Cacher of the Month - February 2007

Skyhawks

skyhawks
Skyhawks
  1. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  2. I was having lunch with a few co-workers and friends. One of them happened to be MuStash and he brought up the topic of gecaching. I had not heard of it, but it sounded interesting, so I went and looked up geocaching.com as soon as I got home. Shortly after that I was out searching for my first cache.

  3. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  4. In addition to seeing plenty of new places that I did not know existed, it is the “search” and that “YES” feeling when you finally make a difficult find.

  5. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
  6. Growing up, I was a member of the “Boy Scouts” and as my boys were growing up, I became a leader. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and loved to hike and canoe whenever I could. I have been to 2 Canadian Jamborees with my boys. In my late teens, I got my pilots licence and it led me to a career in the aviation industry. I retired about a year ago after being an Air Traffic Controller for 28 years. As a “hobby job” I was a flight instructor for several years and I am still active as a Commercial Pilot. During this past summer, I worked with the Air Cadets Gliding School in Gimli. Since I retired, I now have more time for my other hobby……old cars. I am currently building a 1932 Ford street rod. My youngest boy and I enjoy going to the cruise nights with his 1982 El Camino.

  7. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  8. I think it is more of a caching “day” than one particular cache that is my most memorable. The cache that took me on that memorable day was the Cypress Hills Massif Earth Cache in southern Alberta. It is a fairly long hike with trails through several different ecosystems and changing terrain and climates along the way. There are several other caches along the route that make for a very enjoyable day. I saw plenty of wildlife during the day and I found out after that there are actually cougars in the area.

  9. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  10. I lived in Medicine Hat for about a year and there was one cache in the area that had been placed for quite some time but nobody had gone searching for it, or nobody was able to find it. It peaked my curiosity and I just had to go search for it. This was taking place in mid January in southern Alberta so the climate can be a bit different than what one might expect in Manitoba at the same time of year. It is a short drive from the main highway but probably impassable at certain times of the year depending on the weather. Once at the location, this nicely placed container by wavector required a bit of trouble shooting in order to solve the location of the cache. I quite literally was crawling around in the dirt and mud trying to crack this one. I kept thinking to myself how glad I was that it was not during the summer, since there are rattle snakes throughout the area. I was rewarded with a FTF and a Tim Hortons gift certificate. As soon as I am able to find a similar hiding spot in the Winnipeg area, I hope to place a cache like this one – so be on the lookout.

  11. What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
  12. I usually take both of my GPS units with me plus my bag of trade items. I always go equipped for the weather on the particular day. I don’t always wear all the stuff, but I do take it with me. (I guess it is that “being prepared” thing that I learned in Scouts.)

  13. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  14. I have had Garmin eTrex Legend for about 5 years and recently bought a Magellan Meridian Color. The Garmin is good for “zooming” in on a target and the Magellan seems to be a bit more accurate under heavier cover.

  15. What is the meaning of your username?
  16. When I first got into geocaching, I tried to register with the username “skyhawk” but it was already in use. At the time I was flying a couple of Cessna “skyhawks” and it just seemed to be a fit.

  17. What sort of Event Cache would you like to see this summer?
  18. I have not been out to too many cache events but it seems that everyone always has a great time at the TurdlEggs ranch. I did manage to attend the Poker Rally and had fun with that one.

  19. Do you hibernate from caching in the winter?
  20. I don’t hibernate, but I do cut back quite a bit.

  21. What is the most interesting thing you have ever found in a geocache?
  22. It wasn’t really in a cache – but the cache was in a tree stump that a nest of wasps had decided to claim as a home. Needless to say it was “interesting” – only got stung twice. Maybe that should be my most “memorable” cache.

  23. With whom do you normally go geocaching?
  24. I have cached with both of my boys and a niece that wanted to learn about GPS. My daughter is starting to show some interest but as yet has not gone on a search with me. On occasion, my wife will tag along, but she is not really into it. She prefers to stay in the vehicle and read while I do my searching. She has been my “driver” a couple of times when I decide to go for a “Sunday” drive – cross country cache expedition. This allows me time to set up the next find on the GPS, and we have been to some places that we would not likely have gone.

  25. Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
  26. The “$25,000 cache” series by MBeans is on my “to do” list. I managed to complete the multi and found (The Get-A-Way) and have half of the clue to solve the location of the mystery cache. The traditional (The Hide Out) has eluded me for now.

  27. What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
  28. I must admit I am not much of a book reader. I do spend time reading technical manuals for the various aircraft that I fly and their systems in order to stay current.

  29. Can you play a musical instrument?
  30. Is an iPod a musical instrument?

  31. How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
  32. I have not searched for it yet, but it is at 4.1 kms. (SmartPark Pirates) by ertyu. There are a couple of others that are closer but they are currently disabled.

  33. Planning another poker game cache this year?
  34. I had not planned on it, but it might happen. I do want to get a few more caches hidden and have a few ideas in the works.

  35. Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
  36. I have the Magellan MapSend Topo for Canada that I use for mapping, but other than that I just get updates of new caches on my email that I check each morning. Sometimes, when I have nothing planned for the day, a new cache will appear and I rush out to try to be FTF. It is tough to do if ertyu is in the vicinity. Like I said before, I like the search even if I am not the first.

  37. Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
  38. I first bought my eTrex to take in the airplane with me to compliment the other navigation equipment because some of the aircraft that I was flying at the time were not equipped with GPS. I found that it is just as accurate as those multi thousand dollar aircraft systems. I also sent it on numerous solo cross country flights with my students. When they do their first solo cross country flight, they are supposed to plan the flight and map read, calculate ground speed, correct for wind drift and stay on course. Even though the aircraft may be equipped with a GPS unit, they do not have a real good working knowledge of it. With my eTrex going along for the ride, I could sit down with them after they returned and review the “cookie crumb trail” and see how the flight went and know that they in fact did make it to their destination and back – along the course that they were supposed to follow. I also take it in the car with me whenever I go on the highway – I can keep my cruise set at just the “right” speed and know that it is more accurate than the speedometer in the car. The Magellan, loaded with the detailed streets and topo is nice to have when traveling in a new area.

  39. What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
  40. Coldplay, Nickelback, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, Meat Loaf, The Guess Who, Elton John, The Doobie Brothers – Kinda diverse!!!

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