View from Cuyamaca Peak of the Anza Borrego Desert  ©2013 Eric Platt
View from Cuyamaca Peak of the Anza Borrego Desert ©2013 Eric Platt

CACTUS JOURNEY – Mountain Hike August 18, 2013

Was a good day: hike in mountains, ate San Pedro.

Unbelievable how the swallows came out, as I was sitting at the overlook where Rowan’s ashes were released a couple few years ago. Seems like a miracle I fucking found the spot too. Just came upon it, and I knew. There’d been a fire there. Things were slowly starting to regrow.

Beeeeutiful day.

REFLECTIONS (next day)

So I went on a hike yesterday in the mountains – my second “healing hike” with medicine of San Pedro. Was more challenging than the first, but good things happened and good things were learned. Going to summarize first what was learned, then perhaps write more at length later.

Rattlesnake. Beautiful creature!


These are lessons that apply to any endeavor, and life in general.

• At the times where I needed encouragement or ran into a problem I couldn’t solve – was worried or doubtful I could go forward – someone popped up to help even if they didn’t know they were helping). Be open to it. Some instances I remember:

About the trail area being burned and the barbed wire fence – there was a hiker I met who’d just been there, so it was accessible.

Concerning the new area being burnt by a forest fire. A nice Indian couple asking when the fires had burnt (“It’s in the nature” she said).

I'd been tempted to turn back when it got cool and cloudy. Ran into a chipper young couple who’d just been to the top, and said it was only 20 minutes away, and there were swirling clouds.

• Do not lose courage because of current conditions: have trust, faith, keep going. Present conditions are not indicators of future conditions. It’s an illusion. You don’t know. Things change. Don’t worry. And instance I remember:

When it got more cloudy and cool as I got closer to the peak, got close to turning around because I had no jacket, and there would be no view, so no point. I was thinking that was the trend. But it ended up clearing up when I got towards the top.

Spectacular view down from top of Garnet Peak in the Cuyamaca Mtns


• Take care of the body, the instrument: Go to bed earlier, get on a healthier sleep schedule.

• Discipline is needed – for leadership as well as any project or success – but what is it? Do I really know and understand (the benefits?).
If I really understood, I’d be using it, doing it.
Look up how to develop discipline.

Vegetation starting to regrow after fire


(Already knew the following, but it’s a constant, necessary practice):

• Stay in the present mentally as much as possible. Not only is it vastly safer and healthier, it’s also more fun, enjoyable, and you see amazing things you’d miss if you were busy wrapped up in your thoughts. It gets easier with practice, but it’s a lifetime practice. It’s not hard, and the benefits are well worthwhile.

"Cirrus Joy" ©2013 Eric Platt


All my accidents or injuries when hiking (or driving or cycling for that matter) have been the result of getting caught up in thought and doing something that could have ben avoided, like slipping or tripping or getting jabbed by cacti, because I wasn’t paying attention.

Countless times I’ve caught myself getting totally wrapped up in some train of thought, pulled myself back to the present, looked up, and seen some beautiful, amazing or unique sight, never before or seen since, that I would have missed if I hadn’t woken up.

Another important benefit from mindfulness it that You get feedback from your body: for example you realize you were sitting or standing in a way that was making you uncomfortable (and probably isn’t good for your body), but mentally you were attributing it to something else, subconsciously. The mind will come up with an erroneous reason for being uncomfortable, which you don’t want to believe. You have to See it, first.

• Forgive yourself for your mistakes. This opens the way to learning. You are human and by nature imperfect. So just breath and realize no one is judging you as harshly as yourself. You don’t deserve it. Relax and see where you need to go, treat yourself with some kindness along the way. Wouldn’t you do the same for someone else?



If anyone is curious what dose of San Pedro cactus I took, and in what form, it was more than what is now called a "microdose", and less than what would make one incapable of functioning well as a body, in time and space. It was dried strips from the outer layer of the cactus, where the mescaline and other important alkaloids are most concentrated.

The "NO MIND, NO PROBLEM" verbiage was added to the photo in 2020, but image was taken on August 18, 2013.

This article (the journal entry) was written on August 19, 2013, and posted on on June 25, 2024, after editing for typos and a couple of other minor text issues.

I decided to publish this ten+ years later because I thought it was interesting, for what's still relevant, and for and example of the positive use of psychedelics (which I wrote an article about recently here) and for how my view has changed. All of the above insights (more or less) are (still) part of a more global, integrated view that I've expressed and explored on this site. But that view has deepened and become more coherent, more "real", integrated, and is seen more clearly to be emanating from a simple core of Truth (and Love and Beauty).

"Rowan" was my dog of 13 years (Red Heeler/Aussie Shepherd mix). Her unusual name was from the name of a character in an Anne Rice novel, who was named after a type of tree in Scotland. She was with me day and night, and on many adventures, such as hikes in the mountains. She got some kind of cancer in her abdomen, and was euthanized at home by a vet.

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