Oral Histories

Kent & Fern Frost


Kent & Fern Frost

Q2: So, before Canyonlands, when Bates was down there looking..

K: Yeah, that was several years before it was made a National Park.

Q2: Were the BLM people out of Price, do you remember? I’m curious about that.

K: About what?

Q2: Where were the BLM people from, do you know?

K: I don’t know. They was probably from the Moab office, I don’t know just where.

Q1: Was there a guy from Utah Highway Department there too?

K: Well, no it would be the Utah State Parks and Recreation Department, I think. They went with us on several promotion and advertising trips into the Needles and around places like that too. And also the Utah Fish and Game Commission would be represented quite often on some of them promotional trips for publicity.

Q1: Did the trail that you followed from Range Canyon to Lizard Rock, did it connect up with the Spanish Bottom Trail at all? Was there a connection?

K: Well, yes, everything kind of led right to that Spanish Bottom Trail. And I have always thought that that was the real route that the Spaniards used. And Pearl Baker, she was raised over there in the Robbers Roost country and she knew a lot of the old outlaws and a lot of the early history of the country and she always swore that it was the Spanish Trail, you know and they used it a lot as an alternate route. And she did a lot of research on it. And she gave me a copy of, I think, most of her research on that Spanish Trail. And let’s see… it would come out over Elephant Hill Country and joined up with the other one went up through Dry Valley and Hatch Wash and East Canyon. Or else it could split off and go over on the Elk Mountain country and down through there also.

Q1: Did you ever find anything, that maybe the Spaniards had left behind or did you see any Spanish inscriptions anywhere along the trail or in the area.

K: Well, yes, I was down there and going around from the Flint Trail around towards Teapot Rock and we stopped to look into the head of Range Canyon so they could take some pictures of that big view out across the country southward and one of the folks from Denver Colorado picked up a piece of pottery about an inch in diameter or something like that. And it was brown color and it looked entirely different than any of the Anasazi pottery or anything like that so he took it back to Denver with him. And he was curious about it so he took it to the Denver Museum. And they said that it was Spanish pottery that had been made long about the 1500 era. And it was about the size enough to have made a drinking cup, you know, a mug, something like that or something. And that’s the only thing we’ve ever found that would connect back that far. But you see the Spaniards used that Spanish Trail from around 1600 on until 1840. There was lots of traffic on it at all times.

Q1: Do you remember the guy’s name that found that?

K: Oh yeah, his name was Yash Oka and he is a Japanese. But I think he lives at Page, Arizona now. And he went on a lot of different trips with us. And he also did a lot of river trips through Cataract Canyon and places like that.

Q1: Do you happen to know if that pottery is still at the Denver Museum?

K: Well, I don’t know what. I’ve never talked to him since I got so curious about it. I’ve never seen him since then. But I would like to stop in Page and see him some day and find out what happened to that piece of pottery.

Q1: Did you hear any stories about any other people finding anything along there left by the Spaniards or…?

K: Well, not really. But just recently, the last few days, why I heard that this Don Burge whose in charge of the Price Museum of Natural History was just recently out on the San Rafael Swell and lookin’ around on the Spanish Trail area and they found a lot of metal artifacts – a gun barrel, a piece of armor, and parts of other equipment that could be connected to the old Spaniards.

Q1: Was there any… um…when you first went into that country, any roads dropping down into the Elaterite Basin and out toward the Maze Overlook? Or did that come later?

K: Well, down at the foot of Flint Trail they did take a drilling rig down there to drill for oil. That was way back in the… I guess in 1920s or something. There was two of these here drill bits, you know, they was about six inches in diameter or something. And probably about 8 or 10 feet long. And they were layin’ right by the side of the road right at the foot of the Flint Trail that they had left there. And I never did see where that derrick was at. But Arthur Ekker said that it was in the canyon right there, just a little ways below the rim. But other than that I didn’t know… I didn’t ever see it.

Q1: Well, there’s a road that drops from…well where the Flint Trail goes down and levels off a little bit then on the Shinerump then drops down over the rim and into the main fork of Big Water Canyon. Was that built by that oil company in the 1920s or is that something from the mining of uranium?

K: Well I don’t know except that old steam boiler is layin’ down there on that North Canyon Trail where it goes out.

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