Sunday, October 10, 2010

G-Love, Jack Johnson at the Gorge

This weekend the commune roomies and
Kelly had a fantastic time at the Gorge Amphitheater Concert of G-Love and Jack Johnson. Kevin and Alexa had bought tickets months ago for it but it was only after Kelly reminded Emily and I that we decided to also go. Kelly had mistakenly bought a camping pass so we were all set to camp over night with the Prius. We got an early start out of Corvallis at 9am and with me in the drivers seat we made great time down the Gorge on 84 then up to I-90 via route 97. Kevin had never been East of Portland down the Columbia so it was nice to be able to show someone a completely different environment in Oregon. As we drove east up the Columbia Gorge we broke out of the
clouds and it became blue skies. We passed by some huge wind farms on the sides of the gorge and stopped for a few photos. I also marked down a few locations with my GPS of great spots for photos of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier in the distance. Just after we crossed over into Washington everyone in the car passed out on me until we reached the town of Toppenish where we stopped at
Dad’s Family Restaurant for a quick lunch of old-school drive-in type food. It wasn’t very good but my rootbeer float was! From there it was just a quick drive on I-90 from Yakima to George, WA where the Amphitheater is.
Because we got there at 3pm we had a good amount of time to pre-game before the concert. By the time we left for the venue we all
had a pretty good buzz going. We found ourselves pinned between two big 4x4 trucks. The people around us had the room to pack grills and corn hole games but we weren’t able to fit all that in the Prius. We did end up chatting with our neighbors a the camp site and found that two of them knew Saratoga Springs, NY well and even lived there for a bit.
I laughed when they realized that our Prius was one of the ones that flew by them at 90mph on route 97... hehe.... The venue itself is amazing. The backdrop of the Columbia Gorge stretching out below the stage at sunset is amazing. The stage and the lawn general seating area is very much like the Saratoga Performing Arts Center that I grew up near and saw
many shows at except the Amphitheater is about 5x the size. We set up a blanket on the grass but the girls were amped to go down to the stage so they took off leaving Kevin and I to watch our spot. It seemed like they were gone for a long time and we both were getting worried they would never find us again in the dark without cell phones. Finally, they did show up but without Kelly! We stayed on the lawn through G-Love and then through Jack Johnson but as he returned for a final encore set we all decided to head down to the stage area to look for her. When we got down there I
could see that there was enough room for us to have been down there the entire performance... oh well. Kevin and I stayed in one spot while Alexa and Emily went into the crowd and miraculously found her! Both G-Love and Jack Johnson were amazing. G-Love can rock on a harmonica and they both played several songs together. Leaving the concert venue heading back towards the campground (a 20 minute walk away) was a mob scene of people. Thousands of people streaming down a walkway in the dark wasted...
quite a scene! When we got back to our camp site we hung out for a little bit but we were all so tired we passed out pretty early as parties raged all around us.

In the morning we headed out of camp around 9am because Kelly had to get back at a reasonable hour for her Vet school studies. Before we left the Gorge area we stopped at an overlook to snap some pictures of the river far below. We then stopped at the Waffles Cafe in Yakima for a late breakfast/lunch and once again everyone in the car fell asleep from food coma after. We made good time so I decided to take the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway so Kevin and Alexa could see the many waterfalls and the views from Vista House. I think they were pretty impressed by it, despite being a bit hungover from the previous night. We got back to Corvallis around 4:30pm. It was a long way to drive but definitely worth it if it is an artist I really like and we spend the money to camp overnight again and with the Prius it didn’t cost us an arm and a leg to get there.

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