Oral Histories

Kent & Fern Frost


Kent & Fern Frost

Q1: So a lot of those roads went in before you started taking trips out there?

K: Yes, that’s how we got down into that Waterhole Flats, really, is on them miners’ roads, you see. And so they just prospected that country real seriously.

Q1: A lot of that happened before 1957?

K: Yeah, They did have a mine up there somewhere near the Dirty Devil River. I never was to it. But they was supposed to have some pretty good ore but, anyway, I don’t think they ever hauled any of it out.

Q1: They had a mine and we went and saw it with Ward Roylance this last summer in North Hatch, a little bit west of South Trail, Squaw Trail. Went back about seventy feet. I’d heard that a guy by the name of Simplot was in charge of that or initiated that mining effort and used the South Trail, or the Squaw Trail to get down there.

K: No, I never did know any of the miners, really.

Q1: You mentioned some stories of Butch Cassidy going into the Maze and hiding out in there. Did you ever see anything or evidence of his being in there?

K: Well, no, I never did see any evidence of that. And one old cowboy said that down there at Horse Canyon there was a cave that they, the old cowboys, had camped in. And they had a lot of names on the wall but I never did see the cave either in Horse Canyon. I was always looking for it. But I don‘t know if it’s still there or not. But, no, them are just kind of legends and stuff like that that you hear. That’s the only reason it was put in the book.

Q1: There’s that old stock trail that goes in at the head of Horse Canyon right at the Park boundary. Don’t know anything about the history of that trail or hear anything about that one?

K: Well, Art Ekkers said that the early…well, I guess, the rustlers made the trail down there so that they could put their stolen horses down there and let ‘em cool off for a few years before they brought ‘em out and sold ‘em and so on. And that’s the way other canyons around the country’s got their names too. They’d keep their extra horses in there and get some colts out of ‘em and stuff like that, I guess.

Q1: Well, there’s that big spring in Horse Canyon as you come out of South Fork and start heading down to the Pour-off. And there’s an inscription down there that reads “J. A.Y. died….” and I can’t remember the exact date.. March 16th (or something like that), 1896, so it’s a pretty old inscription. I imagine maybe that trail was in use back in that period.

K: Well, I’m sure it had. Seems like I’ve seen that inscription too.

Q1: It’s along the south side. I’d sure like to find out the story behind that one. Did you take trips into Horseshoe Canyon?

K: Oh yes. We did lots of our trips through there. We come from Green River and follow that old highway across there and then go into that Horseshoe Canyon and go up and see the big panel and go out the other side of Hans Flats and then on down the Flint Trail down to the Standing Rock country. We’d have that on our trip. And then finally the sand hill filled up full of sand on the west side of the canyon and you couldn’t go up that but we could still come down it. And so we did that for two or three years more. And then the Park Service took over about that time and closed up that west side and so we didn’t use it anymore.

Q1: Do you remember when that was? When they closed it off?

K: Oh, it’d probably be around 1965 or something. I think the last trip we made across there I’d probably have in one of my notebooks.

Q1: Did you ever hear of a canyon called Deer Canyon down in the Maze area?

K: Deer Canyon? I don’t think so.

Q1: Probably one of many names of things down there. Yeah well, as you start reading more about people writing histories about that area, they are calling things by all sorts of names.

F: I’ll tell you a story over there if you’re interested. I was here at home alone and Kent had gone on a trip to Standing Rocks. At 10 o’clock at night my phone rang and someone says “Mrs. Frost?” and I says, “Yes?” And he says, “Well, this is Dean Brimhall and I’m supposed to give you a message from Kent.” And I says, “Alright” and he says “Well, Kent is one mile south of Lizard Rock and he’s got a broken axle and he wants you to have one flown over to him.” And I says, “Okay.” Anyway we knew Dick Smith real well because he was a pilot and that. And I alerted Dick and told him what happened and so forth. And I called up down here to see if they had an axle . No, they didn’t have one. I called Moab, no. And Harry Randall he called Blanding and they didn’t. Harry Randall’s Kent’s cousin that had the Motor Park. And they called over to Cortez. They just couldn’t find an axle for that year of a Jeep. So anyway we hung up and I says to Harry, “This is July and they’ll be thirsted to death by the time we get something over there.” And he says “I can have it flown in by Frontier to Moab. And I says “When would that get done?” And he says, “Well, it’d come in tomorrow probably.” And I said, “ Well they’d be thirsted to death by that time” and I hung up. Pretty soon the phone rang again and it was this here cousin and he says, “Fern, I found two of those axles and they’re in Blanding.” I said, “Good. I’ll go down and get one.” So I went down and got this here axle and brought it up and went and got Dick Smith. And he wrapped the axle up in newspaper and gunny sac. And I put a piece of frozen meat in it and all that stuff. And anyway, he had a nylon parachute that was just about that big around. And he says, “We’ll put this on the axle when we drop it. Why, it should be able to come down. So he says, “I’m going over there alone so you might just as well fly over with me.” And I says, “okay, I’ll fly with you.” So we went over there and we found this little lonely Jeep over there about a mile south of Lizard Rock by one tree. And it was real hot that day. And he says, “Well, there they are.” We went flying by, we went up over this here rock cliff you know that goes over there west, and he says, “Well Fern, you can’t throw the axle out your window. I have to throw it out my window, so you hold your hand on the gas right here and when I tell you to push it, you push it in.” So here we come flying around and he threw the axle out and we went towards that cliff and I kept saying, “Now? Now?” But anyway he pushed in on my hand and we went zoomin’ up over that cliff. He says, “Well, now I want to throw out a note.” So we took a piece of typewriter paper and he put “Kent, if everything’s okay, sit in front of the Jeep. If it isn’t okay, write it in the sand.” So he went around and he didn’t have no weight, no folding or anything to that paper and he just threw it out the window. And I thought, “Oh no. That’ll be down in Cataract Canyon. This spring they’ll get it.” But we went flying and we went above this cliff again and when we come back there they was sitting in front of the Jeep. And he says, “ Well Fern, I’ve got a flight on this afternoon and I’ll check over see if they get off.” But Kent said they had broken a little piece of axle off, about two inches long or three and he worked with a piece of balin’ wire with a hook on it to get in there and pull that piece out and he got it out and he had that Jeep all ready to push that axle in. And he said, “I was gone 15 minutes after you got through.”

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