Sunday afternoon, as the final notes were played by festival closer Austin Jenckes, another successful Chinook Fest went into the books and, as advertised, it was, indeed, bigger and better than ever!

While my wife and I had originally planned on being there the entire weekend, a few of life's

Courtesy: Jan Lowell

little curveballs got in the way of us being there when the gates opened Friday afternoon.

My goddaughter got engaged during the year and her wedding date was set for Friday the 12th. Needless to say, I couldn't and wouldn't want to miss that for anything. After the reception at the Yakima Area Arboretum, my wife and I booked home to Moxee, got out of our wedding clothes and dressed for a chilly evening in the Nile Valley.

We got to Jim Sprick Community Park around 9:30 p.m., just in the nick of time to see that evening's headliners, Cody Beebe and the Crooks. They absolutely tore it up and put a nice bow on night No. 1. It was especially entertaining to see two of the original Crooks, and all-around swell guys, Ty Paxton (aka. "Larry Markwart") and Joe Catron sitting in with the band.

We stumbled back to our cabin (thanks, Bale Breaker Brewing and Naches Heights Vineyards!) and got to sleep about 12:30 a.m. We had to set our cellphone alarms for 5 a.m. as we had to go back home and take my 9-year-old son to his Grid Kids football game in Kittitas by 8 a.m. The game was definitely not worth remembering (31-0!) but my son did get a sack of the quarterback and got to carry the ball about a half-dozen times.  After the pounding was over, we cruised back to Moxee, dropped my boy off at a friend's house and headed back to Chinook Fest.  Whew!

As we were exiting our cabin, I bumped into Cody Beebe and Blake Noble. Their side project Rust On the Rails was set to play at 5:45 but the weekend's M.C., Ty Paxton, had to leave for a bit to attend a wedding himself.  They asked if I'd be able to fill in and bring a few bands onstage. I was happy to oblige, but also had some hoppy goodness already flowing through my veins. All I could think to say to myself to calm down was "Don't be an a--hole."

The first band I got to intro was a two-piece outfit out of Seattle called Hobosexual. Holy hell, they made a lot of noise! (See: video below)  My face was melted off listening to their blistering set. After that, I hopped up and got to lead the crowd in a pro-Seahawks and Chinook Fest chant. It was really fun. The shows went off without a hitch and I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening's acts, including headliner Sturgill Simpson, who recently performed on Letterman.

Sunday was kids day and many were already worn out from two nights of fun, but we still had guitar ninja Blake Noble and the incomparable Tim Snider to get treated to. As they finished their sets, we realized that our crazy weekend hopscotching around Central Washington was coming to an end and, with it, another awesome Chinook Fest.

Like most good things in life, it went by too fast. I already cannot wait for next year!