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Cacher of the Month - August 2005
The M in MLKoop
- How did you find out about Geocaching?
- When did you start Geocaching?
- What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
- How do you describe the sport of geocaching to your family and friends who havent tried it yet?
- What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
- What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
- What is your favorite Caching Story?
- What are some things you dont like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
- Who do you normally cache with?
- Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, whom?
- What kind of GPSr do you use?
- What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
- What type/ size/ difficulty / Terrain do you prefer?
- Do you see this sport getting bogged down by rules and regulations in the future?
- As a geocaching family what benefits do you see coming from geocaching as compared to before starting this sport?
- What would you like to see in the fall for as events go?
- Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
- If you have learned one thing from Geocaching what would it be?
- What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
- What is the meaning of your username?
- What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
I was browsing through an outdoor magazine in our local library when I came across an article about geocaching. Were 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.
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.
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.
Its hard to describe, but the closest thing that people would understand is scavenger hunts, but with a lot of high tech gadgets involved.
My most memorable cache would be the Untouchable one, which I didnt 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 shouldnt 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.
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 hadnt been for Geocaching, we wouldnt have known about the trestles and had the opportunity to see them before they were gone.
There are so many stories, but the best ones seem to revolve around one of MIs 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).
Urban caches. Im always worried that some muggle will spot me and that itll be my fault if the cache will be gone the next time someone goes looking for it. For me, its always a relief when someone finds the cache after Ive been there. Especially if that some one is Ertyu.
Maryann and I have done most of our caches together. Occasionally, family members come with us. My Mom is actually quite fanatical about caching.
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.
I have a Garmin eTrex Summit. The barometric altimeter makes hiking the mountains more informative. Id really like to get a GPSMAP 60CS.
Acting like a tourist and asking questions about the surroundings sometimes works if we get cornered some place. Taking a lot of pictures doesnt hurt. You need to wear clothes that blend in with the surroundings. On one occasion, TurdleEggs drove right by me and never noticed.
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.
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.
Our kids are older and dont 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.
A car rally might be good, although we are such a competitive group that it could get down right dangerous.
We have not cached outside Canada, but we have logged caches from Northern Ontario to Vancouver Island covering five provinces.
The one thing that comes to mind is that persistence pays off. Ive seen it said that many caches have been found after several "I give up, lets go"s.
We dont 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.
I think it means that I dont have a very good imagination. Its easy to remember and shows that my wife comes first.
Until fairly recently, it was our kids 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.