our direction, it was crazy looking, so we walked closer, and found our selves standing in about an 8 foot wide open area where the tree used to stand. There was nothing growing there except for a 6-7 inch tall toadstool with a cap about the size of my fist. We both immediately started staring at it. It was growing perfectly straight with no companions, the stalk was a tan color, and the cap an incredibly glossy black. It was incredible, we both felt this really strong presence of something emanating from it, and I have to admit, it seemed to have a malevolent, 'don't fuck with me' vibe. So anyways, we eventually returned to the meadow, and decided to head up the trail a little further to see if we could get a better view of the sunset. We decided to put the last of the ill-rolled joint into our pipe (plus a little more), and puff it on thr way. I took a fat hit and happened to exhale at a time when the wind in the meadow seemed to stop completely. The smoke didn't dissipate completely for a minute or so. It just floated around the meadow, like a ghost, and we just stared at it until it was gone. We then traveled into a dark corridor of trees, but up the way, I could see a funny violet/blue light. Once we finally reached it, we found ourselves in another meadow, where the light from the sunset was awesome. It kicked incredible ass, there was one hella bright star visible above the sun (Venus?), but no the moon was no where to be seen, so we decided we should start heading back, as the woods are very dark at night, especially with no moon. The first part of the walk back was crazy, but only a taste of what was to come. Open areas on the trail were all right, because the sky still provided enough light to see. But everytime we walked through a dark shadowy group of trees, I could feel this incredible living presence of being watched, that immediately stopped conversation. As it got darker we were continually looking over our shoulders, my friend summed it up well when he asked, "How far behind us do you think IT is?" I knew exactly what he was talking about but I was like, "uhhhh, what?" He was like, "the thing that's following us" "I dunno." We were already tripping so hard, that when there was light we couldn't tell if we were walking through puddles or just on shiney gravel, and soon it was so dark that the path was only visible as a vague cloudy after-image ahead of us. Soon it was pitch black, we had to keep lighting the trusty Bic to look at the ground and see if we were still on the path. Giving up on that eventually, because the flame was blindingly bright, we just pressed on. I trusted that my friend would find the way, and i trusted that as long as he didn't freak out, neither would I. I remember thinking that those people in Blair Witch were pussies, they were sober and they were freaking out. I have no idea how long we wandered in the dark, but we did eventually take a wrong turn. The path we should have taken was a wide firetrail and had fire-hydrants along it every couple hundred feet or so. There was one point where the path got really steep and slippery, and I believe that was probably the point where we got off the main path. The path got narrower and narrower, and we kept running into branches. Eventually though, we saw some funky purple lights ahead, hoping it wasn't just some shed or something in the middle of nowhere, we pressed on towards the lights and found ourselves, at some remote buildings at the back-side of campus. We both felt so relieved and relaxed after making it out of the forest, the rest of the trip was incredibly fun, checking out cool spots on campus, and looking at the stars.

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