Like many Southern Idahoans, I often complain that there’s nothing to do. Perhaps this is because I approach the subject with too narrow of a focus. There might not be big concerts rolling through town or fancy festivals in parks, but most of us have chosen small town living for a reason. Instead of spending our days in the concrete jungle, we’re surrounded by small town charm and the great outdoors. When attempting to create a plan for my summer days, this reality is often lost upon me though.
When a trip to the Almo Creek Outpost in Almo, Idaho was first suggested to me, I dismissed the drive as being slightly on the crazy side. I’d heard of their famous steak dinners but figured I could eat steak just about anywhere; so why drive?
Eventually though I decided to make the journey. After loading up the dog, throwing on some shades and rolling down the truck windows I headed out of town. Somewhere around Declo the skepticism I had been holding on to began evaporating as I breathed in dense moisture from the surrounding fields. I’d forgotten how therapeutic a change of pace could be. Though I spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s always in the same few places.
As symmetrical fields began giving way to scatterings of sagebrush and rolling hills, I was lost in the beauty offered by this portion of the desert. Before I knew it, I was approaching what looked like a scene pulled right from the glory days of the old west. Sun bleached wagons flanking a rustic wooden structure told me I’d reached my destination. Just beyond the Outpost a few cattle meandered lazily in a lush green pasture soaking up the fading rays of sunlight and bellowing in absent-minded greeting.
Inside the restaurant black and white photographs tell the tales of cowboying days gone by, bright paintings illuminate the modern cowboy and lethal Indian weaponry rest harmlessly in display cases. The atmosphere is cheerful as helpful workers not only deliver your food, but also fill you in on all that can be seen and experienced nearby. City of Rocks National Reserve lies just a few miles down the road for climbing enthusiasts or admirers of scenery and Durfee Hot Springs in the center of town provides the perfect way to relax or rejuvenate after a day of adventuring.
For those who wish to spend more than an afternoon in the area, the Outpost offers lodge rooms and cabins that can only be described with the oxymoron ‘bunkhouse chic’. Log furniture, cow hides and Pendleton blankets are perfectly combined to provide guests with a sophisticated yet rustic stay. (Unfortunately I had to return home that evening and wasn’t able to experience them first-hand.)
After enjoying deliciously prepared chicken (I’d had steak just the night before) and the welcome feeling of being surrounded by simple pleasures, I climbed back in the truck and assured myself I’d make the trip more often.
There’s always something to do in Southern Idaho… sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride.
For more information regarding the Almo Creek Outpost, visit the website http://www.almocreek.com/outpost
Or call 208-824-5577 for information on seasonal hours.