Slithering through the smooth walls of the ancient, ceremonial lava caves, I emerged from the dark to dazzling light sparkling beyond the dirt-sand leading to the waters of Pyramid Lake. A tipi now stood on the shore, where none had been when we swallowed our Owsley acid and entered the caves. Near a vibrantly decorated blue VW van, a woman wearing a flowery summer dress stood next to a lean man whose red beard and hair gave him a sage-like look. “Would you like to see the inside?” he asked seeing my wide eyes and longing smile.
Still high on LSD, my senses pulsating and open, I stepped through the oval door into Bob Lane’s tipi and fell in love with the most magical living space I had ever seen. The light of the day filtered past the canvas walls, which slanted inward as they rose, supported by skinned poles tied with a smooth rope. The smoke hole, where the poles joined at the top, let in air and more light, and also released smoke from the central firepit. Long knotty poles attached to the upper flaps, controlled the airflow. The scene, cozy and exquisite, imprinted itself in my memory.
The tipi’s canvas floor was covered with a red and blue oriental rug placed next to a soft furry buffalo skin, laid around the firepit. To my bare feet on the velvety carpet, the earth beneath me felt close. Strong, electrifying golden energy flowed up through my soles and filled my body, expanding light through my head. Patchouli oil and incense wafted heavily in the air, caressing my senses.
It seemed familiar, ethereal and right.
A dream had entered my being. …