Podunk Meets Paradise

Musings from Central Idaho

Archive for the tag “Idaho Falls”

The Stench

Hockey season is firmly underway. I am in Idaho Falls with Her Royal Highness and some other hockey chickies.

The girls are doing Podunk proud on the ice. But I am concerned that our Priority Club Hotel will charge us extra thanks to the odor from HRH’s hockey bag that have permeated our formerly lovely lodging.


Words fail to capture the heinous aroma wafting out of this bag. Little Bird, one of our hockey chickies, moaned, “It makes my nostrils burn.” And she is not kidding. I don’t know whether to leave a tip for housekeeping or oxygen.
And maybe some wallpaper paste to help with the peeling.

I have trolled for sponsors before, but this time I am gravely serious. If you are the maker of an odor reducing substance, I need you man. And Febreze, you need not apply. You do nothing. You are worse than the Glade Tower of Old Jello Smelly.

Glamping in Ririe


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.

Tasters Choice

When a child asks you to taste something, it’s never good. Never. If he or she is eating something delicious, they don’t care if you try some; in fact, they would prefer that you did not.
I know these things.
Still, when the Odd Number required that we go to his favorite Chinese buffet in Idaho Falls and then pushed the egg roll toward me, I fell for it. Not at first. No, at first my sensible instinct to reject kicked in.
“No way,” I told him and pushed the deep fried cylinder back.
I was eating relatively safe food — a little lo mein and fried rice. Chinese buffet is never my choice, but I remember the days when on our family outings to Boise, my mom would eliminate our 2 favorite restaurants — the Kings Table buffet and McDonalds — from the selection pool, ogre-like. And the Odd Number was already a little freaked out about the date being Friday the 13th, or 7/13 to be more precise and when I had asked him for the time earlier in the day, he reported it was 9:11.
So when he assured me that he wasn’t trying to make me taste a dog turd, he just wanted to see if I picked up on some of the distinct flavors he was noticing, I bit.
With the first chew, I knew I’d been had and the glands behind my molars started to water. As I reached for my stupidly small cup of hot tea to scald my throat and erase the foul taste in my mouth, Odd leaned forward and asked, “Doesn’t that taste like cattle manure to you?” He continued, “You know, like the smell when you first walk into a barn?”
I was angry, of course, but I couldn’t help but admire his highly accurate, extra-sensory description. Yes, for some reason that I do not want to ponder for even a half-second, the egg roll tasted like a fresh, juicy cow pie.
We discussed the etiquette of asking someone, most especially your mother, to taste something that you believe to have fecal overtones.
And thankfully, we both agreed to cross Chinese buffet off our list once and for all.
The high price of progress…

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