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Tripping Balls Near Waterfalls
#1
Back in 2004, at the end of summer, I stumbling out of the pub at the end of Wasdale, full of real ale and chicken curry, with my insides gurgling like the riverlet alongside me.

My aim was to bivvi on one of the mountains, but I quickly realised this wasn't tenable in my current state. I'd boozed and eaten until after dark and despite my headtorch, what I had planned required daylight. When a preliminary spatter of raindrops began to chill my head, I decided on a 'hasty', which is essentially wrapping a basha around yourself like a cloak and leaning back into some soft undergrowth to sleep. I chose bracken rather than heather as there's less chance of tics. I made two partings in the plants, folded them together into a mohican, and leaned back onto one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept on. The moon came out and bleached the stars slightly, but I still saw a couple of meteors. Then the rain came in earnest and I covered my head and slept.

You wake early in these circumstances. The dawn floodlit the face of great gable, my intended destination. I drank my water then went to the stream for a refil. And that's when I saw them: the longest, bluest liberty caps I'd ever seen, spliced into the spike rushes growing from the bank. The stems were thick and covered in teal bruising, the caps, still not fully open, looked like bells with sharped tips. I don't normally consume the body of the mushroom, finding tea less gastro-problematic, but these were so beautiful, and it was such a nice day, that I scoffed the lot, really enjoying their earthy, undergrowthy, mushroominess. I poured tang orange powder into my water bottle and continued towards the mountain, expecting a mild buzz in twenty minutes time.

But they were strong ones and they hit me hard in only ten minutes.

Faced with the sudden unplanned onset of a powerful psychedelic experience, I was left with absolutely no recourse other than to inflate my thermarest on a grassy bank, place my rucksack as a headrest and boil Rajasthani chai on my multifuel stove. And put my shades on and take a pull on my vape as I lay in the sun, listening to the Cocteau Twins' Four-Calendar Cafe beneath a sky filled with 'Simpsons' clouds.

I was just getting to slurp the familiar flavours of black tea, milk, raw sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and black pepper when the fungi started to kick in fully. I became fixated on a flock of distant sheep. I remembered the moment from Father Ted where's he's explaining that the plastic sheep on their caravan table are small, but those in the field outside are far away. I began perceiving the distant flock as actually being close and small. Since there was no window between us for them to be on, they must be on the watery film on the front of my eyes. Eeeghad! I had tiny sheep in my eyes! I began rubbing them away. I could feel them squirming out from under my eyelids and fingertips.

I stared at my hand, there were no sheep on my fingers. Looking up I saw they were back in the field. Two rooks flew from left to right in flicker-book strobelight and I realised I was beginning to trip balls. I heard a cow sneeze about a mile away. I smelled the herb robert growing in the woods on the opposite bank of the valley, the lemony moss sucking at the stones around me.

Voices chattered out from between the pebbles in the streambed as all the creatures that scatter when you arrive in a place began creeping back because I was lying still. Birds, insects, eventually small, then larger, mammals. But for some reason they were all disguised as one another. There was a bird wearing a little rabbit-mask. A rabbit with a sheep's face. A dog-faced sheep. A sheep with the face of a the pub barman.

I realised I was becoming too suggestible and, with my last remaining ounce of grounded sensibleness, relocated to a place where I was certain not to meet any members of the public.

It was 8:23am.

[Mild interest will get you part two]
"The depth of research that binds the pages together is amazing and enlightening to all but the most intellectual of readers. It's a light hearted read, but dark and brooding. Recommended for anyone ready to get their teeth into something tasty."
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#2
[mild interest]
Reply
#3
[more mild interest]
Reply
#4
[minor interest]
love the world and it will love you back. chin
Reply
#5
[mild interest]
This is outrageous. This is contagious. So futile.
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#6
Love your posts, so consider me mildly interested.
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#7
Logged in purely out of mild interest.
P.S You should make a book from your musings/reports . Always enjoy your posts.
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#8
OK then :-)

I firmly believe we have a right to do dangerous things, provided the risks are understood beforehand and the end result owned properly. Seeking continual safety is akin to never using a stove in case it inconveniences the fire brigade. It could be argued I may have got mountain rescue called out, or my corpse could have upset my family, but I have some climbing experience and wasn't intending to get into a rope and carabiner situation. Perhaps I'm a little foolish, but here I am telling you what happened.

I tightened the straps on my rucksack, made sure it was central along my spine for balance and began climbing up the face of great gable tripping my tits off.

The lower reaches are large boulders with sharp edges and the intensity of the geometry was almost blinding with it's angular non-conformity. They're hard going though and I was glad when the surface changed to smaller rocks. The trip wasn't reducing in intensity, but I was getting used to it. Almost like looking down on my body as a physical vehicle quite separate from my mind, like a puppet at the end of it's strings. I was seeing sudden increases in colour and contrast, together with a few monochrome streamers, but nothing that affected my vision enough to cause any clumsiness. When I was half way up, after ninety minutes of enervating climbing, I stopped where the surface turned to scree proper and turned to look behind me into the valley. The sight nearly sucked the air out of my lungs. The entire landscape bulged into my eyes, the colours boosted almost beyond vision. The valley was the green which all other greens are made from and the face of Scafell and Scafell Pike opposite looked like the frowning forehead of a colossal graphite Buddha catching some rays in front of a Wedgewood blue sky. Late rising walkers in pastel colours meandered below like liquorice all sort ants, carrying rucksack pupae on their backs.

I looked up behind me, where the scree was only pebble-sized, and realised just how steep the thing really was. A couple more degrees towards vertical and it would all be in the valley. I could see and hear trickles of gravel losing their fight with gravity. Keeping very low, with three points of contact at all times, I continued upwards. I don't get vertigo, but some things are just so high that the potential fall seems to suck you backwards. I continued until the grains of scree were so tiny as to form soil. A few patches of grass were dotted around and I noticed a small group of flowers in the middle of one of them. Then I suddenly started sliding backwards, rather quickly. I dropped to my stomach, put my legs together and lifted my feet to avoid them digging in and forcing me to turn sideways, clasped my hands on top of my head in case I'd brought any rocks down and tried to slow my fall with my elbows. But this doesn't work if the skree beneath you is moving too, which is what was happening. I'd estimate I slid about sixty feet back down the face of the mountain before I came to rest, my heart thumping like a jungle drum. Turning my head to the right, I saw the patch of flowers I'd noticed earlier; an entire section of surface had dislodged and come down with me. I traversed sideways onto a firmer surface and decided I was probably high enough. In both senses.

Whether it was adrenalin or the fact that I'd finally digested the whole of the mushrooms, the trip, like myself, reached it's peak. I freed myself from my rucksack, pinned it down with a walking pole and laid starfish on my back. Vision became mirage. There was a sigh like the sound of a snake shedding it's skin and substance faltered into shadow, lines deserted edges and definition lapsed entirely. Causal threads sought association with the moment like sperms crowding an ovum. A forest of decision-trees rooted in a single gazing eye. Space was alive with electrical animals: good thoughts, bad thoughts, the space between thoughts, all crackling in polychrome stars and me in the midst of it all; a single sentient spark in the centre of the explosion.

I remained where I was for a long time, feeling like I was falling upwards into the sky, that by risking my life I'd blown away every last cobweb, dismissed every triviality, that my purpose and way forwards were laid bare like a gant chart. Then I realised I still had to climb down.

This took even longer than the climb, as the stress on the knees is immense, and by the time I reached the footpath the sunlight had gone from the valley. I stood with my legs shaking, looking up at where I'd been, wondering how such insanity could lead to epiphany. Yet it had done so. The fungi inside my began to have their familiar effect and my stomach felt like it was filled with lampreys. Food, then. At the top of the valley there's a beautiful waterfall in a gorge steep enough to conceal a wild camper. I got down to the stream and climbed up to the falls, finding a grassy platform flat enough to sleep on next to the water. I put my midge net over my head and started cooking. A long time ago, I learned that even humble beans taste godlike outdoors after exercise. Then I realised that truly delicious food is sublime under similar circumstances. I cooked a masala dosa, pancake first, spiced potato rolled inside, sambhar poured on top, then a fresh esspresso made using a handpresso. I ate and drank like a roman emperor.

As it got dark, the remains of the trip became more cerebral, but the darkness made my eyes more suggestible. I had a blast of noid vape to mellow things out and make the most of what was left of the shrooms. I left the torch off to gain my night vision, then, as the moon came up, I noticed a turtle crossing the stream below me. Another followed it. Soon, there was a line of them, following one another through the water. Wherever they were going, the exit appeared troublesome, as they began to pile on top of one another. Two, three, four high, stacked against the opposite bank. In the end, a pile of turtles twenty thick and fifty wide were banked up on top of one another. I knew this couldn't be real but was at a loss to explain such a hallucination in moonlight. What I had experienced before were the voices chattering from the stream, separate from the sound of the falling water. Gigglings and conversations, calls and responses, watery secrets being whispered, gossiping words and tinkling sentences. I inflated the thermarest, got in the bivvi bag and fell asleep to these sounds with a smile on my face.

In the morning I discovered the turtles had been the curved remains of a collapsed dry stone wall that crossed the stream. The light of the rising moon had revealed them gradually, one after another, their shells the moss atop each stone and their legs more moss in the cracks. Such is the mind.

Thoroughly pleased with my adventure, I went back to the pub and pretended not to be the kind of person who does things like this.
"The depth of research that binds the pages together is amazing and enlightening to all but the most intellectual of readers. It's a light hearted read, but dark and brooding. Recommended for anyone ready to get their teeth into something tasty."
Reply
#9
Fine & Splendid - Just as it should be - Onwards



(21-07-2017, 11:21 PM)2Corinth13:1 Wrote: OK then :-)

I firmly believe we have a right to do dangerous things, provided the risks are understood beforehand and the end result owned properly. Seeking continual safety is akin to never using a stove in case it inconveniences the fire brigade. It could be argued I may have got mountain rescue called out, or my corpse could have upset my family, but I have some climbing experience and wasn't intending to get into a rope and carabiner situation. Perhaps I'm a little foolish, but here I am telling you what happened.

I tightened the straps on my rucksack, made sure it was central along my spine for balance and began climbing up the face of great gable tripping my tits off.

The lower reaches are large boulders with sharp edges and the intensity of the geometry was almost blinding with it's angular non-conformity. They're hard going though and I was glad when the surface changed to smaller rocks. The trip wasn't reducing in intensity, but I was getting used to it. Almost like looking down on my body as a physical vehicle quite separate from my mind, like a puppet at the end of it's strings. I was seeing sudden increases in colour and contrast, together with a few monochrome streamers, but nothing that affected my vision enough to cause any clumsiness. When I was half way up, after ninety minutes of enervating climbing, I stopped where the surface turned to scree proper and turned to look behind me into the valley. The sight nearly sucked the air out of my lungs. The entire landscape bulged into my eyes, the colours boosted almost beyond vision. The valley was the green which all other greens are made from and the face of Scafell and Scafell Pike opposite looked like the frowning forehead of a colossal graphite Buddha catching some rays in front of a Wedgewood blue sky. Late rising walkers in pastel colours meandered below like liquorice all sort ants, carrying rucksack pupae on their backs.

I looked up behind me, where the scree was only pebble-sized, and realised just how steep the thing really was. A couple more degrees towards vertical and it would all be in the valley. I could see and hear trickles of gravel losing their fight with gravity. Keeping very low, with three points of contact at all times, I continued upwards. I don't get vertigo, but some things are just so high that the potential fall seems to suck you backwards. I continued until the grains of scree were so tiny as to form soil. A few patches of grass were dotted around and I noticed a small group of flowers in the middle of one of them. Then I suddenly started sliding backwards, rather quickly. I dropped to my stomach, put my legs together and lifted my feet to avoid them digging in and forcing me to turn sideways, clasped my hands on top of my head in case I'd brought any rocks down and tried to slow my fall with my elbows. But this doesn't work if the skree beneath you is moving too, which is what was happening. I'd estimate I slid about sixty feet back down the face of the mountain before I came to rest, my heart thumping like a jungle drum. Turning my head to the right, I saw the patch of flowers I'd noticed earlier; an entire section of surface had dislodged and come down with me. I traversed sideways onto a firmer surface and decided I was probably high enough. In both senses.

Whether it was adrenalin or the fact that I'd finally digested the whole of the mushrooms, the trip, like myself, reached it's peak. I freed myself from my rucksack, pinned it down with a walking pole and laid starfish on my back. Vision became mirage. There was a sigh like the sound of a snake shedding it's skin and substance faltered into shadow, lines deserted edges and definition lapsed entirely. Causal threads sought association with the moment like sperms crowding an ovum. A forest of decision-trees rooted in a single gazing eye. Space was alive with electrical animals: good thoughts, bad thoughts, the space between thoughts, all crackling in polychrome stars and me in the midst of it all; a single sentient spark in the centre of the explosion.

I remained where I was for a long time, feeling like I was falling upwards into the sky, that by risking my life I'd blown away every last cobweb, dismissed every triviality, that my purpose and way forwards were laid bare like a gant chart. Then I realised I still had to climb down.

This took even longer than the climb, as the stress on the knees is immense, and by the time I reached the footpath the sunlight had gone from the valley. I stood with my legs shaking, looking up at where I'd been, wondering how such insanity could lead to epiphany. Yet it had done so. The fungi inside my began to have their familiar effect and my stomach felt like it was filled with lampreys. Food, then. At the top of the valley there's a beautiful waterfall in a gorge steep enough to conceal a wild camper. I got down to the stream and climbed up to the falls, finding a grassy platform flat enough to sleep on next to the water. I put my midge net over my head and started cooking. A long time ago, I learned that even humble beans taste godlike outdoors after exercise. Then I realised that truly delicious food is sublime under similar circumstances. I cooked a masala dosa, pancake first, spiced potato rolled inside, sambhar poured on top, then a fresh esspresso made using a handpresso. I ate and drank like a roman emperor.

As it got dark, the remains of the trip became more cerebral, but the darkness made my eyes more suggestible. I had a blast of noid vape to mellow things out and make the most of what was left of the shrooms. I left the torch off to gain my night vision, then, as the moon came up, I noticed a turtle crossing the stream below me. Another followed it. Soon, there was a line of them, following one another through the water. Wherever they were going, the exit appeared troublesome, as they began to pile on top of one another. Two, three, four high, stacked against the opposite bank. In the end, a pile of turtles twenty thick and fifty wide were banked up on top of one another. I knew this couldn't be real but was at a loss to explain such a hallucination in moonlight. What I had experienced before were the voices chattering from the stream, separate from the sound of the falling water. Gigglings and conversations, calls and responses, watery secrets being whispered, gossiping words and tinkling sentences. I inflated the thermarest, got in the bivvi bag and fell asleep to these sounds with a smile on my face.

In the morning I discovered the turtles had been the curved remains of a collapsed dry stone wall that crossed the stream. The light of the rising moon had revealed them gradually, one after another, their shells the moss atop each stone and their legs more moss in the cracks. Such is the mind.

Thoroughly pleased with my adventure, I went back to the pub and pretended not to be the kind of person who does things like this.
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