WARRIORS OF THE AMANITA MUSHROOM
Don't ever eat an Amanita mushroom. Not a piece. Not even a taste.
Sampling just a small amount of this mushroom can have three effects. It can be an intense psychedelic experience, it can kill you, or it can do both. My friend Ralph and I were sitting inside a tepee two friends of ours had out together on some open land outside of Steamboat Springs Colorado. We'd been sleeping in a farmhouse on the edge of town before we went to the tepee to stay there for a few nights.
Friends of mine from New York City, who lived in Steamboat , put this thing together from instructions they followed in the Whole Earth Catalogue, a thick, large paper book that showed people how to use or build all sorts of things. As I remember, it contained instructions for constructing an igloo in the wintertime. When the cold air seeped down from the mountains and the weather dropped snow on Steamboat, they took down the tepee and started building the igloo. As I recall it had several rooms inside of it for sleeping and cooking and hanging out.
A bunch of us pow-wowed in the tepee on a Friday night .I'd been out of the military for about six months before my friend Ralph and I hit the road to drive around the country. We had enough money between us for gas and expenses, but not enough for much else. We parceled it out for things we thought we'd need and tried to hold onto the rest. We may have even had a credit card. Ralph's father might have flipped us the card before we took off. It seems to me we used it a couple of to fill the tank of the BMW he sold to Ralph earlier that summer. We slept in the car at rest stops to save money. .
My former commanding officer had become a good friend and flew to Denver to join us. We picked him up at the airport and drove back to Steamboat. That night, Ralph, the Colonel, and I went to the pow-wow and swallowed mescaline, ate peyote buttons, got sick, smoked hash, and then started hallucinating. Ralph thought we should all eat a piece of the Amanita mushroom he found growing in the forest above Lake Margret. We each sampled some of it, including the Colonel. An hour later Ralph went blind and I felt as if my physical self was back at the farmhouse and I was in the tepee in spirit form lingering in another dimension. The Colonel just laughed and took another bite of the mushroom.
We sat around the huge fire pit inside the tepee. The tepee could accommodate twelve people easily. We tripped all night. Ralph was freaking out, convinced that he'd never see again. Then, just before dawn, his vision returned. To celebrate, we went outside naked to watch the sun come up over the mountains. We stood beside a narrow creek, took a leak, and looked at the puffed up white clouds floating around the rising sun. Then we saw them.
Six or maybe seven Sioux Indian warriors came riding out of the clouds on pinto ponies, all of them wearing war paint and holding lances with colorful feathers attached to them. What was far out is that all three of us saw the same thing. We pointed the warriors out to each other and then the war party vanished as mystically as they had appeared.
I'll never forget it. That was the most unimaginable experience the three of us have ever had. Whatever it was, it appeared as authentic as the clouds drifting through the light of the "morning star".
By the way, don't ever eat an Amanita mushroom. We were lucky. You might not be as fortunate.