Travel Blog

3 May

Road Trip: Coachella

Words Photos by Emily Kane.

Everyone’s perception of paradise is different. Some may picture their nirvana as lying on a beach sippin’ a big ol margarita, while for me the place I live in is truly my paradise.  Whistler is awesome. It seems everyone living here shares the same vision.  With that said, it’s important to venture outside of the Whistler bubble from time-to-time; if not just to experience new things, but to appreciate what we have.  This journey began with what any epic tale starts with: a road trip.

Any good road trip has to have a mind-blowing destination.  What better way to get stoked on a trip then to plan it around a music festival?  So off to Coachella we went.  For those of you not familiar, Coachella is one of the biggest music festivals in North America hosting a variety of music genres.  The festival features popular, established artists as well as up-and-comers in the music industry – all endured in the heat of the desert a.k.a. Indio, California.  So with the festival on the forefront of our minds, we made our way over the border. 

Important things to consider for any road trip:

Bring at least one of your best friends.

Pack snacks. And water. Nope, Gatorade is not water.

Bring camping gear. Because chances are there will be at least one night you end up sleeping in your car.

Have good music. Lots, and lots of good music.

Luckily, we had all of these things; trust me, they were very much needed.  The original plan was to drive down the I-5, take a few stops and get there by Friday.

We left Wednesday morning and made a pit-stop in Portland, Oregon.  Dinner was at a place called the Tin Shed: had a phenomenal sandwich.  To anyone traveling through Portland I would highly recommend checking it out.  After dinner we were at the point where we just wanted to get to California. So we somehow mustered up the drive to get to Sacramento by sunrise.  After a short nap we made it the rest of the way to L.A. by the afternoon.  Mentally drained, almost to the point of delirium, we made it to my friend’s place.

When considering all of the American and Los Angeles stereotypes, I lucked out to have the most normal, down-to-earth, and genuine friend to stay with.  Who just happens to be American, and an L.A. native.  After re-charging our batteries we made the 2 hour trek to the festival grounds which seemed like a cake walk after blazing through three states.  After taking on the festival, I feel like anyone hoping to attend should have a Coachella Survival Guide:

Bring water bottles. Luckily, there are free refill stations.

Don’t wear white. Two words: dust storms. And just dirt in general.

Pace yourself. This event is three days. Wear sunscreen, drink water and hang out in the shade.

Make friends with your neighbors, make friends with your fellow festival goers… heck, make friends with security. Most people are having a good time.  Lots of friendly, fun people.

Make a list of your “Must Go” shows. Understand that things happen, and it may not work out. Also understand that scheduling conflicts happen. Even with the best bands. Somehow acts like Tegan Sara interfered with Bassnectar, Phoenix with Knife Party, and Red Hot Chili Peppers with Excision… the list goes on. So set your priorities.

Good music, great weather, and cool people.  There’s really not much else to say about Coachella; like most great things, it must be experienced rather than retold.  Find your music genre and dance in your barefeet, that’s my biggest recommendation. But here’s a couple others just in case:

Ride Ferris Wheel. Because how often do you do that?

Check out the silent disco after the last show. Dancing while listening to headphones with a bunch of other people is a fun time.

Check out different acts outside your “Must Do” list… you never know when you may find something else you like.

Bring random fun stuff. Frisbees. Games. A slip-and-slide. Yes, we actually saw campers with a slip-and-slide.

Carpool. Not only is it environmentally friendly, and fun to do, but you can also win cool stuff. Check out Carpoolchella on the festival’s website. Lots of swag to be had.

After the festival we checked out the Santa Monica pier, Hollywood with its Walk of Fame and the Chinese theatre.  Time flew by in SoCal and before you knew it we were back out on the road again, this time along route 101. The coastal highway was gorgeous. Plenty of nice rest stops to camp, and beautiful beaches.  We were really impressed by the breathtaking scenery in Oregon.

Had such an amazing trip but couldn’t help breathing a sigh of relief after crossing the border.  As great as America was to visit, Canada will always be my safe and happy security blanket.  Luckily, I think I brought the weather back to Whistler with me: definitely ready for a sunny spring on the mountain!

Article source: