During my last school holiday, I had the chance of visiting Pocatello for the first time in my life. It was a family visit where we went camping in the bush with a Recreational Vehicle (RV). The experience was memorable and one that I would forever in my life cherish. From the trip to the place, I discovered that there was so much fun and exposure in nature, which we were missing by simply locking ourselves in the house during holidays to watch movies and play video games. So much to see and learn especially on the history of different places and a chance to establish new friendships. My trip enlightened me on the wonderful world of camping that helped me to build on my confidence and learn some vital survival skills that would have been impossible to learn in another scenario. Spending time with my family too was enticing and provided a free atmosphere to have fun. It gave me a new insight of my family and the different parenting skills my parents have.
Our trip up to the highlands of Pocatello started early in the morning. We went through the beautiful country roads enjoying the RV atmosphere until we got to the town. I love trips, and through the journey, it was a nice opportunity to bond with other family members and enjoy the wonderful bushy sceneries along the road. As we went up the hills and down the valleys, I connected to the embrace of nature that was beckoning us to the new enchanted world away from the buzz of city life. I felt as if we were being friend from a prison sentence as everything around us seemed new and exciting. City life had indeed imprisoned us for a long time – but, thanks to this golden opportunity, time to break away from this norm had finally arrived.
At Pocatello, we had to find a nice place to camp. Thankfully, my parents had done enough pre-tour survey to select a nice place next to the river that goes through the small town of Pocatello. We set up our tent and surveyed the area, which would be our home for the night. It was my first time to sleep in a tent, an experience I had longed for since my dad first told us of the holiday camping.
After eating by a bonfire just outside our tent, my father decided to give us the history of how the city got to be named Pocatello. I learnt a lot about the history of the American North West which is commonly referred to as the Wild West in popular Hollywood movies. The scenic Pocatello City derives its name from the 19th Century Native Indian leader named Chief Pocatello. I learnt he led the Shoshone Native Indians tribe who originally resided in the state of Utah. He tried to keep away the American’s who wanted to open up the frontier regions to western development.
The Americans eventually succeeded and Chief Pocatello had to take on a new role which was to enable his people to learn to survive in the reservation offered to them by the American government. This new reservation area for the Shoshone Indians was in the state of Idaho and as such, Pocatello city derives its name from this famous Shone chief. This story made me relate the wonderful scenery today with what it would have looked like during those old times. The Indians must have been a very free and mobile people indeed.
As the night progressed, we were paid a visit by one of the wardens in the area. He was a big and burly man with a rather soft voice. His salutations to us actually made my father smile. My mother insisted that he join by the campfire for some hot coffee to which he reluctantly agree. He however made our evening more enjoyable as he was a really good story teller with a great sense of humor that appealed to all of us. His presence helped to further boost our sense of being at home away from home. His deep understanding of the area was quite amazing.
He described of an incident when he was training to be a camp warden that really stuck on my mind. We were aware that out in the wild one could meet a host of wild animals but his was rather epic. He told us of a dare that three of them took on one another during their survival skills expedition set. One of them failed the dare and was tasked with skinning a skunk and finding a moose and ensuring each one of them tasted the nose of a moose. They ended up smelling like skunks for more than a month after the expedition. I learnt that men can go to really great lengths to have a good time and as such, I was glad that our bonfire was good enough to keep us well occupied. His story was more educative and entertaining.
I however still thought about the idea of encountering dangerous wild animals such as the bear, or even a snake coming in to the tent while we were asleep. I knew that I would not have the same dreamy and sweet sleep I usually enjoy in my warm cozy bed. This is when I realized that camping is all about risking. We are often not sure of what larks in the bush, but we risk to sleep in a tent hopping all will be fine. It provided me with yet another experience, different sleeping conditions and style.
In the morning, we were all safe. Nobody had peculiar visitors at night. We went had a nice breakfast by the river that we prepared with my father and we were soon off to have some fun with other holidaymakers. We went up the hills of Pocatello, where we engaged in outdoor sports with other families. There were fun sports such as horse riding, skating, rugby touch, among other sports. We all played the games as families. It was a nice cool to join teams with our parents and play against each other. It was the first time to play with my parents and it felt great. It build on our bonds and helped us see each other in different perceptive.
In the evening, we went back to our camping site where we had some barbeque feast late into the night. That was our last night at Pocatello and in the bush, since the following morning we had to move on with our trip. I can say that the short experience I had at Pocatello was eye opening to me. It helped me see things different as a human being. We live in juxtaposition with nature. Sometimes, in the city, we only see buildings, and vehicles around us forgetting the earth that sustain us. The camping experience made see all these in a wonderful and exciting way. It gave me an experience of a life time. Whether it will end up being the only one in my life, I will wait to see. However, I promised myself that I would be back at some point. Either in a company of friends or with my future family. True to say, the camping adventure was just amazing and life changing.