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'D' Is For Desert Phone Booth

A cache by Buxley Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 5/5/2001
Difficulty:
3 out of 5
Terrain:
3.5 out of 5

Size: Size: virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:

Fourth in a series of alphabetic caches and my first virtual cache. Pack your water bottles and follow these coordinates to the site of the world-famous (and now lost) Mojave Desert Phone Booth.

The late, great Mojave Desert Phone Booth
Credit: Lara Hartley/Staff Photographer Desert Dispatch.
This is a VIRTUAL cache--you will not find a log book or trinkets at the given latitude and longitude. The National Park Service has said that they do not want caches located in parks and, until they change their policy, it's pointless to place a physical cache here; it would just disappear in the night the way the phone booth did. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful spot amid the Joshua trees and I think you will enjoy the journey regardless of whether or not there's an ammo box waiting when you get here. I certainly did!

The Mojave phone booth was originally installed during World War II for the use of miners living in the region. It was periodically updated and kept functioning, despite having its windows shot out at least once, for over fifty years--a lone spot of civilization in the middle of the southern California desert. In the late 1990s, the phone booth was discovered by the world. Web sites sprang up, most notably the Deuce of Club's original site. Even NBC Nightly News ran a story about the phone booth. People around the world started calling (760) 733-9969 and the phone started ringing 24 hours a day. Many expeditions of people went into the heart of the Mojave just to have phone answering parties that lasted well into (and sometimes through) the night. Ultimately, the phone booth became a victim of its own popularity and was removed by either the National Park Service or by the Phone Company in May of 2000. I guess people were having too much fun there or something.

The coordinates listed above specify the exact location of where the phone booth once stood--you can still see some shards of glass from the broken booth windows scattered about. Two wires descend from the telephone pole and end a few feet off the ground. Someone has even taken a hatchet and chopped half-way through the telephone pole. When I was there, a previous visitor had left two phones and a small vase of dried flowers as a memorial to the missing booth. Feel free to bring something similar if you wish.

One of the web pages for the phone booth has some photos taken several years ago by a camera in the nose of a small rocket. They're definitely worth taking a look. Unfortunately, the owner lost the rocket after its last flight when it landed "roughly southwest of the booth, maybe 300 yards out." I tried looking for the rocket myself (I projected a waypoint to N 35° 16.998 W 115° 40.955 and searched there) but didn't find it. Maybe you'll have better luck than I did.

Travelers advisory: Bring water! The most direct route to the cache is from the north, although I recommend a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you pick this route due to loose sand on the road up to a foot deep in spots. Two-wheel drive vehicles shouldn't have too much difficulty coming in from the west although you'll have a longer drive on unpaved roads. More details in the encrypted hints section below. Oh yes: Bring water!

Other caches in this series: 'A' Is For Alum, 'B' Is For Beachhead, 'C' Is For Cave Dwellers, 'E' Is For Expedition, 'F' Is For Faultline, 'G' Is For Ghost Town, and 'H' Is For Highpoint.

Enjoy the trek! I look forward to reading the logs.

Cache on!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Sebz gur abegu, sbhe-jurry qevir iruvpyrf pna gnxr gur Pvzn Ebnq rkvg bss V-15. Ghea evtug bagb gur hacnirq ebnq nobhg na rvtugu bs n zvyr fbhgu bs gur serrjnl. Gjb-jurry qevir iruvpyrf fubhyq unir na rnfvre gvzr bs vg vs gurl gnxr gur Xryonxre Ebnq rkvg bss V-15 ng Onxre. Geniry nobhg avargrra zvyrf ba gur cnirq ebnq gura ghea yrsg bagb gur hacnirq ebnq. Gung jvyy trg lbh cbvagrq va gur evtug qverpgvba, ohg lbh'yy fgvyy unir fbzr rkcybevat gb qb. Zncf bs gur Zbwnir Angvbany Cerfreir ner ninvynoyr va gur gbja bs Onxre, haqre gur jbeyq'f gnyyrfg gurezbzrgre. Ab, V qvqa'g znxr gung hc... =) Unir sha!

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



 

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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