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Cacher of the Month - June 2005
- How did you find out about Geocaching?
- When did you start Geocaching?
- What was it about Geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
- At the time of this survey, how many finds/hides to your name do you have?
- How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
- What is your favorite caching story?
- What are some things you don't like about Geocaching/pet peeves?
- Do you prefer finding or hiding? Why?
- What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
- Have you ever introduced someone to Geocaching? If so, who?
- What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
- What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
- What is the most memorable Travel Bug that you have found?
- What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
- As a member of the MBGA what do you expect from our committee members?
- What benefits do you see coming from Geocaching as compared to before starting this sport?
- What would you like to see in the summer for as events go, type, styles, bbq's, car rallies?
- If you have learned one thing from Geocaching what would it be?
- What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find)?
- You live in one of the world’s largest metropolitan centres. How is geocaching in New York different from geocaching in Manitoba?
After spending the summer (2000) doing GPS fieldwork for Ducks Unlimited in Minnesota, I wanted to get a GPS unit of my own. I had no idea what I’d use it for, but I wanted one anyway. I searched the Internet for information on GPS units and came across the Geocaching.com site. I thought that sounded really cool and wanted to join, but the GPS units were several hundred dollars at the time. Having just finished school, my finances were a bit tight, so I didn’t order one right away. There was a great deal of information in the forums about what type of GPS unit to buy. At the time, the two most popular ones were the Garmin 12 and the Magellan 315. I was leaning toward the Garmin unit since one person had wrote that it seemed to be more rugged than the Magellan one.
I finally ordered a GPS unit in March 2002.
It was a Garmin eTrex Legend that I found on eBay for $150. I found my first cache the day it arrived – March 29, 2002. Two days later, I signed up as a premium member of the Geocaching.com site – I knew I was hooked!
Originally, it was the opportunity to use the GPS technology. I also love the outdoors and enjoy hiking. Geocaching is the perfect combination of these two hobbies. I moved to Rochester, New York in October 2000, so it was also a great way for me to get to know the area and to explore the many parks and trails. Now that I’ve been caching for more than 3 years, I’d have to say it’s more about the people. I have made many new friends through this game and enjoy getting together with them to go caching.
1200+ finds (not sure of the exact number since I still have about 100 caches to log from my recent trip to Florida for GeoWoodstock III) and 28 hides.
By now, almost all of my family and friends have dragged out on at least one geocaching hunt with me. Many of them now have their own accounts (mom – The Old Bat; brother – Marvin From Mars; niece – Geo Kitten; aunt – Sour Puss; friends – Cranky Pants, I’m Always Lost, Sinful Squarepants, Belgian_b_baler, and HypieJim)
When I was in Winnipeg for Christmas last year, we found the key for the
Quest for Kingdom Cache. I only had a couple days left in the ‘Peg, so we figured we’d better go after the cache while we could. This was easier said than done since there was about 2 feet of new fallen snow on the ground. The Old Bat (mom) had recently twisted her knee, so she wasn’t up for the trek, but my niece (Geo Kitten) and I hiked through the knee-deep snow for a third of a mile to go look for the cache. We dug through the snow for quite a while, but came up empty. My niece was complaining that her feet were cold so we gave up the search and headed back to the car. The next day (my last day in the City) we went back again. This time, we took the cross-country skis to get out to the area. My niece (age 9) had never tried skiing before, so it was fun to watch her try to get her balance. Didn’t take long, and she was skiing like a pro. We got lucky this time, as I just happened to kick into a log that seemed suspicious. Called my niece over and we dug through the snow to find the cache! It gave us a real sense of accomplishment to find that cache and was a wonderful way to spend some quality time with my niece.
My pet peeve is people that list parking coordinates in the encrypted hint. I don’t look at the hints unless I can’t find the cache – then I’ll decrypt it to see if it helps. By that time, it’s way too late to tell me where I should have parked the car!
I prefer hiding. I enjoy reading the logs from people that find my caches. Generally my caches are easy ones that everyone can find – hopefully in a location they will enjoy visiting. One of my favourite hides is
World Peace, located at the St. Norbert Arts Centre. I enjoy reading the logs from people that visit the Ruins for the first time to log that cache.
That would have to be the Walk with Giants cache. It’s located in a place called Griffis Sculpture Park in Ashford Hollow, NY. This park contains over 200 large sculptures by an artist named Larry Griffis, Jr. It’s one of those places that I never would have known about if not for geocaching.
See question 5
I am constantly searching for the perfect geocaching backpack – that would be something small with lots of pockets. When I use a larger backpack, I fill it with too much stuff and end up leaving it in the car, rather than carrying it with me to the cache. The main things I carry with me are my GPS, PDA, digital camera, cell phone, wallet, junglehair stamp, FRS radios, compass, mirror, gloves, pens, zip lock bags, spare log books, trade items and water/bug spray in the summer.
Most often I pull out my digital camera and pretend to be taking pictures of something.
There was a travelbug named On Chan that wanted to go to events. On Chan is the mascot for a TV station in Japan apparently. He attended several events around New York before making the trek down to Florida for GeoWoodstock III. I’ll keep that one on my watch list to see where he goes from there. Another interesting travelbug is Cindy the Cinderblock, which I was able to stamp at an event last summer. I’m glad I didn’t have to carry THAT one around! It’s interesting to see it with all the signatures from various geocachers across the country.
I always like finding people’s signature items. One of my favourite items was the Manitoba coin that I think 1queenand4jokers left in their Quest for the Kingdom Cache.
I was happy to see an organization formed in Manitoba. I would like to see the committee members organize events to bring the local geocachers together, and to work to promote geocaching throughout Manitoba.
The biggest benefit for me was the opportunity to make many new friends in the area. When I first moved to Rochester, New York, I didn’t know anyone. This was a great way for me to meet people and I now have many close friends here. Now that I am President of the New York Geocaching Organization (NYGO), it seems that everyone knows who I am. Almost every event I go to, someone will walk up to me and say: “You must be junglehair”.
I prefer bbq type events where everyone gets a chance to mingle. Events like car rallies are fun, but you don’t really get the opportunity to spend much time with the other geocachers. I really hope to make it home for one of these events so I can meet the other cachers in Manitoba.
Mark your car! Or be forced to figure out the track back feature on your GPS like I did at Hawthorn
There was a cache here in New York called Truly Evil. It was rated 4.5/4.5 and truly deserved that rating. It was located in Letchworth State Park, which is dubbed the Grand Canyon of the East. This was a four part multi-cache with some parts being mentally challenging and others being physically challenging. It took 4 attempts to finish all the parts to that cache.
First of all, I live in Rochester, which is located in Western New York. It’s only slightly bigger than Winnipeg and is a good 6-hour drive away from New York City. It is an area with a high cache concentration though – over 2500 caches within 100 miles of my apartment. It seems that most of the prime locations for caches have been taken, so many of the new caches are micros. It’s easy to pick up 20 caches in a day, but you seem to miss out on the nice hikes through scenic areas.