All it needed was to play a Bob Dylan song, and old memories of summertime in Alaska started flowing in.
It all started on the 8th day of the coronavirus quarantine my family and I had in our Brooklyn home. My 20-year old son named Dean had just come back from his semester in Europe, so the whole family had to quarantine. However, instead of being dull and gloomy, the whole family decided to do things to pass the time in a very memorable way. So, we all got into some cooking and working activities around the house as Dean had one of Bob Dylan’s songs playing on Spotify, and we all were in a good mood for some humor as the atmosphere got lit up. My husband even went to the extreme by saying the entire members of the family should consider writing a TV script with the title, ‘’the sarcastic.’’
During this time, Bob Dylan’s wasn’t just any song to me, it got me laughing hysterically, and I was spending the whole time reminiscing on the good events that have happened in the past. Dylan’s song took me as far back as 1993 in Alaska where I was still working as a news director alongside some other friends of mine. This memory dates back to when I was in my 20s. Eric, who was my DJ, and I went out on those days on a weekend with another friend of mine named Tony who had just come visiting from the lower 48. Tony came along with 3 hits of acid, which before this time, we had had bits of marijuana, but never tried LSD. But, here is LSD staring at our faces, so we decide to give it a try. Nome town happened to be a place where gold mining was the order of the day, so as an implication, Nome had specks of dirt at every nook and cranny of its battered streets. Being a very ugly place, we resolved to have the experience outside of Nome knowing fully well that Nome wouldn’t turn out to be suitable for the experience. After we had fully decided that we wouldn’t have our LSD trip in Nome, we left for Pilgrim. At Pilgrim, we headed straight to Pilgrim Hot Springs, which used to be a resort for gold miners, it has a dance hall, hair salon, and other exciting activities going on there. But was later taken over by a church that used it as an orphanage home. By the time we got there, the building had become abandoned. Our adventure happened during July, so you can tell how sunny the place would be naturally, it was always warmer for pilgrims than in Nome. Pilgrim also has quite a lot more trees and vegetation than Nome. All these were the factors we considered that made us choose Pilgrims for our psychedelic experience.
So, Pilgrims to us felt like the most appropriate place to have the adventure. We then dropped our acids and bags in the house. Sooner than later, we were in the experience, but the unimaginable happened when we started hearing voices and feeling the presence of people that had lived in that house. Amidst all these eerie feelings, these voices became more real and we sensed they must be that of the people that had long lived there. When we felt like those ghosts were getting closer to us, Eric, Tony, and I took to our heels. We then dipped ourselves in the hot tubs that someone must have forsaken for so long, not even minding the deadly mosquitoes around the pilgrim’s ring.
The three of us made a perfect trio, and we were bonding more deeply than we could have ever imagined. It then became so apparent to me that those years we had spent together as friends must be what is taking their toll on me, coupled with the psychedelic effects of LSD. We had a great time at the pilgrim oasis. We were able to harvest some beans and strawberries, and the few moments of this experience taught me a great deal about evolution and historical revolution. History played its games on us, and we felt a deep connection with each other.
We later headed back to the house intending to catch some sleep but we couldn’t, so, I became privy to know what was happening after I had made some findings. I got to know that the parents of the orphans that once lived in the building died as a result of the Influenza outbreak in 1918. So, whenever these children passed away as a pilgrim, the usual practice was to gather these dead bodies together to be buried after the ground had thawed. This tradition of burial was probably able to explain why their ghosts never left this building.
We then departed to a nearby church that had also been abandoned to sleep, but we still couldn’t, so Eric decided to go play his guitar outside the church building while I couldn’t help but think about the orphans. Tony and I heard Eric play his guitar serenading us with Dylan’s song. We later went out to join Eric, smiling. There on the outside, I wasn’t sure if we weren’t hallucinating, but everything felt so real to the three of us. We saw a rainbow, the colors were the kind that none of us had ever seen before. While this experience was going on, we decided to ask a farmer who was going by about the reality of the double rainbows, and the farmer confirmed that they were there. Everything went smoothly, and I saw the city crowded, one thing to another. A city where we all lead individual worker life but are almost inextricably interrelated to one another. It was all the same one town, one globe. Of course, we were on a psychedelic trip. I later came back to that city, to enjoy life with my family while it still lasts.