RIP Death Valley pay phones

Death Valley related discussion
Post Reply
User avatar
Candace_66
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 907
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:47 am
Location: Las Vegas

RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by Candace_66 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:14 pm

First they took out the radiator water tanks. Now, in another nod to progress, the Death Valley pay phones are gone. :bawling: ;-)

I don't know about you, but over the years I spent some quality time at the ones in FC and SW. Particularly when there was no cell service available at all. Or when my particular phone/plan wouldn't allow me to call any number other than 911.

I didn't take a pic of it, but all that remains of the pay phone at the Emigrant Campground is the black metal stand the phone was attached to. I think that one disappeared awhile ago.

The phones at the side of the Stovepipe Wells General Store disappeared more recently, IIRC they still existed the last time I was there (earlier this year):


Image

The ones at FC are long gone, their site completely reworked for the fancy new courtyard seating area set up as part of the recent renovations:

Image
Image

Last and not least (though this site is barely in the Valley), there was a phone at the vault toilets/entrance kiosk along Hwy 190 on the east side of the Park. But that is also gone.

Image

So alas, now if I need to make a non-emergency phone call, I am rather out of luck. Because I currently have a non-contract AT&T phone that doesn't play with the towers/provider in DV. Needless to say, I also have no internet access, unless I can get some wifi from one of the facilities in the Park. So no Facebook posts from DVNP summits, but sometimes it is nice when other people can't readily reach me. :D

A few years ago, AT&T Wireless proposed setting up a cell on Rogers Peak, but I don't know what became of that idea.

User avatar
Gowergulch42
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 712
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:41 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by Gowergulch42 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:19 pm

As far as Rogers goes, I have some (possibly outdated) intel on that. As of 2016, their use permit was in the pipeline to maintain their lease atop the mountain. From what I was told, the permit was simply to hold the spot and the tower up there, and would require another permitting process to re-install a transmitter. While it would be convenient for the valley, I would hate to be deep in the forks of Hanaupah and have cell service.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

TrailHound
Grubstaker
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:22 pm

Re: RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by TrailHound » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:06 am

Wow! I used those phones - end of an era.

User avatar
Death Valley Dazed
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 606
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:24 pm
Location: Utah

And so more history happens

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:12 am

Candace, thanks for the detailed report and photos documenting a bygone era. Who knows what will be happening in the park one hundred years from now?
Life begins in Death Valley

geomapmaker
Jayhawker
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:21 am

Re: RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by geomapmaker » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:29 pm

i once used a phone at dv junction. that had no dial. just picked up phone operator came on and asked 4 number to call collect. she asked where i was sign said death valley #2. it worked. don't know where death valley #1 was

User avatar
Death Valley Dazed
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 606
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:24 pm
Location: Utah

Re: RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:36 am

geomapmaker wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:29 pm
i once used a phone at dv junction. that had no dial.
How long ago was this, geomapmaker?
Life begins in Death Valley

geomapmaker
Jayhawker
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:21 am

Re: RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by geomapmaker » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:11 am

i would guess around 1970. it was on a wall across from opera house

User avatar
MojaveGeek
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 2003
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:22 pm
Location: Boston

Re: RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by MojaveGeek » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:45 am

Indeed, I'd used all those phones over the years. As part of my research I had built systems to read me email (but only the important stuff) using text-to-speech, and it could also grab weather forecasts (this was long before the Web, and used Telnet with anonymous login get that info). I accessed it from the various DV payphones, and of course also used them to call family when I was off on a trip, or to check back in after a multi-day backpack.

As for the dial-less phone, I encountered one with the number, IIRC, Lida Junction #2, in about 1990 when I was heading over to Dyer to meet someone and go into the White Mtns.

User avatar
ETAV8R
Grubstaker
Posts: 206
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:25 am

Re: RIP Death Valley pay phones

Post by ETAV8R » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:01 am

Is the one at Grapevine Ranger Station still intact? It was operational this past April when I was out that way.

Post Reply