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My best summer vacation: Strangers, substances and cyclones at Sasquatch!

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Back in the summer of 2013, my buddy and I made the drive to Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Central Washington for a couple of days and nights of camping on the edge of the jaw-droppingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

Sasquatch!'s lineup was indie-heavy as always, with acts like Vampire Weekend, Sigur Rós, Arctic Monkeys, the Postal Service, The xx, Mumford and Sons, etc. The xx, with their brooding, dramatic stage aesthetic, was a particularly good fit for the main stage, providing an awe-inspiring soundtrack to a spectacular canyon sunset. The main attraction for me was Tame Impala, now of Currents fame, but at the time a little-known psych-rock band out of Australia.

The most surreal act, however, was the invisible cyclone that ripped through our city of tents on Sunday afternoon as most festival-goers were idly lounging in the sun, sweating out the previous night's substances. (No judgment here.) The camping area was sent into chaos as several tents were violently ripped from their stakes and launched several hundred feet in the air. There were shrieks of terror and exhilaration as the cyclone tore up the campsite, picking up tarps, garbage and a particularly eye-catching multi-colored wig as it passed. It was beautiful chaos.

Thanks to the goodness of humanity, strangers helped strangers track down wayward tents and return belongings. And thanks to the goodness of Sasquatch!, it was a kick-ass weekend.

The original print version of this article was headlined "My Best Summer Vacation"