Citation: Karcinogenious. "Finding God in Upstate New York: An Experience with LSD, Mushrooms, Cannabis & MDMA (exp94150)". Erowid.org. Jan 5, 2013. erowid.org/exp/94150
This one day-long adventure of pure insanity was essentially my introduction into the world of psychedelics. I had tripped before off of low quality acid, low amounts of mushrooms, salvia (though strong, salvia really didn't strike me as pleasant or like it had much to offer), morning glory extract (also quite lacking something but with the bonus of nausea too!), DXM and other terrible OTCs such as dramamine. I had an extensive past with MDMA but I don't think this prepared me for anything except maybe the heavy body-load. But I had not even come close to pulling back the veil so to speak, and I was made well aware of that one fine day at a wonderful musical festival out in Amish country in upstate New York. This experience really taught me two important lessons: firstly, that psychedelics need to be respected or they will kick your ass and shatter your world views into smithereens. And secondly, that being an atheist is impossible if you take enough acid/mushrooms.
I had never been to any kind of outdoor music festival before and came from a pretty small town. The idea of being around a couple thousand like-minded people, and their drugs, seemed so amazing! A good friend of mine's dad had been going to this festival every year for a long time; it was basically a tradition in their family. It was a bluegrass festival out in Amish country and could not have been in a more perfect place. The stage area and vendors area was on a huge gently rolling grassy field. The camping places and trails in the woods section were the coolest place to be though. There were miles of complex trails all filled with the nicest hippies and most colorful campsites I have ever seen.
Well, when my friend asked me if I wanted to go and explained to me what it was about, I was instantly sold. I started saving up immediately and soon had a couple hundred dollars put aside for the event. Roughly 8 of my friends and one of their dads came along as well. He was really cool though and was okay with us tripping and such. I even actually remember him commenting on how good the mushrooms were this year and thinking I wish my dad would say that kind of shit!
So once we arrived, we all set up camp in various spots, but we had one main campsite we would all congregate at most of the time. We lined our campsite with hanging Grateful Dead tapestries and a few of the hammocks that were brought along. Having a hammock nearby was one of the most essential items there.
As soon as the last tent was up, the coolers of beer and Grey Goose were filled with ice, and we had a little to eat. We set off into the deep trails to seek out the psychedelics we were all so excited to have such easy access to for once in our lives. Walking down the paths, people crossing by whispered nuggets, doses, fungus and other wonderful options. The first substance I got my hands on was some decently potent Psilocybe cubensis
mushroom chocolates. I bought three. Each chocolate contained an eighth and I quickly gobbled down two and proceeded to locate a weed man, get some dank, and roll a joint to smoke. Hanging out at the campsite, the aroma of campfires and clouds of dank weed filling the air was intoxicatingly wonderful. I wish I could make an air freshener with that smell so badly.
While we were getting the fire going and meeting our neighbors, I realized how open everyone was, it was awesome, very refreshing. People would stroll right through our campsite and offer to trade shit and sell shit. Sometimes people would just plop down and smoke with us; it was a very friendly environment. Well while we were chilling in around the fire, still only an hour into the festival, not even past 10 a.m., the first sight of acid came into view, and I was ecstatic. He had these rainbow-colored geltabs, so I bought three and quickly gobbled those down and couldn't wait for things to get interesting. At this point, I was starting to feel the shrooms very hard, but there was something about the festival's people and just overall atmosphere that made me feel so safe and happy all over. I was lucky to never feel any anxiety.
A friend and I roamed through the forest labyrinth for a couple hours. I felt like a machine, walking aimlessly and completely lost, path after path. I saw some things I can't explain. We weren't really seeking out anything in particular, but great acid is rare and was definitely on top of my radar. The acid I had taken before was synergising with the mushrooms well; my visuals were smooth and flowing. Stopping to piss and being in the portapotty was insanely intense, a claustrophobic person's nightmare. I watched and felt the walls close in until I couldn't see, and the toilet warped down into a single point, and expanded, and repeat. I am pretty sure I didn't even piss in the toilet, but at least I didn't get piss on myself. Once I was outside and walking again, the visuals were much easier to manage. I didn't feel out of control at this point. Somehow I was still holding it together, but that was soon about to change.
Somewhere in the deep woods, I met a man who looked more like Ozzy Osborne then the man himself, and appropriately, his nickname was Ozzy too. He was about to show me that there is clearly a difference between weak acid and strong acid, and earlier, it was a tad on the weaker side. I bought 3 blotters, blank manilla-colored hits. When he gave them to me, he uttered a word of caution and asked if I knew what I was doing, and to only take one, and told me they were very strong. I smirked and said I did and put them in my pocket for later that night. I was feeling like I had really found the best acid in the festival, reassured by the nature of the old wise hippie I had just met. So we decided to head back to the campsite and drink a beer and relax and enjoy the visuals complimented by hippie screams, bongo drums and an array of festival sounds that were as humorous as they were slightly unsettling at times.
While we were just hanging out we kept ourselves occupied with beer pong and a lot of weed smoking. It was a very relaxed place and I don't think I got paranoid the entire festival, even when I was losing my mind. I definitely had enough drugs in my system and probably should have just rode out what I was on, but stubbornly I decided to go a lot further. The night's doses seamlessly brought back my slowly dwindling effects from the morning's consumption. My next meal came free from a very generous scruffy-looking fellow whose book bag looked quite full. When he asked me if the tent I was next to was mine and asked if he could weigh out some mushrooms in it, I immediately lied and said it was mine knowing this would be very beneficial. He opened his book bag and revealed at least a half a pound of heavily blue-stained mushrooms and weighed out several smaller bags. When he was done, we smoked a bowl and before he left, he offered me a small handful which was roughly an eighth.
It was starting to get dark, maybe it was around 6 or 7 p.m., and I was in need of a head change. I decided it was a good time to eat my free eighth of dried mushrooms and decided to finish off my last chocolate as well. My friend had also eaten a chocolate or two and we decided once again now would be a good time to hit the trails and see how much crazier these people were when it got dark. I was not disappointed by the crazy level by any means.
The amount of amazing drum circles and glow stick-wielding, face-painted hippies I saw was overwhelming. We hopped from drum circle to drum circle, meeting the strangest people. The drums had a physical effect on my body; I felt almost orgasmic roaming through the morphing forest, every drum beat making me more delighted. It was at some point during this hour or so of roaming when I discovered the first MDMA I had come across. They were in the form of pressed tablets with towers or something engraved onto them. My proudest moment of the whole festival was convincing this dude that if he gave me an Ecstasy pill for free that when my friends saw how good I was feeling, they would come buy one. I don't think even one of them came back to the dude.
It was getting to a point where we were slightly lost in the paths and still coming up from the mushrooms and knew we should navigate back to the campsite while we still had some sanity left. When we were finally back, I decided to take that plunge with what I had left, and really enjoy the night. I casually put the 3 blotters of potent acid under my tongue for at least 20 minutes before swallowing. It was still early as far as festival time goes, maybe around 9-ish at this point. The quarter of shrooms I ate roughly half an hour earlier was coming up strong, and I knew the acid would soon begin to take hold of me and I knew I should get comfortable, so I climbed into an open hammock one of our friends had brought.
Within the next hour or so, I started drifting in and out of one of the most disconnected states I have ever been in. I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I had no recollection of who I was, where I was, why I was there, I couldn't conjure up a single memory from my entire life. I just laid there, and I existed as a piece of ground or a rock, I don't know how else to describe this really, total ego death I suppose, but it felt like real death by all practical definitions. It was a timeless place in that hammock. I could hear hundreds of conversations going on around me and I was somehow following all of them. I could see the trees above me reaching down and tickling my face and I felt totally at peace somehow, even without any sanity left in me. Everything was completely alive, almost dancing, everything was buzzing with energy. I felt totally integrated. I just felt like a part of everything, like a nerve in a cell or something.
This is the moment that shattered my atheistic views that I had held onto for years, but that took the whole next day to really figure out. I can't put words on the things I experienced in that hammock, but I really felt like I experienced the whole of existence. I knew that I was just a small piece of something much bigger, I knew I was only a single piece in the vastly complex universe. I writhed and died and was reborn the entire night. I must have blacked out from time to time because there are large chunks I can't remember at all. I remember seeing people walk by occasionally and luckily they were always in good spirits, I was going in and out and could barely even say hi. It was obvious to anyone the trip I was on was a strong one.
I died and was reborn in that hammock that night and may have never actually slept, but I remember waking up, well, sobering up, a little. The trails and morphing were gently present throughout the morning hours. I got up and decided to go out to the main stage area before anyone else got up. It was early, maybe around 6 a.m. or so. I took a shit, found a vendor selling locally grown amazing beef, got a huge burger with every topping they had, and came back to the campsite to have a beer and fill up my gurgling stomach. I was definitely out of it but still pretty capable of functioning and still had a ravishing appetite. As strong a trip as I had experienced, I was surprised how forgiving it was on my body.
I didn't take more than a hit of acid on each of the next two days, one each night, but after going through such a weird trip the night before, it all seemed very manageable in comparison. After day three, we all packed up and headed back home. I still feel a special connection to that place in upstate New York because it changed my life completely. That day, I realized that it doesn't matter what it is called, God or perhaps the collective consciousness, something big was responsible for all of this, and it was a part of me, and I a part of it, and everything, every single thing on this planet and dimension, was connected. Along with a spiritual enrichment, I also took back a new respect for the drugs called psychedelics. I realized that they were as far from a normal 'drug' as one could get, and could easily teach lessons, big lessons. I learned more about my spirituality and about the potential strength of the psychedelic experience than I had in my entire life of 18 years up until that point.
The amount of shit I consumed and the casualness on my part was very stupid and I am well aware of that, and though it was a hard lesson, I wouldn't trade that for the world. I am forever humbled and am so happy to have survived that night with my mind intact. Never underestimate the power of these substances. They have the power to put you in your place, shake up your whole world, shatter your philosophies. The first time can be quite traumatic. It was beautiful at moments but also terrifying during many throughout that timeless night. I learned more about myself and about the universe then a person ever needs to, and I still am struggling to figure out what happened there in upstate New York.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.