Rural Route photo



Jonah and Trish Simmons have a great love story. The couple met as juniors in high school during seminary. Trish says that Jonah was homeschooled and had just started attending high school “when I snatched him up.” They became friends and spent time sharing a mutual interest in taking photographs and spending time on Antelope Island. By their senior year they were high school sweethearts.

They moved here about five years ago because they needed a little more land, and their previous cookie-cutter neighborhood could not maintain the few chickens that evolved to more animals: ducks and bees. After expanding into horses the Simmons quickly realized they couldn’t hide a horse from the neighbors.

”They gave us funny looks when we filled our garage with alfalfa”, says Trish.

The Simmons are a family of six, living what a crazy adventure they like to call “homesteading.” Emma, 15, is the eldest child, and attends West Side High School. She loves theater and has been in four of the Worm Creek Opera House plays. Missy, 12, is artsy and takes karate from Bryon Priestly over in Franklin. So does Samuel, 9. The youngest, Sarah, 6, just loves life.

The first year living in Fairview, Jonah “super-manned” off the front of his motorcycle, and shattered his arm. Jonah’s motorcycle gear and helmet are credited to saving his life. Trish had both of her knees replaced. So, they figure after surviving the first few years, they could tackle anything. The Simmons share their experiences on their own YouTube Channel: “Willow Creek Homestead.” They’ve dabbled in pigs, chickens, bottle-fed baby cows, heritage breed turkeys, meat rabbits, milk goats, and one goose. They have decided that they are not fans of the goose.

Trish relays that the younger children are homeschooled, and this provides a way of working together throughout the day. The couple feels that their choice has been such a blessing for their small family. Jonah commutes over an hour to work everyday so that the family can enjoy their beautiful lifestyle.

They’ve had many successes and some failures along this adventure. One success is raising free range rabbits set up like a colony with no cages. To learn how the Simmons do this, and how they compost, and homestead, they can be followed on Youtube. They publish five days out of the week. Trish also just started selling her handmade crafts on facebook called “Crochet Corner.”

My friends, this has been such a good visit. Please let me know of people and topics of interest at Until we meet again next week, please enjoy life and stay safe.

Mink Creek


It was a perfect evening, but a little on the chilly side. Mink Creek community took a Fall Foliage Ride into the mountains around Station Creek. It was a great turnout, with more than 30 outfits, four wheelers or side by sides. The group split into three sections, led by Nate Olson, Jeff Olson and Lin McKay, each taking a different trail, all headed to the top. Great scenery all along the trails. Some elk were rousted out. When the goal was reached there were marvelous views of Glendale, Cub River, the whole west side of northern Cache Valley. A person could see all of Mink Creek village up to the entry of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Once back down to the Olson farm there was huckleberry and huckleberry cheesecake ice cream to top off the activity. The local LDS missionary pair, Elders Duke and Rich, provided some vocal and guitar music along with the refreshments. It might have been cold but huckleberry ice cream is always acceptable.

Mink Creek has four young men playing on the Preston High School football team this year. They are Andrew and Charles Iverson, sons of Kurt and Margret, Stetson Ostler, son of Stuart and Alona Ostler, and Ty Jepsen, son of Kerry and Melinda Jepsen. On the PHS volleyball team this year is Emily Longhurst, daughter of Candy Longhurst.

We started this past week off with our first low snowfall of the season. Sept 29, after a couple of days of rainfall, sent some big heavy feathery flakes in the morning. However within just a couple of hours it had warmed up and looked as if it had only been a dream, unless you looked up into our surrounding mountains and the whiteness was still in place.

The Lewis and Clark Volunteers, a Mountain Man group that headquarters in Soda Springs, were here for a weekend fall rendezvous. The group gathers on the Vernon Keller farm on the banks of Mink Creek. Vernon’s daughter-in-law, Denise, came up from Alpine, UT, for this annual event.

The time for harvesting chokecherries is past, but there are plenty left on the trees, up and down our village. Our local bird population is now doing their share of harvesting the berries. The trees shake with the activity taking place within their branches, in and out, repeatedly. Seeds must be scattered for nature’s planting over many miles.



Both Clifton wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had their Primary programs on Sept. 29. Each had about 100 very hyperactive children participate, but they certainly did a wonderful job. Did I say “hyperactive”? The main reason for this behavior was the snow storm that morning… September no less! The children had visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, and Christmas is still almost three months away!

A local rain gauge measured almost 5” of rain. Many farmers are trying to get in their third crops of hay now, but the ground is very wet. So is the basement of Wayne and Carolyn Smart. Thank goodness for wet-dry vacuums.

Congratulations to the West Side boy’s cross-country team for becoming champions for the second year in a row. The cross-country girls also came in third place.

Members of the Clifton 2nd Ward held a Chili Cook-off on Oct. 1, sponsored by the Young Women. This was held in the cultural hall instead of at the pavilion because of cold weather, and participants were treated to 25 crock pots loaded with warm chili, corn bread, and cookies. First place winners were Jeff and Nicole Smart, second place were Jared and Laura Moyle and third place were Alan and Mary Brooks. Honorable mention went to Amanda Tripp and Katie Mumford. Besides a delicious meal, there was square dancing which was popular with old and young alike.

Kristi Westover, Sessilee Choules, and Corliss Whitehead spent a week in New York City touring the town and attending Broadway plays. Regular posts on Facebook showed that they really had a fun trip. No men were allowed.



The mantle of leadership shifted Sunday, Sept. 29, in Franklin Second Ward as the former Bishopric was released, and new Priesthood leaders were sustained. Released with a vote of thanks and appreciation were Bishop Denton Harris, First Counselor Mike Porter, and Second Counselor Mark Dietrich. Sustained to fill the new positions were Denis Jepson as Bishop, Tracy Olsen as First Counselor, and Kyle Chatterton as Second Counselor. Clerk and executive secretary callings will be filled shortly.

Franklin has welcomed several new residents lately. Lacey and Tyler Rallison with their three daughters have moved into Lance and Tess Zollingers’ home at 221 Maple Creek Road. Tyler is working as a mechanic for his dad, Doug, at Twin Rivers Dairy, and Lacey will deliver a new baby boy the end of October.

Newly-weds Paul and Karly Yardley from West Valley, Utah, have moved into the home at 145 East Main Street. Paul works at Baldwin Dairies in Lewiston, and Karly works at Smithfield Dental Care. Roy Yardley of Franklin is Paul’s uncle.

Retiring from Boeing in Falls Church, Virginia, Linda Lund and her friend, Mary Ann Garber traveled for a solid week visiting LDS Church historical sites on the way to Idaho. Their new home at 155 First East was nearly ready and waiting for their arrival on Sept. 24, in addition to nieces and nephews and their families who helped them move in.

John and LyNette Yeates and three of their six children have purchased the Pecks’ home at 4047 South 4650 East. John is a retired fireman and they have moved from Hooper, Utah, choosing Franklin as their little bit of heaven.

With the official ending of summer, the Watercraft Check Station at the south end of town will be closed until next spring.