Back in the late 60s, somewhere out in the backwoods near Laramie and Cheyenne Wyoming there was a commune of semi-vegetarian, tie-dyed pot-smoking hippies that survived by selling shellacked pinecones from roadside stands and by playing free concerts with members of the commune appearing as The Raspberry Porkchop. The Porkchop played long, meandering trippy numbers and their light guy, Snorky FunkFuzz was famous for his psychedelic lightshows. Needless to say, folks were tripping their little furry heads off during these things and skinny dipping in the cold mountain ponds was a a way of “taking the edge off” some of the strong stuff they were ingesting.
Legend has it that during one such concert a guy from California who called himself Professor Propylene showed up with some acid he called Cosmic Microbus that blew everyone to kingdom come. Himself included. Apparently the Professor kept his stash in a little satchel he tied around his neck and, forgetting to take it off with the rest of his party rags, jumped into the pond with a whole satchel-full of ‘cid. The band played on, the folks freaked all night and by noon the next day everyone had wandered off into parts unknown and the concert was nothing but a dream. Excepting the trout that lived in that pond. Those fish were never the same and their progeny still swim in the high-mountain lakes and streams of this area. A place I’ve always wanted to visit. The fish are the most gorgeous colors of tie-dye and I wanted to see one up close…but I’ve been told: beware! Don’t eat ‘em!!
I found my guide, Bison Bill and his son Goat in a cabin near Vidauwoo. Bill has been living up that way for eons and he remembers the days of the Raspberry Porkchop well…maybe too well. He knew exactly where to go, so I flew out to Cheyenne, rented a truck and headed out to meet this hairy behemoth of the bacchanal. By nightfall, we’d found our site, set up camp and made a short hike to a nearby lake. There they were, swimming in the moonlight, glowing…making lazy circles in the crystal clear water. Giggling, Bill reached in and grabbed one as easy as picking up an apple. It was really something else.
We had some fun catching a few with Goat and I was fascinated. I probably should have paid more attention but the scientist in me swept me back to the tent with a specimen to measure, dissect and perform some tests on. I was careful not to touch my hands to my mouth as I was doing this as the fish is said to carry a strong hallucinogenic and I didn’t want to screw my notes up. I should have been paying attention to my friends outside. Before I knew it, things were starting to sound pretty weird. The two of them were giggling like maniacs around the fire and the smell of frying fish filled the air. I put my things down and grabbed a flask to go see what was going on. The fish weren’t the only things that were frying.
Things got pretty strange from there on out. I sat and listened to the two of them jabbering about the sun, moon and stars, tiny universes that lived in our fingernails and other space-cadet stuff, had a couple drinks and ate a can of beanie-weenies. I figured I’d better turn in when they started dancing around the fire and making animal-like snorts while hiking their pants up real high and holding their fingers above their heads like little horns. It was getting embarrassing.
I awoke to a gorgeous, quiet morning. Snores emanated from their tents and I grabbed my tackle and headed for the lake to see if I could snag me a cutthroat or a brown using a Tufted Jake. I had a good hour of fishing and was headed back to fry me up a breakfast when Goat stumbled out of his tent. Uhhh….
The ride back home was sort of uncomfortable. We didn’t talk much and when I hopped into my truck and headed back to Cheyenne with my notes, I was left with nothing more than a grunt or two from my weary space-travelers. Farewell you freakies….Long may you live! Crazy sumbitches!