Meeting Up With an Old Friend
Some time in the beginning of 2018 (or maybe it was in the fall/winter of 2017) my college lacrosse teammate and long time friend, Kathleen (Bodie) Ostar called me to tell me she and her family were planning a road trip out west and they would be coming through Durango in the summer. It sounded awesome and I was super psyched for them, but I had to tell her we wouldn't be in town at that time. I was super bummed because I hadn't seen her in over a decade.
In the end, their road trip route changed. She sent me her itinerary in the spring and we realized that there were a couple places where we might be able to meet up while we were on the BT! We've been keeping in touch since we hit the road. At first we thought we could meet in Jackson, but we got there too early. Then we thought in Yellowstone, but that didn't work out. Then, since we headed east, we thought we could meet them in the Badlands, but the timing wasn't going to work out for that either. In the end, I texted her from Spearfish and essentially said, "come here, it's awesome!". They were finishing up their time in Yellowstone and were looking for a good campsite. We lured them to Spearfish by text with pictures of the waterslides at the Rec Center, a description of the great camping, and a promise for a home cooked meal and cocktails ready upon their arrival! I couldn't believe it when I got a text back a few minutes later that said, "We're in!". Our whole family was excited! They were going to arrive in Spearfish the next evening!!!
Bodie and her partner Libby have three daughters Izze (9), and their twins Hillary and Lindsay (8). Ellie and Isla have known about the possibility of meeting up with Bodie and her family since that first phone call, so there was a lot of excited anticipation on the day of their arrival. When they arrived there were hugs and quick introductions and off the girls went....all five of them...to play in the creek! We had a great evening hanging out, catching up, and watching the girls playing and getting to know one another. After dinner we walked into to town to get ice cream....of course!!
As we were getting ready for bed our neighbor in the campground, Bush, came over and warned us that a storm was rolling in and that it could produce some heavy rain. We thanked him for the info, did a little storm prep, didn't think too much of it, and we all went to bed. The rain started shortly after we went to bed, but it wasn't until later in the night that it really started to come down. I remember being woken up several times by the rain hitting the camper and wondering if our friends were okay in their tent.
Isla (our early riser) was the first one up the next morning. She got up, got dressed, and went outside to see if anyone was up. She literally sat in a chair waiting and watching the tent for movement, of any kind, to indicate that someone was getting up! After a while she came back in the camper and said, "Their car is gone!". I told her not to worry. I told her they were probably a little wet from the storm and went to grab a coffee. I stayed in bed and Isla went back out to wait. Isla came back in a few minutes later concerned, "are they going to come back?" I told her yes and said I could text to find out where they were. She liked this idea, so I texted Bodie.
It turned out that they all got completely SOAKED in their tent! Bodie described the storm as a "deluge" (I would agree). She then said that after much dealing and realizing they were "sleeping" in puddles of water they finally decided to get up and get a hotel room at 2am. She said everyone was sleeping at that moment so we made a plan to connect later in the morning.
I told Isla and the rest of the fam what happened. We were bummed and felt awful they got soaked and had to deal. We wanted to help so we asked if we could grab their things and bring them to the laundromat to get dry. In the end, they said yes. When we went to grab their things from the tent there were literally puddles everywhere! Their sleeping bags, pillows, clothes, and essentially everything in there was DRIPPING wet. After wringing everything out, we stuffed it all in our backpacks and some bags and dropped it off to get dry.
The rest of our time together was uneventful - in a great way!!! We took the girls to the waterpark and later we had an awesome time hanging out at camp. The girls played like they had known each other for years and the adults talked, and talked, and talked. It was awesome to reconnect after so long and learn about their life in Rochester, NY....their circle of friends, work, school, adventures and activities they like to do, etc! John was certainly outnumbered, but it didn't seem to affect him! We celebrated Libby and Bodie's 15th wedding anniversary that night and we ate delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza sandwiches cooked in their pie irons.
Everything was absolutely delicious and, of course, I loved learning a new cooking technique! We ended the evening with (more) wine and their NEW family favorite....S'mores made on Ritz Crackers!!! YES....you read that correctly! Traditonalists, don't turn your nose up! The combo of the savory Ritz cracker and the sweet of the chocolate and marshmallow is a winning combo to be tried! I loved it and won't be going back to the traditional graham cracker! Oh, and if you want to take it one step further, add a dollop of peanut butter...that was my favorite combo of all!
Packing up and saying goodbye in the morning was hard for all of us. The hangovers may have played a part in that, but I think everyone would say it was just hard to say goodbye when we were having such a good time. The girls got along like they had known each other forever. How sweet it was for me to watch the daughters of a good friend and our daughters laugh, giggle and play until there was no more light in each day.
Thanks Bodie, Libby and the whole Ostar clan for making it happen! We LOVED every minute with you and look forward to getting together again soon. Safe travels!! I couldn't think of a better way to end our stay in Spearfish, SD then to spend it with all of you!!!