I swear to god, I think I’ve just come back from the weirdest experience I’ve ever had outdoors. First of all, I’ll just say right now that the culture of people who do this shit frequently is weird as fuck. I don’t honestly understand it, and I suppose the onus isn’t on me to do so, since I’m not exactly itching to become one of these loony people.

Immediately upon arriving at the camp site, it’s just pure chaos. People are walking around everywhere. It’s nearly impossible to avoid hitting someone while driving through these winding dirt paths. They aren’t exactly robust enough to be designated as roads, so we’ll stick to referring to them as paths. These paths are also not well marked and wind around everywhere. It’s ridiculously easy to get lost, despite the fact that they give you a map, and draw lines and immediately visible sights for reference. It’s not as helpful as you’d think, especially since the areas aren’t well lit after nightfall.

The first night we noticed the group next to us had cordoned off their entire area, so that people can’t peek into whatever depravity they’re getting up to in the woods. The few we saw tooling around that camp ground suggested the median age was 45 to 55, and the sounds we heard suggested they were a group of swingers. There really wasn’t much more to say about that, except we’d make the occasional joke about how many “woo sounds per minute” that we hear, in order to gauge the intensity of the party they’re throwing. It was pretty funny, but certainly weird. I had to get up to use the bathroom at around four in the morning, and some bald guy with glasses started drunkenly trying to have a conversation with me about how he wished the party would never end and that everyone is hitting the sack around him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t entertain this guy in the slightest, but I wasn’t a huge dick, I just said “yeah, me too”. Then proceeded to fuck right off and go back to sleep.

The morning after, we had a decent breakfast and started readying ourselves to tube down the river. On the bus we were informed that the trip to the launch site would be about ten minutes, so we decided shortly after boarding the bus that it would be a good time to consume some recreational drugs. We had these chocolates called “Down the Rabbit Hole”, and it’s pretty much what you’d think. It’s about one and a half to two grams of psychedelic mushrooms and fifty milligrams of THC. This, it turned out, would be the most fortuitous timing overall. We managed to take our chocolates, I only ate half of mine, and my cohorts ate roughly a third to a half depending on how froggy they were feeling.

It took about two hours to fully kick in, but when the chocolates did kick in, our group was nearly catatonic. I was nearly catatonic. There were visuals, there was a distinct “stoned” feeling, it was a whole event. Top it off with the fact that the river had some seriously shallow points, and a ridiculous number of jutting rocks and sticks, and we were pretty hit overall. At one point we traded a few beers for some shots of moonshine, because river people make their own moonshine. Why wouldn’t they, after all? One of our group accidentally punctured his tube, and he spent the entire four and some change hours plugging the hole with his fingertip. It was a sight to behold, that’s for sure. Eventually he had a little white bump on the tip of his finger from holding it on the puncture site.

In the time that everyone, including myself, were mostly catatonic- I flipped my tube twice and spent a few stretches dragging the entire group by our interlinked steel cables. I remember specifically doing this, but I don’t remember at all how I mustered the ability to perform these tasks. It was fuckin wild, though. I think we’re already making plans about doing it again next year. I think the only thing I’d do differently gear wise would be to pack a foam pad or something to cushion my poor body from the harsh Earth. She’s unyielding and cruel.

I’ll have to continue on with the story at some point, but my brain is really still recovering from all the alcohol, mushrooms, and weed. We were lighting joint after joint like they were going out of style. Yeah. I definitely need to see if I can finish retelling the story of the mushroom river tube trip. It was really wild how much we packed into two days, but it was definitely a good time.