Sometimes just a jaunt away from the house without having to drive 8 hours does wonders. Don’t bother with whether or not the STAR card is required to travel on an airplane. Simply pack some clothes, grab some snacks while gassing up the car, and go. There’s no need for a vacation from the vacation here.

I had the pleasure of staying at Diamond P Grassroots Bison near Lava Hot Springs in McCammon. I thought my time off would be a just soak in the pool to get away from pesky co-workers, but the stay at Grassroots was a welcome addition. While I sat on the back porch and watched the sunset over the valley as a train rolled by in the distance, I remembered this video. Not only is it stupid funny, I now know the title is wrong, but it fits musically.

How Did the Buffalo Get Its Name? Who Messed This One Up?

On a scheduled wagon ride to the bison herd, I learned the difference between bison and buffalo. French trappers encountered these huge mammals in North America but didn’t have a clue what they were. They had to call it something, so they figured on what was closest to what they knew, ox or ‘boeuf’ in French. Being animals that like to be near water, it became boeuf a l’eau - ox at water. The animal that lives in North America is a bison, not a buffalo. Buffalo live in Africa and Asia.

What Else Should Visitors Know Before Staying at an Idaho Bison Ranch?

Bison have a way of getting to know each other that is a bit more unique than some other animals. Dogs sniff each other’s hindquarters in order to get acquainted. Goats butt heads to establish who’s who. Well, bison drink each other’s urine. If you want to know what’s going on with a bison, you gotta drink their pee.

Bison have no front top teeth, so feeding them bison nuggets is fun. They have extremely long scratchy tongues and will grab the pellets out of your hand if you don’t get it into their mouths quickly enough. Grandchildren delight in wiping bison slobber all over family members thanks to instructions from the helpful ranch host advising them to do so.

Bison steaks are delicious. Cooking them well or medium well is frowned upon. There may be glares involved if the grillmaster in the vacation group gets instructions to grill beyond medium. The 1st bite may cause a person to cry a little and moan uncontrollably, but the feeling will pass.

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Don’t pet the fluffy cows. Take plenty of pictures. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting bison slobber on. Relax and watch non-sensical strange bison music videos. Oh, and enjoy the hot springs, too.

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