We got up early, like maybe 6 AM or so, partiallly because we were jetlagged, and partially because Cinde's jeans were making the most awful noise against the leather seats of the car. We were in the middle of nowhere, no city traffic, no generator noise, sleeping under the twinkling stars, and all we could hear was this deep rubbing noise practically every time she breathed.
So we took off, stopping first at the small convenience store at the entrance to the inn. It was closed, not just because it was early, but because, as a sign on the door told us, they were doing inventory. This troubled us. Cinde had to pee and we both needed coffee. We sat next to the gas tanks for a few minutes and stewed. Finally a smiling man in his sixties came out and chatted us up, and then allowed Cinde to go in and use the restroom. He even gave us free coffee.
First free sleeping, then free coffee? Oh Yosemite!
The park was tremendous, the early morning sunlight filtering over the mountains and through the trees, reflecting off the occasional lake, eventually reaching us, in our car, happily speeding along the winding, sharp curves. We were listening to Elliott Smith, and later, Miss Kittin and the Hacker. We were smiling.
A few hours later we spilled out at a Denny's somewhere in central/eastern California. We were ravenous. Our waitress was fast and efficient, so we tipped hard. She was the exact opposite of the waitress we had the night before; she was there to make some friends, and make some money.
After some adjustments (brushing teeth, changing into tank tops, reapplication of suntan lotion), we were off again, headed toward the desert on 395. We saw lots of bikers which made us feel safe. The speed limit jutted up to 70, so I started driving 80. Cinde played DJ, and we felt the sun on our shoulders and the tops of our cheeks, and we modeled our cheap H&M sunglasses, and pretty much felt like rock stars.
In Independence, CA, the rear left tire in our brand new 2002 Ford Mustang convertible blows out. It was the beginning of suck.