desert

Cabin in the Desert


A year ago, I booked a long weekend getaway at Cove Palisades State Park. It’s kinda crazy how far in advance we have to book stuff here…and we didn’t even get a weekend date! But who cares. We were SO READY to get out of Portland, away from house-selling-stress and I was so glad we were like somewhere with spotty cell service. Yay for just relaxing!

We got one of the “deluxe cabins”. It was nice!

It had bunk beds, a couch (for extra sleeping if needed), a kitchenette with mini fridge and microwave, a BBQ grill and picnic table outside and a bathroom. Oh, AND AC!

It was super cute! It was just perfect for a long weekend away when you want to “rough it” but don’t want to camp in a tent. 😉 I was really looking forward to this weekend and after the kinda sucky and stressful summer we had buying a house, selling a house, moving, etc, it was nice to unwind in the desert.

The above photo was the view from the porch. It was so peaceful. We were there Sunday-Wednesday so it wasn’t very crowded. There are only three cabins in the park but there are several campgrounds nearby and RV parks and boat launches. The lake had some boats but not a ton.

We arrived Sunday afternoon and unpacked and then explored a bit. The cabins are right behind the marina. It is secluded and quiet. We fixed dinner (chicken drumstricks I’d marinated in BBQ sauce) with various munchies (cucumbers and the boys had chips) and Logan explored and played in the dirt. He had SO MUCH FUN words cannot describe it. I will let this photo show it:

He was absolutely filthy the entire time. Yes, he took a shower every day to get the grime off, but it didn’t matter. He was covered head to toe in dirt, fun and s’mores. 🙂

I think his favorite thing was using the binoculars I got him for his birthday. He hadn’t used them yet and I am so glad I packed them! He had a blast checking out everything with his “nockers”. (Michael asked if he liked his “big biconculars” and Logan said “big knockers”–BOYS!!!! Oy)

We had a campfire next to the water. Michael brought his guitar and we made s’mores. I broke the diet a few times on the trip to have some s’mores.

Then we all crashed.

Monday morning we got up and had breakfast outside watching the sun slowly make the desert cliffs glow and then we went for a hike.

We did the Tam-a-lau Loop Hike (or part of it) and I highly recommend it! It was such a cool, fun hike with amazing views!

After the hike, we went back to the cabin and had lunch and then took naps. While Logan was sleeping I sat on the porch and finished reading one of my books. It was really nice and relaxing.

We tried to go swimming up the road at the swimming hole. It was perfect for kids! It was cordoned off so the boats couldn’t go to that area. But Logan wouldn’t go deeper than his waist, even though I was in the water with him. Oh well. It felt nice on a really hot day!

Dinner was pork chops and salad. Then more campfire. Then bed! We were tuckered out!

Soundgarden in The Gorge

Saturday was the show at The Gorge Amphitheater. We packed up some essentials and headed into the desert for the hour and a half long drive to the venue. It was a sunny HOT HOT day! Like 97 I think? Michael and I packed a ton of bottled water to take into the venue (it was allowed) and I had a plan to suck it down as often as possible. Sitting in the sun at The Gorge can be detrimental if you are prone to heat stroke or get easily sunburned (like me).

I slathered on sunscreen and brought a hat to stay shaded. We arrived at the venue and decided to splurge and buy the VIP parking. I’ve been to The Gorge to see two concerts before — Tom Petty and Dave Matthews Band–and the worst part about the experience was at the end of the night. Having to battle the thousands of people trying to leave the parking lot all at the same time is a nightmare. If I remember correctly it took over 2 hours just to get out of the parking lot the last time I was there. So the splurge for VIP parking was definitely worth the $40!

We got into the venue and headed to the VIP lounge that came with our VIP parking. I got a glass of wine and Michael got a whiskey and coke — $18! I almost had a heart attack when the bartender told me how much it was. The cost + the idea of sitting in the sun drinking did not appeal to me so I stopped after the glass of wine.

After a drink we left the lounge and found a spot to spread out the blankets.

The Meat Puppets played first. Growing up in Seattle in the height of the Grunge Era I loved hearing the Meat Puppets! It was a nice flashback to my teens.

It’s funny because when you’re not drinking, it’s easy to notice how obnoxious certain types of drunks are. There were lots of middle-aged folks recapturing their youth at the concert–plus a ton of super drunk, super obnoxious frat guys without shirts shouting. Aw, rock concerts!

Next up was Mastadon. Michael and his friend Jeremy went down to the mosh pit for the show. Jeremy’s friend Amy and I hung out at the blankets and chit-chatted for their set. I wouldn’t say I am a huge fan of Mastadon but they sounded great live and I recognized a few of their songs.

Next up was Queens of the Stone Age. They are Amy’s favorite band so her and Jeremy went down to the mosh pit for their set. I went down for a little while to get some photos. The Saturday night set of Queens was MUCH better! They played all of their hits and they sounded great!

Queens of the Stone Age

There was a break for awhile and we all hung out (me slugging water and making my way to the bathroom a million times). Another bonus of the VIP parking pass: it got us into the VIP lounge bathrooms! The lines for those port-a-potties were nonexistent compared to the huge line for the “general admission”! Totally worth the $40!

Soundgarden was up next and we all agreed we wanted to head down to the mosh pit to see it up close. We packed up our stuff and headed into the pit of darkness.

Soundgarden came on and they sounded AMAZING.

I wouldn’t say I was a huge Soundgarden fan back in the 90’s. Growing up in Seattle I was way into the Grunge scene but I preferred Nirvana, Hole, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. I did like Soundgarden a lot but I just never went to any of their concerts. So it was rather strange to be standing in a mosh pit at age 31 to see Soundgarden!

Chris Cornell put on a great show. He is quite the the front man. He was engaging and talked to the audience. He shared memories of past Gorge concerts.

He saw someone in the front row filming him with their iPhone and he took the phone from the guy, made the audience shout stuff so it could record and then he gave it back to the guy. I bet that guy was ready to die on the spot because Chris Cornell recorded from the stage with his phone! I’m going to have to look online for that video. I’m sure it will surface somewhere!

The show was so fantastic! They played ALL of the old favorites which is what I really wanted to hear. It was so fun to sing along to the hits.

The show was wrapping up and Michael had been keeping track of all the hits they played and didn’t think they’d play any others (he was right) so we started to trek back to the VIP parking lot. The band played one more song and then they were done (and it wasn’t a song that I recognized). By the time the last song was done we were at our car and ready to head back.

We got out of the parking lot in record time and were on the road missing all of the venue traffic! Score! VIP parking for the WIN. Michael drove us back to Yakima–which is a terrifying drive in the middle of the night because you can’t see anything but you saw all the cliffs in the daylight driving there!

When we got back to the hotel room I reheated the leftover Mexican food in the microwave and we shared the mediocre food in bed while we watched some horrible Sci-Fi movie. 🙂 It was a nice night and a great show!

QUESTION: What was your favorite concert?