SASQUATCH IS NO MORE! 2018 WAS THE FINAL YEAR. WE ARE SOOOOOO GLAD WE WENT!
Sasquatch. What can we say? It’s an experience as much as a music festival and the 2018 Sasquatch Festival at The Gorge in Quincy, Washington is no exception.
We left on the 22nd of May and drove the first day to Tumalo State Park outside Bend, OR. It’s a standard campground and a campground we frequent when we go that direction. The night had it’s usual noisy neighbors who think the rules apply to everyone but themselves. As it also was the second night in the Wanapum State Park in Vantage, Washington – more of an RV park than campground. We did have a great view, though, as you can see.
We headed to The Gorge around 1:30 the afternoon of the 24th. The gates weren’t supposed to open, but we had nothing else to do, so we wandered up there. We found the gates open and we were allowed part way into the campground. We dutifully lined up in two columns, exited the car, popped a top, and proceeded to meet other campers. Around 2:00 pm, they decided to open it up and let us set up and get the party started. We were glad to oblige.
Our campsite was on a slope (good for Robert) about where the red marker is in the top right. To get to the amphitheater, one had to hike along that road angling off to the left. It wasn’t a long walk, but for some reason, it seemed a lot harder this year, nine years later that the first time we went.
They packed us in, but since we paid way more than standard parking, we were supposed to have bigger spaces and we did. Sort of. Turns out, there was tons of room since this wasn’t a sell out and they could have easily given us a couple more feet to the sides.
Everyone started their individual setups and soon the music and the beers started to flow. Although Peggy and Robert are separated in the photo, most of everyone else is grouped. The front row has Matt with his wife, Jenn, standing behind him and Peggy to his left. Next to Jenn is Mitchell and his wife, Kate. Behind them are Kevin, Matt, and… and…, well, crap, we forgot her name. How rude of us. She’s going to school and is close to graduating in the eco-sciences. Next to her is Robert, of course.
Notice the large tent with orange in the background. That was a group of Canadians that came down for some SERIOUS partying. They were loud, boisterous, and funny! They showed the way to what true partiers can do!
We spent the afternoon, talking, drinking, and wandering around, not waiting patiently for the festival to begin.
We came to see three groups this time: Spoon, TV on the Radio, and Modest Mouse. All three were scheduled for late Saturday, so we wandered back and forth to the amphitheater to check out the bands. We did add one to our listening repertoire: Pickwick out of Seattle. The rest of the day was filled with things we weren’t interested in, so we just ate and drank beer (and water, too).
One of the cool things about the festival was a bachelor party being held for Ryan Reda, we presume. Ryan has some awesome friends! The first thing we noticed was a poster up by the bathrooms. It looked very familiar and no wonder. Look at the one on the left, Ryan’s and the one on the right, the festivals:
Very clever. But, that wasn’t all! The next day a flag depicting Ryan and the event showed up. Few people have such awesome friends! And congratulations, Ryan!
Saturday was filled with naps, food, beer and more food and beer. All in preparation for the evening’s performances. The three were to be in a row: Spoon on the main stage, followed by TV on the Radio at an alternate stage, then Modest Mouse back on the main stage.
One of the reason we like to go to The Gorge is the wonderful view of the Columbia River Gorge. Ben Harper labeled it the most magnificent venue he had played and he’s played all over the world! The view on the left shows why, but try to image the sun setting behind the performing act. Got it? Awesome, huh?
For Spoon, we were in front of the stage in The Pit. Our backs were against the railing which had some seats attached (arrow 1). People in The Pit where we were, were polite and we didn’t notice too much shoving, crowding, or pushing closer to the stage.
We had never seen Spoon before and were surprised that they were as old as they are. Their debut album was released in 1994, so, they are in their 30’s plus. Long live Rock and Roll! We enjoyed the show and departed with a couple of songs left in the set so we could get over to TV on the Radio.
TV on the Radio is where things got crappy. They were scheduled on one of the side stages, so we got there and Robert stood just off the path in front of and about 20 yards back. Peggy went off to get something to eat about the time the crowd started forming. While Peggy was gone, Robert was subject to people who evidently can’t see a 6 foot man standing there in front of them and would walk right into him. By the time Peggy was able to work her way back with chow, the crowd had formed and we’re standing there with people trying to get down front. Again. We call them the “Rudies”. If we can be “Wrinklies”, they can be “Rudies” for their rude behavior. The final straw came when three big guys (all 6′ 2″+), bullied their way in front of us and didn’t much give a shit that we were there. We got to hear about 4 tunes before this happened, so, we left. Fuming at the way people behave at concerts. It appears that whatever you want to do to get down close to the stage, is fair game and screw others. Sad.
We headed over to the Modest Mouse stage and planted ourselves against the back wall (arrow 2) and were not bothered by other people. Too, much.
Modest Mouse is another group that’s been around awhile – founded in 1993. (We had a large gap in our musical tastes for too many years!) Modest Mouse is fun and outrageous at the same time! We had a great time with MM! But, they were the last group and would be playing until waaaay past our bedtimes, so we left a little early and headed back to camp. When we got there, we could still hear them (when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you can TURN IT UP) and echos of another band in a separate venue. The cacophony of sounds was interesting and the end of the performance for MM was marked with fireworks. Sorry, we missed that, but, hey, there you are.
The final day of the concert was Sunday. Again, we didn’t know anyone and none sounded interesting enough to draw us. So, we spent the afternoon watching what can be billed as the Best Entertainment of Sasquatch! Mitchell packing his car for their return trip to Texas.
Mitchell is a Texan, thru and thru. He’s from Dallas. He’s a hoot. He and Kate arrived in a small Hyundai Vectra that was stuffed to the gills. They unpacked almost everything, including a huge, 10-person tent, a portable grill, two giant sleeping bags, a giant ice cooler, and it just kept coming out. Their tent was cool; take it out of the container, stand it a certain way, drop the legs, extent the legs, and, it popped right up! Once set up, they were comfortable for the rest of the weekend. However, they had to be at work at 10am on the following Tuesday. In Dallas. 30 hours away.
As someone who lived in Dallas in the mid-1970’s, Robert was familiar with some of the places Mitchell talked about. Mitchell, however, had never heard of Keller’s Hamburgers! Keller’s has been in Dallas forever and had the best burgers in town because they were the fat, juicy kind of burgers you just don’t get these days. We haven’t been there since the mid-1980’s, but we’re sure it hasn’t changed.
Sunday came and the time for their departure for the 30 hour drive was almost upon them. They and the Canadian’s weren’t up by 8:00am, so Robert put Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner” on our portable speaker. Nobody jumped out of their tent and saluted, but it did provoke some movement.
Talk of packing up and getting out was the main conversation between Mitchell and Kate, but not much progress was being made. Little piles of stuff were beginning to form, with Mitchell shuffling things from one pile to the next or start a new pile. Things he didn’t want to take, like the remaining beers, he’d consume. Somewhere around noon, Kate took off to get in the showers line and it took her more than an hour and a half there were so many people! All the while, Mitchell was busy “packing”, i.e., the moving shuffle. When Kate returned, she said: “You haven’t packed anything.” “Well, I moved the sleeping bags from there to over there.”, responded Mitchell. Robert verified Mitchell’s progress and insured Kate progress was being made.
Just before they dropped the tent, Kate brings out two poncho’s she had purchased. But, progress became apparent when they dropped the 10-man tent and got it back into its container. It’s now past 2:00pm and way past the time they thought they might leave. Kate’s trying to motivate Mitchell, but he’s doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry. At that point, Robert was convinced that Mitchell would never get all that stuff in that small of a car. But, the real stuffing was just about to begin.
Mitchell stuffed the tent in the car taking up 1/3 of the room. He re-arranged things in the car (never taken out) and started to stuff more things in – a cooler, a grill, chairs, etc. He somehow got everything but two large sleeping bags and Robert thought, “That’s it.” Not. Mitchell proceeded to then literally stuff the two bags into every little nook and cranny he could find. Somehow he managed to get everything in the car. Of course, Kate would have her knees under her chin. Just kidding. Mitchell made sure the passenger and driver would be comfortable.
Somewhere around 4:00pm they pulled out. We hope they made it in time for work.
We just hung around and started to prepare to leave ourselves for the rest of the day. The next morning we got up, took our time having breakfast, then headed to Pasco to do laundry and head for our next stop: Charbonneau Park, a Corps of Engineers park.