Oral Histories

Kent & Fern Frost


Kent & Fern Frost

Q1: Did you take Dean Brimhall down there?

K: Well, I was down there quite a while before Dean Brimhall. And I told him how to get over into that part of Horse Canyon. And he went down there and I guess he couldn’t follow my trail I went on, so he took some ladders down and made some ladders over two or three ledges to get down into the place where I came up. But with Goldmans we hiked across from the Doll House area into one of the canyons that drain over into Horse Canyon and we came out down there just below the Chocolate Drops on that canyon and then we seen The Harvest Scene also while we were down in there. And then from there we hiked up the main canyon that goes around below Elaterite Basin that drains from Lizard Rock and Standing Rock down into that part of Horse Canyon. We hiked in all them little canyons that branch in that direction. And then we hiked down the main Horse Canyon to where it pours off into the Green River on that trip. And anyway they were good hikers and we’d go lots of miles in them days.

Q1: That’s a lot of miles.

K: We did a lot of exploring. I was always interested in those old stock trails going through the country. So I’d get on one of them and find out how to go from one section of the country over into the other. And that’s the way I got into the Water Canyon and that part of the Maze the first time, was following that trail that went down below Beehive Arch and right on down in and around. And the National Park Service trail now it doesn’t follow the horse trail which is an easy route getting on over to Water Canyon.

Q1: I’ve been trying to get them to change that. That might happen one of these days.

K: Well, I’ve just wondered what the reason was why they did go that route unless they couldn’t find the other way.

Q1: That was it, they couldn’t find the other one. They didn’t know the country very well.

K: Well, Owen Severance, I thought he was the one that laid out a lot of them trails for the Park Service. And he knew about that because he went on a hiking trip with us over to Water Canyon on one trip.

Q1: Well that trail was “officially” established in ’86 by some people from the Resource Management Division of Canyonlands and a District Ranger, Ed Forner, and they went and did an archeological clearance along the trail and established it as an official trail which was to be maintained. But they did miss quite a bit of the old stock trail. I agree it’s much easier.

Q2 (Bill): I have a question. Did you drive into Standing Rocks and then hike over to the Doll House or did you guys actually drive?

K: Well we drove right on down into there. We camped, just before you go around that last pour-off down the canyon and then when you get down it you can drive around into the Doll House there. We camped just above there. And we hiked in that area the first trip down. And it was later that somebody else extended the jeep trail down over that there steep place and on down into the Doll House. But we didn’t make that first trip in there, that jeep trail.

Q2: Also when Lert went in, apparently he went off the big ridge and down into North Hatch and then into Waterhole, and I was just curious did you know if that was the main road before the Flint Trail was upgraded or….?

K: The first two or three trips we went down into that country we went off from The Big Ridge down at Land’s End they called it and they called it the South Trail or Squaw Trail. But it washed out later and then it became impassable. In fact we were down there on a jeep trip, Fern and I, with another person, when a big storm come through. And anyway we could see the lightning down over Navajo Mountain just as it was getting dark. And we camped just a little bit south of that one called Standing Rock out there. So we, uh, ..I don’t know, we drove out there on that so we could camp on smooth rock. And we thought that would be a good place to camp. But anyway we got everything ready and went to bed. And then all of a sudden we could hear thunder in the distance. Just great, rumbling thunder, almost continuous. And then about that time why (it was a dark black night) and about that time why, here was all these… a whole flock of pinyon jays were up above, flyin’ around in the sky there in the middle of the night time. This was about two or three hours after dark. And these pinyon jays were flyin’ around, and here’s almost light, continuous light, from the lightning. And by that time we were getting up. And so we just threw our sleeping bags over the back of the old jeep. And we didn’t roll ‘em up or anything. We just threw ‘em over there and put the canvas on and lashed it down real quick and went back over to Standing Rock. And it just poured rain and poured rain. And we were in that little overhang and we had good protection down underneath that Standing Rock. And then the next day we went back out and went up that Squaw trail, (that was the only way that we’d been using at that time), and went up it. But the road had been cut out and there was a great big gully right along the edge of the wall and it left just a little island of dirt up between the big gully and the drop-off. And I went up along it about ..oh, a hundred feet I guess, just barely wide enough to keep that jeep on that one. And went up that one. And then there was a boulder slid down into the road and we had to dig out from behind the boulder so we could go around it that way because there wasn’t room to get around to the outside of the boulder. And went up that one. And then another boulder we had to do the same way on only it wasn’t so big so it didn’t take so long to make the road around the inside of it. And then we finally got up on top and camped there that night. And anyway, it rained a little bit that night on us too. And anyway settin’ there under a tree with a box of dynamite. It had a piece of tarpaper over the top of it. So anyway I fired into that with my .22 and set it off so somebody wouldn’t get foolin’ around the dynamite and it made a big bang. We went on up then and we got to that Twin Corral Flats where we got in a lot of flooded out area. And we had to make great big detours in several places to get up on the ground that wasn’t full of quicksand and great big gullies and stuff like that at Twin Corral Flats. And so we finally come out at Hanksville and we found out that there had been a flood down on the Dirty Devil River of 19,000 second feet [cubic feet per second] of water. It had just come out of that one rain storm. And after we got to there we went down and crossed the Hite ferry and on back to Monticello. But anyway we found out also that that same storm came up all the way kind of along the Colorado River towards Moab and flooded out Moab and went right on through the country. And then another time while I was down in there also here come a big storm up from Navajo Mountain right on following the Colorado River up. And we were at that Cove Canyon at that time. And it poured and poured on us and we just got across Cove Canyon before the flood came down it. But anyway going from there on down around to Hite it hadn’t especially flooded that part of the country. It hadn’t rained there. But anyway, after I got back from that trip why I found out that that big rainstorm had continued on up to Moab and flooded everything around there also. I thought that was quite interesting about the area.

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