Eastern Washington

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?

Drafting and Sprinting Practice

Saturday morning Michael and I woke up in Yakima ready to tackle a bike ride. It was HOT out. Eastern Washington is desert and it was nearly 90 degrees by 10am. I’d found a place we could ride our bikes so we got ready. The hotel we were staying in didn’t offer a continental breakfast and we didn’t want to go out so we grabbed snacks. Michael ate beef jerky and raw almonds and I had leftover pasta salad. Not really the best breakfast but it was what we had!

We drove to Sherman Park where we parked the car and headed out on the Yakima Greenway trail.

It was early enough that the trail was pretty empty for most of our ride. It was hot out but it wasn’t uncomfortable.

The trail was flat. There were some other cyclists out and a few walkers but not many. I realized that my bike seat was crooked–I think from when I fell on the bike a month ago. That could explain some of the knee/back pain I was having recently when I rode. Michael fixed my seat and it made a world of difference!

The trail went right a long the river and it was a beautiful place to ride. The mountains in the distance were scenic and the water was fast moving and looked refreshing.

Since the trail was pretty flat and straight, and there weren’t a ton of people on it, Michael suggested we do some training. First we practiced Drafting. I’m not very good at Drafting. It makes me nervous to be that close to someone on the bike.

He instructed me to get my front tire about 1 foot from him back tire. He said to pay attention to which direction the wind was coming from and be either on the left or right side of his tire accordingly. We practiced for awhile.

He instructed me that if I lose him that I should sprint to catch up and get back on his tire. We passed by a few parks, a dog park, and some playgrounds while on the trail.

There were a few short hills that we practiced sprinting up. It was a nice exercise. My heart rate recovered quickly.

We took a quick rest under a bridge in the shade so I could drink some water and we continued on. The next thing to practice was sprinting. Since it was a flat, long road it was ideal for sprinting.

Speed training on the bike is just like interval training for runners. It’s also a crucial part of training.  Doing short, explosive sessions on the bike (5-30 seconds long) builds speed, stamina and recovery time.

We continued on the trail. I thought it was a 10 mile loop for some reason but we rode around a small lake and then reached the end of the trail. We turned around and practiced more sprinting and drafting.

The day was warming up nicely and I was kind of sad that the bike ride was coming to an end. We talked about doing the trail again but we had a time crunch.

I liked practicing the Sprints the best. It was really fun. I tried sprinting up hills too.

The Yakima Greenway Trail was a success in my book. I would definitely do it again if we were in that city.

We got back to the car in no time. I was happy to get in a workout on our vacation.

Ride Stats:
Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
Calories Burned: 517
Distance: 14.9 

Total Distance for the week:  63.03 miles! Yay! My goal was to try and get in 60 for the week and I did it!

It was such a fun morning. The trail is really the winner in Yakima. There’s nothing else there worth writing about! 😉

QUESTION: Do you practice sprint drills on the bike or with running? What differences have you noticed as a result?