Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Home Adventures Travel Weekend Getaway: Helper is on the Way

Weekend Getaway: Helper is on the Way


Photo by Kirk Marshall

Helper is a strange name for a small town, but it actually makes more sense than some as it is home to many engines that ‘help’ trains over the steep grades of nearby Soldier Summit.

Photo by Kirk Marshall

When plentiful coal was found in the area, the town sprouted, providing the manpower and fuel for the Denver and Rio Grande Railways. Mining camps sprung up in the 1890s and the European and Asian immigrants who came to make their fortunes helped make Helper the commercial hub for the area. In its heyday, Helper was a town of 20,000 with 33 bars and 19 houses of ill repute (Not bad for small town Utah). Today trains still ply the rails through this historic hamlet. The Western Mining and Railroad Museum is a must see for the full story.

In recent years, Helper has become a hub for miners of a different ilk. Once an economically depressed town with a decaying main street, the town has been rejuvenated by an influx of artists who search for peace and quiet to practice their craft. One such man is David Dornan. Credited with Helper’s rebirth, he holds summer workshops and master classes in a building he bought and renovated 15 years ago. The former brothel turned hotel turned studio, now houses students who can fully focus on art without big-city distractions.

Photo by Pippa Keene 

Helper is easily explored on foot, and a path by the Price River is a wonderful place to stroll. A swinging bridge begs to be explored, benches provide rest in the shade and plaques erected to the area’s history stimulate the brain while the walk stretches your legs. Heading back to Main Street, look for Big John, a giant miner. Painted coal black, he is one of the Muffler Men statues from the 1960s. He stands proudly in front of the Civic Auditorium, pick in hand.

Photo by Kirk Marshall

If your walk kicked up your appetite, head to The Balance Rock Eatery. They may possibly have the best potato chips you will ever eat; made to order from scratch, they are dusted with a special seasoning blend that is a well-guarded house secret. Across the street the Happiness Within Coffee Shop will make you a cup of java and a believer that luxuries can be found in unexpected places.

Many side trips can be made from Helper. Price, just seven miles south, hosts the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum. The Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, where much of the museum’s bounty was discovered just 20 miles away. Scenic Huntington Canyon, Nine Mile Canyon, Buckhorn Draw and the Wedge Overlook are all within striking distance.

What’s your favorite park in Utah? ...

Our Jan/Feb issue is out on stands now! This issue means so much to us. Made with lots of love and tears. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it. ❤️ ...

Here's one from our upcoming Jan/Feb issue out on stands in just a few days. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it.⁠

Mary photobombs Lisa Barlow at the premiere party for Real Housewives of Salt Lake. Below is a snippet from Mary's last editor's letter:⁠

"It’s all a little crazy.⁠
Sometime in 2020, the world stopped making sense for a lot of us. Between one of the ugliest election cycles the U.S. has ever been through and the most mysterious disease most of us have ever experienced, normal was canceled. We can’t get together with friends, hug our loved ones, be in the room with them when they die. But somehow we have to go on, right? Somehow we have to continue to work and love and laugh. This issue of Salt Lake magazine holds a lot of frivolity, the main one being an extremely silly TV show, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. There I am in a pink fur coat in a car with our cover housewife, Lisa Barlow and her boys."⁠

Pick up our Jan/Feb issue at your local grocer and read the full letter. ❤️

Link in bio to subscribe.

We love you so much, Salt Lake ❤️⁠

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday. Be merry, be bright and be good for goodness sake! ✨

Skip the milk and cookies this holiday and leave out something that Santa really wants 🍺😉🎅⁠

Check out our local holiday beer round up for last minute gift ideas! Link in bio!

Mary's last-minute holiday gift ideas from last year are still as true and relevant today...⁠

"The planet we live with and the creatures on it need all kinds of things. Polar bears need presents, tree frogs in the Amazon need gifts, our Utah canyons and our national parks need help."⁠

Check the link in bio for full write up.

There was never a time there wasn’t Mary Malouf. Until now. Today, Mary died when a rogue wave swept her out to sea off the coast of Northern California. Only she – perhaps the world’s foremost lover of Bronte, BBC mysteries and, of course, Moby Dick – would appreciate such poetic drama.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” — Mary Brown Malouf. Ooops. Herman Mellville.