The drive to Fresno wasn’t as brutal as I was warned it could be. Flat, yes, and lots of bugs, but nothing a few good podcasts and a quick carwash couldn’t resolve. I was en route to the airport to sweep up a member of the wedding party to zip up to Yosemite.
How could I go to Yosemite without seeing a waterfall? I had a few hours off of bridesmaid duties in the morning, so I ventured to the park proper by myself on Saturday morning, my Mini and I making good time through the woods until my gas light went off. Could I make it to the parking lot and out of the park with 60 miles’ worth of gas available? I wasn’t going to risk it, so I whiteknuckled it outside the park for some incredibly expensive fuel, and scooted back in, only 45 minutes behind. I made it to the tippy top of Vernal Fall (just the one), me and about 300 other people gaping at the inevitability of gravity.
It was the first time in half a decade three of my girlfriends and I had been in the same place at the same time, for no other reason than life in general. We gathered the night before the wedding in the bride’s suite, her little daughter sneaking around, wanting attention past her bedtime, plotting how she could insert herself into the dynamic of four girlfriends who have known each other longer than she’s been alive. She crawled into her mother’s lap and said simply, “Growing pains,” and her mother began to massage her little brown legs. The little girl looked at our faces with big brown eyes while our words flew over her head. What were we even discussing? I recall struggling not to curse while little brown ears were about.