Citation: ForestDweller. "Hangin Around the Transitions: An Experience with Mescaline (exp103872)". Erowid.org. Sep 29, 2019. erowid.org/exp/103872
Mescaline was never a drug I had considered trying before. It had never been on my radar, had never been easily accessible. My friend J, who Iíve had several psychedelic adventures with, loves mescaline, and happened to come across some and offered me the opportunity to try it with him. Always interested in exploring new places and new substances, I of course agreed.
J and I traveled to an amazing little wilderness area a few hours outside of the city I live in, a place with substantial physical and emotional separation from my everyday life. Our mutual friend S came with us, and we backpacked a few miles into the woods and stayed the night in a nice pine forest right on the edge of a big marshy grassland. I really enjoyed the idea of staying right on the edge of the forest, and unbeknownst to me this transition between the trees and the meadow would play a large part of my trip the following day.
I got an amazing amount of sleep the night before, and woke up to find myself alone in the tent, the sun already fairly high in the sky. I wandered around the woods a bit before I found J and S, who had discovered a nearby creek and a great little place to make basecamp for the day. I followed them through the marshy grassland, which was covered in huge patches of thick moss, to a big flat rock in the middle of the creek. We were right next to the meadow, but we were only about 10 feet away from the edge of the forest. We mixed up 500 mg of pure white mescaline powder into some water, and J and I each drank half of the liquid, chasing it down with a generous amount of orange juice.
I always enjoy waiting for the come up, and I was curious how mescaline would be different than mushrooms, which I have done maybe half a dozen times. We took off our shoes and shirts and enjoyed the warm sun, and started to walk around in the calf-deep water. After maybe half an hour I started to feel slight changes in my perception. The water and trees and sky were already incredibly deep and pure in color, so the perception changes had more to do with eye movements and body awareness. Just slight things, like noticing that I would stare off at a patch of water or tree needles for longer than usual, or that my body felt like I was in an extremely slow motion wave.
J and I both had to pee around the same, so we waded upstream for a little ways and then found a nice place to enter the forest. We gingerly walked barefoot through a patch of woody ground cover, but after that we made it to an area of moss inside the forest. We stood on the moss, which was full of cold water. It send shivers up my spine, and then the shivers started to reverberate through my body, going up and down my legs, through my torso, into my arms, and back and around and over and it felt so good. J and I giggled, just standing there in the cold moss and jerking our bodies around to this internal rhythm. The trip had begun.
After peeing we walked around on the moss for a while, and eventually stopped in front of a tree with a bunch of dead branches. One time J and I had gone to a science museum, and there was this really cool exhibit where a thin metal bar was attached to the vibrating head of a speaker that played various songs. You couldnít make out what the song was until you bit down on the metal bar, which vibrated your teeth and your skull and you could hear the song loud and clear, like it was coming from inside your head. Inspired by this random memory, I broke off a dead stick and put it in my mouth, then plucked the stick and my head filled with the most wonderful vibrations!
I broke off a dead stick and put it in my mouth, then plucked the stick and my head filled with the most wonderful vibrations!
I showed J, and he helped me adjust the stick so that my teeth were clamped down on it and it came out of both sides of my mouth. Plucking the two different sides resulted in two different frequencies. It was amazing! We spent a good deal of time trying sticks of different lengths and thicknesses, finding the best one to take back to our friend S.
It should be said here that S is probably the best sitter in the world for J and me, because he knows exactly how to respond to us, in this situation and in every other. We showed him the stick instrument upon returning from the woods, and he was just as stoked about it as we were. J and I were starting to feel the mescaline more and more, but it wasnít until we made our way back to the sunshine bathed rock that everything started to accelerate. On mushrooms I usually experience a couple of minutes where everything feels slightly out of control, but I never felt that with the mescaline. It was a smooth ride upwards, no anxiety, no nausea, no problems.
On mushrooms I usually experience a couple of minutes where everything feels slightly out of control, but I never felt that with the mescaline. It was a smooth ride upwards, no anxiety, no nausea, no problems.
After five or ten minutes the accelerating feeling subsided and left both J and me feeling really good. We played around in the creek, marveling at the shadows cast by the waves on the rocky bottom, watching beautiful iridescent dragonflys flit about, and playing with a crawdad that was slinking around among the rocks underwater. During this time we slowly drifted downstream from our rock, until we had made our way around a bend in the creek and couldnít see home base anymore. We were next to forest now instead of the meadow, and I kept glancing into the cool shadows from my sun-drenched vantage point in the creek. The forest looked inviting, interesting, but the time wasnít right yet. I stayed in the sun.
J and I had not eaten anything yet, and we both agreed that even though we werenít hungry in the usual sense, we both felt like we wanted to eat food. We began the long process of turning around and heading upstream when something caught my eye. I didnít immediately think this at first, but I now consider what I saw there to be one of the most beautiful, complex visual experiences I have ever had in my life.
I tried describing this to J and S later, who had taken off ahead of me upstream, and failed miserably. I donít imagine I will fare much better this time around, but Iíll try. On a macro level, I was looking at part of the creek that flowed past some overhanging pine boughs from the forest. That was all. What was so fantastic about this visual scene was the richness of textures and shapes and patterns, some constant, some constantly changing, and all wonderful, and I could see all these things by staring at the same section of the creek, without moving my eyes or my head. On one focal plane I could see the bottom of the creek, fist and head sized rocks that sat among mosses and other aquatic flora. Sunlight filtering through the pine boughs cast speckled shadows on the rocks that danced when the wind blew.
On another focal plane, I was looking into the foot deep water, ignoring the surface of the water and the rocks on the creek bed. This was one of my favorite parts. The water was brown but still perfectly translucent, like a cup of shortly steeped black tea. There was a richness to the water, a golden red, as J called it later. In the water I could see countless little particles streaming by in the current. The best part of all was that the composition of the water made it so that I could actually see perfectly delineated shafts of light entering the water between the pine boughs. The slanted columns of light were a kind of milky blue near the surface of the water, and then turned to a brighter yellow red color closer to the bottom. Particles would stream by in these light columns, and disappear into the dark waters in between.
On the next focal plane I was able to see the surface of the water itself, apart from all the shapes and textures below it, and also apart from the reflections of the trees above it. I was mesmerized by the patterns in the waves, small wavefronts moving along, slowing down, changing directions near rocks, being overtaken by other small wavefronts. When I say small, I mean each of these individual wavefronts was probably an inch or so across, and not very high at all. Many of them looked like water that had been pored over a perfectly smooth surface. I was watching the small waves on top of the bigger waves. Just when my eyes would start to detect an overall pattern in the waves (Iím convinced there were some overall patterns that kept recurring) the wind would blow slightly, and all the small waves would vibrate out of existence.
Finally, on the last focal plane, I could see reflections from the deep green pine needles above the water, mixed with patches of black from the forest and lines of white light where the sun refracted in just the right way from the top of the waves. It made for small little green and black blotches that were all separated by shimmering white lines. It was gorgeous.
I had a great time trying to change my focus so that I could, say, watch the shafts of light and the reflections at the same time, or watch the waving plant life and the top of the water at the same time. Whenever the wind would blow, I would try to see everything change at once, the speckled rocks below, the shifting shafts of sunlight in the water, the chaotic top of the water, the swaying trees in the reflections. It was a magnificent dance of nature, and never felt overwhelming like mushroom visuals can. It was all there, together, and I didnít have to move any part of my body to see amazingly different visual scenes.
Needless to say, the second large acceleration in the come up happened while I sat on a rock, staring at this scene. I could have stayed there the entire day, but I could hear J and S up the creek and decided that I should rejoin them. I said goodbye to the area, then headed up. J, who is in med school right now, had been explaining the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to S, and I am still shocked by the lucidity he had throughout the trip. I came back bumbling and mumbling about water and waves, and after a brief effort gave up trying to explain to them the glory I had just witnessed.
The sun was getting warm, and I was ready to make a change. I had been staring into the woods all morning, and I was finally ready to leave the sun and the water for a nice sheltered place. S grabbed some food for us and headed up to the top of a small embankment in the trees that overlooked the creek. I began to head off after him while J walked down the creek to have some alone time for himself. I arrived at the transition from water/meadow to the forest, and suddenly felt very weak. I still hadnít eaten yet, and even though I wasnít hungry at all I knew I needed food. I stared into the forest and S was sitting down, waiting for me. He suggested it might be fun to get on hands and knees and crawl into the trees, because the spot I was standing at was pretty dense above the waist. It sounded like a great idea, and as soon as I got down on all fours and started crawling into the forest everything changed; the temperature dropped significantly, there was much less light, it was quieter, and just felt so different.
I only realized after the trip that, when on mushrooms, Iíve always felt very emotionally affected by my environment. I always feel like places have good vibes or bad vibes, places beckon me in or push me away. On mescaline, none of the places I visited had any sort of emotional impact on me. They were what they were, and I was free to enjoy them or turn away from them. That being said, I was happy to be in the woods, out of the sun, and I was ready to lay down. I ate a banana, and finally realized why people who dislike bananas always blame the texture. I ate some cheese as well, and some avocado. From our little embankment we could see J standing in the water through a break in the trees, and beckoned him to join us in the woods. He obliged, and before long all 3 of us were laying on our backs on the soft pine needle floor, staring up into the canopy. Ever since the water scene I had been feeling the effects of the mescaline more and more, and I think it was around this point in the woods that I peaked. I stared up into the canopy, marveling at all the different levels. There was the floor, covered in pine needles and ferns; there was the layer above this, home to some taller ground cover; there was a much larger section, where all the pine branches were dead and needleless. Then there was the canopy, where all the green pine boughs lived. I marveled at all the detritus falling to the forest floor from the canopy, at the small insects flying through shafts of light, at the sounds of the flowing creek and the chirping birds. I laid there, taking it all in for a long time, not really thinking about it, just observing.
For a brief period I began to think about some deeper topics, about where I was in life. Iím in grad school right now, and finally starting to settle down on a research topic. Staring out the break at the trees and into the creek, I saw it as a very defined transition from one space to another, from dark to light, from woods to water, from woods to meadow. I realized that I have spent most of my life hanging around transitions Ė transitions in school, in relationships, in work. I havenít ever spent more than a couple of years devoted to one thing, except now. I realized that even though I spend most of my time around these transitions, Iím ready to get away from the transitions, to be in one place doing one thing for a substantial amount of time. To really dig in, to invest myself in my knowledge base and the people around me. It was freeing, to finally embrace my life in grad school. Again, to contrast this experience with my mushroom trips, the woods and water analogy was nice, and it comforted me, but it didnít blow my mind. It wasnít some sort of huge personal revelation that is going to change the way I live or perceive my life Ė like mushrooms seem to be good at doing.
Just as my thoughts on this subject were beginning to settle down, J began to move around. He pushed himself up onto his hands and feet in crabwalk stance, and started to sway back and forth, shifting his weight around, lifting up and arm here and a leg there. It looked fun, and my strength had returned after eating the banana, so I decided to join him. S had fallen asleep, so the two of us were alone to explore on our own. We played around in the crabwalk stance for a while, then started to make our way down closer to the water. We still hadnít spoken to each other since we laid down, and it was sort of understood that we were both in nonverbal communication mode. We played with sticks in the water, then started to play with tree sap. We drummed on some dead branches with more dead branches, and just had a good time all around playing in the woods. After maybe half an hour or so of this we finally broke the silence and began to talk to S, who had recently awoken.
The three of us made our way back out into the meadow for a bathroom break, and being in the sun again felt extraordinary. It felt so good, in fact, that J and I both shed all our clothes and walked around naked on the moss, soaking up the sun. After we had enough of beating on our chests and acting like monkeys we headed back into the woods to eat some more food, since J had yet to eat anything. Putting on my soft cotton shirt was one of the best feelings in the world.
We sat around in the woods and talked for a while, now on the other side of the peak. We were both still feeling the extreme changes in perception, and spent some time trying to describe what we were feeling to S. Unfortunately, during this time, S informed us that it was four oíclock, which we had agreed was the time we needed to start (slowly) packing up and leaving so that we could get home in time to return the car we borrowed. J and I were surprised that almost five hours had already passed, but we both felt we were capable of hiking the 3 or 4 miles out.
During the hike back to the parking lot I found a stick to put in my mouth, and kept vibrating it for the entire hike. Walking felt really great, and the trail was a lot of fun because it was covered in rocks and mud holes, so there was a lot of maneuvering to be done. We made it back to the car more than six hours after taking the mescaline, and I still felt like I did just after the peak. I felt the effects for the entire car ride home, and didnít feel like I really returned to baseline until about 12 hours after drinking the bitter mescaline mixture.
All in all I had a great mescaline trip. S, our sitter, said that it just seemed like another day in the woods from his perspective. I enjoyed the enhanced perception and attention, just like mushrooms give me, and even though I had some great visual experiences I never hallucinated (at least it didnít seem like it. There wasnít any breathing or tracers or geometric changes like Iíve experienced in the past on other substances). The main difference that I could discern was the lack of raw emotional states that mushrooms can bring. In that sense I think I could do mescaline in a more populated area, whereas with mushrooms I just want to be as far away from other people as possible. The entire trip was extremely peaceful, and I enjoyed the loooong come down. Iíd certainly like to try mescaline again, and maybe in the future up the dosage so that I can explore the deeper effects of this substance.
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.