Idaho potato museum

A Q&A with Rebecca Sanders, New Member of the “Visited All 50 States” Club

Ten years ago, Rebecca Sanders, one of our corporate travel planners, set a goal to visit all 50 states. In September 2017, she achieved that goal. Idaho was the last on her list, but definitely not least. We asked Rebecca to tell us all about her trip, and we’re sharing the highlights of her Idaho adventure with you.

What constitutes having visited a state in your book?
Some count an airport layover as having “visited” a state. Not me. For it to count, it has to be an overnight stay or at the least spending several hours at an attraction.

What was your itinerary for Idaho?

This was a nature-focused trip. My sister and I wanted to visit state and national parks, Boise and Coeur d’Alene. And, the closest we came to seeing a mountain was the sand dunes at Bruneau Dunes State Park.

What was the highlight of your trip?
The Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot was definitely one of the highlights, and surprisingly so. The museum was a really fascinating place. As you travel through Idaho, you see equipment in fields and wonder what they’re doing. I learned all about potato farming, and it was pretty cool to drive by the fields, knowing what was happening. Plus, there is the Potato Station Café where we, of course, had baked potatoes for lunch. The Café serves all things potatoes, including a baked potato bar, a topping of the day, potato ice cream, potato bread, potato cupcakes, French fries and such.

Tell us about the bear cub…
We encountered a bear cub in the middle of a hiking trail that runs between two falls. There the cub was, but mamma bear wasn’t in sight. We turned around rather than risking upsetting mamma. It would’ve been nice to have reached the view point, but it wasn’t worth a bear attack. The bear cub was cute, but I believe in the force and fury of a mamma bear.

What did you enjoy most that surprised you?
That would have to be the Museum of Clean in Pocatello. We lucked out and got a personal tour from the founder, who’s written more than 20 books on cleaning. This place has nearly 1,000 vacuums on display dating back to 1869 (there was a vacuum from 1912 that took two people to operate), as well as exhibits on toilets, brooms, chimney sweeps, washers, tubs and more, plus it’s hands-on. We lost track of time in there, so it’s easy to see how you could spend a whole day there.

A museum of cleaning? Sure enough. We checked it out. AND, it has 4.8 stars on Google reviews. Trip Advisor ranks it the #1 of 21 things to do in Pocatello, and it has 167 reviews and a 4.5 rating. Rebecca is onto something here.

Now that you’ve checked Idaho off your map, would you go back?
Absolutely, and I plan on it. I tried paddleboarding for the first time. Standing up is trickier and harder than it looks. You have to have pretty strong core muscles. I’d like to try it again. Toward the end of our trip, we found a place where you can mine gems. Unfortunately, you also have to bring your own mining equipment, so I will go back.

With all 50 states down, what’s next?
The U.S. is huge. There are so many overlooked places in our own backyard. So, now that I’ve visited 50 states, someone suggested visiting all seven continents. I can’t imagine going to Antarctica, but I think Australia and New Zealand are next.

Stay posted…

Rebecca and all CIRE Travel’s agents travel extensively – we know… poor us. However, every trip is a working one whether officially vacation or not. Our personal experience helps us give our clients personal insights on travel recommendations and helpful advice you can’t find anywhere else.

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