Pocatello, Idaho

My car has been getting crappy gas mileage lately, at least five miles to the gallon less in town than it used to. Since I do all town driving, I thought maybe a trip on the freeway would blow some carbon out of the engine…

So one day recently, when we had a few free hours, David suggested we drive to Pocatello, a town 45 miles south of Idaho Falls on I-15. ‘Poky’ is about the same size as Idaho Falls, about 58,000 people. It’s a college town, home of Idaho State University. In fact, I attended ISU my freshman and sophomore years of college back in …. 1971-1973. Lived in an apartment in Pocatello just a few blocks from campus. I haven’t visited Poky in years. Yeah, Let’s go!

Poky here we come!

Poky here we come!

Our plan is to first visit Ross Park. David heard it has a climbing wall, and it’s large. Let’s get a good walk in at Ross Park before lunch. Yes! And then visit my old stompin’ grounds 40-plus years ago. See if we can find my old apartment …

I remembered walking to Ross Park back in college (since I didn’t own a car) but it doesn’t look the least bit familiar now. We step out of the car into a grassy area and immediately spot two marmots. Marmots. Rock chucks.

Now I know marmots are supposed to be common large rodents, but I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a marmot (if you discount road kill). So I’m pretty excited. Get a photo! Dang, these critters are fast …

Fleeing marmot

Fleeing marmot

No problem. We scare up two more marmots. “Get a photo David!” (He’s closer) One marmot ducks into a ledge of rocks and thinks he’s outwitted us, but, nope, not my hubby. David follows that marmot right to his hole:

Jeez, can't a marmot have some privacy?

Jeez, can’t a marmot have some privacy?

We must have seen six, maybe eight marmots at Ross Park. So, yeah, if anyone asks, you can tell them, Ross Park has marmots.

Now we’re walking toward the swimming pool/ water park with a huge snaking water slide. Wow. The pool’s stacked with families and people of all ages. “Check out this car.” David says. “Cop magnet.”


Party on! No, wait. Panty on. I say.

Yeah. David says. It’s Panty on, party off or Panty off, party on!

Yes, I see. Thanks for enlightening us, honey. The car is confusing. So, for them I guess it’s ‘party off’…

(We have such intellectual conversations)

We’re alongside a parked train now, on the tracks that border one end of the park.


Huh, this is interesting… “Do not hammer on car” Now, who would do that, exactly how … and, why?

Do not arouse car

Do not arouse car

‘Do not apply vibrators to any part of car body.’

Uh, let me guess. The car has a G-spot? If you had thought to bring your vibrator with you to Ross Park, just remember to get the car loaded first. If you do everything right, you might see the car explode.

Well then, now look at these adorable little ducklings. Oh how cute! The mom is up on top quacking furiously, while several new-born chicks are making a run for…

See mother duck top left

See mother duck top left

Oh no!! ROAR! GROWWWWWL” I SCREAM at them and scare them back up to mommy.

Find mommy!

Find mommy!

To keep them out of that disgusting pond:

What's green and looks like antifreeze?

What’s green and looks like anti-freeze?

Okay, time for lunch. Which brings me to my next topic: ‘Space burgers’. Now, I have to tell you, I may know of the only spot on planet Earth, and likely the whole Universe, that sells


Space burgers. They are to die for. Or at least, that’s how I remembered them from my college days. I would set aside a special Saturday to walk the several miles (3?) from my apartment to ‘Tastee Treat’ near Ross Park after cramming for an exam or something,

Space zombie after so much studying

Space zombie after so much studying

Fortify myself with a couple of incredibly edible Space burgers.

David you must try a Space burger. Yes! There it is, Tastee Treat – Home of the Space Burger. It’s still there! Look! Aren’t you hungry? Pull IN!


We’re inside now. Check out the walls:

Dig that space border

Dig that space border


70's retro!

70’s retro!

Check out the menu:


Uh, check out that girl in front of us


She can’t make up her mind. (Simple. Space burgers!) Gives us plenty of time to intellectualize about her outfit. Like, where does her body end and dress begin? How do you plan for such an outfit? Do you buy the dress and tattoo the body to match the dress; do you tattoo and then shop endlessly for the perfect dress, do you do both at once? Is she even wearing a dress??? i.e.:


At this point we’re just irritated after waiting so anxiously in line to order our Space burgers:

The counter at Tastee Treat

The counter at Tastee Treat

“Two Space burgers please.” Wow. Good price @ $2.39 each.

We head outdoors to a picnic table with our Space burgers.


But of course, you have to fly them first.


With ‘Star Wars’ sound effects.

Then, as a precaution, pray over them:


Take a first big bite:


Hmmmm. Not as spicy as I remember.

Gut bomb:


Let’s take it home as leftovers. You know, if we’re desperately hungry later…

Oh how convenient. A massive graveyard right across the street…


Drop dead of cardiac arrest eating your Space burger and they transport you directly across the street to the Mausoleum



Warning to Meredith from the Universe:


Do not eat at Tastee Treat!

Okay, well we drive past the University … and my old favorite breakfast place, Elmer’s


Hey, is that a vulture?

We drive around the various side streets near the University where I thought I might spot my old apartment. Nope. None of it looks the least bit familiar…

Let’s keep driving, maybe we’ll run into old town…

Well, we don’t.

We talked to my brother, Eric, a few days later. “Hey, we made a trip to Pocatello.”

“Oh! Did you visit my Antique Store? It’s in old town, which is really quite charming.”

“No, we didn’t Eric. We drove around, but we didn’t find old town.”

“How could you not? It’s easy – just off of Clark Street exit!”

“Yeah but we took 5th Street exit. We tried to find it, Eric. Drove all the way across Pocatello back to the first exit ‘Pocatello Creek Road’ to get back on the freeway home.

“And you didn’t find old town?”


Though we did pass another point of interest:

'Mad ink, Sojourn, Twisted'

‘PCP’ Mad ink, Sojourn, Twisted’

PCP. Yep. That sure resonates. Remember Angel Dust, a recreational drug of the 70’s? Psychedelic. Far Out! Helps explain why the 60’s and 70’s were so … Groovy. (This hallucinogenic drug laced in the 70’s with tobacco and marijuana has long since been banned and fizzled out.)

Well that about puts a wrap on our trip to Pocatello. Hmmm. Might need a do-over, you know, to visit Old Town, the University, Eric’s Antique Shop …

Check out those marmots again! Plus, my car still gets crappy gas mileage.

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4 Responses to “Pocatello, Idaho”

  1. Hunk Says:

    A fun day well summarized. Be back home Sunday. Party on? Or panties?
    Yes. We should do it again. Sans space burgers.

  2. Jody Caraher Says:

    Uh, well I do have to get you home from the airport honey. I’ll wear a dress! If we do return to Pocatello, I am not bringing my vibrator.But I seriously want to chase down some more marmots

  3. Karen Says:

    Visited the International Animal Museum yesterday. A placard in the insect room related the mating habits of a bee species (forgot which one—-killer bees, maybe?). Anyway, the queen flies high up in the sky until one of the lucky manbees catches her. They mate, the manbee explodes, and the queen returns to the hive, where she lives for another five years being waited on hand and foot and laying 1500 eggs. It’s good to be the Queen! WTF does this have to do with Pocatello, you ask? Nuthin’, but your ruminations on the train car brought it to mind.

    Loved this one, Jody!

    • Jody Caraher Says:

      The Queen certainly has her party on. The male explodes, eh? Interesting. I say better not to witness the bee mating dance. I’m staying far away from that train car too.

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