Oral Histories

Kent & Fern Frost


Kent & Fern Frost

K: Well. I guess they were just curious. They didn’t take anything out of it as far as I could tell.

Q1: That was quite an adventure I bet. Did you get up into some of those canyons then?

K: Well we hiked up the Spanish Trail into the Doll House and then went from there over to Water Canyon and then on further north from Water Canyon around into several of them other little ones comin’ up in there, went into the Green River. And then we finally turned around and came back out of Water Canyon.

Q1: You did a lot of these long hikes before backpacking really was a sport or not many people did much of it. Did you have a backpack, a rucksack, or what kind of equipment did you carry.

K: I started out without carryin’ anything. Maybe I carried a little kind of bag I could throw on one shoulder. And then I had a .38 special pistol I could shoot good with so I could knock over a rabbit or a bird.

F: Tell ‘em about goin’ down to The Rincon.

Q1: Where?

F: Down to The Rincon, makin’ a raft…

K: Anyway I was able to get around through the country real well. And when I went through the Needles country the first time in 1940, it was in the last of February and I walked from the Dugout Ranch then down to Cave Spring and camped there the first night. And all I carried on that trip was, oh, I started out with about probably 5 pounds of cornmeal mush and three or four pounds of raisins and that was about all I had in my pack. Then I had a little canvas, about six feet square. And so, I’d have a fire a night. And I laid down on that. And I’d have my fire out away from the wall so I’d try to get an overhang and then the fire would reflect heat down on me. And I could sleep real good that way. But what I learned to do was get a big pinyon log, as big as I could drag in, and then start the fire in the center of it and burn in two and then I could push the ends together and it’d burn all night that way. I’d just need a few little pieces to keep it goin’ with. And it didn’t take very much wood. And so I went all the way south and then through Devil’s Lane and went down the Cross Canyon route over across Beef Basin and climbed up onto the mesa into Fable Valley and then out Fable Valley over onto Dark Canyon mesa. And then I kind of came back about somewhat near the same route coming back through. And I was on horse trails part of the time but I didn’t find the horse trail across Elephant Hill goin’ over but on the way back, then I followed the horse trail coming back over Elephant Hill. And I was gone about six or seven days on that trip and I got along just fine. And then the Goldmans, another time they come out and they wanted to do a hike around Navajo Mountain. And that was in, uh… See they made that bulldozer trail down on this Mormon Trail country in 1958. And this was probably about 1960 when they come out to do Navajo Mountain. And so we took the Jeep down to The Rincon and I left it parked there. And I had four big truck inner tubes and they puffed them up with lung power. And then there was a lot of wreckage the prospectors left there at Ricon where they had camped right at the edge of the river, and a whole row of dynamite fuse that they didn’t use. And so anyway I had a lot of string with me, lines with me to tie things together with, but that dynamite fuse worked real good anyway. And so I just lashed all them tubes and 2×4’s and stuff like that on top of that to make the deck for a raft. And used mostly dynamite fuse I got or salvaged from their camp to tie it together with. And then we had some dynamite boxes there that we, uh… empty boxes we used them for seats for sittin’on that raft and controlled it with two canoe paddles. I know we went just floatin’ right on down from the Rincon then all the way down to the Rainbow Bridge. And there we abandoned the raft. And this was in November. And so we hiked up past the Rainbow Bridge. The night we got there, we camped there near the Rianbow Bridge. And just a little ways below it there’s a great big cave up a little side canyon. And we climbed up into it. And it rained all night. So we was ucky to have that cave to camp in and so we camped there. And then the next day we went on and got on that trail that went around the north side of Navajo Mountain and we headed eastward around the mountain. And it was a real cold, cloudy day that day and looked like rain. So we kept hikin’ and hikin’ and didn’t find a place to camp over there on Navajo Mountain. Finally just… it was startin’to… getting ready to get dark, why here was a big cave on the side, only it had quite a sloping floor in it. And so we went in that one and had plenty of room to camp but we had to kind of scoop out a place to lay down. And, so we just got in that camp and got through with dinner and everything that night and it started pourin’ rain. Just poured and poured for two or three hours. And we was sure glad we had had a cave that night too. ‘Cause we didn’t have a tent or anything for rain gear hardly on the trip. So then the next day we got plumb on over to the east end of Navajo Mountain. And there was a… that’s where the trail goes northward down what they call Trail Canyon to the San Juan River. And there’s another trail that goes out further northward and goes up across Grey Mesa. And it’s just a little ways from… anyway the San Jaun River from there, it’s not very far over to the The Rincon. So we walked up over the mesa and down to The Rincon where the jeep was parked and come on back.

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