Cacher of the Month - October 2009
The Old Bat
Well, I (Ramblin' Rose) have really appreciated getting to know The Old Bat and caching with her on our WOW Minneapolis expeditions so I would nominate her! I can't really provide much of an intro except that she's a fun person to cache with as she's got a great sense of humour and she's Junglehair's mom. She's also a great scrapbooker - loved the one she did of our first trip!
- When did you start Geocaching?
I started caching August 11, 2002. I met my daughter Sandra (Junglehair) and my son, Doug (Marvin_from_Mars) in Waterloo, Ontario and Sandra wanted to introduce me to the sport. It was her birthday that weekend, so off we went to go caching. Our first stop was at a Dollar Store to pick up swag and to find me a stamp. They already had the Halloween stamps out and I saw this bat stamp and said "That's me". The Old Bat out caching with you kids.) I figured it was something I would do for that day and then forget about it. I didn't own a GPS. Little did I know how hooked I would get.When I started caching there were 49 caches within 100 mile radius of my house, now there are 1400 within a 50 mile radius. My how things have changed.
- How did you find out about Geocaching?
As stated above from my daughter - Junglehair.
- What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
I loved the idea of trying to find a cache and as I have said many times since, I get to look for treasure and play in the bush like a kid.
- Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
My caching experience hasn't taken me too far afield but I have cached in New York State, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, B.C., Alberta and Ontario. Looks like I am going to have to add Saskatchewan to my list of provinces. I didn't realize until this minute that I have caches in all of the areas around Manitoba but not in Saskatchewan.
- Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
My sisters Mugga and Sourpuss. Also my granddaughter Geo Kitten. Mugga is still an active cacher and has since introduced her son's family to the sport. They cache under the name of The Huldufolk. The only one I can't convince that it is fun is my husband. He just doesn't get it.
- How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
I like dani_carriere's explanation of the sport. I use Multi Billion Dollar Military Satellites to hunt for Tupperware in the Woods. Then I explain that it is like a treasure hunt using a GPS and a computer. When they ask what kinds of things do you find, they usually think it's odd when when I say, I usually don't find anything in the caches that I want to trade, unless I have a kid with me. Kids love the treasures. I just like the thrill of adding one more cache to my list of finds.
- What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
That's my problem, I have too many interests to devote as much time as I would like to geocaching. We have two large gardens, one at home and one at the cottage. I love my flowers. I also love to read, to scrapbook and decorative painting.
- What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
I hate trying to find nanos. I just am no good at it. Junglehair seems to have radar that leads her to the nanos when we are out together and that just frustrates me all the more. I guess they have their place but I would rather cache in the woods than in the cities which is where you find more of the nano type caches.
- What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
Junglehair and I were caching in Ontario and there was a spot on the Welland Canal with a cache. It was about a three quarter mile walk on a strip of land in the middle of the Canal. With water on both sides there was this lovely paved walkway with trees on both sides and at the end of the trail, there was the cache.
- What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
There are many. The one I remember the best is The The Bluebird Angel Cache in New York. The landowner's wife died and he donated the area behind his home as a park in her memory and erected the Bluebird Angel Statue. This little park is a birdlover's paradise and I was impressed with the story behind the statue.
- What is your favorite Caching Story?
I don't know about my favorite story but I can tell you about my least favorite one. Junglehair and I were doing the Last of the Manitoba Ents cache in Beaudry Park and I sat on an old dead log while we filled out the log book. On the way out Junglehair was behind me and kept picking wood ticks off me. I had over 50 on me and Junglehair had about a dozen. If that doesn't make you feel creepy, crawly, nothing will.
- What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
Can't think of anything.
- What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
Not too many things, just my GPS, my PDA and a couple of swag items, just in case, plus my new Reachy Stick which helps cause I am so tall. 5 Ft 2 if I stretch.
- What kind of GPSr do you use?
My first GPS was my daughters old Garmin Etrex Legend and when that one finally got so finicky (it only worked when it wanted to) I bought another one just the same. I still have the old one and we use it when I am caching with someone who doesn't own a GPS.
- What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
I usually just wander around waiting for them to leave the area.
- What is the meaning of your username?
As I said in the first question, I picked it based on a Bat stamp I found in a dollar store.
- What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
I don't usually pick up travel bugs. I had a bad experience with The Princess Phone travel bug and had a very annoyed owner contact me that I hadn't logged it correctly which turned me off travel bugs. I do own one that is still active and has been travelling around since the first Great Canadian Coast to Coast Travel Bug Race. Monkey See was launched in May of 2003 and has travelled over 12,500 miles and as of August 18, 2009 is in The Lost Cache in Washington State.
- Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
There are so many. The 1Queenand4Jokers for the quantity and quality of caches they put out, Peter and Gloria for their record number of finds, OHMIC for his dedication (or should I say compulsion to cache), Burchil because he uses his bike to find many of his caches, that's awesome. And all those cachers who cache even though they may have some handicap that makes it difficult for them to get to some of the caches.
- With whom do you normally go geocaching?
I usually cache with Mugga or Junglehair or the grandkids. To me it is a family thing. I am not interested in caching alone, although I have done a few caches on my own, I much prefer company.
- If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
I would like to cache in Iceland, because that is the one place outside of Canada and the U.S. that I would like to visit.
- Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
There is one on Portage Avenue and the cache is a micro located on an Army Tank. Mugga and I looked and looked one day and we just couldn't find it. I will have to go back there again and see if I can't locate it. It is in a high traffic area and difficult not to be seen skulking about.
- Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
I have two favorites - Velkominn in North Dakota because people are surprised to find a cache in that little out of the way town. And I Shall Wear Purple II because it is in such a high muggle area and is still active. Although it did go missing when they raised the pavillion in the park and then the R.M. employee who found it turned it into the R.M. of Gimli office and was told he had to put it back because the office person knew what geocaching was. He then returned it to the building and put it so far under the building that nobody would have been able to retreive it. My sister Mugga went to check on it for me and couldn't find it so went to the R.M. office and the employee took her to the location and retreived it for her. I then found a more suitable location in the same park and it is still going strong and hasn't been muggled although lots of people have trouble finding it.
- What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
I will read almost anything I can get my hands on except I do not care for Science fiction. The last book I read was Saved which is a true story about the sinking of the Andrea Dorian Ship and the rescue of the 1600 passengers aboard. Only about 50 died and that was the result of the collision with another Cruise ship in the fog. Now I am reading another true story about a child abuse case.
- Can you play a musical instrument?
- How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
5.3 miles but I live in the country so it is a little easier for me to keep my area free of unfound caches.
- Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
I am not very hi-tech. I use the GPS, a PDA because paper caching was killing a lot of trees, my Mr. Reachy Stick, a back-pack in which I try to keep a bit of swag and some items for fixing up caches that I come across - wet log books, broken containers, etc.
- Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
- What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
I have a CD by an Icelandic Band called Baggalutur which I have been playing non-stop for a couple of weeks. Maybe I will learn to speak Icelandic or maybe not.
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