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WARNING: Please read my article "Avoiding a Bad Trip", or the equivalent, before trying this at home (even though I break alot of my own rules in this story - I still believe you should have some guidance before taking your first plunge, as well I did).

WARNING: Please read my article "Avoiding a Bad Trip", or the equivalent, before trying this at home (even though I break alot of my own rules in this story - I still believe you should have some guidance before taking your first plunge, as well I did).

My first trip occurred at a deserted hiking/biking camp at a beautiful state park in the mountains in the early spring, about 5 years ago. I was alone, on a cross country solo mountain biking trip. I had never shroomed before. The day before, while riding deep in the forest along California's Lost Coast, I had encountered a scruffy, friendly backwoods mountain man/pot grower. It was in the morning, and he'd invited me over to his campsite and campfire for a cup of coffee. He was an amiable chap, though rough around the edges ("Me and cities don't get along too well"). He had a big, big, big, wolf-like dog, and showed me in his tent his sawed-off shotgun, stash of pot, and huge black garbage bag of shrooms. Anyway, when I resumed along my way, he sent me off with a couple of joints, and...about 2 grams of Psilocybin mushrooms, which, as I've said, I'd never tried (although I'd been using good pot for several years).

I'd heard about "bad trips", and had my share of mild "bad trips" just on pot (high anxiety). My first time I'd really gotten stoned in elementary school I'd paniced and broken down and cried, but felt better after a few minutes. Ever since, though less and less, I still occasionally get very anxious in certain situations while stoned. And that was just pot. Shrooms were much more potent, from what I'd heard, even creating intense visual hallucinations. I was nervous. However, I'd heard that bad trips were much more common to LSD than shrooms, and I wanted to try them.

The next day, having found a deserted, beautiful, meadow-like campsite in a grove of desiduous trees surrounded by coniferous forest, next to a beautiful rushing mountain river, I decided to take the day off from riding and eat the shrooms.

I first ate one shroom, and started getting really nervous. After about 25 minutes, nothing had happened, so I'd calmed down. I then ate the rest of the shrooms. Then I really started getting scared. I knew I was going on a journey on which I had passed the point of no return. I'd never tried shrooms, before, so other than having heard a couple of other anecdotes, didn't really know what to expect. And here I was, out in the middle of the mountains, at least a day's bike ride to the nearest town, all alone. I was on the verge of panic, I thought maybe I should just pack everything up and start riding, I was so scared, I didn't know what to do. Finally, to ease my feeling of isolation, I picked up a notebook, walked over and sat down right next to a loud little waterfall in the river, and started writing a letter to my best friend, describing what I had done and how scared I was. This served to relax me a bit, and soon enough I realized around an hour must have passed and I still felt nothing. I felt relieved.

At this point (+1), having calmed down, I went back to my campsite and sat at the old picnic table. I think I was still a bit nervous, and to help calm myself more, I picked up my harmonica and started playing it.

A few moments later I saw something out of the ordinary which was the first manifestation of the drug in my experience. A tree across the meadow flush with small green leaves was waving in the breeze. To me it seemed every leaf was swaying in unison. The tree was flowing in an entrancing, swirling dance. At this I giggled. For here, just 30 minutes ago I'd been on the verge of panic, almost out of my mind with fear, and now the whole world within and without seemed to be collapsing from tension into a calm pool of flowing, euphoric well-being. What a rushing thrill! Just like the fear of jumping off a cliff into deep water. It seems safe, you see others do it, but you've also heard it's possible to get hurt or killed, however you've swam below and swam down to the bottom and seen that it's deep enough, and you've seen others do it, so you stand there, and finally you say "I'm gonna do it!!!" And your run towards the edge and leap out, and soon you're hitting major G forces as you accelerate towards the water so far below. "Yeeeeeeoooooooooowwwwwwhoooooh!" you shriek and then you plunge into the deep, refreshing water, safe and unharmed. Half the thrill, for me, was the intense fear followed by the safe "landing" in the meadow. This is part of what creates the feeling of having gone on a long journey afterwards - the range of feelings from near terror to pure euphoria make for quite an intense experience that afterwards will seem like a very long journey.

I had noticed the beauty of the meadow before, but now I seemed to be able to drink in the glowing, fresh, life-affirming, intoxicating warm beauty of my natural surroundings, radiant in the late morning mountain sunshine.

I picked up my harmonica again and starting singing through it sweet little folk songs from my childhood I'd learned to play on it. It was difficult to play, because I kept giggling.

I next took my harmonica and waded out into the high green grass swaying in the breezy warm sunshine in the meadow. As I walked towards the center of the meadow, buzzzy little bumbly beeeeezzze buzzed drunkenly by my buzzing, bubbly, giggly head. I lay down on my back playing my harmonica in unison with the beeze, the birds, the swaying grass and tree tops. The sun flashed streaks of rainbows in the deep blue sky. I sang with glee through my harmonica, stopping only from time to time for a happy, wailing laugh. Everything seemed to be melting slightly in the warm caressing sunshine, including me.

It seemed like I melted away into the meadow and became part of the swirling swaying breezy beezy sunny meadow, and it seemed I laid there and played my harmonica all day. It was literally almost as though I'd died and gone to heaven.

Finally I got up and carved "Johnny Appleseed loves Pippy Longstocking" in a heart on the old picnic table with my pocket knife, and wrote more in letter to my friend about how good I felt.

The only other thing I remember that night was that as I fell a sleep, hours after I'd come down from the trip, I was jumpy, a bit scared in my tent of the sounds coming from the dark woods around the meadow. Several times I started awake thinking I'd stopped breathing as I'd teetered on the edge of sleep. Finally I drifted off, but was awakened by racoons trying to break into my food. They really spooked me, even though they were just racoons. I think the fear was residual not of the drug, but of the near panic before the drug came on.

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