Cacher of the Month - February 2014

KeeGee

KeeGee

KeeGee

Oh, yes, they call him "The Streak" (Look at that, look at that). He is a geocaching geek (Look at that, look at that). If there's a geocache to be found, he'll be streakin' around, because he's Jordan McPeek.

What do I mean by "The Streak"? It has nothing to do with someone showing off their "shortcomings". In this case, it has to do with a streak of consecutive days with a find. This month's Cacher, KeeGee, has the longest streak of anyone in Manitoba. As of March 7, 2014, he is sitting at 1,175 consecutive days. That's 3.2 years of finding caches, often only one a day. What great restraint and preserverence he must have, as well as a patient family (although they sometimes accompany him on his hunts). I had the honour of hosting an event to celebrate KeeGee's 1,000th consecutive day of caching. I have a feeling I may need to save up some money to host the 2,000th consecutive day event. Keep reading to find out more about the MBGA's February Cacher of the Month.

  1. When did you start Geocaching?
  2. July 2008

  3. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  4. I don't recall. I must've read about it somewhere because I didn't know anyone who cached. I tracked down a cheap GPSr on Kijiji to try it out. Sounded like a free fun family activity.

  5. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  6. Gotta be the smileys. No, wait, it's gotta be the stats. Number, numbers, numbers, so many delightful numbers.

  7. Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
  8. Saskatchewan to Quebec. Every state you can pass through on a road trip to New Jersey/Connecticut without completely using up the family's patience.

  9. Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
  10. Sure, introduced plenty. Kids' friends who joined us in the early days when the kids still cached. Co-workers who travel with me. Relatives. None of them picked it up.

  11. How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
  12. A scavenger hunt, a treasure hunt where you find the prize and leave it behind. With a GPSr.

  13. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
  14. Long walks on the beach at sunset, holding hands with my honey; evenings cuddling by the fire on a bearskin rug sprinkled with rose petals; Saturday night adventures with a can of whipping cream, bottle of chocolate sauce, and a roll of cellophane -- ooops, wrong profile.

    Oh, you mean before streaking. 'Cause not much else goes on these days. Wait, no, I like cycling, and that is often combined with caching. Which also allows me to listen to music while I pedal, another big interest of mine. Got a new bike stereo this winter that supposedly can be heard over a jet engine. Oh yeah! Gonna make that bike bounce, baby! Movie extra once in awhile. Audience member, almost anything: movies, plays, concerts, comedy, speakers, Bombers. Don't mind getting absorbed by Starcraft and other games when I have time. Reading. I used to write crime fiction. I sold three of my short stories to online magazines. The last one made the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award short list from the Crime Writers of Canada in the Best Crime Short Story Category. I ended up in a four-way tie for second place.

  15. What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
  16. I don't like getting dirty. So trashy, slimy, mucky, sticky GZs don't have a lot of appeal. I really don't like GZs that are too close to private property, where it makes the cacher look like a burglar. Oh, and drunk muggles urinating at GZ. Yeah, that's on the bad list. Happened twice.

  17. What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
  18. The back roads of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. Places I never would have seen if not for caching.

  19. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  20. One of the best caches I've come across was The Wardrobe (GC31TE8). It's in Wheaton, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. It's in a college research centre that focuses on seven British authors, including Tolkien and Lewis. Its main purpose is its collection of materials related to the authors. They also have a few artifacts on display. The best one is the desk where Tolkien wrote and illustrated The Hobbit and parts of his other works. My son and I soaked up all the writer vibes we could and wondered at how such a great work could come from such a little desk. I posted a picture with my log. Then we went on to explore the wardrobe owned by C.S. Lewis, the one he was probably thinking of when writing his Chronicles of Narnia series (a wardrobe plays an important part in those books). A fine example of a cache taking me to a special place I wouldn't've known about otherwise.

  21. What, currently, is your favourite, unarchived Manitoba geocache?
  22. Gotta be OBG Bingo (GC1KZ9X). That's the one that got me winter-caching, which led to my streaking.

  23. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  24. That would be the time campus security had to come let me and my bike out of a barbed wire compound. And it was a DNF! My log with the full story is here.

  25. What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
  26. A new t-shirt. Wrong size.

  27. What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
  28. Tweezers. Gotta have 'em. Extendable mirror, extendable magnet, needlenose pliers. Flashlight, at times. Gloves, for those times when you can't see what you're searching or a nasty pine tree. Rubber boots in the spring.

  29. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  30. I used a Garmin Legend at first, then added a Nuvi 255 for the paperless qualities. I'd update them a few times a month with GSAK. But about a year ago I got my iPhone, and I use that almost exclusively now. It doesn't have the features of a dedicated GPSr but it has enough for your basic one-a-day caching

  31. What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
  32. Cache boldly. Looking furtive and like you shouldn't be there draws more attention. I have to take a deep breath of resolve to do that but it's often the only way.

  33. What is the meaning of your username?
  34. First syllable of one child, first initial of the other.

  35. What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
  36. Stalkers's I ♥ FILM (TB4YC8P) - I picked this up in New Jersey. Turns out that was its launching point. It had a neat goal to visit anything to do with movie-making and load pictures on the attached memory stick. I wanted to start it off right and take pictures of it at various movie-related spots around Winnipeg. Took me a year of feeling guilty about it, especially when its Czech owners sent me emails in their broken English venting their frustration, before I finally took it to a movie set. Then I took it back to New Jersey and let it go.

  37. Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
  38. Ruylopez - he was streaking ahead of me and set this incredible high watermark of 512 days. I thought he was nuts. Especially when I found out he did it while training for a marathon, raising a toddler, and maintaining a ridiculous find rate of something like 5 or 8 a day. Throw in some great hides and challenges and overall high numbers, and call me impressed.

  39. With whom do you normally go geocaching?
  40. My imaginary friends. Occasionally I go with real ones. I'd go with real ones more often, but they've got this crazy habit of finding more than one cache a day.

  41. If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
  42. I've always wanted to visit the Greek Islands. But I don't know if I'd want to cache there if the cache pages aren't in English. Soooo….how about any state or province I haven't cached in yet.

  43. Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
  44. Which one? For a traditional, Traverse Tot Lot (GC30RJ9) - Tried once or twice, sounds tough. For a challenge, Challenge: OMG Bingo (GC3D7K1) is within my reach.

  45. Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
  46. The Streak Challenge: Zombie (GC3BNJG) - Streaking has become a part of my daily routine so it's comforting to watch other people go down the same path. Someday, maybe we can all hold hands and jump off a bridge together, too.

  47. What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
  48. Crime fiction has been my staple for 20-some years. Nothing with talking cats or crossword puzzles or garden parties. Gotta be gritty noir, lean hardboiled, off-the-wall funny. I toss in some non-fiction every now and then, usually leftie history, analysis, or memoir. The last book I read (technically, listened to) was Here Comes Trouble, Michael Moore's autobiography. My whole collection and reading history can be found on Goodreads.

  49. Can you play a musical instrument?
  50. Many, but I have trouble with anything past the first note.

  51. How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
  52. 80m

  53. Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
  54. GSAK is so useful for filtering in so many ways, especially for trip planning and challenges. I've started using Project-GC.com, too. My secret weapon is the boy. He's got this knack for solving my DNFs in seconds, plus he loves climbing things.

  55. Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
  56. Getting from A to B. That was more when I carried the Nuvi with me wherever I went. Now the iPhone provides endless distractions.

  57. What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
  58. About 7000 songs and a stack of audiobooks. Blues, roots, Americana, hard rock, punk, soul, R&B, gospel, country, folk, pop, world.

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