We found Mountain River Ranch when we were in our teepee phase.
Every now and then our orthodontist, who makes monthly visits to Podunk, requires instead that we travel to Idaho Falls for Odd Number’s 15-minute appointment (no doubt at the nudging of Exxon Corp). Idaho Falls, as you may remember, is a 300-mile round trip that I make only when I have to, which is too often.
In the summer, however, Odd and I have a new tradition of making the most of our visit. Sunday, we headed down a day early to catch an Idaho Falls Chukars – Grand Junction Rockies baseball game. After grazing on chili cheese fries, jumbo corn dogs, and huckleberry ice cream, we set out for Ririe, Idaho — our new glamping hot spot.
Twenty minutes from I.F., Ririe is major spudville, but also home to the South Fork of the Snake River. A few years ago, during our Lewis and Clark Bicentennial sleep-in-a-teepee phase, we ran across Mountain River Ranch, a campground in the middle of a cottonwood jungle. On the Sunday night after the 4th of July holiday, we had the run of the place and set up our tent in the choicest of locations.
When Odd determined he had no cell phone service he engaged in the teenage boy pre-iPhone primitive activity of campfire making. Sadly, we hadn’t calculated for wind direction and when it was time to hit the sleeping bags we found that our tent had become a Big Chief Smokehouse. By morning, Odd and I smelled like smoked ham hocks.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem for us, but considering we had to go into Idaho Falls later that day for the aforementioned orthodontic appointment, this was not good.
Most people in Idaho Falls seem to shun bad habits. Smoking and drinking, for example, seem generally frowned upon. What vices they have appear to include poor family planning skills and an abundance of vittles. Odd and I did not need to smell like vittles.
Fortunately, we were glamping, and while we did not have wi-fi, we did have showers and flush toilets. The $17 fee was a bargain considering the Mountain River Ranch shower had enough oomph to pressure wash the ham hock smell from my body and double as a laser skin resurfacer.
Good as new, we made it through Odd’s appointment without being mistaken for vittles and got the hell out of dodge, racing home toward the comforts of Podunk.