A local couple's passion for the San Rafael Swell has led to their writing of a book which shares in word and picture some of the scenic wonders they have encountered throughout the years.
Mark H. and Terry Williams recently published Utah's Scenic San Rafael 2001, which Mark H. describes as "a laymen's guide to the San Rafael. It tells you how far to go and where to turn and what to look for when you get there," he said.
A lifelong resident of Emery County, Mark H. has explored the San Rafael for decades. Avid all terrain vehicle enthusiasts, the Williams' have for years taken pictures of the places they have been and the things they have seen. But even with their years of exploring the San Rafael, they admit that there is no way to see it all.
"Every time we go out there we see something different," Mark H. said.
The 128-page book is a traveling companion for explorers of the San Rafael. With color photos the book takes the reader chapter by chapter through some of the attractions of the Swell. Mark H. said he wrote the book as not only a tour guide, but includes a history of the area covered in individual chapters. Each chapter details a particular place to go and see and is labeled as to whether you can go by car, high clearance vehicle or ATV.
The Williams said they had intended to write the book as an update to Utah's Scenic San Rafael, which Mark H. and Owen McClenahan wrote in 1986. "We started out to update the original book but there's so many changes and places we have never been that we needed to mention them," Mark H. said.
McClenahan passed away in 1997 and the Williams' dedicated their book to his memory.
The husband and wife team began work on the book in March, pouring through hundreds of slides they had taken of their travels throughout the years. The book was published in November and is available at the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale. Williams said he also has a distributor who will make them available at selected national parks.
The couple journeys to the San Rafael as often as they can, even in the winter months. "You just put on your snowmobile suit and go," Terry said.
Even though they often go to places they haven't been before on their visits to the Swell, Mark H. said he has yet to become lost on a journey. "He has a map in his brain. He doesn't get lost," said Terry.
But for readers of their book who use it as a traveling companion for exploring the San Rafael, Mark H. assures them that even if they aren't similarly blessed with a map in their head, they won't become lost.
"I guarantee you won't get lost," he said.