FORT COLLINS, CO – The Four Corners Monument, where Colorado meets Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, is a well-known road-trip destination. However, the “three corners” marker, where Colorado’s southeast corner meets Oklahoma and Kansas, is pretty much unknown to most Coloradans, many of whom don’t even realize we share a border with Oklahoma.
Colorado’s southeast corner gets its long-overdue equal coverage in the latest issue of Colorado Life Magazine. In its May/June 2018 issue’s feature story “Colorado, Corner to Corner,” the statewide publication explores life at each corner of the vast rectangle called Colorado.
“We visited all four of Colorado’s corners, but we took particular care to highlight the three less-visited ones,” said Colorado Life Editor Matt Masich, who wrote the story. Part of his research involved standing on the actual survey markers at each corner of Colorado. Joining him was Photo Editor Joshua Hardin, who shot the article’s many photos. Hardin had the biggest adventure of the whole project; he was forced to camp overnight at the incredibly remote northwest corner after his Jeep got stuck there.
Colorado Life’s visit to the precise southeast corner was a bit anticlimactic, Masich admitted, because the windmill monument that had stood there since 1903 blew down in a storm a few weeks before their trip. (The U.S. Forest Service plans to replace it later this year.) However, another part of their trip was finding and meeting the Coloradan who lives closest to the corner. That was a resounding success.
Tom Alton, whose family has lived for generations on a ranch about 10 miles across the Cimarron River from the corner, seemed to be the living embodiment of the Western rancher, from his drawling deadpan wit to his quintessential cowboy look. The Colorado Life reporters were amazed to learn Alton didn’t share their fascination with the local three-state corner. In fact, despite living in close proximity his whole life, he had only visited the corner once – and that was only because a Baca County official asked him to bring his draft horses and wagon to a ceremony there.
Alton loves the peace and quiet of the country. While he has no desire to spend time in the state’s big cities, he still feels a Colorado connection to them. However, he did point one way to improve the relationship between his corner of the state and the urban Front Range – mainly having to do with TV meteorologists.
“The only thing I see wrong is whenever they give the weather, the guy that’s giving the weather will stand right in front of us on the map,” he said. “But they’ve gotten better.”
The article, with photos and anecdotes from each Colorado corner, appears in Colorado Life Magazine’s May/June 2018 issue. Other stories in the issue include a photo essay on Colorado’s unpredictable springtime weather, a feature on lavender farmers in Palisade, and the story of how Florence overcame its economic blues by becoming the Antiques Capital of Colorado.
Colorado Life Magazine publishes six issues a year in celebration of the nature, history, people and culture of Colorado.