art by Dan Reece
By J.C. Remington
Two bowls deep. One dose of psilocybin. Cigarettes: check. Back pack with a six pack of Long Trail IPA’s: check. Ready to hit the trail. It had been awhile since I last walked in the woods with “mushy legs”, as my friends and I like to call them. We are on a 5 mile loop around Tower Pond in Auburn, New Hampshire.
We were about a mile in when the mushrooms began to stir up the neuroreceptors in my brain. My sight becoming more keen, edges of objects becoming more sharp and crisp, things were brightening. Then the scent. My nose began to have a slight drip but only to clear out the nasal passageways so that I could smell and breathe a bit better. I could now smell the cold. I became more aware of the temperature, even thru my sense of smell. Now the sounds. I could hear people talking much farther away. They may not even be there. It’s too far to tell.
We maintain a brisk pace. At this point the mushylegs are acting on their own accord and we are just passengers for a bit in our meat vehicles. I can feel myself start to become much more in tune with where I am and why I’m there. It was a reminder of nature that was much needed. Had I gone out there sober I would’ve been disconnected and apathetic to the grace that the woods bestows upon us.
At one point, we came around a bend and had a good look at a couple of islands out in the middle of a small inlet in the lake. They had recently drained some of the lake and you could see the high water mark like a dirt ring around a bathtub. There was a good field of mud and trees laying like matchsticks haphazardly that had fallen into the water in seasons past. It was all visible because of the receded water. I had a flashback to when I was about 10 or 11 years old. My father and I had gone to Delta Lake in upstate New York to fish for some lake trout.
This lake looked very much the same on that day as Tower Pond did on this day. Delta Lake was unique in it’s own way though. I’d often wish that they’d drain that lake because it was a man-made reservoir that had been rumored to still have the remains of the flooded town below. I wanted so badly as a boy to explore that submerged murky town. It seemed so otherworldly to me.
Back to the nostalgic recollection I had though. The mud and the fallen trees had reminded me of when my father and I had made our way to the back side of Delta Lake to find a secluded fishing spot that would be promising. The mud was pretty deep and we were focusing on trying to walk across old trees and branches. All of the sudden we looked up and realized that we had walked within 40 feet of a mother moose and her calf. She looked just as surprised to see us as we were them. We quickly got the hell out of there while trying to keep an eye on the mother and not fall in the mud. We made it back to the trail without issue but this was my first experience with a large animal in the wild. This was one of the few times that I could instinctually feel that my father was concerned. I think that is why it had such a lasting imprint on my memory.
Snap back to reality. We continue our mind expansion along the edge of the pond occasionally passing other walkers with their dogs. We exchange hello’s but the paranoia of being on psychedelics in public keeps the conversation to that. I pray they didn’t hear our conversations before or after each confrontation. Moving forward. I only took enough to give me a slight feeling of influence for a short period of time. By mile 4 it was winding down and I was glad because I had to drive home soon and it was a Sunday. I have to check back in with the man tomorrow so I can pay my bills and give Caesar what’s his for now. I can’t help but think though, how much better this country of ours would be if everyone took a walk around Tower Pond on a slight bit of something to connect to the mother once in awhile. She’s a good mother and we all need our lessons from her from time to time