My sister and I stood on the trail to Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park wondering what to do next.
It was pretty intimidating. The falls, which measure 317 feet, were crashing to one side, while the narrow and rather soggy path before us seemed to snake right up to the sky.
Neither one of us is very good with heights and we had a lot of climbing to do before we reached the top.
What the hell am I doing here? I thought. I’m not Sir Edmond Hillary. I’m just a schmoe from Brooklyn.
“It’s up to you,” my sister said.
Oy, I was afraid of that.
I really didn’t want to go any farther, but then I didn’t want to come on this trip to California in the first place because I really didn’t want to get on a plane, and I really didn’t want to leave Brooklyn and God forbid I should break up my precious little routine for 10 entire days. The way back down looked so inviting.
“Let’s go a little higher,” I finally said.
And so we did. When we got to the next level, I saw that the last leg of the trip was just before us and then I thought, what the hell, we came this far, let’s finish this thing.
Naturally, the last leg was the toughest, consisting of a narrow stone staircase slapped up against the side of the mountain with nothing but a wire fence separating you from a nasty tumble into the great beyond.
You had to share the space with these pesky goddamn tourists who always managed to be going in the wrong direction, which, of course, is the opposite of the direction I was heading.
But we did it. The falls were beautiful and Yosemite is a tremendous location. We also checked out El Capitan and spotted some of the lunatics trying to scale that 3,000-foot monstrosity. I didn’t join them as there is something about hanging off the side of a mountain that doesn’t agree with me.
My uncle and his wife drove us all over the place before we headed on to Lake Tahoe, where I got sunburned during a lengthy boat ride.
I couldn’t help it. After that godawful winter we just had I’m naturally drawn to the sun.
While in Tahoe, we sneaked over to the Nevada side where I lost a buck at the cheapo slots. I felt like I was in a time warp as I read casino marquees announcing upcoming acts like Eric Burdon & The Animals, Sammy Hagar, and Paul Revere & The Raiders.
Next we headed back to L.A., where we checked out the Hollywood Bowl, the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and the El Capitan Theater (I can’t escape that thing). I did this routine many years ago, but it was fun playing tourist again.
This vacation was supposed to happen back during Christmas, but my sister and I had to scrub that trip due to illness. As this second attempt grew closer, I went through my traditional travel breakdown: I shouldn’t go, I have too much work to do, it’s too expensive, and all that assorted crap.
And now I’m back in Brooklyn, back to my precious little routine. The days just flew by and I enjoyed every single one of them. I’m so glad we went and I’m really happy that we kept on climbing.