Saturday morning of the 4th of July weekend found my wife, my oldest daughter and myself in my Ford Explorer heading for the northwest corner of Utah. We wanted to visit the Utah-Idaho-Nevada tri-state border corner.
First we drove north into Idaho and then west to the Burley/Rupert Idaho area. We arrived in Rupert just in time to take part in the 4th of July celebration in the town center park. The parade had just ended but the live concert and food concessions were just what we needed to enjoy a lunch.
I lived in nearby Burley Idaho for several years when I was young so I was surprised how large the Hispanic population was in this Idaho potato producing area of the country. Since all but one of the food concessions were for Mexican food, we enjoyed fresh tamales, tacos and burritos for lunch.
We then got back in the Explorer and headed south through Burley.
And then to Oakley Idaho, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. This was a old Mormon pioneer farming town with wonderful pioneer era two-story homes that were well kept.
Most of the town business buildings seemed to now be stone supply offices and outlets for the natural stone that was obviously being quarried nearby. The natural stone was probably keeping Oakley Idaho thriving since the town was at the end of the pavement, not on a highway leading to somewhere else.
The Oakley residence were even keeping the Oakley Opera House going.
Between Burley and Oakley were continual green fields of mostly potatoes, sugar beets and alfalfa. This looked like a wonderful place to live but I know about their terrible secret — the horrid wind, especially in the five or six wicked winter months. Nevertheless, Oakley is a wonderful place to visit — in the summer.
From Oakley we headed south on a good gravel road, past hillside rock quaries and were soon following Grouse Creek through the low hills.
After a pleasant ride through the hills and past miles of alfalfa fields along the creek, (the only wildlife we saw was a raccoon hunting the creek bed) we arrived at an active ranch where we expected a road to carry us through the fields and across the creek. However, the road was a private road and closed to the public. We spent the next hour or so exploring the area to see if there was another way but we were unable to find one. We turned around and headed back about 10 miles into Nevada never having gotten closer than about three miles to the tri-state corner. If there is access to this tri-corner area, it would be from over the mountain to the north.
We would have to come back another day and try a different route.