Posted by: Marie | January 21, 2011

(496) Best Friends Forever – Part 1 of 3

Post #496
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, September 7, 2010]

I just got back, last night, from an awesome four-day weekend with my best friend, Melodie. Every two years, we meet for Labor Day weekend in some town about halfway between where she lives (central Iowa) and where I live (northern Colorado).

This year, we stayed in a cozy cabin in the woods along the Missouri River in the tiny town of Decatur, Nebraska. The idea is that we split the driving. However, she kind of miscalculated the mileage and her drive was about three hours and my drive was about nine hours.

I did notice the inequality several weeks before the trip, but I didn’t care . . . I enjoy driving and she does not. I really enjoy being by myself, eating up mile after mile of wide open space. It’s a restorative time for me.

She is one of these people who always shows up places early, always very prepared, always ten steps ahead of the process. My style is a bit more “hit and miss”. I tend to show up just in time and prepared just enough to get by.

As you can imagine, she packed her car the night before and she was on the road by 7am her time (8am my time). On the other hand, I was exhausted from working 12-14 hour days; I knew I had to get a really good night’s sleep before driving that far. I stayed up late getting last minute things done; then I slept in until 9am. I got on the road by 10:30am. After being on the road for only 30 minutes, I got a call from her . . .

She had arrived at the cabin and was wondering when she should expect me . . .

I answered, “Oh, in about 8½ hours . . . ”


So . . . she spent those 8½ hours getting the cabin set up and checking out the area. Since Decatur has a population of about 600, there is only one very tiny grocery store and it closes at 6pm. It was good that she got there in plenty of time to go shopping for food! Also, she had discovered that the cabin’s well water has high levels of sulfur in it . . . it is drinkable (as in drinking it is not harmful) but it is really distasteful. It’s okay for taking showers, but she decided it would be good to get some bottled water for drinking.

Our view from the cabin

She drove around the area and took pictures . . . got maps and talked to the locals about where we should go . . . cooked up some supper . . . what a gal!

I got to the area just as it got dark. And, in case you don’t know, it is pitch black after dark in rural areas. I couldn’t see the signs for the campground and the Google map wasn’t helping much. I wandered around the area, up and down the dirt roads for a good 15-20 minutes – but, I kept ending up in narrow, private farm driveways. Finally, I declared defeat and called Melodie.

She asked, “Where are you?” I tried to describe the intersection, but she wasn’t sure of the location of that intersection. She asked, “Are you by a big bunch of trees?” With that question, I busted out laughing . . . the area is thick with big trees . . . hundreds of thousands of big trees. (She lives in a part of Iowa where trees are few and far between and CAN be used as landmarks.)

“Um, there are trees EVERYWHERE!! Did you have a particular bunch of trees in mind?”

{Giggle} “Oh, yeah . . . I guess that landmark won’t work . . . but, are you at the intersection where there are two really big metal buildings?”

“Um . . . I can see only where my headlights are pointing, and there are no big buildings in my headlight beams . . . it is absolutely pitch black out here. I can’t see trees or buildings or signs unless my headlights are shining right on them. If the buildings are more than a car’s length off the road, I wouldn’t be able to see them. I have no idea if there are buildings around me . . . I don’t see any with lights on them, at least.”

“Hmmmmm . . . well, I’ve been looking at the map and I think I know where you are. I’ll start driving towards you and I’ll flash my headlights when I get close . . . tell me if you see the flashing headlights . . . ”

Well, to make a long story short, she found me. When she did reach me, she said, “Oh, my . . . it really is pitch black out here! Now I can see why you didn’t have a clue where you were!”

At any rate, it was good to see her and it was good to get out of the car. We talked and laughed and giggled before finally turning in for the night. We left the windows open so we could enjoy the fresh country air.

The next morning, we awoke to a glorious sunrise. We had a huge patio door at one end of the cabin that looked out to the east over the river valley – we were quite high on a hillside. The brightest colors of the sunrise were smack dab in the middle of the view. It was breathtaking.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Hope it was a great time.

    • It was awesome!

  2. Sounds really lovely and idyllic…
    Although I literally just finished reading a novella about a couple that goes to an idyllic town in the mountains where all the residents turn out to be evil people intent on using them for human sacrifices…

    Just sayin.

    • LOL . . . usually one or the other of us is packing heat when we travel . . . and we are both professionaly trained on the use of firearms . . . I’d dare those evil people to show their faces around our cabin, LOL!

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