Festival 8: Departure

This is the fifth in a 6 part series on my trip to Indio, CA for Phish’s Festival 8 at the Empire Polo Grounds. I’m only separating them out because it would be one long post to put it all together. They’ll be posted immediately as I finish them. I’ll link to my pictures from the festival in my final post. My other posts about Festival 8 can be found using the fest8 tag.

I woke up around 6:30 am on Monday morning, November 2. We had all woken up around the same time. After a quick shower, I packed up all my stuff. We pulled all our stuff together and packed up the RV. We wanted to be on the road as soon as we could. It didn’t take us long to get the RV packed up again and head out. After a wrong turn, we were on our way back to Las Vegas.

The drive back to Vegas was a lot quicker than the drive to Indio. This was primarily because we didn’t have to stop for supplies, but also because it wasn’t dark and we didn’t have to worry about the California agriculture checkpoint going into the state. I guess Nevada doesn’t care if you bring out of state produce in.

It was pretty amazing driving back. I had never been in the desert and because it was dark, I couldn’t see anything on the drive out other than what I saw from the plane. I’ll just say I’m glad I don’t live in the desert. It’s boring. There aren’t any trees, it’s flat, and it’s dusty. We drive through a huge wind farm shortly after leaving Indio. We also had to drive over a mountain or something. Indio’s elevation is 13 feet below sea level. We drive over a mountain that was about 4,000 feet above sea level. I’ve driven over mountains before, but that was pretty neat. I had never had the elevation rise that much on a drive. In fact, the tallest mountains in the east are under 7,000 feet so you’re never really driving over 4,000 feet.

The only stop we made was in Primm, the first town we hit after crossing the border into Nevada. It’s a pretty lame town with a casino or two and a small amusement park. It looks like a tourist trap and reminded me a bit of South of the Border in South Carolina. I took some pictures and bought a drink to help rehydrate myself after spending a few days in the desert not drinking enough water. We weren’t far from Vegas at that point and just trucked on through.

Upon arrival in Las Vegas, I was dropped off with Matt and Max at a hotel to pick up a cab to the airport. After a short wait, we found a cab and made it to the airport. The trip was just about complete. Max and I were both flying Southwest and grabbed lunch and a recharge of our iPhones together while we waited for our flights. We then said our goodbyes and were on our way.

Shortly after landing in Providence, someone saw my new hat and asked what I thought of the festival. I was surprised to have someone on my flight from Vegas who was there. Nevermind the fact that RI is pretty small, but Vegas is about 5 hours from Indio. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be on my flight who was at the festival. We chatted a bit while we walked to the baggage claim. I found my bag, grabbed a taxi and headed home. The trip was officially over.

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