Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mojo, part 3.

The Trip to Pirate's Cove

We arrived at a town outside of the Gorge, and first thing we noticed when we stopped, it was WARM.  We'd dressed for the valley in Oregon, in the morning, and had been in a truck with A/C most of the day.  The temp was just shy of 90 degrees, making our long pants and shirts a slight bit of overkill, but I had dressed for the concert, and wasn't about to change at that point! 

We ended up in a small campground, and saw some... Very slightly dressed women, with some frankly amazing art on various parts of their persons.  We saw several males that were perhaps more dressed, but no less tattooed.  (One had a tattooed "X" on his nose.  I didn't even ask...)  We finally stopped and asked about getting a place to stay.  Well, HUSBAND asked.  He wanted me to stay in the truck.  I really suspect he was nervous about some of the bigger gents that were lounging in the cabins nearby.  Which amuses me, he was willing to camp there, but not have me check if camping was available?  Eh.

After a quick conference with some well burned, heavily tattooed folk, Husband said we needed to look for a store, they were the ones that sold the camping spots.  But did I really want to stay here?  He started trying to convince me that we should check at the campground at the amphitheater, as well as one about a mile or so away.  Or that we should check that we could just camp in the parking area. 

People will tell you I am not the most patient woman in the world...

And they are right.  This was the moment when my eyes glowed red, and I reminded him that I had checked, there was NO CAMPING in the parking lot, and I had found NO VACANCIES at the Gorge campground.  I wasn't sure about the one right by, but with so many people going to be at the concert, I was somewhat less than optimistic.  Well, he said, I will check at this store, and then we can go up and see what the camp at the amphitheater has.  

Yeah, sure, thought I.  It had been sold out for several WEEKS before the concert, and a spot was going to magically appear at our arrival... Uh.  Yeah...

I waited as he ran into the store, knitting some more on my sock.  He came out, and said he'd gone into the wrong store, it was the store on the OTHER side of the street.  So we go over there.  Husband again asks me to wait. 

Knit. Knit. Knit...  While knitting, I saw a group leave, there was a pontoon party boat with several guys in Hawaiian shirts holding something steady in back.  I glanced at it, and it clicked that it was a keg.  They came to a stop, and one of the guys put his foot on the keg, raised his hand to his eyes to shade them, and started peering around to direct the guy driving.

If Captain Morgan and Jimmy Buffet had a love child, this guy would have been it. 

Husband returns, and says they have 8 camp spots left, and were pretty sure there wouldn't be all that much up ahead, unless we hurried because "Petty seems to be a pretty popular venue."

(Gee, ya think?!??) 

Having had enough of the woudsie-shouldsies, and being the keeper of the cash for our trip, I asked how much, he told me, I stripped off the bills and told him to get the spot.  He quibbled, wondering if we should just go check... I think my glare got the point across. 

(Might I add, in my defense, I am not usually this snarly to my husband, but I had asked him SEVERAL times as early as APRIL if we should get a hotel, camp spot, etc., and he just seemed to blow it off.  So this last minute stuff tended to stab under my skin just a bit too deep and quick to ignore.) 

So we received these brilliant orange bands that designated us as official campers of this place called Vantage.  We then went over to a small restaurant, and had a... Well, it was fish and chips.  I think, however, either they didn't cook it long enough, or the oil wasn't hot enough. 

It was very...


Well, I have had worse, but it would not make a Michelin 3 star rating, let's just say.  I will only give them this much credit.  Lots of customers, only one restaurant that we could see, and there was only one guy cooking, 2 gals serving.  But it still wasn't a meal I particularly want to repeat.  Fish never should have the consistency of Gummi Bears, is all I am going to say.  (And no, I don't like Gummi Fish, either...) 

Waiting for Tonight

Husband thought we should drive to the amphitheater, to see if we could get in early, and where to park.  We soon realised that even 4 hours before the concert, there were a LOT of people headed that way.  We passed the nearby campground, and it had a full sign.  We finally arrived at the parking lot, and Husband, who normally looks placid, looked fretful. 

You need to take your cane, you are not going to be able to walk this.  I argued that I was already taking my camera, my coat, a water bottle, and what was I going to do with the stupid cane? 

He took the high ground, you want to enjoy the concert, if your ankle hurts, you will be concentrating on that.  I took one last stab, trying to keep my Rocker Vanity firmly in place, but I will have to drag that sucker around, and we don't even know where to park! 

Husband then proceeded, in his methodical fashion, to find a person, and say right off, my wife is handicapped, I am not staying, is there someplace I can drop her off at?  After a few grunts and points, we were directed to a tent.  It was the people heading up the handicapped parking, and they showed Husband where he could drop me off at.  He still looked a bit 'off', and then pulled over at another place, and checked with another of the yellow shirted people.  I didn't hear the conversation, but when he got back in, he looked relieved.  He found out that he could stop at the handicapped parking, and I could go in through that entrance.  I told him that I wasn't that handicapped...  He looked me squarely in the eye, and said, you can stand for 2 hours waiting to go in?  (These words would turn out to be prophetic.)  I finally gave in, ok, I will use the *&^% cane.  Grumble.  We also found out we wouldn't be let in until 6, and that unattended vehicles would be towed after the event.

So we headed back to Vantage, took a shortish nap, or at least as much a nap as I could, being that I was just slightly passed wired, and we relaxed until it was time to head out. 

Love is a Long Road

We headed back just a bit after 5 ish, and found out that there is a LOT of people that had the same idea.  Husband said it was about 10 miles from our camp to the Gorge.  After about 6 miles, all we could see was cars.  Lots and lots of cars.  On a two lane road.  All headed to the same place.  Most of the people were in groups, with various Petty (and Greatful Dead, oddly enough), logos on the vehicles.  It was slow going, with Husband and I commenting on the scenery, how we'd contact each other after the concert, and the fencing that was along the roadway.  (It was a way to put up fencing that had what looked like curled wire in between fence posts.  I think Husband said it was to allow small animals to pass, as well as to not use so many posts.  It made the fence look like it was woven, somewhat.)  We passed the time with some more small talk about the vehicles, people IN the vehicles, how much the carbon footprint might be for this, just the usual stuff.

Suddenly, we see a truck with a camper come to a complete stop, and a young gal come leaping out of it like a panicked deer.  She sprinted over to the only bushes around, dropped trou, and started peeing.  She seemed very, very, VERY unconcerned about the audience, in fact, she waved as we went by.  I waved back, but I think I was probably blushing.  Next thing I know, she is sprinting back to the truck, that is going at a bit past a walking pace, the door opens, and several hands reach out and grab, launching her back in. 


Husband just shook his head, and I think I said something about when ya gotta go...  We arrived at the parking lot, and the attendent just told Husband to park.  He did so, and when I got out, the attendant told him to stay there.  I have no idea why, but he was allowed to stay in the handicapped parking area the whole time while I was at the show.  We didn't pay for it, so I don't know that we should have, but the attendant seemed to think that was what should happen, so, I got out, and walked.  I then realized I had not a real clue where the handicapped entrance was.

I Don't Wanna Fight

I finally asked enough people to get oriented to where the entrance was.  Like the one time I walked in Las Vegas, I found out looks can be deceiving...  It was a long walk to the entrance!  I had my jacket on one arm, and decided it was easier to walk, by using the cane.  I wandered, and wandered, and finally asked one of the traffic people, who pointed me more or less directly to the gate.  I went in, and saw the line.  I looked back and saw it was at least 4 to 6 people wide, and I had not a clue how long, but my guess would be several city blocks.  And the handicapped entrance, empty, seperated by a flimsy little fence. 

I walk in.  About halfway down, a teensy gal leans way over the fence from the general admission side, and just roars at me, "ARE YOU A VIP?  ARE YOU??!??"  (I was later to learn, this was also the VIP entrance.)  She was literally reaching out to grab me, and not knowing for sure what I had done, I stepped back to the other fence, flattening myself out a bit, so she couldn't grab my jacket or cane.  Three guys, that looked like they would have been too scary for Hell's Angels, turned around and told her, LOOK, SHE IS HANDICAPPED!  SHE HAS A CANE!!!  

Whereupon, she told them, with numerous f-bomb laced screeching, that she would just keep her *ed up mouth *ing shut, she just *ing wanted to *ing know if I was a *ing VIP, and that she didn't need their *ing sh#t! 

I decided that either she was drunk, crazy, both, or there was soon to be a fight, and I didn't want to be there when any of the above came to a head, so I walked, with the cane and my jacket ahead of me, as quickly as I could, to the area where I saw people ahead.

Fortune would have it, I found the place to go in.  I had to be screened, first.  I was sweating this, as I had my camera phone that records, and didn't know if I would have to call Husband to come and get it, (and deal with a truly crazy woman...)  The man just glanced at my phone, said it was fine, asked me to open my purse.  I did, he checked that the bottle had a seal (I guess that you can't bring open containers of any kind in), then asked for my jacket. 

He then opened every pocket (it has 6), turned it upside down, and felt in all the crevices, and the arms were checked.  I was rather surprised, it's a biker jacket, but it didn't seem that nefarious.  I then read a sign saying no fireworks, weapons, or drugs in the venue.  When I received my jacket back (and made sure I had my lucky quarter in the pocket, after all that), I went to turn my ticket in. 

Does it say something about how old school I am,  that I was expecting my ticket to be consumed in some manner, punched, torn, taken from me, something?  I handed it to the ticket taker, he ran a scanner over it, like it was a pound of hamburger, then handed it back to me, while putting a band on my wrist.  He then directed me to the bus, taking folks to the VIP/Handicap entrance.    I felt like a superchick, compared to some of the oxygen carrying, limping folk on the bus!  But we arrived, and I wandered around, parsing out where my seat was.  Most of the people were helpful, except for one dork that said, yeah, it's right over here, pointing in the general direction of the stage.  (Which, while it might have been a great spot, might not have been acceptable to the rest of the audience...)  But I managed to find my seat, and rested, waiting for the music.  

And you know, the waiting is the hardest part...



  1. Great post!
    You really wanted to go to this concert, didn't you?

    You going again?

  2. Sharon:

    Yes, it's something I have always wanted to do. But the answer to your next question will be a little further along in the story...


  3. (A.) Loved the post. (B.) So far, this sounds like a complete nightmare. More power to ya'.

    (Waving to you from Seattle.)

  4. Ryan:

    A)Good! Nice to know it's interesting.

    B) Urk. It wasn't. It WAS a unique experience, but not really a nightmare. Just really strange.

    Cat (waving from Oregon...)

  5. I'm still laughing at my vision of the Capt Morgan/Jimmy Buffet guy and the girl waving at you while she was squatting, lmao...awesome story-telling skills! :)

  6. Tammy:

    Thank you!


  7. Oh Cat, you're reminding me of why I don't go to concerts any more. But, keep going. This is an utterly fascinating story.

  8. Louise:

    Yes, more to come soon.


  9. Loved reading your "story", you do absolute beautiful writing. So refreshing!

  10. OMGoodness! You have the patience of a saint! I have been known to glare my opinions a time or two myself!!!!!!

  11. Tina:

    Thank you, I enjoy story telling. At least that's the polite form of what it's called... Some have a slightly more... earthy term for my discussions.


  12. Ms. Diva:

    I have the patience of a saint?


    Oh. Were you serious? Um. Okay...

    But yes, glares can indeed say volumes.


  13. You are amazing! I don't even like to go to the movies.

  14. Callie:

    Depends on the movie. :)

    Seriously, I had no idea what to expect, so everything was just "as it happened".



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