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Genius Loci: I'm getting ready to move out of the area, and will no longer be able to maintain this cache. Thanks to all who came to visit!

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The DEATHTRAP

A cache by Genius Loci Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 03/27/2003
Difficulty:
3 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

A short walk; but take care and be very discreet, this can be a busy area. Not a good cache for children, pets, or newbies.

For years it ensnared visitors from across the country and around the world, maiming dozens, and bringing the lives of nine victims to an untimely and violent end. Finally, the good people of Illinois decided enough was enough. Since then, the tragedies have been all but forgotten, save by those whose lives were altered forever by what locals referred to in hushed voices as - 'the Deathtrap'.

Unlike earthquakes, tornadoes, or other natural terrors, the hand of God had little to do with the creation of this monstrosity. Rather, it was spawned and nurtured in the lap of human hubris, pride and technology. A brainchild of the post WW II automotive boom and the 1950's Federal Highway Administration, the 'Edens Superhighway, Roadway of the Future' thrust three lanes of asphalt boldly northwards from downtown Chicago, without need for railway crossings, level intersections with other roads, or traffic signals. It depended upon controlled access via cloverleaf interchanges and merging lanes to allow very high speed, yet safe travel, and it worked. Although modern man must still slave within the skyscraper canyons to earn his daily bread, he was free at last to raise his family far from the madding crowd in the Elysian fields to the north.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, but where the Edens Expressway ended, it didn't just peter out slowly. Instead of gently narrowing itself from three down to two lanes and choking the speed limit gradually, it cut its own throat abruptly on an unexpected level crossing with miniscule Clavey Road. A driver (hurtling along the nation's superhighway network north from Memphis) might speed nonstop over 500 miles, pass through the Chicago metropolis, and never encounter a single traffic light - until the Clavey cowpath. Lulled into a daze by the regular passage of the hours and miles, all too often he'd fail to notice a red signal at Clavey, and plow his vehicle head-on into stopped traffic at sixty mph.

The Deathtrap had been born, and immediately began to claim its toll in smashed machinery and mangled lives. It's reputation as 'an accident waiting to happen' soon put it on the list of Illinois' most dangerous intersections, and public outcry demanded that something be done. Extra warning signs, garish flashers, rumble strips and strobe stop lights were installed in a futile attempt to alert drivers to the danger, but the massacre didn't end until the level crossing was replaced with an overpass in 1990.

Today, north and southbound drivers continue unimpeded, blissfully unaware as they fly past the site of this grim killing ground. The old intersection is marked only by this geocache and the handmade roadside memorials, fading gradually into the landscape, which remain as testimonials to those whose lives came to such a tragic end here years ago.

Should you choose to visit, you'll find safe parking at 42 09.639N by 87 48.282W. From there, it's a short and easy walk to the cache. Leave Rover in the car and keep a watchful eye open for passing traffic; this is not a cache for unattended children. Although it's certainly not a micro, the container is not as large as some, so bring smaller items if you plan to trade. Spend a thoughtful moment of respectful silence in memory of those who died so needlessly here, and be sure to sign the log book, thankful that 'the Deathtrap' has been sprung forever.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Rl xnlag nuyjnnm fcry frj thq...

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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