Where We Be
|Our Airbnb rental in Pocatello was a comfortable and affordable place
to call home for a month, and it gave us a great base for exploring Idaho
|One Month in Pocatello, Idaho
"Why Pocatello?" We can't tell you how often
people asked us this question -- even people
from Pocatello! But we had good reasons for
coming here and really did have a great time.
To start with, we found the perfect little Airbnb
rental for just $1,200 total for the month. This
gave us a great base to explore Idaho, a state
we've never visited before except in passing.
We liked the idea of staying in the Mountain
West during the height of summer. And we liked
the small-town feel of "Poky" itself where we
could relax, pursue pet projects, and go on
local hikes right outside our door.
Two museums were simply too quirky to miss:
the Museum of Clean in Pocatello and the Idaho
Potato Museum in nearby Blackfoot. We also
went on a full-day trip to Craters of the Moon
(see the next page). All in all, a month with a
little sightseeing and a lot of breathing room,
which was exactly what we were after.
|We stayed in a 1910 home, fully remodeled, on a corner lot with a big back yard and fire pit.
The high-speed wifi was crucial to our happiness, and the two bedrooms, full-size kitchen, and
comfy living room made it big enough that our friends from Colorado could visit for a few days.
|We went on several walks along main street in Old Town Pocatello. It feels
like time has forgotten this part of town at present but it has plenty of potential.
|This was our other must-see quirky museum, complete with giant spud
out front. No other state but Idaho could host a potato museum, right?
|Right at the entrance you'll see Idaho's claim to fame as Potato Capital of the World --
and you'll have the chance to pose with Marilyn Monroe in a burlap potato sack
|Back in 1951 a columnist observed that "Marilyn's stunning figure would look good even if she wore a potato sack.
The remark prompted her publicity agent to have a dress made from a burlap sack" packed in Twin Falls, Idaho.
|The museum is full of interesting placards describing the origins of the potato in the Andes
Mountains of South America, how the first potatoes came to the U.S. from Ireland, and more
|There's the largest potato crisp ever
|And Idaho license plates featuring baked potatoes
|There are exhibits about Mr. Potato Head. Did you know this was the first
toy marketed on TV? And the first product marketed specifically to children?
|And who knew that the first electronic TV was invented by Philo Farnsworth, a native of Idaho
who supposedly got the idea of streams of electrons while staring at rows of potato fields
|There's even a tractor trailer that tours around
the U.S. pulling a huge Idaho potato on back
|We finished up our visit in the best way possible: with two fresh-from-the-oven
Idaho baked potatoes served with butter, salt, and pepper at the Potato Cafe
|City Creek Trailhead was just steps from our door
and offered a perfect place to go for sunset walks
|From the top of the loop hike we got great views of Old Town Pocatello
|This was a pleasant place to call home for awhile
|Being retired early is all about balance, and we're learning how important
it is to budget in "quiet time" where we can just be together and relax
|City Creek Trails has a "high road" and a "low road." On the way back you can
descend this trail, cross a bridge, and return along a bubbling creek through the woods.
|Idaho seems to have its share of quirky museums,
and Pocatello's Museum of Clean definitely fits the bill
|It’s a huge building filled with, you guessed it, every kind of cleaning product under the
sun, much of it historic in nature. Anything having to do with "clean" has a home here.
|Among the many exhibits this one stood out -- the world's first motor-powered vacuum, dating from 1902. It comes
to us courtesy of London, England. A hose was inserted through a home's window and the dirt suctioned out.
|Per their website, the museum has nearly 1,000 vacuums
spanning a century of clean, from 1869 to 1969
|Where else will you find a laundry detergent exhibit as thorough and well organized
as this one, side by side with "bigger picture" exhibits about clean air, clean water,
clean health, clean world, and so on. No wonder this is the #1 attraction in town.
|We were lucky enough to be led on our tour
by none other than the founder, Don Aslett
|Whether it's giant statues like Big Don whose head nearly bumps the ceiling, or unusual works of art
like this Australian clock with toilet bowl cleaners marking the hour, or Darth Vader himself mopping the floor
with his light saber, everything in this 75,000 square foot complex is somehow tied into the concept of clean
|And a talking potato head display
|And even an Idaho potato signed by Dan Quayle