This video is the first in a Weekly series by "Bob Moss."
Long before Sasquatch! became the Memorial Day weekend pastime of choice, legions of young people with free time and few channels were drawn to the comforting purr and mesmerizing wizardry of Bob Ross and his palette. Only Bob could say "Everyone needs a friend" and "It'll be our little secret" in the same hour and sound comforting, not creepy. Long since gone, Ross' words of wisdom are the inspiration for this year's guide to getting to Sasquatch! and the Gorge, courtesy of your friends here at Reverb. Stay calm, be open for anything, wear sunscreen, and God bless.
1. Pack accordingly: Ladies, bring a big, cute bag to hold everything you could possibly need at all times. It should hang comfortably and be able to take heavy-duty damage. You never know if you'll be making it back to your own tent, so it's best to (wink) be prepared. Unless you're rolling backstage, now is not the time for your faux Chanel tote. In either case, also bring a new package of cheap cotton undies, disposable enough to change and throw away as needed. Ma'Chell Duma LaVassar
2. Yes, bring a bobby: You might be in the middle of nowhere, but there's nothing wrong with a nice up-do. Bobby pins serve a variety of functions in emergency situations, and it impresses boys when they need a roach clip and you pull one out of your hair and shake it out all sexy. MDL
3. Skip 90: Take Highway 2/28 if you have the time. It's much more scenic (Leavenworth, various rivers, et al.) than 90, and likely won't be burdened by anywhere near the same amount of traffic. Mike Seely
4. Skip Arby's: Get lunch at Mountain High Hamburgers (2941 W. Sparks Rd., Easton, Wash.) while driving through the pass. You'll see the sign, but you won't see the restaurant/shack. It's off most travelers' radar, but infinitely more appetizing than Burger King. Don't leave without a blackberry milkshake. Chris Kornelis
5. Refill in Ellensburg: By the time the milkshake is gone, you'll be ready for a blizzard at the Ellensburg Dairy Queen (exit 106). Seriously, they're the best. And they actually fill the cups to the top. CK
6. Consider Soap Lake over Moses Lake: This is a great alternative/non-camping lodging oasis over the likes of Ellensburg or Moses Lake. Soap Lake's Notaras Lodge and its corresponding Businessmen's Club--a subterranean, members-only quasi-speakeasy that looks like an Eagles Club designed by David Lynch--is super-luxurious for its sub-$100, old-growth rooms. In the early aughts, Soap Lake had plans to erect the world's largest lava lamp, since shelved. The would-be site is still marked by a Chamber of Commerce sign. But instead of a humongous lamp sits the most ghetto, makeshift, free short-nine golf course you've ever seen. It's reminiscent of what a golf course would look like on the I-5 median around Nisqually. MS
7. Camp for free: There's free camping across the water from Vantage. Just cross the bridge, take a right like you're going to Pullman, and take another quick right. Just aim for the bushy-looking trees along the Columbia River. CK
8. Make breakfast count: If you're camping all four nights, bring at least five dozen eggs, a sack of onions, one knife, two forks, 10 paper plates, a gas camp stove, one skillet, and as much bacon as you can get your hands on. You're only going to get one solid hot meal a day (unless you want to pay at the Gorge, and you don't), and it's breakfast. Make it count. Here's how you can get it done with no dishes and just one pan: Toss in as much bacon as the skillet will hold, and cook to taste. Leave about half the grease in the pan and toss in a quarter onion, chopped. When they're sautéed, crack in as many eggs as your skillet will hold or your crew can stand. Stir it all together. Enjoy. CK
9. In Ellensburg, try the Starlight Lounge (402 N. Pearl St., 509-962-6100): Just off Main Street, this is a far less crowded option for a sit-down breakfast/brunch on the drive home from the Gorge. The lines at greasy spoons like the Palace Cafe are often outrageous after a big concert weekend, and after four days of standing in line to piss, eat, and hear music, instant service is a huge plus. They also serve drinks, in case you need a Bloody Mary to take the edge off that hangover. Keegan Hamilton
10. Or get up early for the Yellow Church Cafe (111 S. Pearl St., 509-933-2233): Hands down the best breakfast in Ellensburg. It's a little pricey, but when you see the grilled red potatoes and heaping portions of ham, bacon, and sausage that accompany most dishes, you'll realize the extra $3 or $4 per plate was well-spent. KH
11. While in Ellensburg, try the local taco trucks: Tacos Mi Chalito and Tacos Martín are located across the street from one another on Main Street, just a half-mile past that strip of fast-food restaurants and gas stations on Canyon Road. Chalito is arguably the better one, and roughly 1.5 gazillion times better than the Taco Bell right off the freeway. KH
12. And the local Iron Horse Brewery Micropub (416 N. Main, 509-933-3700): If you're in need of a pick-me-up on the way east (or if four days of debauchery wasn't quite enough and you want to incorporate partying into your pit stop on the drive home), stop by this tiny brewpub right on Main Street across from the offices of the Ellensburg Daily Record and chug a few pints of Irish Death, the signature local brew. KH
13. When it comes to drug/booze smuggling, Gorge-goers should take their cues from Mexican and South American narcos. For example ...
14. Don't put all your mind-altering eggs in one basket. The cartels don't use just one drug mule to send their shipments across the border, they put moderate-size amounts on multiple people. That way if somebody gets pinched, five or six others will still make it through.
15. Keep it on your person, not in your backpack. The security guards know to poke around in the bottom of that bag you're carrying, but they're less inclined to grab your crotch or butt cheeks. Unless you have hidden compartments (another narco specialty), tucking contraband right behind your belt buckle or putting it deep in a back pocket is a relatively safe bet. Preroll joints and mix them in with a pack of cigarettes.
16. No beer! Yes, it is the most refreshing beverage known to man, but it's far too bulky to smuggle into the venue, and gets warm quickly. Flasks are the only way to go.
17. If you get caught, don't argue. Apologize, pour out the alcohol or trash that stash, then go join your friends who followed these instructions and waltzed by security. A Friend
18. Ladies, use the boobs: Boys think girls have all the goodies at the festival because we have boobs, and they are right. I once saw a girl remove five airport bottles of vodka from various spots in her bra. Use what your mama gave you (deep cleavage), or lack thereof (extra room in your B cup?), to get whatcha need onto the grounds. Be wary of transporting items sullied by moisture when employing this method. MDL
19. Stock up on supplies. Ellensburg's Happy's Market (207 W. University Way, 509-925-3500) has an amazing beer/wine/malt liquor/munchies selection. Plus they sell glass pipes and various other novelties/essentials for a Gorge weekend. KH
20. Dress warm: Bring two pairs of socks for each day and carry at least one extra pair into the show with you every day. Yes, it's gonna be cold at night, and Sasquatch! merch goes quick for this very reason. If you've never sported socks with sandals, this is your best chance. CK
You'll be glad you did.
21. What happens at the Gorge . . . If you are far enough away from home to pull it off and your girlfriends are down, make up a false identity for the last day of the festival. You yourself might not get drunk and make out with the guy in the Nickelback T-shirt who's obviously from Spokane, who kinda looks like Jake Gyllenhaal and rolls joints the size of his thumbs, but that skank "Honey Frampton" might. MDL