Two weeks ago, we shared our recipe for the perfect road trip. Taking our own advice, last weekend we road-tripped north to the majestic Pacific Northwest for the 9th-annual Sasquatch! Music Festival at the scenic Gorge Amphitheatre.

What follows is a running diary of Esurance at Sasquatch. Enjoy!

Friday, May 28 – 9:52 a.m.
Before we can hit the road, we have to hit the skies. The Esurance crew assembles at Gate 80 of the San Francisco International Airport for our flight to Seattle. A glance at the local weather report reveals a chance of rain, but (being naíve Californians) we’re optimistic we’ll be spared.

Friday – 12:26 p.m.
No such luck! Our flight touches down at SeaTac amid a steady drizzle. But, knowing the Gorge is over a 100 miles east, we press on — unfazed by a soggy Seattle. After all, rain is par for the course in this part of the world.

Friday– 1:39 p.m.
We arrive at Enterprise via shuttle to pick up our official road trip vehicle: A 2010 Chrysler minivan. It’s spacious, smooth, and has that much-sought-after and fast-fleeting new car scent — perfect!

Friday – 2:13 p.m.
Hungry, we crowdsource to Twitter for lunch suggestions in Seattle. @ryannorton suggests 7 Star Pepper, a Szechuan restaurant in Seattle’s International District. Absolutely delicious and a valuable lesson learned: When in doubt, ask the locals.

Friday – 3:15 p.m.
With our stomachs full and our belief in the power of social media confirmed, we head east on I-90, past posh Mercer Island and beautiful Bellevue. One word to describe Seattle: verdant. It’s clear why Washington’s called the Evergreen State.

Friday – 4:28 p.m.
Time for a pit stop at a Chevron along the Snoqualmie Pass. Only 60 miles to go before we reach our Day 1 destination: Ellensburg. Woohoo!

Friday – 6:28 p.m.
We arrive safely and check in at the Holiday Inn Express in Ellensburg. We’re not exactly roughin’ it like many of the Sasquatch campers, but making the obligatory “we did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night” joke is (naturally) more important. Plus, we need our beauty rest. Big day tomorrow!

Saturday – 7:30 a.m.
We fuel up on a very continental breakfast before venturing the final 45 miles to the Gorge. The festival gates don’t open until 11, but our booth isn’t going to set up itself.

Saturday – 8:43 a.m.
We get our first look at the Gorge Amphitheatre, and it’s truly as scenic and beautiful as advertised. The amphitheatre overlooks the Columbia River Gorge, and really, pictures don’t begin to do it justice. Really.

Saturday – 11:54 a.m.
The gates to the venue open and concertgoers pour in by the hundreds. Dawes is about to kick things off on the Honda Bigfoot Solar Stage. The weather couldn’t be better … no signs of rain. Let the festival begin!

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Saturday – 2:35 p.m.
Carpool rewards! We’re giving away tumblers to the folks who carpooled using our Zimride-powered carpool portal. And they’re going fast — all told, more than 850 rides were posted for the festival as far away as Connecticut. Rock on, our carpooling buddies. Rock on.

Saturday – 4:37 p.m.
The folks from Polite in Public are offering free photos at our booth, and word seems to be spreading, because there’s been a line all day! Everyone’s having a lot of fun (us included).

Saturday – 11:36 p.m.
Sasquatch Day 1 is nearly in the books. Highlights include The National, Vampire Weekend, and an epic set from My Morning Jacket. Deadmau5 is tearing up the late show on the Bigfoot stage right now. So far, it’s been an incredible festival.

Sunday – 2:35 p.m.
We’re giving away 2 Trek Cruiser bikes at the Esurance booth and festival-goers are loving it. Lots of folks stopping by asking to take it for a spin. We’ll give one bike to the winner of the Esurance “Best Driver” Contest and another to the winner of our sweepstakes.

Sunday – 7:50 p.m.
Near the end of the day, Jeff leads the Esurance “Best Driver” Contest with a seemingly untouchable time of 1:15:76. We’ll see if anyone can beat his time tomorrow to take home the Cruiser bike.

Sunday – 11:57 p.m.
Day 2 winds down. As Booka Shade energizes the crowd during the late show on the Bigfoot Stage, we reflect on a great day of music and art. Some of our favs: Rob Riggle’s comedy set in the Verizon Rumpus Room (POW!), Kid Cudi, Dirty Projectors, LCD Soundsystem, and Massive Attack.

Monday – 2:04 p.m.
Day 3 is underway, and it appears our good fortune with the weather has finally come to an end. The rains, they are a-fallin’, and everyone’s grabbing the free ponchos being handed out by event staff.

Monday – 2:08 p.m.
False alarm! The sun returns from behind those Sasquatch-darkening clouds, and we put our ponchos away … for now.

Monday – 4:21 p.m.
Jeff’s time from day 1 didn’t hold up in the Esurance “Best Driver” Contest. With an outstanding 1:14:21, Matt wins the Cruiser! If he had it his way, he’d ride the bike home.

Monday – 11:39 p.m.
Sadly, the festival is over. We made it through a whirlwind weekend of outstanding music, wonderful people and amazing weather. Tomorrow, we hit the road once more — back to Seattle, back to the skies, and back to San Francisco.

Additional highlights from Day 3: Drive-By Truckers, Dr. Dog, Band of Horses, MGMT, and Ween. Awesome!

Related links

Sasquatch! Music Festival’s official site
Sasquatch on Facebook

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about Paul

Paul is a Rideshare Specialist at Zimride. He's an avid blogger, both personally and professionally. To see more of his work, visit Zimride's blog.