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OfflineTheScientificMethod
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Registered: 02/20/14
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My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience * 1
    #25409955 - 08/24/18 02:38 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

“Introduction”

In the fall of 2014, I found myself with a very close friend beside a massive bonfire near a beautiful lake in Northern Arizona, both of us extremely high on LSD, and an idea came to my mind. My friend and I went out into the wilderness quite often back then to take psychedelics and try to make sense of this thing that we call life, and while I was beside that fire, it occurred to me that something was missing from these experiences. I realized that every week or two we were going out and having these mind blowing trips, but then the next day the sun would rise, we’d find ourselves sober again, and then eventually we’d have to go back into society, back into the real world, back to our jobs, and we’d find ourselves back where we started, as if it never happened in the first place.

I was frustrated with this reality. Every week or two it was almost like we were touching on divinity, and like the answers to the universe were being unveiled to us, but to what end? If we were just going to go back to the civilized world after it happened and pretend like we’d never had these experiences, then what was the point? Why were we doing it at all if nothing was going to come of it.

And so this idea was born... I asked what would happen if we just didn’t go back? What if we had these mind blowing experiences and just stayed out in the wilderness, surrounded by Mother Nature, and let our consciousness reset under her influence?

Around this time I was starting to think about leaving my career. I was engaged at the time as well, but the two of us were progressively growing further apart. I needed a hard reset in my life, and this idea of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail kept on nagging me. And then the idea was born beside the glow of that fire, under the influence of acid that was flowing through our brains. I told my friend to imagine someone hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and eating psychedelics all along the way. “Imagine if someone did that and then wrote a book about it,” I told him. “If someone did that, I’d read that book.” And so the idea was spawned.

The next morning the sun did rise, and we found ourselves sober minded again, but as we drove back home that day, the idea was still there, framed by the fact that I couldn’t keep working that same job forever, and knowing that the plan to marry the woman with whom I was engaged was never going to work out.

I went to work that week, and it wouldn’t leave me alone. After that trip beside the fire, the tie around my neck seemed tighter, the florescent lights seemed to hum more in incessantly, and the paycheck seemed less meaningful. This time it wasn’t just an acid-fueled fantasy. I slowly began to realize that this crazy idea that was conceived on LSD wasn’t going to leave me alone.

So to make a long story short, I decided to do it. Within six months I had put in my formal letter of resignation from work, I broke up with the woman I’d been calling my fiancé, and I started selling nearly everything I owned as I started making plans to depart for the Pacific Crest Trail—the plan being to take psychedelics as often as I could handle, and when it was all said and done, I’d write a book about it, get it published, and become the next great American author.

Well, part of it worked and part of it didn’t. This all took place between the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015. When I left for the Pacific Crest Trail I had a backpack loaded with pot, mushrooms, and DMT, and the journey that followed on my 2,650 mile hike between Mexico and Canada became one of the most profound experiences of my entire life. It wasn’t exactly what I dreamed up beside that camp fire the fall before, but it was moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, I was too idealistic. I simplified it down too much and I thought that it would be much easier than it turned out to be.

Yes I walked from Mexico to Canada, and yes I ate a lot of mushrooms and smoked a bit of DMT, but it wasn’t as perfect as I had planned. It was too hard. I had done long distance hiking before, but never that long, and as I tried to infuse mushrooms into the longest hike of my life, I realized that I just couldn’t do it as easily as I wanted to. So in some ways the hike was a success, and in some ways (although less significant ways) it didn’t flow like I wanted for it to. The part that I really felt like I failed at however was turning it into a book. I ended up writing close to 3,000 pages about that hike and the psychedelic experiences that went along with it. Some of those pages I’ve shared online, and to those who haven’t read them but are interested, here’s the link: https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/22471747

The problem that I had on that hike however was that I didn’t have the bravery to commit to it wholeheartedly. It was just too overwhelming to try and hike 25 miles a day for almost 130 days on end *and* try to take psychedelics as often as I’d wanted to at the same time. Instead I found myself once every week or so either taking a very small dose of mushrooms or setting up camp early and taking a fair dose of mushrooms or DMT.

So to an extent the journey was a success, and in hindsight, now I look at my hike of the Pacific Crest Trail as setting a framework for what would become my next step.

—-

When this all first came to me beside that bonfire in the spring of 2014, I didn’t see there being another step after the trail other than to write a book about it. I didn’t see myself becoming a life-long “thru hiker” as they’re called, but now I have more time and perspective to look back on, and I know that my hike of the Pacific Crest Trail was just a testing ground for this idea, and it wasn’t the final act by any means.

After the hike I ended up coming back to Arizona and working a few different jobs, but none of them provided me much satisfaction in life. They did give me some income and they also gave me enough time off work so that I could get outdoors and continue taking psychedelics, but really I was just spinning my wheels. I spent a summer managing a wine bar and taking LSD out in the wilderness almost every week, then I started brining acid out hiking with me and tripping while I walked or trail ran, but I wasn’t getting what I needed from life, so I quit the wine bar job and went out on a two week backpacking trip that gave me the time to think that I needed, and I ended up taking a new job that gave me more fulfillment and let me work in the outdoors like I wanted to. The job also gave me some time off from time to time so that I could go out and be by myself more often.

Then, in August of 2017, I drove up to Grand Teton National Park where I climbed to the top of an 11,303ft tall mountain peak, ate some mushrooms, and watched the total solar eclipse on August 21st. The experience itself was life changing, but then on the way down from the mountain peak I took mushrooms again... and you know, now that I think about it, that may have been the first time in my life that I’d redosed mushrooms. And what I found was amazing! It wasn’t that the second dose made me *higher,* rather, it just extended the trip itself. I felt like I was surfing on a much longer wave than normal. That same day I even redosed *again*, so I ended up taking mushrooms three different times as the day went on, and it was like a mushroom trip that lasted twelve hours. It wasn’t like tripping on acid either. Acid is a long trip like that, yes, but this was softer, it was more gentle. It was more introspective. It was more pure and good and spiritual. And it lasted all day long.

Up to that point in my life I had operated under the assumption that if you trip on a psychedelic one day, then take a psychedelic the next day, that it wouldn’t give you much of an effect. But I wanted to test this theory. I had driven all the way from Arizona to Wyoming to watch the eclipse, so while I was there I took enough time off work so that I could spend some extra time hiking around in the Tetons, and possibly hit Yellowstone National Park as well. So the day after the eclipse—the day after I took three doses of mushrooms—I went to a different part of the Tetons and did it again. And to my great amazement, I still tripped quite hard. That second day I also redosed twice, and it did the same thing that I got from the first day. I was shocked.

So the third day I wanted to put it to the test even further. I drove out to Yellowstone National Park the evening of August 22nd, and on the 23rd, my third day in a row, I took mushrooms once again, and redosed about three hours into it.

The effect of the mushroom on the second and third day was diminished slightly, but it wasn’t like I was expecting. Instead, it was more like I just became *used* to the psychedelic trip. I became more comfortable with it and less afraid of it. It was like a realization of the dream I had had for the Pacific Crest Trail, just one a much, much smaller scale.

When I returned to Arizona after my trip to the Tetons, I started experimenting with this more and found that mushrooms in the morning before a hike, and then redosing through the day was among my favorite thing to do with psychedelics. Unlike taking LSD, I could decide a couple of hours into it if I wanted to go farther into the psychedelic trip or if I wanted to let it come to it’s natural conclusion. I had so much more control, and I just generally found the trip with mushrooms to be so much more pleasant than a trip on acid (although it must be noted, that I still did, and I still *do* very much enjoy LSD when the occasion is right).

And as time went by, I started forming a new idea. I started looking to the mountains of Colorado. Specifically I started looking towards the Colorado Trail, a 465 mile trail from Durango to Denver—not nearly as long as the Pacific Crest Trail, but still a long trail in its own right. I wanted to try my idea again. I wanted to go back out there with mushrooms, and the knowledge that I’d gained about dosing and redosing over the preceding year, and see what I could learn about this strange thing that we call life.

I’m happy to tell you today, that it’s happened. At the end of July, 2018, I caught a ride from Arizona to Durango, Colorado, where I was left with all the supplies that I’d need to get to Denver, and enough mushrooms to explore the absolute deepest realms of my consciousness and my understanding of the universe. I hiked not only all 485 miles of the Colorado Trail, but also detoured to several lakes and up four individual mountain peaks that were each over 14,000 feet tall to some of the most amazing vistas I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. That alone would be enough to write a book about, and I have full intention of doing exactly that. But I’m not writing this to tell you about the trail by itself; I’m writing because I want to frame the psychedelic journeys that accompanied my miles on trail.

Over the course of the trail I took mushrooms not every day, as I’ll discuss in the sections that follow, but most of the days that I spent on trail, and quite often I redosed to extend the trip throughout the day. I also played a little bit with LSD and took MDMA for the first time in my life while out there.

The text that follows is an attempt to try and put words to the life changing and perspective shifting experiences that I went through on what basically amounted to the best and most enjoyable experience of my life.

I do want to emphasize a couple of things very clearly before I go on though.

First off, I am not in any way, shape, or form encouraging others to do what I’ve done out on trail. The wilderness can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and in some cases, even if you do. My doing this hike was based on the fact that I was raised in the outdoors, and hiking has become my way of life. I know hiking like the back of my hand to use an expression that is bemoaningly overused. I encourage people to get outdoors and find themselves in nature, but do so intelligently, and bring the right gear and equipment, and *know how to use it*! Do not become the next Christopher McCandless!

And as for the psychedelics, although I have found myself through the use of them, and I have become who I am today because of my use of mushrooms, LSD, and DMT, this piece is not here to try and encourage anyone else to go out and use them. Those who take mind altering substances are doing so at their own risk. These risks can be physical, legal, and emotional. If you so choose to jump down the psychedelic rabbit hole, you should know that it’s not all fun and games, and that you absolutely must do so with a firm understanding and education about what you’re doing. Don’t go get yourself or others hurt or in trouble because you were ignorant in your approach! Psychedelics have a bad enough name for themselves already, and it needs to be our job to change that reputation so that the world can see that these aren’t “drugs” but rather, “mind expanding agents” that have the potential to help us as individuals and as a society grow and learn and empathize with one another and with nature.

Lately, I want to emphasize that I do not take these psychedelics on trail because it’s supposed to be “fun.” In fact, I don’t really find psychedelics to be fun. I find them to be potentially terrifying, ego-dissolving, and potentially disruptive to previously held beliefs. I don’t think that taking psychedelics is easy. It’s a scary thing to do, but in using them as often as I have, I have slowly become more comfortable with them over time. But they still scare the living hell out of me, even after taking them over and over again on trail. Because I know that every time I take psychedelics, they are going to show me something about myself or about the universe that I may not want to know. At the same time however, I’m open to learning these things. I view life as a great mystery, and I have found that, for me, psychedelics are a tool that allow me to get closer to the center of the mystery.

As such, my ultimate goal on this hike across Colorado was not to “have fun” in any traditional sense of the word. Instead, I’m looking to understand myself, my relationship to Mother Nature, and the meaning of this life. And I’m extremely happy to report that over the nearly four weeks that I was walking the Colorado Trail I got a lot of those answers.

I’m not going to claim that I am now the Buddha. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have it all figured out. But I am closer than I as at once time. I’m closer than I was when I started. And the  text that follows is an attempt to reduce the enormity of these trail psychedelic experiences into words, which in itself is an absolutely impossible task that borders on ridiculous. But I believe with my entirety that part of my purpose in being alive and in this world is to use my ability to write to make a change in this world, and since I am a former teacher of writing and an avid thru hiker as well as a psychelicist, I have to at least try.

In the future I hope to publish books about the long distance hiking and psychedelic experiences that I’ve had and make my living through doing so. Right now however, I still work a job where I can’t be fully out of the psychedelic closet, and so I write these postings with some level of anonymity. That said however, I also kept very detailed trail journal that I have posted online and share with the general public. If you are interested in reading the details about the *non*-psychedelic parts of my hike, I invite you to send me a private message and I can provide you with the link to that information.

So with all that said, I thank you for your time in reading about this extremely personal and intimate journey that has changed my life forever.

——————————


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OfflineTheScientificMethod
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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25409962 - 08/24/18 02:40 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

“Trip Reports Part 1”

Date: July 30
Miles: 24.75
Mushrooms: .5g with breakfast, .5g at 9am (junction creek), 1 gram at first mountain pass, 1 gram at ridge after Taylor lake

Trip report:
I could start to feel the first half gram coming on before I even finished breaking camp. This seems to always be the case when I eat them with breakfast. The trip itself was not strong, but it was an attitude adjustment for the better. I noticed that my perception of color was increased slightly. I noticed them a bit more about an hour later when I stopped at Junction Creek to filter water, but they were not a problem for me. If anything they just made me appreciate the small details there along the trail.

I decided to eat another half gram at that time, and enjoyed it even more along my climb up to the first mountain pass this morning. It was a very good choice to make today my first mushroom day. It broke the tension and stress of having them in my backpack and reminded me of why I carry them.

At the top of the mountain pass I could not believe how beautiful the country was and ate another gram with lunch. I laughed a bit to myself, because as I finished lunch a family of three came up and made conversation with me while I popped another half gram in my mouth (total of one gram at lunch), but the way that I have packed them, they just look like an ordinary supplement. By this point I was already “up” from the first gram and just enjoyed the ride on my way to Taylor Lake. Once I arrived there I had a huge smile on my face and promptly stripped off my clothes and went swimming. It was among the best things that I’ve done so far on trail. I probably could have had another gram there, but two hikers and their dog joined me after I had redressed. I was quite high at this point, but I was absolutely able to carry on a conversation with them, and if anything they probably just thought that I was an especially happy and enthusiastic hiker (which I was... but I was also quite high on psychedelic mushrooms).

From there I climbed another couple of thousand feet to a couple of very high up ridge lines above the timberline. To even begin to put words to the beauty would be impossible.

An hour or so later I consumed my last one gram for the day. These ones did not affect me much, having been tripping on the other two grams through the day, but it did make me notably happy and appreciative of the trail, the colors, my dinner, and eventually the sunset. At dinner I talked with two southbound hikers who remarked that they were considering taking LSD tomorrow and I told them that they absolutely should. I also told them to swim in that lake while they peak. I hope that they do and I hope that they enjoy it.

The sunset tonight was to die for. Since there is so much smoke on the horizon from the fires, it made the sunset glow a cherry pink. I set up my camp just in time to catch the last bit of it and spend some time writing.

Depending on my mood tomorrow I may take a tab of acid.

————-
Date: August 1
Miles: 23.4
Dose: 1.5 tab LSD

I started my day with breakfast and washed down my oatmeal with tea followed promptly by one and a half tabs of LSD. Ultimately I am exceedingly grateful that I made this choice this morning. Although I had been eating mushrooms throughout the day yesterday, I was still impacted by the acid. It wasn’t a heavy trip, but that was for the better. If I hadn’t been tripping yesterday and knew that this would be a full on LSD trip, I would have approached the dose with a lot more trepidation.

I have taken LSD plenty of times in the past. I have done long distance backpacking in the past. I have hiked while taking LSD, but today was my first time on acid while on a long distance backpacking trip. It’s funny because I have so much experience with mushrooms on long distance trails, but this was still a bit different. I’m glad that I had been tripping yesterday because it gave me the courage to take the LSD today (knowing that it would be a light dose), but in hindsight, I had such a pleasant experience, that I only wish that it could have been a full on LSD trip. This is good though, because it has given me the bravery to take a dose at full strength later on during this trail. I’ll be out here for a month or so, and no doubt there will be sunny days ahead :smile:

The come up was slight and easy. For that first hour I could feel some slight uneasiness that I always seem to feel when taking acid, maybe a bit more so on account that this was my first time doing it on a long trail, but by the end of hour two, it was absolutely nothing but bliss. Visuals were slight, but not overwhelming. I could catch some movement off in the horizon and in the trees, but mostly it was a turning up of the colors around me and a supreme appreciation for life and this hike.

I arrived at the end of a 20 mile waterless stretch towards the end of the acid peak, and there were two other hikers there. No doubt, they thought that I was a bit weird, but I’m weird even without psychedelics. I did have some trouble organizing my thoughts around what to do and in what order to do it (needed to eat some food, needed to bathe, needed to clean my clothes, needed to dry my clothes, needed to filter water), but after the other two hikers left, I was able to figure it all out without any problem.

I took a bath in that ice cold stream and it felt amazing. The meal I ate there was delicious too. I felt like I was in heaven.

After a climb up over a mountain pass after the spring (can’t even put words to all the beauty), I eventually found a small pond, stripped off all my clothes, and went for a swim. This was my second full day on the trail and my second psychedelic swim of the Colorado Trail. A part of me wishes that I could have redosed at the mountain pass, but I did not do so specifically because I didn’t want to burn out my brain. In other words, I wanted to have some trips in the upcoming week, so I didn’t want to overdo it today.

The sunset tonight was absolutely unreal! It was among the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen in my life! Since there is still smoke on the horizon from the fires near Durango that only recently went out, the sun burned this neon pink color for almost two hours while I hiked up a mountain ridge and ate dinner.

Oh! Almost forgot a kind of funny detail of the psychedelic swim. Right as I was getting my naked ass out of that pond a dude wandered down the trail upon me. He kept his distance and I asked that he excuse my indecency. He was cool and we kind of talked at a distance while I dried off and put on some shorts.

I only wish that I could trip like this every day out here for my month in Colorado, but there is a chance that weather could be coming in tomorrow, so it might be best that I let my brain rest for at least a day or two. Be assured however that in the coming week I’ll be back at it, and likely will do the same that I did yesterday and today, which is to say one day of mushrooms and one day of LSD. I’ll only be making one change though: up the dose!

Lastly I should mention that I met some hikers today who recommended Lake Anne. It’s a week or so in my future at least, but they said that I have to plan on camping there. Based on that recommendation, I think that I know where I’ll be taking the one dose of MDMA that I’ve brought with me on trail. It will be my first time in my life taking the substance, and I’m looking forward to it. My only curiosity is whether or not to mix LSD with my first MDMA experience. I have time to think about it I suppose.

—————

Date: August 3
Miles: 25.2
Dose: 2g with breakfast; 1 gram w lunch

Although I have only been out here for five days now, I can say with certainty that the trip that I had this morning was the most profound of my hike on the Colorado Trail so far. It wasn’t a “world spinning”, loss of ego sort of trip at all, but in terms of its impact on my thinking and view of life, it was very powerful.

It’s funny too because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. Since I had two back to back days with mushrooms, and then LSD earlier this week, and the LSD trip was so muted by the mushrooms the day before, I wasn’t sure how this would go being that I only had one day in between. So to be honest I was only going to have 1.5 grams with breakfast, but I figured that I had not fully recovered from the other two trips yet (only had one full day in between them), so I took an extra half gram. A half hour later, as I made my way down the trail I was pretty sure that I was going to have no effect whatsoever, but holy hell I was wrong!

About 45 minutes after eating them I could start to feel myself coming up, and an hour in I knew that the trip was going to be full force. It was as if I had not had psychedelics earlier in the week at all!

Early into the trip I walked by a trail junction that would have led to Molas Lake. I wanted to go out to it to go swimming, as swimming has become a big part of my hiking this trail, but the day was early and I thought that it might be too cold. Also it was a little way off trail, so I walked by about 25 yards before stopping in my tracks, turning around, and walking back to the trail junction. I didn’t want to have any regrets, and I’m so glad that I did turn back, because this became one of the highlights of my trip on the Colorado Trail so far.

The detour was only about a quarter mile off the main route, so it wasn’t that far out of the way, and although there were a few other people around the lake camping and rowing kayaks, I figured that they were far enough away, so I stripped into my birthday suit, right as the mushrooms began to peak, and jumped into Molas Lake. The water was chilly at first, but I warmed up to it quickly, and as soon as I was in there I knew that I had made the right choice. The smile on my face could only have been measured in miles. It was bliss beyond bliss.

After about ten minutes in the after, I got out, and heard a kayaker behind me remark to her friend, “oh my god! That guy is butt naked! I was going to go and talk to him, but maybe not.” I wan’t being indecent or anything, and she couldn’t see my dangalang because I made a point to try and at least be somewhat respectful to the others on the lake. I yelled back at her (don’t think she realized I could hear her), “You can still come visit, but it might be kind of awkward. Not long after that—maybe a minute later—I heard a very aggressive holler from the other side of the lake where there were some tents. It was probably an eighth or quarter mile away. He shouted and said, “Hey! Put some clothes on you damn hippy!” And then someone else at the campsite did the 1920’s whistle that sounds like “whoo, hoo.”

It was a glorious moment in my life to be called a “damn hippy” and I want to stress that I was far enough away that nobody could see my donger. But they could see that I didn’t have shorts on, so I think that it was kind of funny. I dried myself off and redressed and went back to the trail, fully aware of how hard I was tripping on the mushrooms.

I was smiling ear to ear. I felt amazing, and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. You see, most of my life Ive actually been really self conscious of my body, but out here I’ve worked hard to let that go and just accept who I am. Those people had never seen me before, and they’ll never see me again. And to boot, I was far enough away that even if they had to pick me out of a lineup they wouldn’t be able to. It was a very profound moment in my life there this morning to realize that I’m finally comfortable in my own skin and that I’m not afraid of the judgment of others.

After the swim the trail descended way down into the Anamas river valley. I was very introspective over that section of the hike. I almost turned on my voice recorder to try to capture some of it, but it’s hard to put into words. In short, I had an understanding of my purpose in life, what I’m doing, where I’m going, and where I see myself in the coming years. I met a few hikers along the way, and I’m glad that I wasn’t so high that I couldn’t interact with them, but I was high enough that it would have been hard to spend more than a couple of minutes in their company.

At lunch I ate another gram which basically just extended the already beautiful trip. The trail climbed from 9000 feet elevation to almost 13,000 by the afternoon. I swam in a pond towards the end of my trip, and there was a moose at the other end of it who didn’t seem to mind my being there. I would have spent more time in that one, but the water in there was literally painfully cold. As the trail climbed higher and above the tree line it brought me to views that were literally the best that I’ve seen on the Colorado Trail so far. Beautiful wildflowers, amazing mountains, and awesome monsoon clouds rolling in.

It rained off and on through the afternoon, but by then I was pretty well down from the trip, which was only a bit of a shame because the sunset tonight was to die for. I would have set up camp early and watched it, but I need to average 25 miles a day for the next two days so that I can catch a shuttle into my resupply town.

Lesson to take home from today: one day’s rest is absolutely enough between psychedelic trips out here.

Looking forward to my next trip and report. It will probably be three or four day though because I expect rain tomorrow through most of the day, and the day after I’m going into a resupply town where I’ll stay the night, go through pictures and videos, and post my writings (like this one).

Love.

—————

Date: Aug 6
Miles: 24.7
Dose: 1.5g w breakfast; 1.5g w lunch; .5g afternoon.

It had been three days since my last psychedelic endeavor as of this morning, but I knew that today would end that streak. Three days ago the weather was far too bad for psychedelics, and to be honest, it was even a hard day on trail being sober. I woke up to rain at nearly 12,500ft, and hiked for hours through a storm. The weather eventually lifted in the afternoon to make for a beautiful sunset that I would have loved to see in the glow of mushrooms, but even sober it was amazing. It may have even made me appreciate it more knowing that it was unadulterated by any substance.

The following day I went into a trail town (Lake City) for resupply, and I don’t have any care to mix psychedelics on this journey along the Colorado Trail with trail towns. Trail towns are weird enough as is. It’s almost a psychedelic experience on their own. After spending 150 miles in the wilderness by myself, to go into a town—even a town with just three or four hundred people—is kind of overwhelming. So needless to say, I stayed baseline during that day, and the day following (yesterday) for the same reason.

I left the town yesterday afternoon having spent about a day with resting, resupply, eating of pizza, laundry, and that kind of thing, but when I left I had a pretty good idea that today I’d be eating mushrooms.

I’ll be honest in saying that even now, even after all the trips that I’ve had on this hike and in my life leading up to now, it wasn’t easy taking the dose this morning. It never is. I’ve come to have a deep respect for the potential in these plant medicines, but at the same time, the more that I do it, the more I learn to just trust myself, and take the jump. It’s a lot like skydiving in that way.

So this morning I took 1.5g of mushrooms. I could have done 2 in hindsight, but I don’t regret my choice, as it ended up working out perfectly.

The first half hour I had zero effect, and the one hour after that was mildly challenging. It wasn’t all out unpleasant, but the come-up was... well, like it always is I suppose. But after 1.5 hours had passed I was in a very blissful and introspective place. I was fully connected with nature and this trail that I’ve been on for 9 days now. I found myself looking back on my life, all the things that have led me here, and thinking really hard about my future. I came out here seeking some questions about what to do in the next few years of my life, and although I had some idea of them before the trip today, I found a lot of answers in that first part of today. I also fell back in love with the trail during that morning trip. You see, after a trail town it can be hard to come back to trail. You fall in love with the ease of the town, the access to food and a warm shower, the social connection with other hikers, and all that kind of stuff. Then you come back to trail and it’s just you again. It can be lonely and overwhelming. The struggle of pushing mile after mile can get to you. But after this morning, I was fully back in love with this hike and completely fulfilled with being out here on this 500 mile journey between Durango and Denver.

Three hours into the hike this morning I stopped to filter water and took another 1.5 grams. This second half of the trip (I find that doing it this way just extends the trip more than anything) was a true adventure. I met a couple of day hikers on the Colorado Trail who told me that they were using the trail to access San Louise Peak (14,014ft elevation). The peak itself was absolutely not a part of my plan for the day, but several of them said that the view from up there was to die for, so after some contemplation, and after the mushrooms started kicking in again and I could feel the additional bump from the second dose, I made the choice to take the detour. I dropped my pack at the junction between the trails, and scurried from 12,300 feet all the way to the top. I only saw two other hikers during the detour, and they were on their way down. By now I’ve become comfortable interacting with other hikers while I’m tripping. I wasn’t high enough that it was a problem at all. Instead, I was in a state of ecstasy and introspection, and the world around me was all glossed over and beautiful. I found absolute isolation at the top right as the second dose of mushrooms peaked. It was like being on top of the world. I could see so far off in every direction, and I could make out the parts of the trail that I had walked over the last day to get up there.

Maybe this is just how I was feeling up there, or maybe it was the mushrooms, but for the first time in my life I stripped off all of my clothes except for my hiking boots and my hat, and I stood up there just like God had made me in absolute bliss and surrender to the moment. I have a close friend who says that I always get naked when I’m on psychedelics, but I don’t think that’s fully true. I think that they just push me in that direction more than I would otherwise feel the need. It felt liberating being up there in the buff, completely alone, on top of the world, 150 miles into this journey through Colorado and into myself. It was like heaven.

I wasn’t up there for more than maybe ten minutes. I snapped some pictures and video, got redressed, and then hurried back down to my pack where the two trails connect. when I arrived there I had one more half gram of mushrooms for good measure and continued down a beautiful valley with river water flowing beside it. The last bump of mushrooms just let the wave of the second dose ride on a little bit longer and it made the world just a little more beautiful than it already was.

By the afternoon I was basically baseline except for my afterglow that I carried with me until the sunset.

I may or may not dose again tomorrow. I haven’t decided. At this point I have 75 miles to my next trail town, so that’ll take three days. After the journey today, I’m toying with the idea of redoing it again soon, as I found nothing but good from it today.

Will write back again soon.


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25409966 - 08/24/18 02:41 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

“Trip Reports Part 2”

Date: Aug 7
Miles: 26.2
Dose: 3g distributed over the early hours of the day

I have reached a point that I didn’t even really know was the goal when I set out on this journey, but now that I’m here, I know that this is what I’m looking for. In short, I guess you could say that I’ve just about lost my goddam mind, but that makes it sound bad. I prefer to say that I have reached the threshold between sanity and unsanity. I have cast away that norms of society and I have completely become enveloped within this journey and within nature and within the self that existed and still exists outside the constraints of society and its norms.

In a way I feel like the line between sober/straight consciousness and psychedelic consciousness have started to blur.

Four years ago I had a dream to do this along the pacific crest trail, but honestly even though I tried and had an amazing experience out there that was completely enlightening, I don’t think that I got to the point that I am at now. I didn’t have the bravery to take the plant medicines like I wanted to. Yes I tripped a lot while I was out there, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it day after day again and and again like I have managed to do out here in Colorado.

I first learned that this was possible last year at the end of August... wow, only now that I write that do I realize that it’s been almost a year. It’ll be a year before this journey from Durango to Denver is over. Amazing how time passes. But anyways, last year in August I traveled to Grand Teton National Park and I watched the solar eclipse in its totality at the top of an 11,000 foot tall mountain while riding a mushroom trip. After the eclipse I redosed and hiked through the mountains for the rest of the day, redosing once again in the afternoon. Then the next day I did it again (but without the eclipse, of course), and the day following I drove to Yellowstone National Park and did it again. Each day, for three days, I just ate mushrooms at progressively higher doses to compensate for the prior days dose, and then I redosed through the day. It got easier with time, and the line between baseline and psychedelic reality blurred together. It was a very enlightening and empowering experience. It was nice to become comfortable within the psychedelic experience, especially while I was immersed in nature.

I have reached that point again out here on the Colorado Trail, and I realize now that this was the goal. I no longer feel tied down by the social norms of society. I feel true to myself and to the way that I was supposed to be before my upbringing, my education, and the restrictions that are placed on us by society.

I woke this morning and had a gram of mushrooms. An hour later while filtering water I ate another gram, and then about two hours later while stopping in the shade for a snack I ate another gram. The trip was not overwhelming, but it was absolutely present throughout the day. And here’s the funny part: Today was the supposed worst part of the Colorado trail. It was a notorious 23 mile waterless stretch where temperatures exceeded 90 degrees for most of the day. The other hikers who I met on trail (worth noting, that many people hike this trail, but almost everyone does it in the opposite direction that I’m hiking it, so I’m not with them for more than a minute or two) all looked miserable during the stretch. They were hot and thirsty, and although I felt it too, I have a lot of experience in hiking long miles and I have a lot of experience in hiking in the heat since I’ve been living in Arizona for quite some time now. So for me, the heat and the lack of water wasn’t actually that big of a deal. The trail wasn’t as magical as some of the mountains that I’ve seen up to this point, but with the mushrooms flowing through my system, I found my mind was a wonderland that I explored while I steadily walked along the path northward towards Denver.

I honestly do not know if I will trip again tomorrow. I want to, to be sure, but I only have so many psychedelics with me.  I’m not near running out at this point, but I’m not quite 200 miles into the journey yet, and this trail stretches for almost 500 miles, so I want to be sure that I do not run short. To be honest however, there is a good chance that Ill take a couple of tabs of LSD tomorrow and let the next two days after be my rest days (or maybe three days since I”lost be going into a trail town after that.

Thanks for reading. I hope to have more to share soon.

(Did I mention that I’m finding myself talking to myself a lot out here and also talking to the animals when I see them? I find their company to be more enjoyable than that of the other hikers.)

—————

Aug 9
Miles: 20.6
Dose: 2 grams (1 at breakfast, 1 more three hours later)

I have found that good place now. I have found a very comfortable relationship between myself and the mushroom. It has become a new normal for me out here now.

I will say that it’s probably best that I did not trip yesterday, both because my brain needed the rest so that I could reset my system a little bit, but also because yesterday was probably the hardest day that I’ve had out here so far, at least in terms of psychological challengers. I’lll keep it brief for now, suffice to say that I bonked half way through the day and was not feeling it. I was tired, I was hungry, and I’m sad to say that there was a part of me that was totally over the trail. It was a hard realization to come to, but I’m okay writing about it now because I know the cause behind it. It wasn’t because I was actually wanting to go home—it was because I was in an extremely sever caloric deficit. I knew that I had not packed enough food for this segment of the trail (oops!), but I did not know how heavily that was going to impact me during these last few days. But after hitting that wall yesterday I started thinking about why, and realized that it had everything to do with my lack of food and not my lack of love for the trail. That theory was more fully confirmed today, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

So as I was struggling with the trail yesterday, I started to think to myself about how much I was burning and how much I had eaten. I must emphasize that this is not my first long trail, and that this is something that I should have already had figured out, but we all make mistakes, so hopefully you’ll give me some leeway and forgive. So here’s the math that I ran: I hav been out on trail now for 11 days (as of yesterday), and I’ve been hiking for about 10 hours per day. With the condition of the trail and the weight of my pack, I figure that I’m burning between 600-800 calories per hour. So that’s 7000 calories burned just from hiking. Then you have to factor in my baseline metabolic rate which is about 2,400 calories, so to meet baseline I need to be eating 9,000-10,000 calories PER DAY! But since I didn’t pack enough food on this segment, yesterday I only got about 3,500 calories and I’d barely had more than that the day before. Not even meeting half my needs. So it’s no wonder that I was having a hard time. And as soon as I had my dinner last night I started to feel a bit better.

Today I expected was going to be a rough day because I had to work with that same caloric restriction, and I had to do about 21 miles to get to my resupply (where I am now writing this). But I still decided to eat some mushrooms this morning. Honestly though, my main reason for doing it is because whenever I’m tripping it kills my appetite, so I hoped that by taking some mushrooms it would keep my mind off the hunger pangs. It did... but it also made me remember how much I love doing what I’m doing out here.

I woke up early this morning so that I’d hav time to get the miles under foot and get into town (town meant that I got to have a big giant meal), so I started hiking at about 6:30 when I normally start hiking at around 9. I had one gram of mushrooms right away which kicked in within about a half hour, and I was in heaven! It wasn’t a strong trip by any means, but it gave me energy and focus and it adjusted my thinking in such a positive way that I stopped several times just to take notes in my journal about ideas that I want to bring with me back into the “real world” after this hike is done.

I met a super cute female hiker headed the opposite direction right as that first gram of mushrooms was “peaking,” but Ive reached a point now with the psychedelic realm that I was totally comfortable standing there and talking with her for awhile. I could feel a really beautiful connection between us, and if it weren’t for the fact that we were hiking in opposite directions, I would have LOVED to share some miles with her. This is a pretty big step for me because historically I’ve always been extremely uncomfortable with social situations while I’m tripping, but first the trip was not that strong, and two I’ve become extremely comfortable with tripping out here. As I said in my last journal, I’ve actually reached the point where there is barely any delineation between tripping and sober for me out here anymore. The two worlds have blended together into a very similar reality, and it’s everything that I hoped it could be... however, I do sort of wonder what it’s going to be like going back to work at the end of this journey and actually acting like a “normal” human being. God... I never want this journey to end.

Not long after she and I went our separate ways I realized that I was having such a good time and was barely even bothered by the hunger (eating the mushrooms really did help me with the hunger pangs), so I stopped and popped another gram. I also checked my supply and realized that I should have plenty to get me through the rest of this journey without having to ration too much.

The second gram was just a small bump, but it pushed the first gram to last longer, and I basically just rode this wave of euphoria and slight tripping for about 15 miles. Once they wore off the hunger kicked back in and I’ll be real with you in saying that I was basically starving once I reached the trailhead where I hitched a ride into town. The guy who gave me a ride into town was SUPER cool. He had hiked the CT last year and he was nothing but a ball of energy. He dropped me off at the local hostel here in Salida where I got a shower and asked for directions to the best steak in town. Although I’m trying to kind of conserve my money on this trail, I have been dreaming of steak all through the last two days. In fact, today while I was tripping I saw some grazing cattle and promised them (yes, I spoke aloud to the cows) that later in the day that I was going to eat one of their relatives. And since I had a promise to fulfill I walked my way to the steakhouse, ordered a whole order of shrimp, followed by a house specialty salmon entree, and when the waitress brought the check, I pushed it away and asked for the biggest steak that they serve. She asked if I was serious, and I told her to bet her ass that I was. So I tore up the steak too, and the owner even came up to me while I was eating my steak and potato and asked if I was going to be able to finish. I promised him that if my wallet would allow that I’d order three more steaks, and I wasn’t kidding. I swear to the god of mushrooms (Terrence McKenna, of course) that I could have done it. But i needed to save money so I can have a steak again tomorrow. So I finished my second entire, happily accepted the check which was expensive but worth every penny, and then walked across the street where I bought a whole pound of organic M&M’s, a bag of coconut chips, and an orange... oh, and a little chocolate bar. An hour later I’d eaten all of those too.

I’ll spend tomorrow and part of the next day in this trail town resting and resupplying before my next stretch. It looks like the weather is going to be good, and from what I hear, my next 100 miles may be the most beautiful that the trail has to offer. Also worth noting, I have my eyes set on a place called Lake Anne. I have MDMA in my bag, and although I’ve never taken it before, next week will see an end to that claim. I’ll set up camp early beside lake Anne and see what all this MDMA talk is about. I want to take it with two tabs of LSD, but I also want to see what the pure MDMA experience is like. Curious to see if you all have any advice on that.

Anyways, it’s way too late and I’m way too tired, but I wanted to keep this journal up to date, so I felt obligated to write.

Happy tripping, and I’ll talk to you all soon.

—————-

Aug 12
Miles: 24.4
Dose: 4 grams (2g w breakfast, 1.5g 3 hours later, .5g 2 hours later)

Today is my first full day back on trail after taking a zero mile day in the town of Salida (Beautiful town and I needed the refeed), and getting back on trail yesterday to knock out ten miles. This stretch that I started yesterday afternoon is widely thought of as one of the most beautiful stretches of the Colorado Trail. It is called the Western Collegiate alternate, and ever since I started the hike people have been telling me to look forward to this 85 mile stretch through the high mountains of Colorado.

Considering who I am and how I have set out to hike this hike therefore, I knew that I’d be taking psychedelics during this stretch of the trail, and today that came to fruition. Today I also thought may have been the day that I finally took too much. It’s not even that I ate all that many mushrooms this morning, but their affect on me was quite heavier than I was expecting when I started out this morning.

I awoke early to a beautiful sunrise, broke down camp, ate breakfast, and then proceeded to pop two grams of mushrooms as I started my hike. It literally only just occurred to me in this moment, as I’m writing this right now, why it may have been that I was affected so heavily... I ate an orange with breakfast. I have to wonder if the citrus from that orange may have triggered the mushrooms to kick in a bit heavier than normal. Impossible to say maybe, but I do wonder.

Anyways, not long after the dose I found myself yawning a lot. I knew that this was a sign that the trip was probably going to be heavy. An hour after the dose is when the effects became especially pronounced, and I remember hiking along and saying to myself, “this next hour is going to give you some challenges.” It’s not that I wasn’t able to function or hike, but it was a bit more difficult than I thought I was signing up for when I took the dose. The visuals were quite a bit heavier than any trip that I”ve had on trail so far, and several times I remember stopping to try and take pictures, only to realize that what I was seeing with my own eyes was never going to show up in the photos the way that I was seeing it.

As I had been promised, this stretch of trail this morning was absolutely mind blowing! It reminded me of the Grand Tetons of Wyoming which I hiked on while tripping on mushrooms last year during the solar eclipse... wow... that was almost exactly a year ago now. There were beautiful forests that were punctuated by high alpine scenery, rivers, and beaver ponds.

I reached a point as I was hiking along and trying not to fall down (the trip was becoming heavy enough that keeping my balance was almost a challenge unto itself) where I met myself. I don’t even know how else to say it. But I realized that my body and my “self” are two very different things. I knew this before the trip, but I found it profoundly true in this moment. I saw the entity behind the curtain that is my... I don’t want to call it “soul” because it’s beyond the soul even. I looked at *him* for a moment only to realize that it wasn’t a *he* and that sex is only a representation of this body that my being inhabits. It’s really hard to put into words, but it was a really profound and spiritually fulfilling realization.

Not long after this I found myself looking at my life and trying to identify problems in how I live. I’ve made great progress in cleaning up my life in the last couple of years, but as I took an inventory during the trip, it came to my attention that I am obsessed with *doing* and that I’m not very good at just *being*. You see, I always need to be in the process of doing something. I hike, then I eat, then I filter water, then I eat, and then I hike some more, then I set up camp, then I write, then I sleep, then I wake, then I make breakfast... so on and so forth. I very rarely anymore just let myself be present.

It was funny for me to come to this realization because I was in the process of and continued *doing* during the realization. I was hiking and hiking and hiking, and so as if to make the realization into an actualization, I came to a river and I just sat down. I rarely if ever do that on these long hikes, but I was so enthralled with the experience that I just wanted and NEEDED to have a moment of presence, so I sat down beside this little stream and I shut my eyes and I listened. It was an immensely peaceful and enveloping experience. I wished that it could have lasted for longer, but I also knew that as important as it was to just be, I also needed to make miles because I have a goal of getting to a place called Lake Anne tomorrow. I may explain that more later.

One other thing that came from the trip today after I continued on past the river is this idea that I struggle to put words to (welcome to the psychedelic world...) which is this: I have been toying with the idea of writing a book called “The Way out is Thru” about how thru hiking has helped me to move past some of the harder parts in my life, but as i hiked through the mushroom trip today I realized that I don’t want out anymore. I am where I want to be. I have found the thing in life that makes me fulfilled and complete. The question that then replaced how to get “out” was “how do I get *in*?” How does someone really get to the core of their being? If the way out is to push thru, what happens when we realize that we want into the self and no longer out? As I put that on the page it feels like a gross oversimplification of something much larger, but like I said, it’s really hard to put into words.

The beauty of the miles that I hiked through today really cannot be overstated. The fact that I took the mushrooms today certainly helped my appreciation, but this land is absolutely magical. I hope that someday I can attach pictures to this post and share some of the scenery with you all, but I hope even more that you get the chance to come out here and see it for yourself.

Three hours after eating those first two grams I sat down for a snack by a small lake and ate another gram and a half. An hour or so later I had another gram. The peak of the experience only lasted for around 2 hours, but the redoseing helped extend the beauty and afterglow of the trip. I wished that it could have lasted all day, but I also knew that I needed to let this morning be special in its own way.

I know that I started this by saying that I may have thought that I took too much, but as I lay down tonight writing this, I want to emphasize that I absolutely did not! It was among the heaviest trips that I’ll probably have out here on this thru hike, but the profundity of the realizations and the lessons that I got out of it cannot be overstated. It was really powerful and helped me to see myself and my life in a new light. There is a lot more that came from the experience, but I need to keep this posting at least somewhat brief so that I have time to write another journal about the day that I can share with the general public.

In the very near future (tomorrow maybe?) I will be taking MDMA for the first time in my life. I have been waiting for this mountain range to do it, and I feel that the time is just about right. I look forward to reporting what I find within this new substance.

Will write again soon.

—————

Aug 14
Miles: 27.5
Dose: MDMA, then 2 grams of mushrooms

So Call the papers, write home to mom, someone hire one of those pilots who do sky writing behind their crop duster planes! I’m no longer a virgin. I have in my entire life never experienced MDMA before today. And today I can say that I am changed in that regard. It met my expectations in some ways, it did not meet them in others.

I did not take any psychedelics yesterday on purpose. I really wanted to, because the hiking was beautiful and I would have loved to be floating around on a mushroom buzz, but I knew that this morning I’d be taking my first dose of MDMA and I wanted to have a refractory day in between tripping mushrooms and taking the ecstasy.

There’s much to say about yesterday, but I have to keep it brief; it’s already late and I have a big day ahead of me tomorrow. So what I will say is that last night after 26 of the most grueling miles that I’ve seen on the Colorado Trail so far I arrived at Lake Anne, which I had been told by hikers to be the most beautiful lake of the trail. It did not disappoint. The water was ice cold, but I swam in it anyways, mostly because I needed to clean myself of the filth and grime from the last three days of hiking. And I decided that when I woke up today beside the shore of Lake Anne that I’d take this MDMA that I’ve literally had hanging around from a VERY trusted source for about a year and a half.

I slept really good last night and it felt a little bit like Christmas Eve. I woke up a couple of times and thought about the fact that I’d be taking it today.

So I woke up a bit early, broke my camp, and right before putting my pack on for the day I took out the tab of ecstasy, looked it over, and popped it into my mouth and down the hatch. Someone from Shroomery told me that I HAVE to listen to Shpongle while I’m on the dose, but the thing is that I don't listen to music while hiking anymore. So more as a blessing of the day I listened to two of my favorite Shpongle tracks as I threw on my backpack and started down the trail.

I want to tell you that my life was changed from the dose, but to be real with you, I was actually underwhelmed. I suspect that the dose itself was not high enough to give me the full blown effects, but what I did find was right in line with what people told me to expect. I felt fluffy, and lovey-dovey for no apparent reason (although it was obvious to me that it was from the drug) and I felt really really really happy. I guess that since mushrooms and LSD and DMT have had such profound effects on my life, I expected something more in line with the profundity of those substances, but instead I just felt really happy, and like my tattoo artist told me to expect: I felt like I was in love with life.

It was nice, no doubt, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly life changing or anything like that. I will say that I’m glad that I took the dose and broke that cherry so that now I know what it’s like, and I do look forward to trying it again, possibly at a higher dose next time, but it didn’t meet my expectations necessarily.

I think that you could suspect that the reason that I wasn’t heavily affected was because I’ve been taking so many psychedelics on the trail, but I don’t really think that was the case, because two and a half hours into the trip when I felt like the effects had leveled off, I decided to take some mushrooms, and they impacted me much more heavily than the MDMA.

It’s funny because I was planning on hiking into town today for my resupply at around 2pm, but at 10am I reached a trail junction that lead up to a 14,004 foot tall mountain, and I decided to climb it. The climb was brutal with my massive pack, so when I reached tree line, I dropped pack, ate an avocado and some honey, drank some water, and slack packed to the top. I was definitely still high from the MDMA, but my thinking felt very clear. Oh! Anyways, So i decided to take a gram of mushrooms at that point on my way up to the top of mount Heuron. I’m glad that I did. I felt them almost right away and they blended well with the MDMA. The mountain peak itself was outstanding and majestic. I felt like I was on top of the world, and pictures did it no justice whatsoever!

After being up there for about ten minutes and getting some pictures I scurried back down to where I’d left my pack, had some hemp seed powder, wheat grass powder, protein powder, more honey, and another gram of mushrooms. After that I proceeded to hike eight of what may have been the most pleasureful miles that I’ve found on the trail. By this point I felt like the MDMA had worn off, but the effects of the mushrooms were very profound in how they affected my thinking. I found myself looking over my life, as I so often do, and thinking about life after the trail and how I want to start training for a 100 mile ultra marathon when I return from the CT. I want hiking and running to be a main staple of my life from this point forward, and although Ill be sad to see an end to the Colorado trail which is now already half way done, I am excited for the next chapter in my life.

Okay... it’s way too late now and I really need to get to sleep. I’ve had two really big days in a row, and tomorrow will be another one because there are two 14,000ft peaks that I want to climb tomorrow—one of them being the highest point in the state of Colorado. I’ll probably bring mushrooms with me up there.

All the love in the world, and I’ll report back soon.


Edited by TheScientificMethod (08/24/18 02:46 PM)


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod] * 1
    #25409968 - 08/24/18 02:44 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

“Trip Reports Part 3”

Aug 15
Miles: 24.02
Dose: 1 gram mushrooms

Today I ate a gram of mushrooms. It didn’t change the world, and I have to call this close to a microdose effect after the quantity of psychedelics I consumed yesterday. In the end there’s not much to report in this “trip report” so I’ll keep it extremely short and simple. But since I did eat some mushrooms this morning and it’s become my mission to document all my psychedelic intake along the trail, I feel obligated to at least make this little note.

That aside, I’d like to say that the day was absolutely amazing. I suspect that today will end up being the most physically demanding day on the entire Colorado Trail for me. I climbed to the top of the highest and second highest peaks in the state of Colorado, and still managed to cover 24 miles with a total of 9,103 feet of elevation gain. Needless to say I am completely exhausted and I’ll sleep well tonight.

I’m considering taking 2-2.5 grams of mushrooms tomorrow morning... although, now that I think of it, I also have a bit of LSD left. Maybe it’s time to bust that out again. I’ll report back either way.

Calling it a night though.

Be well my friends.

—————

Aug 16
Miles: 22.6
Dose: 2 grams mushrooms

What’s funny to me is that after the one gram having almost no effect yesterday, I didn’t think that taking two grams this morning would do all that much. Even after I took the dose, one hour into it, I was thinking to myself, “Okay, this is kind of what I was thinking would happen. A little bit of heavy pattern recognition, turning up of the colors, some different thinking... yada yada yada... nothing to write home about.”

That was an hour into it, but then an hour and a half, or maybe an hour and fourth five minutes into it, I realized that although I was not having a trip of nearly the profundity that I got last time I took two grams (one must remember that that was after two days of no psychedelics and I think that eating an orange with them made them kick in for me a bit heavier than I was expecting), I still found myself in a very strong and strange place.

It wasn’t that the visuals were especially heavy, but the *thinking* was shifted in a big way. When I took two grams last time it put me in direct contact with this thing that I want to call “the self,” but this time, “the self” became the spokesperson of my consciousness. This was the first time that I actually took out my phone as I walked down the trail and I started voice recording the thoughts that were coming to me. It was really, really, really important stuff. I’ve been at a crossroads in my life as I’ve come out here on this one month long journey and although I’ve found a lot of answers out here on the trail, today was the first time that they were given to me so clearly. It was almost like “the self” or maybe it was the mushroom, was giving me word for word instructions on how to lead my life moving forward.

I want to be able to share more, but honestly, it was quite personal stuff that the mushroom gave me. In short however, Ive been wanting to put more of my time and energy into writing and hopefully make a living off of that in the long run. The mushroom today showed me how to do that. I’ve been trying to figure out how to funnel my passion for personal fitness and exercise into a career. The mushroom showed me how to do that. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a living out of hiking. The mushroom showed me how it’s possible.

I don’t want to say more than this, because I really want to put it into action first, but I’m excited... well... I was going to say that I’m excited for this trail to be done so that I can put these things into action, but that’s not right. What I want to say is that I want for this trail to go on forever. I’m loving it out here. But I know that it has to come to an end. Now however, I know that when it does come to an end I know what to do next with my life. The mushroom showed me this.

I love the point that I’ve reached on trail with the mushroom. I’ve developed a very special relationship with it and I’ve become very comfortable with it. I think that it must be like sky diving. Your first few times are scary, but the more you do it the more comfortable you become with it, even though you still respect how big an act you’re taking part in.

I have a couple more days before my next true trail town where I’ll rest. Once I’m there I’ll write back some more.

Lots of love.

—————

Aug 17
Miles: 23.2
Dose: 1.5 grams mushrooms

Every time I start to think that I have a grasp of this mushroom thing I’m proven wrong. You’d think that by this point in the journey I have it figured out, but I absolutely do not. I’ve learned a lot about the mushroom and I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve learned a lot about the nature of life, the universe, and existence, but I don’t have all the answers, nor do I believe that I ever will during this life and in this plane of existence.

Here’s what I was expecting from today: Since yesterday I took 2 grams and had some pretty profound stuff take place (although I wasn’t expecting it to be that way), I figured that if I just took one and a half grams today then that would be something akin to a microdose. Nope!

I don’t know where I got it in my head that if you take mushrooms day after day after day you’ll build up a tolerance to the point where the mushroom no longer has an effect on you, but I really need to get that out of my head.

I first toyed with this concept almost a year ago... holy hell—it’ll be a year ago to the day later this week—when I went to Grand Teton National Park to watch the solar eclipse and spent three days backpacking while taking mushrooms each day and redosing throughout the day. The impact of the mushroom changed, but it never went away. So when I started out on this journey I wanted to toy with this a bit more fully since I knew that I’d have more time out here for this one. And at this point I’m comfortable saying that based on what I’ve found so far, the mushroom does not ever lose its effect even when I’m taking it day after day after day after day.

Here’s what does happen: I notice that if I haven’t taken them for a long time and my tolerance has fully diminished, then when I take them again the impact is much more heavy and profound than when I take them day after day, but when I take them as I have been out here on this trail, I still get a level of profundity from the experience that is nothing to be scoffed at. In fact, there are many times when I’m aiming for a small or microdose trip and what I’m given is on a level that I can consider life altering.

So as for the trip today: I set my target lower than yesterday. I thought that since I took 2 grams yesterday and it was pretty heavy, if I took just one and a half today, then it would be nothing, and that seemed to be mostly true when I first took them. What ended up happening is something that’s happened many times on this trail, so you’d think that I’d have learned by now, but I have not. I took the dose, and I failed to factor in that I had eaten a lot for dinner last night and had a big breakfast this morning before starting my hike. So I took the 1.5 grams at 11am when I started hiking (late start to the day because I slept in and dilly-dallied around before hitting the trail), and an hour into it I was thinking to myself that I wasn’t going to get an effect from them. Two hours in and nothing. Then about three hours in, blam! I started to get a little spinny, and the trip began.

The timing was not what I had planned for. I had taken them with the thinking that usually a trip lasts me about three hours (then some after glow will follow), and my first three hours this morning were really mellow miles. The trail just kind of stayed flat, but I knew that around mile 9 the trail was going to go from 9,500ft elevation all the way up to 12,500ft elevation, and I wanted to be done with the trip before getting to that climb. The mushroom had another plan though.

Maybe I shouldn’t put it that way though. It’s not that the mushroom just sat there and waited for the right opportunity to strike; rather, my body had to process all the food I had in my tummy before getting to the mushroom, and once it did, it kicked right in. Now, looking back on it, I”m kind of glad it happened the way it did, because it gave me a very different experience today.

The mushroom kicked in right towards the start of that heavy climb, and I’ll be real with you in saying that it was a bit of a struggle to get up through those miles. I’ve been through harder climbs, but no matter how you put it, hauling a backpack up those miles is never easy. On top of it, the temperature was about 90 degrees at the base of the mountain. So to say that I had to suffer for a bit today would not be an exaggeration. And during that suffering, the mushroom made its presence known.

What ended up happening was a trip like one I have not had in a very long time. Most of the trips that I’ve had out here on the trail have been primarily introspective and they have connected me with myself and I’ve learned about my own life, but this time the mushroom connected me with the collective consciousness of all life and all beings. It reminded me that thing that Bill Hicks said: “we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively.” I was reminded that I am not [insert my birth name here], but I am and always have been every living thing that ever has and ever will be. I’m just experiencing myself through the eyes of [insert my birth name here] for the 100 or however many years my life lasts. I am every tree, I am every blade of grass, I am every man, woman, and child who has ever lived and has ever died. I am Jesus, I am Hitler, and I am everyone in between.

Many years ago when I had my biggest mushroom trip I was connected with this too. I was shown how I have been the victim of every school shooting and I’ve gone through those deaths first hand, and I’ve also been the shooter. I experienced an officer being killed near where I lived and I realized that I am both the officer and the shooter who then killed himself after doing it. It’s hard to explain... it’s hard to even understand... but today, in a less overwhelming way, I was shown that again.

Now I want to make it clear here that I’m not trying to compare my climbing up a hill today with the suffering that others have gone through, but the mushroom connected me with those others’ suffering today and showed me how we as people make it through the hardest parts of our existence. In particular, I was put in the body of holocaust victims, and I was shown how they suffered and struggled through that time. I was shown a first person perspective through their eyes and their suffering, but then I was also shown through the eyes of the Nazis who did the killings.

It’s hard for me to put this on the page, because I don’t want for it to come out wrong... but that’s part of what I’m trying to do out here on this journey is go through these psychedelic experiences and try to make sense of them... try to put them into words. It’s an impossible task, I know, but this is my attempt at trying to do it.

I only have about 5 more days left on the trail. It hurts me to see this coming to an end soon, but I’ve learned so much and I have so much to do when I get home as a result of what I’ve been through out here—much of which I have the mushroom to thank. In the days ahead I plan to continue dosing regularly, and of course I’ll continue to document and post when I have cell service again.

Thanks for reading.

Keep on tripping!

—————

Aug 18
Miles: 16.51
Dose 1 gram mushrooms

I had honestly wanted to take a bigger dose today. I was thinking 2 or possibly 2.5 grams, but as I was writing my trail journal last night rain drops started falling on my tent fly and then through the night it rained off and on, sometimes quite heavily. I knew that I was going to have a heavy climb this morning on my way into Breckenridge (“heavy climb” is really just a relative term at this point, but it was from 9,700ft elevation to about 12,500ft elevation), but that climb wasn’t really my worry. In fact after the climb and the light dose yesterday I was almost looking forward to climbing on the mushroom today, but the rain is what changed my mind. I was in a place last night where I was able to get cell service, so I checked the weather and it said that the chance of rain was high. So with that in mind I decided that it would be unwise to take a big dose. Mushrooms I can do. A climb I can do. Rain I can do. But all of them at the same time doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

That said, I have reached a point on this trail where one full gram in the morning is more like a microdose to me than a real trip. When I say that I should clarify though. In reality, I think that a true “microdose” is sub-threshold by definition. When I take a gram of mushrooms out here, it is absolutely NOT sub-threshold. I get effects, but they’re not so overwhelming that I’m unable to manage slogging through a rain storm or up a mountain.

So after I broke my camp and packed my things up I popped one gram of mushrooms and started on my way. I could feel the first effects in about thirty minutes. I think that my metabolism was burning quite fast after the hike yesterday and since I jumped right into hiking this morning and my heart rate was at 135 within ten minutes of starting the hike (heart rate ranges between 120-170 when I’m hiking from moderate to heavy exertion). So my uptake of the mushroom was very quick. The effect itself was not heavy in any way, which was my goal, but then again it started quite quickly—probably within 30 minutes, which is exactly when the rain started and when the climb started.

I rather liked it though. I find that when I’m in a slight dose of mushrooms my head sort of cocks sideways, my eyes get squinty, and I almost go into a trance. It’s a very mental state of altered consciousness. The colors are brightened just a bit and my pattern recognition is very high as always, but it’s become a normal state to me now. I think of a dose of mushrooms like this more like a cup of coffee than anything. Not that the mushroom affects me in the same way that coffee does (though it does give me a slight stimulant effect), but that many people drink coffee in the morning without even thinking about it. It’s just a normal part of their day. That’s the way I feel towards the mushroom on this trail. It just is something that I’m doing just like the sun rises or the tide comes in and out.

I’d like to thank the gods of the trail that I did not chose to have a bigger dose today, because by the time I was in my downward part of the trip and into my afterglow, the storm became intense! It was literally the hardest storm that I’ve ever had to go through on a thru hike. At around 12,000 feet elevation the visibility was down to about 20-25 feet, the wind was blowing about 40-50 miles per hour, and the rain was coming “down” heavily. I put “down” in quotes because really the rain was coming in sideways. It wasn’t very pleasant, but at this point in the hike, I’ve learned to separate my body and the pain of the hike from my mental state and my self. I just go into a step, step, step mode and listen to my breathing and my footsteps. It’s almost a type of mediation and I like it quite a lot.

On my way down from the high storm, the weather started to clear out a little bit and I met two trail runners. They asked me what I was doing up on top of the mountain in that weather and I told them that I was thru hiking. They were interested in my story and they asked my name. I don’t want to disclose my trail name on here to the general public, but I will say that my trail name is a reference to psychedelics that you’d only really know if you were psychedelically inclined. They asked how I got my name and I just flat out told them: “I got a reputation for taking a lot of psychedelics on trail.” To my great pleasure, they turned out to be psychedelic themselves, and we ended up hiking together for about two or three hours into Breckenridge where they gave me a ride to their house where I was able to get a shower and then they brought me out for pizza. It was cool making a couple of new friends.

I have a resupply box here in Breckenridge that I need to pick up from the post office, but today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday, so the post office is not open. As such, I’m resting the rest of today and all day tomorrow. I’ll head back to trail for my last 104 miles starting on Monday, and my plan (weather pending) is to eat psychedelics all four days that it will take me to get from here to Denver. I hope that the weather holds out well enough that I can do some higher doses and possibly do some redosing throughout the day as well.

I’d also like to end by noting, and I may have mentioned this in previous entries) that at the end of this hike I’m going to do a “post trip report” and give some context to all that has happened out here, fill in some of the things that have happened between the psychedelic journeys, and combine all these chapters together. I may start working on that piece tomorrow while I’m resting.

In the meantime however, thanks for reading and I’ll probably post again as soon as I arrive in Denver on Thursday or Friday.
—————
Aug 20
Miles: 26.99
Dose: 3 grams (1 at a time spaced through the day)

I think that this may be one of my most favorite ways to take mushrooms out here. It’s not a big enough dose to make the veil of reality completely sever, but it’s also not so light that the effect cannot be identified or perceived. It’s a very beautiful middle ground between what could be called a “microdose” and a full fledged dose. At no point when I take them like this do I lose grasp of reality or struggle with day to day tasks like organizing my backpack, filtering water, or peeling an orange for lunch. But all the while, I can still see (quite literally) the effect that the mushroom is having on me.

Today I found myself thinking about this kind of dose more like a nootropic supplement than a psychedelic experience. Mind you, I still get visual effects from it (brightening of colors, sharpening of edge detection, increased pattern recognition), but the breathing of the trees isn’t distracting in the way that it would be if I were to eat two or three grams all at once.

I didn’t take any psychedelics yesterday because I took what’s called a “zero day” in the town of Breckenridge. By this I mean that I did not hike any trail miles. I wanted to be on trail, but I arrived into Breckenridge late in the day on Saturday (post office was closed) and I needed to get my resupply box that I’d mailed to myself. Since the post office obviously isn’t open on Sunday, I had to wait until this morning to get it. So I took the day off, spent most of my time resting and writing (I have now written over 100 pages while out on this hike), and thinking about the next step in life.

I’ve been bemoaning the end of this hike over the last three or four days, but the dose today really helped me come to terms with the end.

I started back on trail at around 10:00am, took a gram an hour into the hike, then another gram 2.5 hours later, then another gram 2.5 hours later. It was a perfect dose and a perfect separation between them. I find that on this low of a dose it’s almost like my mind goes into overdrive and just processes whatever it needs to work on. If I do not redoes and I allow the trip to end, I find myself sometimes kind of bored at the end of the day following the afterglow, but today I never reached that stage. Instead I just kind of rode that wave all through the day and to the sunset. It was beautiful in so many ways.

Of the things that I processed while hiking today, was—like I already mentioned—the end of the hike first and foremost. Over the last few days I’ve been really hurting in knowing that this hike will soon be coming to an end and that I’ll have to go back to my “real world life” once I reach Denver. But today it didn’t hurt so bad. Instead, I found myself looking at this hike like life itself. I was a very different person at the start of this hike. I was playful and childlike. Now, in a strange way, I feel like an old man (even though it’s only been 23 days). I feel like I’ve learned so much and that Ive gained so much wisdom, but here I am on my death bed, looking back on it all. But I’m no longer bitter that it has to end. Instead, I’m in awe at how beautiful its all been, and in a way, it all makes sense to me. I can see almost every piece of the entire puzzle from this end perspective, and I cant help but be in awe at how wonderful it’s been. I also feel like this is not the end... this is just the end of this part. Although I used to be an atheist, mushrooms and LSD (and DMT to an extent) helped me learn that there is so much more to life and reality than I used to believe in. I now believe that this plane of existence that we live in now is just a brief blip in something that is so much more massive. And when we die, I don’t believe that it’s the absolute end; rather, I feel like death is just a transition into whatever comes next. And that’s how I found myself looking at this hike today. The hike is coming to an end, but this hike is so small in the grand scheme of things. After this hike I will begin training for my first 100 mile ultra marathon. And after that I’ll be getting ready to hike the CDT next spring. It’s all about seeing life as a series of events, and although I don’t want for the Colorado Trail to end, life is about accepting these temporary things and moving onto the next thing. Impermanence is what makes it beautiful in a way.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about this thing that I feel somewhat uncomfortable even writing about. I don’t like when people talk/write about what they are *going* to do. I fear in doing so myself that if I never manage to actually do it, then I’ll be letting myself down and the world can say, “see that’s what you get for having those pipe dreams of yours.” But I’m willing to share them here because 1) you don’t know me, and 2) I fully believe in it. The thing that I’ve been thinking about is how I’m going to find a way to make a living doing this thing that I’m doing out here. I have a lot of ideas that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about over the course of this trail on how to eventually become self employed and make a living by hiking, writing about hiking, and making videos about hiking. I see a path forward after all the time I’ve had out here, and I have to emphasize to you all (although I cannot admit this to the general public), the psychedelics have played a massive role in helping me find this clarity.

From where I am now I have about three days to Denver. It hurts to think about that, but like I said, I’ve come to terms with it. In those three days (weather pending) I plan to continue to use the psychedelics that I have left. There is also a pretty good chance that after I reach the end of the trail I’m just going to turn around and start walking back south. I don’t have the time to hike the entire thing again, but I do have about 3.5 days between reaching Denver and my ride back home getting to Colorado, so I think that I’m going to hike back to Breckenridge, but I still have a few days to think about it.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll write back again soon.
—————
Aug 21
Miles: 31.59
Dose: 3.5 grams (1 at a time spaced through the day)

It’s almost funny to me to think about the fact that I’ve reached a point where I can take mushrooms like I do out here. Not only do I say that in terms of the frequency that I take them, but under the conditions that I’ve been able to take them. It wasn’t that long ago that the mere idea of taking mushrooms out on a backpacking trip amid a rain storm would have been the material of nightmares, but now I’ve made it through the biggest rain and wind storm of my entire thru hiking career (earlier this week) and then I have now made it through today, not while tripping in a complete sense of the word, but while fully under the grips of a mellow psychedelic influence.

Today was without a doubt the rainiest day that I’ve seen on the Colorado Trail, and I can only hope that it’s the most rain that I’ll see between here and the finish... although the end of the trail is really only a day and a half away. But it was a hard day no less. It rained a bit last night while I slept, but when I woke up there were distant clouds, and nothing more. So I started the day with a gram and a half, then redosed a gram every three hours after that. It was much like I wrote about last night. It was introspective and enlightening, but nothing like some of the bigger trips that I’ve had on the trail and before. That was the goal though. And it couldn’t have been more than that because there were parts of today that were not much better than miserable. At one point in fact there was severe thunder and lightening and I found myself at every lightening strike counting the seconds before the thunder reached me to try and assess whether or not I was too close for comfort. Although to be real, I don’t know what difference it would have made if I was too close. Being out here on the trail, there’s not a whole lot that I could do to get away from it.

As the day progressed I found myself somewhat damp from rain soaking into my rain gear, but the real issue was how cold and soaking wet my feet were. Only now that I’m in my tent am I able to get into some warm and dry clothes and it feels amazing.

For most of the day, when I could get my mind off the rain storm, I spent my time thinking between the beginning and the end of this trail. I feel like a very different person than the man I was when I started out in Durango, and I genuinely believe that the psychedelics have played a major role. All my other thru hikes I spent with my headphones in my ears listening to music and podcasts, and although I used mushrooms a bit on them, I couldn’t bring myself to use them like I have on the Colorado Trail. Out here I haven’t put my headphones into my ears even once since starting out nearly a month ago. Instead, I start my mornings by popping a gram to two grams, and I let the mushroom bring me closer to nature. I listen to the wind through the aspen trees, the flow of rivers, the falling of rain, the call of the elk, the stepping of feet, the beating of my heart, and the air pulsing in and out of my lungs. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and although I’m sad to see this trail coming to a close, I’m excited to bring what I can back from this trail and into the world outside. It makes me wonder how much I can hold onto. It makes me wonder how changed I’ll really be a month from now. But I’d like to believe that I am a new person and this is the person who I will remain.

Tomorrow will likely be my last full day on trail, and you can expect that I’ll at least take a light dose. I expect more rain... hopefully not as much as today, but I should be okay doing the one gram at a time thing that got me through today.
—————
————-
Aug 22
Miles: 29
Dose: 4 grams (2 grams w breakfast; one extra gram every 3 hours)

So guess what... you won’t ever believe this... but today... I... ate some mushrooms and went hiking.

To be real with you, if this were a longer hike, this would probably be the point where I decide to stop doing journals about every single day that I take mushrooms and just do a weekly recap, but the fact is that today is literally my last full day of the trail. And on top of that, my name is TheScientificMethod, and one of the reasons that I started with this website is to document my trips and to try and make sense of it by using a systematic, scientific approach. As such, especially since I’ve made it this far through the hike and documented every trip thus far, I feel somewhat obligated to continue it through to the end. That said, I have full intention at this point in time to hike the CDT (3,100 miles) next year, and my time on the Colorado Trail has largely been a test of the waters to see what I can do when out on a longer one. So I will almost certainly be using mushrooms out on that trail in a similar way to what I have done out here in Colorado, but I doubt that I’ll journal about every single mushroom day. Instead I’ll probably do weekly recaps or something like that.

But anyways, that’s another story. Back to today...

I think I wrote last night about how it rained pretty hard yesterday, and in retrospect, yesterday was one of the harder emotional days that I’ve had on the trail. It’s not that I hated being out there, but I just wasn’t in love with the experience in the way that I have been in love with so many of the other days and psychedelic trips that I’ve had out here on the trail. But I”m still proud of the fact that I made it through. And really, I almost believe that yesterday needed to be a hard day so that I could appreciate the beauty of today.

Through the night it rained last night and only stopped at around three in the morning. I feared that it would rain all day today too, but when I woke up the sky was mostly clear. So after breaking camp I took 2 grams of mushrooms, and then took another gram 2.5 hours later and another gram 2.5 hours after that. At this point I know that I have built up a bit of a tolerance to them. Not only is it my comfort that has grown, but I can tell that I’m no longer tripping nearly as hard when I take a 2 gram dose as I did when I had a few days off. That’s okay though. I wasn’t aiming for anything big. I just wanted one last day of heavy introspection.

Most of the trip I found focused on motivating me towards my future goals. I was really enjoying the trail during those first several hours of the day and I found a similar experience to about a week ago when I was taking voice memos with my phone about the next steps that I want to take in life. I’ll spare you the details because it would be a rehashing of what I’ve already written about.

Ultimately however I absolutely loved the trail today. Even when it rained for about an hour off an on, I was still digging being out here. And the rain storm made for an absolutely spectacular sunset. I am comfortable saying in fact that the sunset tonight was probably the best that I’ve seen while on the trail, which I can’t help but note is a beautiful end note to the trail since this is my last full day on the Colorado Trail and my last night out here before arriving in Denver.

As the sun was setting tonight I was sort of rushing to get to a river where I could set up camp, but since I had an extra liter of water with me still, I sat down, cooked dinner and just watched the sunset for about an hour, not worrying about miles or about life or about water or about the end of the trail or about anything. It was a perfect moment of presence. It was a beautiful ending to this trail that has treated me so well.

Tomorrow I have about 15 miles before reaching Denver. I plan on possibly splurging on a hotel room (haven’t stayed in a hotel in years!) if nothing else so that I can soak in a bath and have some peace and quiet. After that I’ll decide whether I want to book a flight back home to Arizona or if I want to wait a week in Denver (at a hostel probably) for my friend to come and give me a ride back. I’m leaning towards the latter so that I have some time to work on writing about this journey before getting back home to all the distractions of the “real world.”

When I do get to Denver I’ll go through these trip reports and maybe write up an into and conclusion before posting them online as a single document. And if you’re reading this... well, I guess that I’ve made it there, and I hope that you’re enjoying what you’ve read.

Will have more to say tomorrow doubt.

All the love.

————-
Aug 23 (final day of the trail)
Miles: 16.94
Dose: 2 grams at start of the day

It’s funny really... I would have expected by this point that I’ve got it figured out, but clearly I don’t. I don’t think anymore that it’s even possible to fully understand this thing that I’ve been doing out here. The psychedelic world is beyond our ability to grasp or completely understand. It’s too big for our little brains.

I think that I mentioned yesterday that I feel like I’ve built up a fairly strong tolerance to the mushroom, but then today I take the same dose as yesterday and I honestly had what boils down to my most spiritual trip of the Colorado Trail. It was not the absolute heaviest trip of the trail, but it certainly impacted me a lot more heavily than I expected.

I slept beside the South Platt River for my last night of the trail—about 17 miles away from the end of the trail. I woke up to a thick fog covering all around, but I slept well. I broke camp, ate two grams, and started on my hike.

Early on I crossed paths with three different people—a biker, a section hiker, and one thru hiker who was extremely cute and whom I wished I could spend more time with. I met the last one—the cute girl—about an hour and fifteen minutes after I started my hike and after I ate the mushrooms, and if I’d met her twenty minutes later, I don'tk think that I would have been as inclined to talk for as long as e did. I could feel the effect when I met her, but I thought that I was it. I thought that it was going to remain light and mellow. And I don’t know if it was what I ate with the mushrooms (nothing out of the norm, but a lighter breakfast than normal on trail) or if it was my overall mindset, this being the last day of the hike, but soon after I left the girl I found myself in a very special headspace.

When I first started getting into mushrooms, the friend who introduced me to them also introduced me to this term called “Christ Consciousness.” With something like this, I think that it’s impossible to fully describe, because it’s a subjective experience, but I believe that it does exist. That said, it’s not a term that I’ve thought much about in a very long time. It’s been many years, but as I walked down the trail today, that term came back to me. I felt that, after all the work that I did on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015, after all the trips I’ve had since then, and after all the psychedelic experiences I’ve had out here on the Colorado Trail, only on this morning’s trip did I ever reach that state. It was a perfect unity between “sober” awareness (in that I could function quite fine), and full psychedelic connection to the universe. The only other time in my life that I felt close to this feeling was when I took 6 grams of mushrooms in a controlled environment, first soaking them in orange juice. I have a half sleeve tattoo, and that tattoo is based on the experience I had on those 6 grams.

This trip was not nearly as *heavy* (only took 2 grams), but it was just as profound in that, for the first time on this trail, I understand the meaning behind every star in the sky, every grain of sand on earth, every beat of my heart, and every breath I have ever taken in my life. It all made sense, and I’m extatic to tell you right now that even though I’m sober now, I still feel connected to that awareness. I almost felt during the trip like the mushroom had waited for this day to see if I could make it this far. I felt like it was rewarding me for my perciverance and my willingness to see this journey through to the end. And by that I don’t just mean walking the trail from end to end, but dedicating myself to making it a psychedelic journey from start to finish.

I looked back on a very tragic event that happened when I was very young, when a girl who was my best friend in the world was killed in a car accident with her little sister (she was 7 and her sister was still an infant). That event has impacted me greatly and I wrote about it in my PCT trail diaries, but this was the first time that it came back to me on the Colorado Trail. That tragic event was painful to no end, but somehow yesterday, I was able to make sense of it. I’ve probably had 3 or 4 psychedelic trips in my life where that event came back to me, and I’m finding that every time it happens, I understand how it fits into my life in a better way. Each time I come closer to understanding that everything (literally *everything) that ever has happened and ever will happened took place for a reason, including this tragic event in my past.

The mushroom also spoke through me today and showed me the challenges that I’ll face when this trail is all over and done. In short, it showed me how it will not be easy to move forward from this trail and to bring this awareness back into my everyday life, but that it is possible if I show the strength that I’ve shown over the course of the trail.

After the trip was over the trail dropped back down in elevation into Waterton Canyon where I followed a river all the way to the completion of the trail. Along the way I saw one of the few animals that I’d hoped to see in Colorado but had yet to find—several big horn sheep. One of them even ended up being about fifteen feet away from me. It was like a final blessing from the trail.

The path itself didn’t end in fireworks or a parade, or anything of the like. It ended without anything spectacular. It ended in a parking lot beside a modest sign that read “Waterton Canyon” and “Colorado Trail” with a couple of trail logos. I took a few pictures, but couldn’t help but feel like they did no justice to the trail itself. That’s okay though. This train wasn’t about a single moment. It was about the hundreds of thousands of steps it took to get from Durango to Denver. It would have been impossible to encapsulate into a monument or a marker.

But as a commemoration of the impermanence of the experience itself, after I completed the trail, I sat down, drank some water, sat down my backpack, and then did one last thing. It was hard to do, but for a week now I’ve known that this would be the end of my trail...

On the third day of this hike I found a feather alongside the trail. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it was beautiful, and so I picked it up, stuck it in my hat, kind of tucked behind my ear and I carried it there throughout the day. The next day I put it back into my cap again. And again the next day, and again the next day. Ever since that third day of the trail I carried that feather with me every day. There were maybe a half dozen occasions along the hike where I thought that I’d lost it, but each time I found it again, tucked into one of my bags or pockets from the night before. I had that feather with me for 23 of the 26 days that I hiked the Colorado Trail. But now that the trail was done, I realized that I needed a way to say goodbye.

I walked down to the river, sat quietly in contemplation for a minute, and I took the feather out from my hat where it was tucked behind my ear. I looked at it for a moment, hesitated, and then sat the feather into the river and watched it float away. It was hard to do, but at the same time, it was an important act that solidified the end of this journey and reminded me that what is to be taken home is not the physical, but the memories of the trail itself. The trail will be with me forever, even if the walk is gone.


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OfflineTheScientificMethod
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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25409971 - 08/24/18 02:45 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

“Conclusion”

When I was in grad school, taking a class in creative nonfiction, I remember the professor saying that at the end of each essay we should write a conclusion that answer the “so what?” Question... So you’ve read all that garbage that made up the body of this essay, now “so what”?

And here I am today looking back on it all and wondering exactly that. And I’ve no doubt (or at least I hope) that you’re thinking the same. “So you’ve gone out there. You’ve realized the dream that came up alongside a camp fire while tripping on LSD. So you’ve gone into the wild. So you’ve eaten the psychedelics. So you’ve walked the miles. So you’ve discovered yourself... SO WHAT? What’s the point of it all? What comes next? What great wisdom can you share with us now that we’ve read this journey from start to finish?

Trust me, I want to put something here on the page that sums up the entire universe. I want to write some poetic line that makes sense of all the chaos in the world, that explains the answers to why we’re here and shows you why life has to happen the way that it does. In a way I feel like I’ve found some of those answers, but to try and boil them down and put them on the page still feels impossible. Largely I feel like the answers weren’t simple enough to be boiled down into words. I had to be there to realize the answers. I had to experience them first hand.

At the same time however, there are words that can be laid upon the experience, but they’re the same psychedelic cliches that have been handed down for generations now. “Be here now.” “Everything is love.” “There is only this present moment.” “Love thy neighbor as thy self.” “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” “Have courage.”

It feels like a cop out to put that on the page, but it’s the truth. And it’s the truth that most of you reading this had to know all along. I have to believe just based on where I’m planning on posting these psychedelic journals that the vast majority of those who end up reading this through have been there too. Even if you haven’t walked 500 miles under the influence of mushrooms as I now have, you have to have had those experiences. You must have had that life altering trip that brought you closer to the answers and meaning within this life. And like me, no doubt, you have to have come down to a sober reality and had to face the realization that there is no way to put it into words, that you had to be there to experience it yourself. Maybe like me you felt endless frustration in the gravity of that realization—that for just a moment you held the answers in your hands and that you could feel them with every fiber of your being, but that like the trip itself, your ability to explain it faded away with time.

So what then? What’s the point of it all? Was it all a waste of time?

Absolutely not.

I have been changed as a result of this hike and as a result of the psychedelic experiences I had over the course of the journey. Even though the hike itself only lasted for 26 days, I feel like I’ve been more changed by this hike than any other experience in my life. I am changed into a new person. I feel like an adult for the first time in my life (I’m 32 years old), and there was even a moment during the end of the hike, while tripping, when I said aloud (note that I didn’t speak aloud too often as I hiked alone), “You’re an adult now. Do something with it.” I feel empowered to be the ambassador of my future. I feel like I have control over what happens from here on out.

And although I hesitate to put this on the page, I still want to. I am planning to start writing a book about my hike of the Colorado Trail this afternoon. It will not deal with psychedelics on the surface, and I will not write about the fact that I was taking mind manifesting substances along the hike, but many of the things that I will write about will be a result of these trips. The working title of the book is “Birth, Love, and Death: 26 Days on the Colorado Trail.” Those of you who read my Pacific Crest Trail journals might be thinking that this sounds mighty familiar, and will be keen to point out that I never wrote a book about the PCT like I had planned to do, and this is why I hesitate to tell you that I want to write a Colorado Trail book. But here’s the difference from where I stand today: The PCT was too big first off, and secondly, that journey is not yet complete. I have written about 3,500 pages about my hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, and I’ve struggled to reduce it down into something that I can call a book. Also, that journey isn’t finished. My plan is to start hiking the CDT next spring (using psychedelics along the way, of course, and then the AT in the year(s) that follow(s). At the end of it I hope to have several publications and hopefully be able to support myself independently from writing and through a personal fitness website/career that I’m hoping to start pursuing when I get back to Arizona. As of the writing of this posting, most of my income still comes from my conventional “real world” job, and unfortunately, because of that, I cannot come out of the psychedelic closet public for fear of being fired from where I work. Until I can support myself independently, I cannot be open about the things that I’ve been open about in this posting. That said, once I can support myself independently from my writing and hopefully personal fitness work, I dream about writing a book with the working title “Long, Strange Journey: What I Learned by Walking 8,000 Miles Under the Influence of Psychedelics.”

Who knows... maybe it will happen or maybe it’s all a pipe dream. But if I learned nothing else along this hike, it’s to follow my dreams. I dreamed up this hike (although I didn’t know that it would happen in Colorado) alongside a fire while tripping on acid in 2014. It took a long time and a lot of effort to see it finally come to fruition, but now it’s happened, and it was even more profound than I ever could have dreamed. I stood there, in the fall of 2014, a very different person, asking the question of what would happen if I went out into the wilderness taking psychedelics and didn’t let the civilized world influence my reset into becoming sober. What if I went out there and tripped, and tripped, and tripped, and let Mother Nature be my home? Now I have an answer, and it’s my dream to share that with the world. Even if putting it on the page is a gross reduction of what I actually experienced, I feel like it’s my purpose in life to try.

And so here I am trying, and here you are reading it. Whether or not I succeeded even to a small extent is hard for me to gauge. You’ll be a better judge than I. And so I hope that you will share with me what you found in this text. I hope that I’ve inspired you in some way. I hope that you too might get out there someday and I hope that you start to find yourself in the way that I found myself along a 500 mile stretch of dirt between Durango and Denver.

And if you made it this far, and you want to repay me in a massive way, I hope that you’ll leave me a comment, even if it’s just to say that you read it. I have been incredibly inspired and motivated by the comments and feedback that I have received and continue to receive from my Pacific Crest Trail psychedelic journals. I hope that I get more of the same from the community following this post.

Until next time, keep on tripping (safely), Keep on Loving, and Keep on Living. There is a reason we are here, and it should be our mission to hunt down that meaning!

Love,

TheScientificMethod.


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OfflineTheScientificMethod
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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25410077 - 08/24/18 03:46 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)



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InvisibleInflaton
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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25410133 - 08/24/18 04:19 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Awesome man. Have not read yet but will do.

I love your stories. :thumbup:

One thing we can all agree on is that




Edited by Inflaton (08/24/18 04:29 PM)


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25410165 - 08/24/18 04:44 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Posting just to remember to read at another time....




:shineon:





-OM

.


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: openmind]
    #25410751 - 08/24/18 09:07 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

What a great read. There were so many impressive parts of that journal. I cant imagine walking the amount of miles you did. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciated this post! Keep it up man, I related a lot to this post and it put a smile on my face while I was reading it.

You really should try to write that book bc you're a pretty good writer, I got enveloped pretty quickly(I have a horrible attention span).

I wanted to do something along these lines on the AT, as I'm on the east coast. You've inspired me more to actually go through with it.

Thanks bro.


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: Master.of.None]
    #25411303 - 08/25/18 01:13 AM (2 years, 6 months ago)

I will be reading this very soon :thumbup:


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25411571 - 08/25/18 06:15 AM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Read the introduction post and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very excited to read the rest when I get home from work.


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: Psicomvb]
    #25413111 - 08/25/18 08:10 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

I enjoyed the read a lot, as always.

These hikes you do are very impressive. Tough and rewarding. Physical exertion and loneliness can be double edged swords, you can suffer them and enjoy them at the same time. They are addictive and self-reinforcing.

I like the idea of using psychedelics every day, isolated, on your own and see where they lead you. Never considered staying camped somewhere so you can go a bit deeper with the mushrooms?

You are an extreme hiker, very focussed on doing many miles every day, following a pre-determined plan. You surely have tremendous willpower.

All these hikes always have an element of challenging yourself, and wanting to prove to you, or the world, that you can do it. Well, you have already proven youself. Put your self-worth above achieving these goals and dont be afraid of changing plans mid flight. There is no failure. There are no rules. Only the rules you make for yourself. If you know who you are you dont need to prove yourself anymore.

With this I'm not saying that you should not challenge yourself once you know who you are. Challenging oneself is always good. We should never stop swimming and moving further, aiming higher, pushing ourselves. But if for some reason you decided to not finish one of these hikes, the next level is to NOT see that as a failure. Hope you get there.

And keep on writing, I enjoy it, had a nice morning reading! :thumbup:


--------------------
Materialistic, individualistic, truth seeker, risk taker.


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: Inflaton]
    #25413309 - 08/25/18 10:04 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Damn it's very inspiring, Ive been planning on tripping on top of a mountain this summer!!

One note is that you should of added the pictures in with the story's


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: MushMaggot]
    #25413487 - 08/25/18 11:56 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

I liked your stories alot! I just stumbled on them last night at work and read them both. Lol. I'm also interested in some of the other aspects of these epic hikes. The contents and weight of your pack, what you used to filter your water, what boots you wore. How did you keep your electronics charged up? What and how often did you stop for a pre shipped resupply box. Details please!

You must be really physically fit to hike 20+ miles day after day, but there had to some rough spots in there where you asked yourself if it was worth it to continue. Where there any times where you seriously contemplated getting on the bus and going home at the next town?

This is some epic stuff you have accomplished


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Than it is to need it and not have it.



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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: TheScientificMethod]
    #25415139 - 08/26/18 07:41 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Absolutely gorgeous pics. Absolutely amazing trip report. Thanks for sharing, TSM.


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: Middleman]
    #25416150 - 08/27/18 07:48 AM (2 years, 6 months ago)

I've been reading all your journals and this has been an inspiration just like the others. I wish you all the best and please keep us on shroomery informed if you get your writings published. I'm sure like me, many here would make the purchase.


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: jibbly1]
    #25416167 - 08/27/18 08:12 AM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Those pictures.. I want to be there right now.

Great hike and nice report. :thumbup:

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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: Pandemoon]
    #25416185 - 08/27/18 08:29 AM (2 years, 6 months ago)

This is amazing ! Thank you man. Sign me up for your book.   

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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: Sofaking420]
    #25417017 - 08/27/18 04:56 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Damn bro, you are a beast! I have the attention span of a 2 year old, but I read every word! I was hooked from beginning to end.
I particularly liked and could definitely relate to your August 20th report. Although I could relate to all of the trips, that's the one that stuck out the most.
Thanks for taking the time to write down your experiences and share them with us!!!
I can't wait to pick up my copy of "Long, Strange Journey"!!!

Respect!


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I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together


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Re: My 525 Mile Colorado Trail Psychedelic Experience [Re: Inflaton]
    #25417464 - 08/27/18 08:20 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Inflaton said:
I enjoyed the read a lot, as always.

These hikes you do are very impressive. Tough and rewarding. Physical exertion and loneliness can be double edged swords, you can suffer them and enjoy them at the same time. They are addictive and self-reinforcing.

I like the idea of using psychedelics every day, isolated, on your own and see where they lead you. Never considered staying camped somewhere so you can go a bit deeper with the mushrooms?

You are an extreme hiker, very focussed on doing many miles every day, following a pre-determined plan. You surely have tremendous willpower.

All these hikes always have an element of challenging yourself, and wanting to prove to you, or the world, that you can do it. Well, you have already proven youself. Put your self-worth above achieving these goals and dont be afraid of changing plans mid flight. There is no failure. There are no rules. Only the rules you make for yourself. If you know who you are you dont need to prove yourself anymore.

With this I'm not saying that you should not challenge yourself once you know who you are. Challenging oneself is always good. We should never stop swimming and moving further, aiming higher, pushing ourselves. But if for some reason you decided to not finish one of these hikes, the next level is to NOT see that as a failure. Hope you get there.

And keep on writing, I enjoy it, had a nice morning reading! :thumbup:




1)Ever consider setting up earlier and having heavier trips: Not on this trail. I did that a bit on the Pacific Crest Trail, and there is a lot of value to doing it that way, but for this trail I specifically set out to see if/how I could use mushrooms while in the hike itself. I am a HUGE proponent of "heroic doses" but I prefer to have them in controled environments (at home, where I know I'm safe). When I'm out on thru hikes it's hard because at the end of the day (even a short day), I'm dirty, tired, thirsty, hungry... etc. So I find that if I'm going to have a "non hiking trip" I would rather do them at home or near home where I know that at the end of the day I'll be in a safe place and be able to sleep in my warm bed after a warm shower. When I head out on the CDT next year I think that I'll do a half way between what I did on the PCT (trips at camp) and what I did on the CT (trips on the trail).

2: If you choose not to finish you shouldn't consider it a failure: I agree and I disagree. I have done hikes that were much longer than the Colorado Trail, so it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't finish, and with this hike, I wasn't so much looking at it as a challenge. The PCT was the challenge hike, and maybe the CDT will be next year, but this hike was actually kind of easy for me in terms of distance and duration. It was more about self and spiritual exploration rather than challenge. As for the CDT however (3,100 miles starting in the spring of next year), a big part of me will need to see it completed. I am very goal oriented, and although I don't think that others would see me as a failure if I didn't complete it, I need to see it through to the end. I have a tattoo on my ankle that reads "AZT11" and above that "PCT15" and next week I'll have a new one that reads "CT18" and would like to have "CDT19" and "AT20". These are my badges of accomplishment, and I have a lot of pride about them. They remind me how strong I am. So while I REALLY appreciate you saying that, there is a drive in me that needs to see these hikes through to their finish.

3) THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK! I think about the shroomery community A LOT while I'm out there, and I know that you all will be following me along the way, so it's comments like this that keep me driven to do what I do. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to read and to respond! It means more than I can put into words!


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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> The Psychedelic Experience

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