Cacher of the Month - August 2005

MLKoop

MLKoop
The M in MLKoop
  1. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  2. I was browsing through an outdoor magazine in our local library when I came across an article about geocaching. We’re always on the lookout for interesting spots to go hiking and this looked like a good source of ideas. I looked up the Geocaching website, recognized the potential and started researching GPSrs immediately.

  3. When did you start Geocaching?
  4. We logged our first find on April 26, 2003. We actually started by going to the Assiniboine Park and looking for the Courts Cache. Of course it had been muggled. Not a great start. Next we went to Beaudry Park were we successfully located The Last of the Manitoba ENTS. We tried to find the other nearby cache, The Big Stick, but all we could find was a large pile of sawdust. Fortunately, The Big Stick was in another tree.

  5. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  6. We enjoy hiking and exploring. Geocaching provided us with an almost limitless ideas and places to go. Not only was there a wide variety of caches located nearby, but caches are located almost everywhere you might wish to travel. When traveling, you need to rely on brochures advertising mainly tourist traps, caches are usually set in locations of interest to local people. These are the places we like to visit.

  7. How do you describe the sport of geocaching to your family and friends who haven’t tried it yet?
  8. It’s hard to describe, but the closest thing that people would understand is scavenger hunts, but with a lot of high tech gadgets involved.

  9. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  10. My most memorable cache would be the Untouchable one, which I didn’t actually find. I spent a lot of time researching that one, then teamed up with Stuntman. The really interesting part was listening to MI trying to explain why we shouldn’t actually attempt to find the cache when he realized we were serious about taking a shot at it.

    Our most memorable and enjoyable cache as a team was another cache by MI called Manitoba Minutia. We started early in the morning, jockeyed back and forth with a number of other cachers for the lead. We were almost ready to give up when we spotted the second to last stage. This was also were we first met Peter and Gloria which is almost an event in itself.

  11. What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
  12. In June of 2003, we hiked along the abandoned railway line in the Myra Canyon near Kelowna. We found a number of caches along this route. The railway trestles we crossed along the way were destroyed in the forest fires two months later. They had been there for 70 or 80 years. If it hadn’t been for Geocaching, we wouldn’t have known about the trestles and had the opportunity to see them before they were gone.

  13. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  14. There are so many stories, but the best ones seem to revolve around one of MI’s caches. Finding the Manitoba Minutia micro in the Assiniboine Forest after Peter decided to go for supper, the barbeque in Nopiming Park after slogging through the swamps all day or listening to MI telling us how difficult the Untouchable really was. (He was right).

  15. What are some things you don’t like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
  16. Urban caches. I’m always worried that some muggle will spot me and that it’ll be my fault if the cache will be gone the next time someone goes looking for it. For me, it’s always a relief when someone finds the cache after I’ve been there. Especially if that some one is Ertyu.

  17. Who do you normally cache with?
  18. Maryann and I have done most of our caches together. Occasionally, family members come with us. My Mom is actually quite fanatical about caching.

  19. Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, whom?
  20. Geocaching frequently crops up in conversations with other people. People at work are always asking about any finds during the past weekend. My sister actually bought a GPSr. Her daughter in law was always trying to get her son to go for walks. Now that there is a techie angle to going on a hike, getting him out doors is much easier.

  21. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  22. I have a Garmin eTrex Summit. The barometric altimeter makes hiking the mountains more informative. I’d really like to get a GPSMAP 60CS.

  23. What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
  24. Acting like a tourist and asking questions about the surroundings sometimes works if we get cornered some place. Taking a lot of pictures doesn’t hurt. You need to wear clothes that blend in with the surroundings. On one occasion, TurdleEggs drove right by me and never noticed.

  25. What type/ size/ difficulty / Terrain do you prefer?
  26. I prefer more difficult terrain like you would find in the Whiteshell (or Nopiming) Parks. We have done quite a few caches in BC that have higher difficulty levels. On some of these hikes, Maryann has expressed a sincere desire to be somewhere else. With urban caches, you spend most of your time trying to avoid detection and very little time hiking.

  27. Do you see this sport getting bogged down by rules and regulations in the future?
  28. Unfortunately yes. The more geocaching is known about the more red tape will be created. I hope that the creation of the Manitoba Geocaching Association and others around Canada and the U.S. will help to educate and preserve the game.

  29. As a geocaching family what benefits do you see coming from geocaching as compared to before starting this sport?
  30. Our kids are older and don’t routinely come along with us on the hunts. However, it is an activity that covers a wide range of interests. Geocaching provides a commonality that fosters discussions not only with members of our immediate family, but with others. It is the ultimate conversation piece.

  31. What would you like to see in the fall for as events go?
  32. A car rally might be good, although we are such a competitive group that it could get down right dangerous.

  33. Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
  34. We have not cached outside Canada, but we have logged caches from Northern Ontario to Vancouver Island covering five provinces.

  35. If you have learned one thing from Geocaching what would it be?
  36. The one thing that comes to mind is that persistence pays off. I’ve seen it said that many caches have been found after several "I give up, let’s go"’s.

  37. What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
  38. We don’t usually spend too much time looking over the contents of caches because of bugs or muggles. I guess the most interesting and enjoyable item we found was the FTF prize in the 1st Landing Cache. We used the prize to have a little party with MuStash and Dani C. The group would have been even bigger if Billy Goat had reached the cache a little earlier. We swapped some interesting stories.

  39. What is the meaning of your username?
  40. I think it means that I don’t have a very good imagination. It’s easy to remember and shows that my wife comes first.

  41. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
  42. Until fairly recently, it was our kid’s sports that took up most of our time and money. We have also been going to auctions to find older furniture in need of refinishing. Now that we have moved into a condo and no more workshop, we will be concentrating more on Geocaching, especially the more distant ones. We enjoy traveling by car and would like to see the Maritimes (like the Queen and her Jokers) and Alaska.

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