Primary Subject: Park Service
And then after that we did run a lot of our commercial trips to the Standing Rock country. And in our tour business we generally had 6-day camping trips scheduled and we’d generally take a circle route – take in a big part of the country around on a 6 day trip. And we did get a lot of good people. And at that time the only ones who’d think about going on that kind of a trip were the ones who were interested in getting out and seeing new country. And they were able to explore places where there hadn’t been lots of people going before also. And so we did start up a business and we enjoyed it and we run that Kent Frost Canyonland tours for 25 years before we retired.
Sure, there were a lot of people who wanted someone to guide them to things like the Mastodon, to guide them to Park Avenue. The entrance road did not switchback up behind the rock house in those days and it was quite a hike to Park Avenue. So I was often hired to carry their water, or their cameras to Double O or to Delicate or elsewhere as well as guide the clients. In those days it was quite primitive and the Moab area was very different compared to what visitors had experienced elsewhere. Also the visitors were probably 50+ . During these outings I perfected the ability to walk backwards on the trails and talk to the visitors I was guiding.
… And the helicopter pilot had come in from the north and he saw some activity down below so he dipped down and this man was down there waving to him. So they set down and picked up the injured hiker who had made himself a crutch and had a broken leg and they brought him in and sat him right at the back door before the posse had a chance to go out. Well, that was a celebration. We all ate ham sandwiches for breakfast. I might add that a helicopter landing strip had been improvised and when the copter ignored it and landed at the Visitors’ Center, I said, “How do we expect him to find a lost hiker when he can’t even find the landing strip?” My face is still red.
Yes, they were gung-ho days because Moab was full of people who wanted to get things done. They were fairly well educated and the locals had always wanted a museum. They recognized the fact that their history was kind of important and different than the rest of Utah. One of the schoolteachers was head of a committee called Bootstraps that initiated the museum by setting up another committee. Charlie Steen had just built his mill out there in 1956. I did a lot of work myself. I remember crawling under the floor, propping up the weak spots. The Rotary Club – well, it’s in the Legacy. How Marian worked sponsoring the museum. She got the gals going cataloguing and accessions.
I did everything, ranching, farming and a lot of cowboying. That’s one reason he hired me. The first year I worked for him, he got 450 of those Mexican steers, longhorns. It was quite interesting; twelve carloads of them came into the stockyards at DeBeque on the train. We branded them before we took them out of the yard, so he got my dad and my half-brother to help us – there were about 4 or 5 of us. We were going to run them through the chutes at the stockyards to brand them. They were so skinny and thin we couldn’t hold them in the chutes so we had to down every one of them and brand them. It was a 3 or 4 day job getting that many branded.