Trip Report: Dave Matthews Weekend


It has become an annual tradition to spend Labor Day weekend with my friends Matt and Emily and Co. at the Gorge to see our favorite band: DMB. This was my ninth year going in the past 10 years, and like always, it was a weekend full of ridiculousness. And because I just got a text message threatening me with murder if I divulge some stories from this weekend, this blog will be mellow.


Emily’s sister-in-law Cortnie says the craziest shit ever. A few years ago she told us people who work in nursing homes know which elderly people liked it in the backdoor because they have floppy buttholes. She is probably the best at free-flow say anything conversations. In between times of my phone being dead, i kept a list of her quotes. They included:

I’ve never gone black, but I’m curious.

I hate the god damn monkey song. Monkey see, monkey do, I’m over the fucking monkey song.

I’ve seen a lot of wieners.

If I lived in a trailer that small with Theo, I’d murder him too.


Speaking of trailers: ever since 2007, we have camped at the Sun Basin RV park in Ephrata, right off of Frontage Road near I-90. The first year, I went with Matt and two people we will call C and E (both insanos who no longer attend). We had no campground reserved and left Western Washington late because C had to bring 5 pieces of luggage. We thought we were going to just find a spot in the desert and set up a tent, but the place we stopped at looked like it was having an earthquake because the ground was covered with so many moving bugs. I binged “camping” and found a small RV park. I figured it was worth a shot, so we drove there. Carl and Harriot, the owners at that time, had never had anyone camp there before, and were totally pumped on us being there. So much so they took our picture and put it on their website. But camping there used to be great. Carl was always up early, out on his tractor with his suspenders on, stopping by the campsite to tell us he got donuts and to head into the office to get one. The place was always clean, and the people staying were always nice. We met a guy who was towing a camper around the US, and had put 300,000 miles on his big rig while he and his wife were out exploring. We met people form Alaska that really wanted to show us video of caribou, and constantly came to our site to show us videos.

Then a year or two ago, we found out Carl and Harriot sold it to this lady named Dorothy. The place has never been the same since, and this year, upon arrival, we found out it had been sold again to a gentleman who doesn’t speak English and hired a lot manager named Carol (and her husband) to run the RV park. Also new this year were 11 full-time residents living in run-down, scary trailers and vans down the center aisle of the campground.

The weekend started with us having to negotiate for power at our campsite for the trailer Matt brought. I was in fine form Friday and immediately embarrassed myself by talking the bathroom code card out of the hand of some random guy I thought was Theo (they were dressed alike). I took five steps and looked up the ramp to see Theo standing there, and then immediately turned around to see a this guy with a “WTF just happened” look on his face. Sorry random guy.

We then set up camp, and headed over to the Gorge for the first night of DMB. We will keep the events of night 1 off the Internet and for ever a secret.

So anyway, the trailers are important because after getting up and making breakfast Saturday morning, we started hearing screaming, breaking bottles and slapping coming from one of the trailers at the park. It was a white trailer with green stripes and WILDERNESS on the side, so obviously they were outdoorsy. The bugs at the campground this year were terrible, and evidently can be responsible for starting a war between family members who leave the screen door open and let bugs in. Minutes into the slapfest, we decided it was worthwhile to call the Sheriff to come down and save whoever was getting their ass kicked. We then set the timer to see how quickly they would show (16 minutes). Two sheriffs showed up, and turns out the fight was between the mom and probably 13 year old daughter. The daughter had left the screen door open, and was getting her ass kicked. It was insane. The first thing the mom said to the cops was, “oh we saw each other yesterday”. Carol the RV park manager walked over and evicted them on the spot. Insane.

So that basically was the breaking point, and after a seven year run, we will no longer be staying at the Domestic Violence RV park, formerly known as Sun Basin.

The Campground


The Sheriff



It’s also an annual tradition to play football in the parking lot before the show. This is most likely why I’ve never seen an opening act while at DMB. On night two (Saturday), Kim had 1 premier parking pass (basically park past the main gate and get out first after the show), but we had to take two cars to get everyone there. Matt decided he would try to sneak in by just driving past people, and somehow it worked. So we were parked in that area, and along the backside of the parking lot is the path people walk down from the gate to the concert area. Matt decided to start throwing the football over the fence to people walking in, and then they would throw it back. Well, crowd participation was high, and everyone was wanting him to throw it over the fence. About 20 minutes into this game, two guys are calling for the ball, Matt throws it over the fence, and out of nowhere a security guy busts through and wrestles the ball away from the guy who caught it, and then runs off with it. The guys tried to get it back, but the fun police weren’t having it. I was pretty bummed because it was my UW football. About 20 minutes later, another security guard came walking through the parking lot with my ball, and we were able to flag him down and get it back!


Dave was really really good this year. On night two, Kim brought me down to her seats with her, which were dead center, third row. Amazing!


Dave played Led Zepplin’s Kashmir on night 3 and it was AWESOME. Czech my crappy video:

Here are some InformationPhone pictures:

Dave Night 2


My camping spot


This guy….


Baby Jullien went to his first concert this weekend. Here he is rocking his ear pro.




Columbia River



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