We woke up at the Holiday Inn Express in Wenatchee after roughly twelve hours of sleep. Traveling always wears me out since I’m ever vigilant in scanning the airport for potential terrorists. It’s a tiring job, but I do it gladly, because I love America. That’s something that you should know about me, if you don’t already.
The hotel offered the best free breakfast of any hotel that I have stayed at that didn’t have the words all-inclusive attached to it somehow. I realize that you pay for the all-inclusive, so it’s not really free. But this place had an awesome pancake machine that I wanted to steal and take home. I’ll take it as carry-on luggage. I don’t give a shit! Whatever, I’m rambling and hungry. Apologies. All around.
I have to be honest. I find it really weird that you weren’t aware of exactly how much I love America. I’m starting to question your motives in reading this, and I am seriously starting to think that maybe I need to keep an eye on you now. See, my vigilance never stops. It’s fucking exhausting.
The gates for the first day of Sasquatch opened at 3pm, so we had some time to kill before heading out on our inaugural drive to The Gorge Amphitheatre. My lady baby and I decided to take a ride and maybe see some sights, since there seemed to be so many sights to see. Or so many sites to see. Whichever one of those two is grammatically correct. I don’t want to argue semantics with a suspected terrorist.
We took a ride to Ohme Gardens, which was about six miles away from the hotel. Or actually twelve miles by the time Google maps got their shit together. I’m not knocking Google maps. It is maybe the single greatest weapon in a traveler’s arsenal. Right next to hand sanitizer and airport stroke books.
Hopefully you read Part One of this journey, otherwise you might think that I am a connoisseur of airport stroke books. When in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have an iPhone, so I only use stroke books when I’m feeling nostalgic for my childhood. It was a simpler time back then. although I do not miss all of those paper-cuts. I mean, what?
Google maps rules, is what I’m trying to say, in an embarrassingly roundabout way.
So we checked out Ohme Gardens which was pretty nice and extremely hilly. We also rescued an elderly couple who couldn’t find their way out of the maze of steep trails. When I say we rescued them, I mean my sweet beautiful baby lady Nicole rescued them. She’s good like that. But we’re married, so I am legally entitled to fifty percent of the credit for the actual rescue. As well as any advertised reward monies, half of any book deals and/or film rights and residuals that emanate henceforth from said rescue, in perpetuity, forthwith, ad nauseam, amen, etc.
That’s where the money is, in the back-end. At least that’s what it says in my well-worn copy of The Complete Idiots Guide to Matrimonial Law. Take that, single people! As well as all of you illiterates out there. Wait, they won’t see this. But still, right?
We set off from the hotel at about one in the afternoon. It was roughly fifty miles or so each way, but it was the most beautiful stretch of road that I have ever driven. The entire ride was like looking at a painting. Mountains and valleys, maybe even a couple of plateaus. I’ll have to check into that. I don’t want to go on record as saying there were plateaus if there weren’t, but I kind of feel like there may have been some plateaus. Or at least one plateau. Wait, what’s a plateau again?
Well, the word plateau isn’t even making sense to me anymore after saying it so much. I’m going to say there were no plateaus there. Am I even spelling that right?
We arrived at the Gorge around two o’clock and hit the only traffic we encountered all weekend long. It only lasted about fifteen minutes until we pulled into the “Day Parking” area. The majority of the attendees at Sasquatch camp there for the duration of the festival. That makes it much easier to drive in and out each day/night. Which was fantastic for morale.
We went to the Will Call booth and picked up our wristbands. We also got tickets that you would trade in each day at Customer Service for a bracelet that gave you VIP platform access at the different stages. When we went to the Customer Service booth, the girl there said she was just handing out schedules and that we had to go to the other Customer Service booth for the VIP bracelets. The other Customer Service booth said we needed to go to a third Customer Service booth. The lady at the third Customer Service booth told us to go fuck ourselves. No they didn’t. They called someone who said they would meet us at the first booth we were at.
We returned to the first booth, where they had already run out of schedules. Twenty minutes after the gates had opened on a four-day festival. Talk about not understanding the concept of “measure twice, cut once”. It was a clusterfuck of people asking for schedules, not receiving them, and then whipping out their smartphones to take pictures of the big schedule that was posted beside the booth. Technology rules.
Suck on that, Woodstock! Both of you.
Needless to say, no one came to meet us at the first booth. One of the girls that worked there ran over to the sponsor area and back. She said someone would be down in ten minutes with the wristbands. Thirty minutes later she ran up to the sponsor area and back again. She breathlessly apologized and said someone would definitely be there in a minute. Ten minutes later that someone finally appeared. We got the appropriate bracelets and inquired about the probability of them having this little fiasco ironed out for the coming days. We were assured that the bracelets would be there for the rest of the festival, so we bade them a fair adieu and headed off to kick the fucking tires on this hairy son of a bitch.
The first act we saw was ZZ Ward. Who, after much loud conversation and a fair amount of quiet contemplation, we decided was not one of the ZZ Top guys gone solo. He was actually a she, and she was pretty good. We only heard two songs, but the crowd , although somewhat sparse, was digging her.
After her came Jordan Cook, also known as Reignwolf. I had heard a few of his songs whilst researching bands prior to the festival and I like him. He’s sick with just an electric guitar and a kick drum. His set was really good, and he ended it jamming on top of a van as it drove him away from the stage. Just like I would have done if I was given both the time-slot in which to perform as well as a van with a licensed and dependable driver on which to escape. Because accidents happen, and I’m pretty sure we’ve discussed my affinity for safety before.
After Reignwolf we met up with Amy and Joe at the Cliff House. This was a “private” area with a bar and food service and some pretty spectacular views overlooking the Columbia River. As the four of us were talking, Amy got a text from one of the Bose people about meeting up with them. As it turned out, they were at the Cliff House, too. A guy walked out to where we were standing and introduced himself. His name was David, and he was from Live Nation.
I’m only using first names because have you read me? Sometimes I can be sort of colorful and salty in my choice of words. My mother always used to tell me that was what made me adorable as fuck, but I can see how some people might not agree with her correct assessment of her baby boy. You’re entitled to your own opinion.
But call my mother a liar again and see what fucking happens!!
David invited us inside to meet the people who put the contest together. We graciously accepted his offer as we are civilized members of society, and that’s what we do. We sat down with Madison, Brenna, Tim, and Jeremy from Bose, as well as David and Cameron from Live Nation. Cameron was the one who called to tell me I had won the trip. We chatted about how unreal it all seemed and how excited we were for the days ahead.
They bought us drinks. Nicole had an adult beverage, but I just had a Sprite, since I was the designated driver. You probably think I’m a pussy, but you’ve already insulted America as well as my dead mother, so I’m not surprised that you would attack me personally.
We hung out for a bit and then went over to Tito’s Bar, which was located next to the main stage. This was where the VIP platform bracelets come into play. You went up these stairs and watched from the side of the stage. It was really cool. But more about that later.
That night we saw Arctic Monkeys, who I didn’t really know, but they sounded great. It was more about the people watching and scenery viewing at that point. There was more than enough of each to go around.
The headliner that night was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. They’re from Seattle and apparently they’re gonna pop some tags. They were really fucking good. The energy level of the crowd was off the hook, as the kids would say. In 1997.We only stayed for four or five songs and then made the long, uphill pilgrimage back out to the car at about 11:30pm.
The drive back to Wenatchee was no longer as beautiful as it was in the daytime. It was more along the lines of semi-terrifying. Just fifty miles of dark windy roads. I really had to do some serious concentrating, which made it difficult to fall asleep while driving. Actually it would have been very easy to fall asleep, which in turn made it very difficult to drive.
I’m sorry. Was I just snoring?
Up Next – Part III : This Is A Story ‘Bout Billy Berue & Connie Bigs