An Idaho Welcome
✍️ • 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: bird photography • flat tire • museums • good eats • Idaho • Places: Clark Hill Rest Area • Teton Volkswagen • Farnsworth TV & Pioneer Museum
It was as if the Tetons were taunting me.
How dare they look so beautiful, so enticing, so inviting, bathed in the soft glow of an early morning's light. When I could explore them no longer. When my skinny spare tire demanded that I get it replaced as early as I could.
My only course of action was to drive some 220 miles, sticking below 50 MPH on my skinny spare.
My only course of action was to cross into Idaho.
Driving up and down the switchbacks out of the Tetons on my spare tire wasn't so bad. Engine-brake on the way down, and it's easy enough to stay below fifty.
When I hit 55 mph U.S. Highways, I really started enraging local drivers. Common sense and safety were no match for their need for speed as they passed me on the double yellow. There was no way in hell they were driving five below the limit!
And when the limit increased to 65?
I put my four-ways on.
Courtesy of the highway, my ass.
A Shockingly Lovely Rest Area
Naturally, if there was a pull-out, I used it. And if there was a rest area, I stopped.
All the better to actually keep an eye on my skinny tire.
All the better to heed nature's call.
This rest area stands head and shoulders above any other I had ever visited (at least in the USA.) Besides boasting nice, clean bathrooms, it was also home to a gorgeous view of the Snake River, and ample lookouts for birding.
A Wait in A Car Dealer
Eventually, I made it to the Volkswagen Dealer. Joy of joys!
I could drive with real tires again.
But first, I had to unload enough junk from the back of my trunk so I could find my popped tire, whose rim would get pressed into service once more.
To my shock, it wasn't there.
In my haste to not leave all of my belongings on the floor of a random garage in Jackson the previous day, I had inadvertently left my tire, with the hole in its sidewall on the floor of some random shop.
And with it, one OEM Volkswagen wheel.
A stupid and costly mistake.
Fortunately, the dealer had some random non-OEM rim around that I could purchase.
I bought two tires, with an eye towards being able to use the second one as a full-size spare in the future.
Whilst I waited, I looked on the internet for a reasonably-priced local hotel, and decided to opt for a budget motel.
Would I get what I paid for? Stay tuned!
I also answered a couple work messages, looked at some photos I had taken even more recently, and sent a couple of them out via text message to various friends and family.
I twiddled my thumbs, and deeply wished that like everyone else in the room, I was happy to go about mask-less.
After what felt like forever, my car was returned to me with two new tires.
Then, as ever, it took me forever to reload my car. Especially because they had stuck the skinny spare under the cover and not the full size tire.
Excuse me, but like, the skinny spare is a lot easier to stash with to my boxes, guys...
Farnsworth Pioneer Museum
My next stop was a recommendation of Xian's.
The Farnsworth Pioneer Museum is small, yet eclectic, and home to a lot of things I didn't know I needed to see, from antique snowmobiles and waffle irons, through to replicas of old school rooms, taxidermied animals, and that ubiquitous photo of Marilyn Monroe in an Idaho Potato sack.
The museum's current location is the former location of the Bond Motel, and many of its old rooms serve as dioramas of past chapters in Idaho life.
If the name Farnsworth doesn't ring a bell, then let me elucidate a little bit.
Philo Farnsworth was a pioneer in television, creating the first video tube, and the first complete electronic television system. He was so forward-thinking that he first discussed ideas for the creation of electronic television while he was in high school in Rigby, Idaho. His chemistry teacher later helped him in protracted legal battles over patents against RCA.
Since the museum is in Rigby, Farnsworth's home town, it naturally hosts some of his awards, diagrams, and tubes as well as his biography. And a bunch of other stuff.
Most of the other narratives detail the history of early pioneers' arrival in Idaho.
There's also local art, documentation honoring pioneers, and a whole lot of neat antiques.
Obviously, I can't and wouldn't show you everything, but I can assure you that it's well worth a visit if you like this kind of thing.
After the museum, I stopped at nearby Lil Mike's BBQ for dinner. It was super delicious, and is definitely a good choice for a post-museum bite.
Perhaps the scenery and attractions of the car dealership and pioneer museum were a bit of a downgrade compared to the Tetons, but I was ready for the rest of my trip westwards, had eaten some barbecue, and had made the worst of a bum day.
And I was so ready to check into my motel and enjoy a restful evening...
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