Recollections of my Seattle trips, 1999 and 2000
August 21-26, 1999
- Arrive on Saturday the 21st, my father and I meet Tim Gabor for the first time in person. Spend our first night at the Evergreen Speedway watching demoliton derbies and races...very cool.
- Sunday the 22nd was a big day. Arrive at the Seattle Hempfest at 10:30a.m., only a few thousand people are there. I bought myself a nice $20 glass pipe at a booth, and found t-shirts for 3/$20. 3:00pm: Krist arrives at the Hempfest, already nearing 50,000 people. I get to meet Krist face to face for the first time at the mainstage soundbooth at around 3:15. Krist goes over his speech with us, in which he announcing his candidacy for president...and a very funny little music skit. Krist had an excellent speech, very comical...everyone got a kick out of it. Met Krist back at the soundbooth after his speech. Took some pictures, and talked for another half hour or so. Right around 4:15 Krist had to take off for an appointment. This is at the height of the hempfest, at 4:20 there were about, according to police estimates 90,000 people. We took off at 5:00.
- Monday the 23rd, my father and I spent touring Seattle. We visited the Seattle Space Needle, and noticed the construction of the Experience Music Project right next door to the Space Needle. After the Space Needle, we took the Seattle Monorail into the Westlake Center, a little shopping mall. The monorail goes right through the EMP building. Later on in the night, Tim joined us, and showed us around the inner-city, stopping in the U-Distric (University District), and the Capitol Hill district. We visited some very heavy punk record stores, one even had nothing but vinyl. Bought some pretty cool records, and ate some good food in the city. Would recommend the chinese food there, it's superb.
- Tuesday the 24th, my father and I headed off to the tour the mountains. Left quite early, and arrived at Mt. Rainier National Park at around noon. We selected a trail to climb which topped off at near 7,000 feet. The 1.3 mile trail took approx. 2 hours to scale and then come back down. I had never seen elevations over 4,000 feet in my life, and being so close to Mt. Rainier was an unbelievable experience for me. I never felt so close to nature and so far away from civilization in my life. We spent the night in a cabin at the base of Mt. Rainier, which we scored through Tim, since he knew the guy who owned it.
- Wednesday the 25th, we had a long day ahead of us. Woke up early again, and headed off down Route 12 towards Mt. St. Helens National Park. The entrance to the park was only about 1.5 hours away from the cabin, but unfortunately, it took us almost that same amount of time to make it to the furthest spot you could drive to. Scenery was amazing, the devastation must've been great. Already almost 20 years after the eruption, nature was clearly rebuilding itself. First time in my life chipmunks could actually be picked up off of the ground when they walked up to you. After Mt. St. Helens, our next stop was going to Aberdeen. Only a short 2 hours away from Mt. St. Helens, it was definitely worth going out there. The power I felt while driving through the center of Aberdeen was very weird. I was definitely getting weird vibes, since I knew Kurt and Krist had both grown up in this area. Aberdeen seems to be quite developed in the center of the town, with McDonalds (my town doesn't even allow fast-food joints), a Walmart, and other shopping centers and fast-food joints. Drove around for a while, located Kurt's old house, Weatherwax High School, and what I'm pretty sure was one of Krist's old houses. The last stop before heading back to Seattle was the Wishkah bridge. The power of that journey was amazing, I could barely hold back the tears when I was standing underneath the bridge, looking down the Wishkah, knowing for a fact Kurt used to sleep right under my feet. Very cool indeed, I also signed the bridge too.
- Thursday the 26th, we had to depart. This trip, at the time turned out to be my most memorable of them all. I had soo much fun, thanks especially to Tim Gabor, who allowed my father and I to stay at his house. Anyway, was already thinking about next year's trip to Seattle on the plane ride home.
August 19-24, 2000
- Saturday the 19th, my friend and I arrived in Seattle in the late evening. This time Tim Gabor even allowed me to bring a friend up with me instead of my father...what a crazy guy! Spent the night enjoying some of the nice herb I brought up with me.
- Sunday the 20th, turns out to be another big day for me. We got a little later to the Seattle Hempfest this year, not until around noon. We spent the morning finding a rental-car agency that would rent to an 18yo. We actually found a steal, a '94 Ford Taurus with 100miles free a day, at $150 for the whole trip. The Seattle Hempfest had already been proclaimed to be the biggest event of it's kind in the world with an estimated 90,000 people at the Hempfest in '99. I knew today would be even better though, and I was right...20,000 people more came to the 2000 one then the one in '99. Yes, at 4:20...atleast 110,000 people had to have been there. We were there a long time that day, Krist wasn't scheduled to go on until 6:00. Tim didn't even show up until almost 5pm. My friend and I bought some crazy pieces, I got my hands on a $50 bubbler, my friend got a nice $60 color-changing bong. The day started out with an over-cast, but by mid-afternoon it was beautiful. 7:00 rolls around, no word from Krist...the Hempfest is running behind, we're we getting kind of hungry, so we went back on got some popcorn cooked in hemp oil. Walked back to the mainstage, to unaware that Krist had just spoken on stage, and was hiding backstage. Tim went off to get something to drink. My friend and I sat near the corner of the mainstage, hoping to get a better chance to find Krist. Finally success, my friend points him out walking out of the backstage area. He is with his current girlfriend, Darbery. We walked up to him, said my name, and he remembered who I was right away, which was real cool...seeing as I only told him my first name. The 4 of uss stolled the grounds, and walked to the Hempillenium benefit booth. It was there where I asked Krist to do me a huge favor, to sign the pants he gave me that were in the SLTS video and many concerts, especially Reading '91. Success!! We talked for a while, the sun was going down, the Hempfest was ending. I mentioned to Krist that we were going to be going back to the mountains, and back to Aberdeen again. "Why don't you stop by my farm then, we could hang out," he said. I was dumbfounded. Got his phone number on the farm, and told us to give him a call either on Monday night or Tuesday morning. We agreed, went home.
- Monday the 21st, we spent the day at the Space Needle. Rode the same Seattle Monorail, and spent some time riding the rides at the Seattle Center. After a good few times testing out our new pieces that day, after coming back from the Space Needle and shit, it was decided we go bowling. Went to a local bowling alley which offered games for $3.50, or $10 an hour. We got 4 complete games done in under one hour, so we paid $2.50 a game. We split the championship bowl, since we tied, I won two, and lost two. Went back to Tim's house. Tried calling Krist, no answer...left a message.
- Tuesday the 22nd, we wait until noon to leave for the mountains this time. We call Krist's house one last time before we leave, he's still not home yet. Tim then declines to go with us, because he's not totally sure Krist will even show up at his house today, so he decides to work instead. I took my friend to the same peak my father and I climbed the previous year. It was an awesome experience for the two of us. We went a little further this year, past the end of the trail, and found some beautiful views just past the peak. Also had a snow-ball fight in shorts and t-shirts which was cool. Got back to the car at 5pm, and headed towards Interstate 5. About 1.5 hours away. I stopped at the closest gas-station out of Mt. Rainier National Park, and called Krist's house. Got an answer this time, it was Darbery. She told me to give him 2 hours to get back, since he left Seattle almost 2 hours before. We drove to I-5, and stopped at a diner and ate for an hour. After dinner, I used the phone again, success! Krist was home, I asked him what he was doing on that night, he said "yea, we're hanging out" He gave me directions, but we had no pens, and I didn't trust myself to remember in my state of mind. So he gave us simple directions to a pay phone a mile away from his farm. The pay phone turned out to be free, and I called him back, and he gave us the rest of the directions to his house. It was almost 9pm when we arrived there. We rolled down a gravel driveway, and the first thing I saw was the Murky Slough Mobile right in the middle of the driveway. We got out of the car and were immediately greeted by two of Krist's dogs, which were strays taken in by Krist only weeks before. Next I see this tall dark figure walking towards us, then the motion-sensor lights come on, and it's Krist of course. We shake hands, and go inside. Darbery was there, and even though Krist's mom lives with him, she was up in Aberdeen that night. He took us into the living room, where we spent the next 2.5, almost 3 hours talking. We talked about soo much, Krist showed us the bass he used in the '92 VMA's where he hit himself in the head with, that thing weighed 30lbs, at the least. Although I would like to divulge all of the information about what we talked about, I think it's too personal to share, and want to keep it between the 4 of us that were there that night. I can mention a few things, we talked about the fake Fecal Matter demo, and Krist did admit there was a real one out there...called the Fecal Matter demo, tearing apart all "Organized Confusion" theories. We also talked about Nirvana.com, which he has no plans for at the moment. Krist is also working on the 10/31/91 video to be released, possibly with the box set. The box set information he gave me was very vague, he still "hopes" it will be finished in time for September 2001. It was getting close to midnight, and it would take us at least 3 hours to get back to Seattle. Unfortunately, Krist wasn't offering for the 2 of us to stay there...probably because it was just him and Darbery there that night...you sly dog you Krist. So we went outside, he showed us inside the Murky Slough Mobile, and he let me snap a shot of it from the outside...he was to embarrased about it's current shape inside to let me take a picture. We went back up onto the porch and my friend and I smoked a cigarette with Darbery while Krist watched, after the cigarettes we said our goodbyes, and Krist told me he hoped to keep in touch with me.
- Wednesday the 23rd, was going to be the BIG Experience Music Project visit. There was a lot of hype about that place in Seattle. It cost us $20 a piece to get into. According to some reviews, it would take well over a day to tour the whole thing. My friend and I spent a little over 3 hours in there, and had seen everything and heard everything we wanted to. That reviewer must have gotten stuck in some huge lines or something. It wasn't crowded there at all that day, and it still took 30mins to get into the Jimi Hendrix exhibit which was one little room. What a rip-off! The Nirvana sections was almost non-existent. There was no audio section for Nirvana, and only had a few "neat" memorabilia from them. They spelled Krist's last name wrong in the exhibit...ripped off to say the least. We spent the rest of the night talking to Tim about how bad it sucked...we were actually pissed off it was soo bad, so if you are in the Seattle area, don't visit the EMP it SUCKS!
- Thursday the 24th, we had to leave, and go back to our pointless lives in Connecticut. This trip definitely tops the charts as one of my most memorable experiences ever. I will guarantee you that I will never forget either of these trips. They changed my lives...Thanks Tim and Krist!