Bookguidesvis­i­torsto 42des­ti­na­tion­sinthe SanRafaelSwellarea

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Deb­bie Bal­zotti

EdHelmick lit­er­ally brought his new bride on board when they were mar­ried in 2007. “I do” for Jan­ice meant four-wheel­ing in a bright yel­low Jeep and help­ing Ed pub­lish a book about their ad­ven­tures for other off-road en­thu­si­asts.

At al­most 300 pages, “San Rafael Swell Off Road: A Trail Guide to 42 Des­ti­na­tions for Au­to­mo­biles, 4WD Trucks & ATVs” is the re­sult of their de­sire to share their pho­tos, maps and years of ex­pe­ri­ence so read­ers will have a guide to the sights found in the San Rafael Swell area of Emery County. The desert area, ringed by small towns like Price, Green River and Cas­tle Dale, is best vis­ited in the milder fall and spring, ac­cord­ing to the Helmicks.

Ev­ery chap­ter in­cludes help­ful ad­vice for novice or ex­pe­ri­enced ex­plor­ers of the area, such as, “Easy dirt road for high clear­ance au­to­mo­bile, al­though four- wheel drive is rec­om­mended to sev­eral sandy sec­tions along the road.”

I en­joyed the trivia in­cluded for each des­ti­na­tion. “Tem­ple Moun­tain re­ceived its name be­cause early vis­i­tors thought the twin sum­mits looked like the Mor­mon Tem­ple in Manti, Utah. Ura­nium and vana­dium were dis­cov­ered on the moun­tain, and claims were recorded in 1898. Leg­end has it that Madam Curie used ore from Tem­ple Moun­tain dur­ing her ini­tial re­search into the na­ture of ra­dium at the turn of the cen­tury.”

A group of fifth-grade stu­dents at Maple Ridge El­e­men­tary School re­cently en­joyed look­ing through the book dur­ing a writ­ing les­son I was teach­ing. I asked th­ese 10-year-olds for their thoughts and here are a few of their com­ments - not fol­low­ing the rules of quot­ing some­one in an ar­ti­cle like I just taught them.

“Me and my dad love to go rid­ing on our four wheeler so this place would be per­fect for us.” - Ab­bi­gale

“This is a good book be­cause it has routes where you can ex­plore and no one lives there.” - Amelia

“Our fam­ily usu­ally goes off road in the moun­tains but now we would want to go in the dessert.” - Bree

“I am very in­ter­ested in learn­ing about the past and look­ing at pic­tographs is one way to learn about our coun­try’s past.” (Fu­ture his­tory pro­fes­sor?) - Carter.

“This book has great pic­tures of na­ture. If you are in­ter­ested in off-road­ing this might just be your dream book!” (Fu­ture head of sales?) - Anna

This is more than a trail guide book. It even has a place to record your own ex­pe­ri­ences on the blank pages in­cluded in each chap­ter. With the Helmicks’ book along, you are sure to have some “swell” off-road ad­ven­tures.

The book is avail­able for pur­chase at Dick­er­son Au­to­mo­tive, 34 W. 1900 North, Span­ish Fork, or from the au­thors at

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