A trip in the woods (over 1 gram)

(This report is compiled solely from my memory since it occured outdoors and I was in no shape to take notes.)

There is an interesting note to this experience in that it involved some unusual lighting conditions that may shed some insight into DXM visuals and how they work in the brain. Most of visual hallucinations happened in a tent during a full moon with the faint, white light of the tent roof acting like a movie screen. I have read that staring at a background of off white color during a meditative state often produces alpha rhythm activity in the brain. It is believed that the brain enters an alpha state during meditation and hypnotic trance states. This lighting can be easily reproduced by cutting a ping pong ball in half and placing both halves over the eyes.)

It was a chilly October evening and my girlfriend and I had just attended a Renaissance Fair in the country. We were going to camp out at a nearby state park for the night and stopped off at a grocery store to pick up some supplies. As we passed by the pharmacy section I shot her a grin and motioned toward the cough medicines. She had tripped with me on DXM before and knew exactly what I meant. We bought six bags of Sucrets cherry cough drops and headed off for the woods.

We started eating the cough drops on the way and each of us finished two bags by the time we arrived at the camp site. Each bag contains the equivalent of 300mg of DXM. We knew from experience that we had about an hour before the effects kicked in so we hurriedly threw up the tent and got situated.

Soon we were both sitting in front of a glowing fire enjoying the silence of the piney woods. The moon was full and lit up the trees and glowed brightly on the surface of a nearby lake. I was feeling brave and decided to finish off the third bag and half of a fourth. This amounted to just over a whole gram of DXM.

For a while nothing happened as we sat making small talk and fed sticks into the fire. In a short while I began feeling slightly drunk as if I had downed a six pack. I got up to urinate and found my balance was off. My vision didn't seem to be blurred much but the light of the fire only provided a short circle of awareness in the dark making it hard to tell for sure.

I sat back down near the fire and stared at the flames. The drunk feeling was growing stronger and seemed to be getting more intense. Soon I felt fully 'stoned' and noticed the ground pushing hard against my butt. I looked away from the fire and had trouble focusing on the orange backdrop of tree trunks around me. Then all of a sudden I became aware of seeing the camp fire from different angles. Even though I was sitting still it was as if I kept moving to a different location and was looking at the fire from differing angles. As this continued, the fire seemed to be stretching and taking on a variety of horizontal shapes.

By now my concept of time had completely changed. I felt as if several moments of time had been chopped into small segments and scrambled around, as if events were happening out of sequence. Yet at the same time, part of me still comprehended normal time, albeit in a drunken hazy way.

My girlfriend said she was feeling pretty stoned herself and was standing up poking a stick into the fire. I knew she was saying something out loud but I couldn't bring myself to follow her words. I looked up at her and she appeared to loom way above me. I felt like a tiny insect watching her from some weird angle close to the ground.

I made a conscious effort to talk with my girlfriend to keep touch with reality. It was then that we both seemed to notice a strange humming sound. The sound didn't seem to come from anywhere in particular. We both had the distinct impression that it was coming from the ground itself. At times the sound seemed like mumbling or singing.

The effects seemed to be getting stronger and hitting me even faster. Even though I was experienced with DXM I had never felt this out of control before. I told my girlfriend that I thought it was a good idea to get into the tent now while I still had enough control of my body to make it.

She headed off to the tent and I stumbled over to some nearby pine trees to relieve myself. Walking was extremely difficult and I propped myself up between two trees facing the lake while I did my business. As I looked up towards the water, I felt an incredible rushing sensation as if I were being lifted into the air. I looked up toward the top of the trees and watched in awe as they transformed into two large Aztec stone statues. The faces of the statues seemed to be looking down at me. For a second I wasn't sure where I was.

I had experienced all sorts of strange dreamlike states under DXM before, but I had always felt totally in control of the hallucinations. This time the visuals were hitting me with a new intesity and force of their own. Needless to say I was starting to get sort of scared. I hadn't aniticipated losing control of reality to such a degree.

I made my way to the tent and lied down. The tent was dark but as my eyes adjusted I could tell it was faintly lit from the full moon. Subtle shadows danced along the walls from the fire burning outside. The top of the tent was glowing with a bluish white light.

Within minutes I began having intense open eyed visuals. Most of them I can't remember but the ones I do were very intense and detailed. At times I found myself standing amid a fantastic city. There was one scene I recall vividly of being in front of a stone, vine covered wall of some ancient ruins deep in a jungle. At one point I was walking through a massive cavern with incredible hues of light on the ceilings and walls.

All of the visuals were detailed and had one thing in common. A strange sense of silence surrounded me, more like a vacuum, an absence of audibilty beyond plain silence. At times I was aware of a being present in the scene I was seeing. The being kept completely silent and still as it watched me. For some reason this began to annoy me. Something about the super-silence seemed frustrating.

The visions were getting so intense and overwhelming that I began forcing myself to move about the tent and focus on my body and surroundings. I was getting apprehensive about losing touch.

At one point I gave up and lied still. I have no idea how much time had passed. My girlfriend was lying beside me having an average DXM trip and enjoying her own holo-deck dreams. I remember telling her that I was a bit worried about the intensity of my trip but all she could manage was a sedated mumble of concern.

I closed my eyes and surrendered to the darkness. At one point I began feeling completely disassociated from my body. This really started worrying me. I was sure that my heart had stopped and that I was dying. With some effort I managed to move my arms and reassured myself that I was fine. I knew deep in my mind that I was alright, but some inner child like voice was giving way to fear. It reminded me of being on a rollercoaster and being convinced that a critical bolt would break just this one time sending me plunging to my death.

Eventually the effects began to settle down some. I had to urinate again and grabbed a flashlight and made my way out of the tent. I staggered towards the shadows and turned the light on. I must have strayed a good distance from the fire as I was totally surrounded by darkness. When I turned the light on and pointed it at the ground, it was as if all that existed was the little patch of light in front of me. I had the distinct impression that the darkness had a density of it's own. I could have sworn that I was walking on the deep ocean floor exploring some lost ship wreck as I made my way through the woods.

For some reason I decided to keep walking and soon found myself on a trail. I stepped onto the path and turned off the flashlight. My eyes began to adjust and I stood very still taking in the silence and shadows. I had the feeling of being at one with the woods and could sense objects around me. My night vison seemed enhanced and I began walking down the trail through the darkness. I was really enjoying myself when I noticed I was still hearing the strange buzzing sound coming from the woods.

I went back to the tent and told my girlfriend about the experience with the flashlight. She also wanted to try it and we both set out into the dark woods. She agreed that it was like being on the deep, dark ocean floor and exploring the bottom. I made a comment to her about mushrooms being in season and told her it would be cool to find some. She told me that in the darkness it would be impossible to find any in the underbrush. Suddenly I got a weird feeling that I knew where a mushroom was. Without a word I walked about ten yards and sure enough there was a large Russula mushroom right at my feet. For some reason I just KNEW right where it would be.

After a while we both went back to the tent and lied down. My open eyed visuals began again but this time I wasn't worried. At one point I began reflecting about my life. My eyes were closed and I found myself thinking about a traumatic event from my childhood and how it effected me still. I began to see my mind as a sort of liquid cave and started journeying to different parts of it. I found myself narrating my journey out loud and my girlfriend said that she could also see the same thing. Whether she actually saw the exact visuals I don't know, but she said that she had the impression that I was leading her along through these tunnels of my psyche while I also had the feeling that she was right there with me. The experience was a lot like the scenes from Fantastic Voyage where the tiny ship floats through the man's body.

Aside from more visuals, nothing more of signifigance happened till we fell asleep. The next day we had quite a cognitive hangover combined with a cheery, peaceful feeling.

The experience was unique in it's intensity. The shared sense of audible and visual hallucinations were very interesting. I contribute a lot of the effects to the unusal setting and light conditions. Also, the woods can seem extremely quiet to a city dweller and probably produced a mild teninitis which was amplified by the DXM. I also took an unusually large dose. The trip was very pleasant and memorable. I recommend tripping in the woods. The flashlight in the dark outdoors was really cool.


1998 The Third Plateau
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