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The day had been heavy with rain, and sporadic showers still scuttled across the sky, but it looked/felt like it might just clear up.

The day had been heavy with rain, and sporadic showers still scuttled across the sky, but it looked/felt like it might just clear up. A and I were heading for a large nature reserve down in the scottish borders - we figured even if the weather wasn’t great, it’d be dry under the trees. Arrived at around 3:00 p.m., wandered around a bit in an attempt to get our bearings and necked the shrooms dry, as we’d forgotten to bring anything to drink to wash them down with. I really do wonder why people go on about the terrible taste, I find the flavour quite pleasant, although this time it stayed around for a long time. My dosage on the previous trip had been 2 dry grams. Because of my large mass, it seemed that a slightly larger dose was needed for full effect so I jacked up my dosage to 3, and A jacked his up from 1.5 to 2 grams.

We began to walk up the hill and began to notice the bright autumn colours intensifying very quickly. The vantage point at the top of the park afforded a spectacular view down the length of the park, and for some miles across the surrounding countryside. We contemplated playing with the mechanical digger that was sitting there, but decided against it. At least for now.

Neither of us seemed to be coming up particularly quickly, so we decided to walk on for a bit, and picked a route that would take us up along the top of the hill. After about 10 minutes it started to rain, and this is where my problems began. I had wet feet and wet clothes, my glasses were either steamed over or running with water, there was nowhere dry to sit and enjoy what was happening and so we walked on, taking what looked to be a short-cut beneath the trees that would lead us back to where we’d parked the car. Sitting in the car wouldn’t be something we’d normally choose to do on a trip (We follow the tenets of Bill Hicks on these matters: “Mushrooms are sacred. Go to Nature.”) but at least it would be dry. The path, however, led nowhere near the car. It twisted and turned until I had no idea where we were, or in what direction we were walking. That was when the Fear began to come down on me. I couldn’t concentrate enough to enjoy the effects of the ‘shrooms as I was cold, wet, not enjoying myself and horribly paranoid. Occasionally, we’d stop briefly and look around, and it was then that the effects began to reveal themselves. Unfortunately, I was not in the right frame of mind and all the visual effects which I normally enjoy immensely just served to distress me further. All I wanted was for it to be over. It seemed to me that we were totally lost, and would just be trudging around for ever; we were never going to be dry, or warm or comfortable again. I knew it was totally irrational - all we had to do was turn round and retrace our steps, but that didn’t make the slightest difference to the Fear. Eventually, I had to ask A if we could just turn round and head back, to which he agreed.

By the time we came back out from under the trees, the rain had stopped and the sky had cleared. We were able to sit on some dry-ish rocks and admire the view and the usual blast of fractal entertainment from the clouds. By now, the Fear had lifted - I could see where I was and knew where the path was that led back to the car - but it had occupied a large part of what should have been the peak of the trip. When we returned to the car, I sat down heavily and remained that way for some while. A, who had been enjoying himself all along, continued to do so and wandered around looking at things. After about 20 minutes, I’d recovered both physically and mentally enough to drive the car back up to where we’d seen the big digger earlier. This was approx. 2.5 - 3 hours after ingestion, the peak was definitely past, there were no other vehicles in the park, and it was about 500 metres in a straight-ish line. I played with the digger, getting into the cab (although I didn’t start it up), A took some photographs on long time-exposure (it was almost full dark by now), then it was time to head home.

For the first time ever, I was glad a trip was over, and I could return to normality. I’ve done plenty of acid, but this was only my second time on mushrooms, and it had been mostly shitty. Not “HELP! HELP! THE AARDVARKS ARE COMING OUT OF THE WALLS TO EAT MY FACE!” shitty, but “I’m cold, wet, tired, fearful and I JUST WASTED 3 DRY GRAMS!” kind of shitty. I was praying that a 50/50 good trip/bad trip split wasn’t on the cards!

In retrospect, I know what I did wrong. I was just too impatient. You see, we’d been at this mushroom-growing project for about 18 months, tracking down growing methods and guides, assembling all the bits and pieces of tech and know-how, dealing with all the problems and pitfalls inherent in learning anything new from scratch. And for all this effort and expenditure of time and money, we’d managed to trip exactly once. So I tripped in a place I had never seen before, on a day with very changeable weather for which I was not properly dressed, simply because I was so desperate to trip that I ignored the warning signs. You’d think that after 18 months, the mushrooms would have taught me patience, but I guess I’m just not a very attentive student.

The worst thing about the experience? The next day was clear and bright; sunny and warm and it stayed that way all day. If I’d only waited another 24 hours, I believe this would have been a very different trip report.

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