Oral Histories

Kent & Fern Frost


Kent & Fern Frost

Q1: Uh-huh. So when you went in and dynamited that last little bit…where was that? Could you point that out?

K: Where’s the spring at?

Q1: Well, here’s one of them. There are two springs and this would be the upper spring.

K: This would be the upper spring? Well, see this cove that;’s right here? It might be that cove right there, right at the head of that where the trail went.

Q1: Okay, I know that route. That’s kind of what I was thinking. And you cut some steps as well?

K: Well there’s a lot of natural steps going up the last part of it.

Q1: Oh those were there when you first went up it? Okay. So what was the story on the name of that?

K: Oh, about Jasper Canyon? Well I had tried several times to get into it and so I just said “Oh, that defies my efforts of getting in there” and so that’s why I called it that one, was all, the only reason.

F: And you sent it back to Washington and they agreed to it but then it came back Jasper Canyon.

K: Well, yeah, they accepted that name all right.

Q2: Did the cowboys have names for these places, do you know? A lot of times livestockmen will have names that don’t appear on maps anymore.

K: Well, I know that’s what happens. There’s a lot of things that have local names that aren’t on the maps. I tried to find the name that the local people call things but a lot of the times I’ll just go ahead and start calling them something else. Some might work.

Q1: Do you know how Shot Canyon got its name?

K: Well, yeah, Chaffin told me that they had to do a lot of blasting on that. And so they just blasted it out and every time they’d shoot out a shot, why, they’d make it a little bit closer to getting down there in the canyon. So that’s just from blasting is all. That’s how it got its name. Down here at the Doll House, I didn’t know if you’d found that and knew where that old camp was right before you get there. There’s an old cowboy camp there and there’s some old harnesses hanging in the tree and there’s this plow that they’d used to plow dirt out with, that was sitting there. And there was about twenty empty gallon wine jugs layin’ around there. And anyway, I had my trailer in there on one trip and so when we come back out I took that…loaded that plow on the trailer. And later I gave that to the National Park Service down there at Moab along with a lot of other stuff I’d found over in there. And they were supposed to give it to the Moab Museum. Well, you’re goin’ down the valley anyway and when you get down this valley here someplace…where it’s at…and it’s along on the left hand side of the road going into the country. But it’s when you’re going right down the bottom of the wash, just, oh probably a quarter of a mile or something after you enter into it. That’s where they had that camp. And it’s in where there‘s a lot of big pinon trees and stuff in there. And they had a dam across a little old gully to give water for their stock and things like that. And that was maybe a sheep camp.

Q1: How about the Golden Stairs? Did you use that at all?

K: No, I never did go on that. I didn’t have any occasion to and when we went on the regular trips we didn’t have very much time for exploring around. And so I didn’t need to walk them around.

Q1: Did you ever hear anything about the history of that?

K: Well, no, only that the stock men when they wanted to get over into Elaterite Basin they had that for…I guess it’d be kind of a shortcut goin’ over there. You’d think that the real rugged trail up through there would take more time than coming up to the head of that Range Canyon and out around on that Shinarump Rim to get in there, I don’t know. I guess it saved a few miles.

Q1: Yeah, it’s quite a ways around there. It used to appear on the old maps as a road, a jeep road and people were saying “Oh, it used to be but the Park closed it down.” As you know it could never have been. A lot of people wish it were, because it’d save a lot of time, driving around. So did you run into many miners down there on your trips in?

K: No, not really. They had explored all them Shinarump Rims pretty well. But I guess along about 1960 we were going over to the Standing Rocks on a trip and we come up through Hite. And I guess after we got about a mile from where the highway goes across there now, why here were two guys walking down towards us. And I think it was in August. It was real hot weather. And, we asked ‘em where they was goin’, oh, they was goin’ to Farmington, New Mexico, that’s where our boss is. And they was real mad at their boss because he had left them up there somewhere near the Dirty Devil River at Fiddler Canyon or one of them. And he was supposed to be back in four days and he hadn’t showed up for about a week so they run out of food so they were wlking back out. And so, anyway, we opened up a watermelon there and set there and ate that and we filled up their jugs with water and they went on down and hitchhiked back to Farmington. And we went over to Standing Rocks area. But anyway, I guess that was the main people we’ve seen that had mining interests there.

Read the other Oral Histories