Cacti - T. peruvianus
Citation: Paulie. "At the Gorge: An Experience with Cacti - T. peruvianus (exp32326)". Erowid.org. Nov 30, 2006. erowid.org/exp/32326
Three friends of mine, along with myself ordered 100 grams of dried Peruvian Torch cactus for $60 off the internet. When I received the package, it actually contained 102 grams, and we split this four ways. However, since it was my idea, I ordered it, and I spent my time preparing it, we all agreed that it'd be appropriate for me to give myself a a little heavier dose... I took 30 grams, while the rest took 24.
The weekend was spent at Red River Gorge in eastern Kentucky. For all of you out there that haven't been to the Gorge, you have to go. It's strange to think that one of the most beautiful spots in the country is in Kentucky, but this area has miles of dramatic cliff lines, over 100 natural stone arches, unbelievable rock formations, and beautiful hemlock, deciduous, and pine-oak forest.
We ate the dried cactus that had been powderized in a coffee grinder. We mixed it with key lime flavored yogurt. It was figured that the tart flavor of key lime would help mask the bitter taste of the cactus, and we were partially correct. However, we didn't account for the fact that the dehydrated powder would absorb the moisture from the yogurt, turning it into a goop that was comparable to a mixture of glue, play dough, and urine. Attempting to force this down our throat was probably the most unpleasant thing I have ever been forced to endure. Even worse was our spreading it out, eating half with one cup of yogurt, and the other half in a different cup 45 minutes later. The logic was to help avoid nausea from shock to our system by the mescaline. Good idea, but it failed when put into practice; the nausea that resulted from eating the second cup, after spending 45 minutes dreading it, surely outweighed the nausea that would have been caused by mescaline shock.
The effects took hold after about two hours. It's amazing how subtle the build-up is... I started feeling a little different, but I wasn't tripping, just a little off. Things were moving out of the corners of my eyes, colors were brighter, and I started seeing subtle Indian/Aztec like designs if I let my eyes go out of focus. And then, when I was looking at something that's a little off, I realized 'Damn, I'm tripping!' It's hard to explain, unless you have done it before, but it's not like acid. With acid I go from baseline to seeing the walls breathe with basically no build-up, other than that racy, sped-up feeling. With the cactus, I actually progress from baseline to tripping so gradually that it takes a bit to realize that I'm tripping (the only analogy I can think of would be sticking your hand it cool water and warming it up by a degree or two every ten minutes... it's so gradual that you won't immediately realize the water has gotten hot).
This is when it got amazing. The gradual build-up makes for no apprehension or fear, and allows you to comfortably adjust to the state you are going to be in for the next twelve or more hours. We were all tripping balls, laying on top of the Indian staircase, and laughing constantly. The clouds were the most amazing things I had ever seen, until it got dark out and I could see the stars. The trees seemed to smile at us, and it was as if we were one with nature, being welcomed into this state of appreciation for Mother Earth that too few people experience. We had eaten the cactus at 9:00 in the morning, and when I fell asleep at two the next morning, the stars were still shining with the most beautiful glow. We had fourteen hours of full-scale tripping, and the afterglow was still with me when I woke up.
There was no fear the entire trip, no wanting it to end; only a feeling of benevolence from and towards everything.
This is an amazing drug, with the perfect trip. There is but one downside, that being the difficulty in finding a decent way of ingesting the cactus. I am definitely going to invest in an encapsulating machine, as the nausea I felt seemed almost entirely the result of the nasty taste and unbearable texture of the yogurt/paste. I also think that diluting the powder in a large, tart fruit smoothie would do the trick, as long as there was enough liquid in there.
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