Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Desert Folks: Jack Mitchell - Mitchell Caverns

Living at the Caverns

Living at the caverns was to be Jack and Ida's second honeymoon. "Two Lovers Shipwrecked on a Deserted Island." They would live in the desert where, "the coyote's mating call would be our lullaby to sing us to sleep each night." Ida's first order of business for Jack was for him to build her a proper powder room, an outhouse, with a door. Jack set himself to work and did what he had to do to keep Ida happy even though the nearest neighbors were more than ten miles away and would interrupt her privacy anyway. After the shelter was finished Ida would get in there and start filling out order forms from Sears & Roebuck buying all kinds of things she felt they needed. Jack wouldn't have it.
    Once I built her the outhouse she'd get in there and start her mail order shopping. To distract her I'd throw handfuls of pebbles at the privy. The noise would make enough of a racket to keep her distracted. After awhile I made me a little bean shooter and would use the diamond-shaped vent hole in the door as a target. Every time I made a bull's eye she'd let out a yell. I didn't mind that as much as I would have if she bought whatever she wanted.
As time went on the honeymooners built a cabin out of rock from the area. Jack blasted and dug out a trail along the side of the mountain that helped cut down the time it took to hike from the cabin to the caverns. It was exhausting work but saved a lot of time and effort for what it took to make the trail. Jack got a story out of the endeavor to boot.
    One night I was pretty beat up and tired from blasting and clearing rock and was too tired to take a couple young fellows on a tour. It was getting dark, and they looked like an alright sort, so I told them to go ahead by themselves. I told them the entrance is the second tunnel and there were some flashlights they could use in a box. So they took off and I sat down to have myself dinner. Well, they must have forgot that I told them to make sure they went to the second opening; it was dark and they went into the first instead. One of them reached into the box and grabbed what felt like a flashlight. When he couldn't find the switch to get the light to turn on, the other kid struck a match only to find that the first was holding a stick of the dynamite I'd been using to blast away rock. They ran all the way back to their car and drove off whooping and hollering about how I was trying to kill them.


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Mitchell Caverns

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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