Howdy from Poky, Idaho!
Poky. That’s what the townies here in Pocatello, ID call this small city in Southeastern Idaho that we’ve grown quite fond of over the past eight weeks. When Pocatello came up as an option for Lisa’s next OT assignment for the summer months of 2018, we had never heard of it. But once we charted it on the map and realized its proximity to some fantastic weekend get-aways, we jumped on it as a great option since we wanted to be somewhere in the West for the summer. Plus, it was home to ISU (Idaho State University) and being a college town added to our interest. It couldn’t be any more different than our Winter and Spring serenity we loved so much nestled on the Lake and in the tall pines at Cheraw State Park, SC. But every place has its own unique and memorable special-ness in different ways, and this summer’s adventure has certainly lived up to that.
Like last summer in Laramie, WYO, we’ve been so blessed to have been “taken in” by our local hosts here in Pocatello! There’s no doubt that getting to live “on-site” with people who have lived in an area for quite some time is an added plus to our travel life. Getting to know new friends and have them integrated as part of our nomadic family life is priceless. This summer we’re living in the additional side driveway at the home of Ruby & Lance and their 3 kids, Kya, Lander, and Carter. These guys had never before met us, and from day 1 they have made us feel totally embraced and welcomed here at their home … They lovingly refer to us as “The Campers” and moved their own camper, which is normally parked where we’re living this summer, so that we could homestead the Chinook, “FlyGirl” (the name we’ve given to our new Master bedroom, our Intech Explore Flyer addition that we now pull behind the Chinook.), and Scoot.
These guys are still in their prime of life (Ruby early 30’s and Lance 40) and they have a plan for early retirement – so between their day jobs and lots of investments in rental properties (plus Ruby is now doing Real Estate on the side) … it’s like Grand Central Station here in the driveway on Via Valdarno ! We do get a little quality time with them on occasion and really enjoy those moments, but mostly we are here a lot more than they are – especially during the week. Of course on the weekends none of us usually stay around. After all … it’s Idaho … a paradise if you love being outdoors ! The kids are awesome and they seem to like having a couple of older ladies as summer residents on the other side of their garage ! (Oh, in case you’re wondering how we got connected with Ruby and Lance … it was via a Pocatello Facebook page that I discovered while we were still in South Carolina. I introduced ourselves and simply made a pitch looking for a place that we could park for the summer months ! Ruby replied right away and the rest is history! )
From Salt Lake City and Park City, to Stanley / Redfish Lake and Sun Valley, to the wild tubing ride on the Portneuf River and then some healing time in the 112 degree natural hot springs in Lava Hot Springs, to Yellowstone National Park via the West Entrance portal located just outside of West Yellowstone, MT (and what a fun weekend that was … we hope go back and explore the northern section of Yellowstone including Lamar Valley where we’d love to catch a glimpse of the Lamar Valley wolves and more wildlife there), to one of our favorite new areas known as “Wydaho” to locals but officially known as the Teton Valley (the West side of the Teton Mountains – Victor, Driggs, Tetonia, the Targhee National Forest and Grand Targhee Ski Resort area…), and of course the area right here around Pocatello and its surrounding hills.
For this post, we chose to share some pics from our most recent trip back to the Teton Valley where we returned for a second time after hearing about the annual Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival being held there. Having biked and explored the area the previous weekend, this trek would be geared towards hiking and listening to Bluegrass !
The hike took us a little longer than we expected, but we did ride the lift back down so we could get to the last day of the Bluegrass festival in time for some mid afternoon music. The setting was quite spectacular and the crowd was diverse and fun to watch … it felt a little like a tiny 21st century drug free version of Woodstock – and there were some darn good hoola-hoopers who could swirl for hours and in perfect harmony with the bluegrass music … It wasn’t exactly the southern traditional bluegrass that we had planned to hear, but it was fun times and great music, none-the-less … Even Mississippi born legend, Marty Stewart, along with his band, His Fabulous Superlatives, was one of the headliners.
As it turns out, it doesn’t matter at all if a place like Pocatello, ID has never been on your radar before … never been in your vocabulary before …. there is beauty everywhere and there are amazing, welcoming people everywhere … We have about a month left here and I don’t think we’ll get around to doing everything on our Idaho / Wydaho list before we leave. So I have a feeling Idaho will be on our list for a return assignment in the years to come ! There’s so much in the Northern part of the state that we’d love to experience as well, but was too far for weekend treks this time around. For now, we can always say that one summer we loved living in Laramie, WYO where we loved joining the townies in saying “Go Pokes”…. and the next summer we were living right here in Idaho in a place known simply to the locals as “Poky.”
We’re heading out to run some errands and try another fun little coffee shop/ cafe in town. The head football coach at ISU and his wife live in the house a few feet away from Flygirl, so we’ve gotten to know them a little this summer. We’ve enjoyed getting to know Jenny during our weekly “outside hangouts” complete with wine and appetizers. Ruby joins us and as well as the kids and Lance depending on who’s around at the time! Coach Phenicie invited us to go to the first football game of the season here in a couple of weeks, so we can’t wait to step foot in Holt Arena for the kick-off of the 2018-2019 football season … mostly we can’t WAIT to see the retro 70’s decor of Holt Arena that we’ve heard about ! Sounds right up our alley ! Pretty cool that it was the first ever indoor collegiate football arena, so we’ll be stepping into history !
[Opened 48 years ago in 1970 at the north end of the ISU campus, Holt Arena is the oldest enclosed stadium on a college campus in the United States and the second-oldest overall. Only the Houston Astrodome completed in 1965, predates it. Since the Astrodome’s 2006 closure, Holt Arena has been the oldest enclosed stadium in use.]
We’re looking forward to a couple of upcoming visits from friends and then we’ll be swinging down to the Canyons of Central and Southern Utah for a couple of weeks of Canyoneering before beginning our Winter migration back to the South …
We’ll be in touch – And be sure to catch us on FB sometimes …
Much love from Idaho !
– The Two Scruffies