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Mink Creek


At this time of year there is always the procedure of getting the irrigation ditches and canals ready for receiving the water they carry for the spring and summer months. Kent Egley is involved in this work all around northern Cache Valley and even beyond, in Caribou County.

Some of the family of Eldon and Danita Wilcox gathered together to spend two weeks in Puerto Rico. This included Jesse and Annavelyn Wilcox and son from Mink Creek, Jeff and Elise Hardy and children of North Ogden, MaKenzie Gunter and her two little ones of Arimo, and Brittany Durrant from the Salt Lake area. All sorts of exciting adventures and family fun: airplanes, boats, soaking up sunshine on beaches with the ocean stretching into the distance, and sharing moments with those closest to you. A highlight was a visit to El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the Caribbean. Once the senior Wilcox couple returned to Mink Creek they welcomed Eldon’s brother Mike and Marrea Wilcox. The brothers grew up in Tacoma, WA, and now Mike has retired to St. George, UT.

Carl and Carol Egley just needed to “go for a ride” when they left their home in Kansas. This venture brought them home to Mink Creek and some time spent with Carl’s brother, Kent and ReNae Egley. Both are full-time farmers and much of the conversation centered around the spring work that is part of their lives no matter where they hang their hat.

The community of Mink Creek met at the ballpark for the semi-annual road cleanup day, starting at 8 a.m. There was a good turnout and people received their assignments and their garbage bags and spread out, covering the roadsides of approximately 10 miles of our main drag, Highway 36. The action started at the Bear River bridge on the southern end and stretches up to the boundary of the Caribou National Forrest.

Autumn and Tibby, aka Tabitha, Taylor were the lucky girls who spent nearly a week with Grandma Lana McCracken. They do online school at their home in Woods Cross so this made a longer visit possible until their mother, Tamara, could come and retrieve them.

Joe and Kathy Jarvis are back among us. Joe had knee surgery and they have been on the mend, staying in St. George with a more agreeable climate for some weeks.



April 15 marked the official opening of turkey season in the Franklin area. Wess Dean reported that due to the depredation hunts over the last two winters, turkeys are hard to come by. Just as an example, Stuart Hansen was approached this last winter by a hunter who had five tags, and took the birds just behind the barn on Hansen’s property. “That only left one bird in Franklin,” Dean lamented, “and Dave Priestley and I were sneaking up on it at the same time. Priestley got it first, and it is just a good thing we didn’t shoot each other!”

Jeanne Smith, Relief Society President in Franklin First Ward, together with her counselors Susan Yardley and Corey Wood, have incorporated a new challenge for women to lift their spirits and set some new goals. Soon after 2021 began, they prepared a journal to record progress and a tee-shirt with the theme, “Small and Simple Things”, for every woman in the ward. Their vision was to encourage development in three main areas – spiritual, mental, and physical improvement. The insignia was designed by Jenee Veselka, and each individual was left to their own goal-setting. Yardley encouraged writing a personal history of COVID experiences on Family Search for an ice cream reward in June. A zoom healthy-food discussion was led by Emily Jensen in April, and more informational lessons are planned in gardening and mental health. The activity is taking New Year’s Resolutions to a whole new level!

Piles of branches, cut trees, and green waste of every kind lined the streets of Franklin as the city residents trim and clean up their yards for the pickup scheduled April 24 through May 3. The rains and early blooming bulbs have refreshed the countryside, with the city shedding the winter doldrums for an awakening rebirth.



Trent and Lorajean Gudmundsen look back on the last year as some good and bad parts for their family. “It’s been a roller coaster for us, but ultimately it’s been a good opportunity to learn how to create positivity and look for all the miracles there. If you look for the bad, it’s there. So why look for the bad?” said Lorajean. Having homeschooled their five children for the past few years, they had mainstreamed their children into school before Covid hit. Their daughter Elizabeth, a junior, was a participant in the West Side High School’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) team in the regional competition held virtually held in January. She won 3rd place in the Extemporaneous Speech division.

“Family time is pretty normal right now but along with lockdown, no school, and springtime, it was pretty stressful,” admitted Lorajean. As a kid, Lorajean loved to draw, paint and design flowers and animals. “We each in our family have always had our creative projects to do which has helped us keep busy with fun things to do during the past year.” Trent, an artist, and Lorajean, an illustrator specializing in acrylics and paper mache sculpture, needed some space for her new projects, so they redesigned the studio for both of them to do their work. Lorajean sells her stickers for journal pages or water bottles, stationery, notepads, notebooks, memo pads, clay pins, and art prints on She also sells vintage and on-trend clothes, unique jewelry.



During a recent drive through Riverdale, even though the mountains are still capped with snow, it was noticed that there is evidence of a hint of Spring. A few farmers are plowing their fields, and lots of newborn calves are jumping around or resting in the sun, or getting a drink of milk from their nearby mothers. The Bear River at the Narrows is full and flowing with the water rippling over the rocks. Its deep blue color reflecting the skies. Geese and cranes stand knee-deep at the edges of the river, and fishermen cast their line into the river with their nets ready to swing in their catch.

Welcome to Tim and Natalie Golightly who moved to Riverdale after living in Preston for many years.



Fourteen older girls in the Weston 2nd Ward had a Cupcake and Trivia Question activity. They had to answer church trivia questions to earn how many toppings to put on a cupcake. Emmalee Campbell, secretary, asked questions from the Friend Magazine, such as “What languages does Elder Andersen speak? What motivated Elder Dieter F. Utchtdorf to learn English? Toppings consisted of nuts, Heath crumbles, cinnamon bears, gummy worms, and sprinkles. The cupcakes and candies were made and provided by the leaders. The younger girls made Origami flowers taught by one of the girls, Makaela Campbell. The girls brought vases for the flowers, to give to their mothers, reported Vera Campbell, Young Women’s President.

Campbell said she is glad to be back meeting with the girls, as the COVID-19 pandemic abates. “In my own life, I learned from it all that I needed to be spiritually, physically, mentally and financially prepared. I needed to take those things seriously.”



The Mapleton Ward had a ward canyon-cleanup on Saturday, April 17. They picked up trash for nine miles, from Highway 91 to Deer Cliff Inn. Doughnuts were available.

The Young Men went shooting on a member’s property.

The Young Women have been preparing for their summer camp in July at Island Park. On Tuesday, April 27, they had Taco Tuesday, then cleaned the building and practiced their camp songs preparing for their camp activities, reports Marie Knapp, Young Women’s President.

“I’m really proud of our girls and their accomplishments this month. Madison Thain is on the drill/dance team at Preston High School whose team took 2nd place in State. Then Anna Mumford won first place in the instrumental competition playing her flute and Molly Ray placed second in the piano competition for the Bennett Cup competition at Preston High School,” said Marie.



Congratulations to Jace Roberts from the Oxford Ward on his call to serve in the Iowa City, Iowa Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jace is the son of Rand and Talina Roberts and he will begin his training in June.

Clifton 1st Ward’s latest missionary will be Brentan Noreen, son of Mikal and Anne Noreen. He will be serving in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission.

Some of our Clifton youth will be headed to college on sports scholarships. Kajsia Fuller, daughter of Curt and Tawna Fuller, will be playing basketball for Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington.

Emma Mariscal will be playing volleyball for Yakima Valley College in Washington. She is the daughter of Ernesto and Jennifer Mariscal.

Kadin Reese, son of Jason and Jami Reese, has received a scholarship to play soccer for Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota. His family just returned from a trip there to check out the campus and get Kadin registered for school. They had a great trip and checked out Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse while they were there.

The Oxford Ward Relief Society will host a Zoom class on Wednesday, May 5, at 1 p.m. during which Tami Leavitt will be teaching how to make cinnamon rolls.

The quarantine was hard on my mouth. I just received my 10th crown. If I didn’t know better, I’d say I have royal blood in my veins because of all of those crowns. Just call me “Queen Carolyn.” I knew I should have insisted on dentures years ago.

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