I took a journey.


And as I type these words, my head is still way out of the game.

Those who follow either the AHTBM page of Instant Grams, or Twats may have gotten a few brief snippets regarding a guided MDMA journey I took on Friday. This is the second I’ve gone on in a year, and I’d be lying if I said they weren’t both deeply, yet differently impactful experiences. I wish so much that I could adequately explain what I’d hoped to achieve, how it’s affected me, and in what ways I hope it will benefit my life, but the effects are still landing, and I suspect will continue to do so in the months ahead.

I can say I spoke with my parents on Saturday morning, and though my head was pretty well still in the clouds, I feel like I was able to articulate the bullet points to them, so maybe that’s all that matters.

I would like to mention that I was never one to partake of much of anything in terms of recreational drug use. The use of psilocybin, LSD, ketamine, and MDMA in therapy to combat PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction, and so forth is profoundly interesting to me, and in engaging with this path, I’ve begun to realize that nearly the entirety of developing a relationship with this sort of therapy is intention. If you’re gonna drop a hit of acid, and go monkey around in the woods with your friends, the drug will blanket you, and take you where it wants to, but if you look at it as medicine, and you partake of it with an intention of healing, it will provide for you, and your body and your brain will respond in turn. This is an absolutely fascinating aspect of it to me- That the medicine actually gives you what you need. The person I worked with this time around told me ahead of time that I might yell, or cry, or carry on, and whatever my response was, to let it fly, because that in itself was going to be a part of my healing process.

As it turns out, all I wanted to do was lay under a blanket, and a cat, paddle my feet, hold my own hands, and try to investigate the details of my higher self. As dippy as I’m sure this might sound, hear me out. I’m of the belief that on the surface, we are who we present ourselves as, but there is a wisdom that we have- call it our consciousness, call is our reason, call it instinct, call it that little voice who tells drunk us that doing a naked bunnyhop over the bonfire maybe isn’t such a good idea. Personally, I think it’s a little bit of all of those things. I chatted with mine. He told me that no matter how hard I try to run away from him, he was always going to be there for me. Remarkably, upon our first meeting on Friday, he was tiny. Like, really tiny… I believe I noted that he was only three feet tall, and upon further reflection, I’ve come to believe that he is baby me, with an old man me consciousness.

I’d like to elaborate further, but I’ve still got a lot to work through. The last couple of days have been quiet ones, punctuated by deep reflection, abject sorrow, pure contentment, and all shades between.

So, suffice to say, the last 126 hours or so have been a pretty heavy ride.

This is also to say that writing a totally amazing post like I always do (*shrug emoji) is proving to be a little bit more complicated than normal, so I’m gonna take my lead from last week, and let some other folks do the heavy lifting, starting with a nice email notification from CD, in which he goes into a bit of detail about some very exciting developments up there in Portland, Oregon;

Stevil-

I can be critical about Portland, we often joke here that our city’s official motto, “The City That Works”, should be changed to “The City That Meets”. But I’ve been a real son-of-a-bitch for too long and thought instead of griping about how it took 15 years to bring Gateway Green to life I’d focus on the enjoyment of riding its many splendors. But before I get to the ride report I’d like to talk about a dream.

Prior to going to bed the night before this trip out to Gateway Green I thought about how much I like the ride shots that Loudass, Esq. posts to Instagram. We all post trail shots but his feel so personal to me, like I’m being allowed inside his experience and I always find inspiration in seeing them. I opened up my phone and scrolled through his account just to get a feel for the way he arranges his ride shots and decided that’s what I’d do for this report.

Later that night I dreamt of a picturesque ribbon of trail and hopped out of the saddle to snap a photo. I struggled with holding the bike steady and composing a decent shot; the handlebars flopping side to side and not getting the shot I wanted. Just as I figured the arrangement of holding the bike steady a crew of riders rolled up and began to berate me.

“Hey, man, you can’t do that. That’s Loudass’s shot!”, one of them yelled. There was a lot of grumbling and aggressive posturing of big travel bikes. I put my camera away and rolled the other direction while being heckled the entire way. I woke up ready to ride but a little weirded out and definitely had my head on a swivel as I took photos once I got out there. I didn’t exactly duplicate his framing but I hope Loudass appreciates the effort and tells his dream warriors to not beat the hell out of me in the future.

Gateway Green is a 25-acre patch of land between Interstate 205 and Interstate 84 about 8 miles east of downtown Portland and is accessible by bike via the I-205 bike path. It is the site of a former jail and at one point in the planning process it was discovered that something like 14 government agencies had authority on any planning here. So many meetings!

It’s a bit odd to be on a natural trail in MTB-mode and to hear the noise of two full-on interstate highways, a commuter train, and a freight rail line all at once but the variety and quality of riding here is damn good. There’s a spider web of purpose-built XC trails;


Two long gravity lines, a jump line, numerous skills areas, and two pump tracks;




All sorts of people out here on all sorts of bikes are out here any time it’s not raining. Gateway Green proved a lot of people right and all of the NIMBYs wrong but that’s a story for another time.

I believe it was CD who once infamously said that there were more ex-mountain bikers in Portland than anywhere in the country. Despite how hard he worked to get even a smidge of additional legal single track in Forest Park, he wound up with goose eggs. Otherwise, you gotta drive well out of town to Sandy Ridge. The greenway has been in the works for years, and if memory serves, initially it was supposed to be a no-brainer. Thankfully, after all of that effort, it finally paid off. It’s no Whistler, but they’re trails, and they’re theirs, and that’s awesome.

Secondly, and unrelated-ly, (my website, my words) it’s been brought to my attention by several people that there are some very important goings on with a number of A-Team vans, most recently by Matt;

Stevil-

For your consideration;

Matt

It’s badass and everything, but still, above all others, (and this includes the hessian wündervan);

I would give my right, left and middle nuts for a Fall Guy truck;

I would take that thing, and live out my years driving on road, off road, and everywhere in-between, bat country be damned.

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2 Responses to “I took a journey.”

  1. JP December 22, 2020 at 7:17 am #

    Appreciate the input on therapeutic psychedelics. I’ve tended to avoid them because of the lack of control, though one mushroom trip i had over two decades ago is still a tangible good in my mind. But here in the Dirty South we are still a decade away from anything other than Natty Light being legal.

  2. GM January 6, 2021 at 11:48 am #

    Thanks for the report, and have always loved your honesty and passion. I’ve been following maps.org for some time and am looking into a psilocybin retreat center in the Caribbean once the COVID cloud clears. I’ve invested the last year reading about psychedelics and mental health, and as someone who has carried the weight of depression (and therapy) for the past 20-plus years I’m ready to jump into this realm head first. In the meantime, I’ll keep my depression at bay by riding my bike!

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