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Cacher of the Month - February 2010
ernie&bert&elmo&grover would like to nominate GeoPahkers, two of the most generous and congenial cachers we've ever met. They were very patient with us (with two young kids) at our first ever geocaching event (Cache the Marsh 3) and have created some very fun and unique hides. The time, effort (and money) they put into Trick or Cache? was amazing. In our humble opinion, they are most deserving of being featured as "Cachers of the Month".
- When did you start Geocaching?
- How did you find out about Geocaching?
Mrs. GeoPahker was channel surfing one day and came across a show about a man and his grandson and their Sunday hobby. Always looking for ideas for our son and his Grandpa she stopped and watched. She didn't get to see much of the show but enough to pique her interest. She then googled it to see what it was all about and was immediately all pumped up to try it. So much so that she insisted they go out the next day and buy a GPS. Never one to stop someone from spending money on a piece of electronics Mr. GeoPahker readily agreed.
- What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
The challenge of finding that very first cache and the exhilaration we felt. We continue to view each cache as a challenge even the easiest ones in some way. Of course the sport is a terrific way to spend countless hours together enjoying the outdoors.
- Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
We've cached in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
- Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
Yes, Mrs. GeoPahker has gone caching with a girlfriend. She's since created her own account, "Sakajawea", but hasn't done any caching on her own except one. We've also taken Mrs. GeoPahkers parents caching with us but they do not have an account. Mr. GeoPahker's brother is eager to get started but unfortunately between his schedule and ours we haven't really had an opportunity to get together yet.
- How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
Well...we usually start off 'Oh my god...it's so much fun, you've go to try it' and finish with something like 'treasure hunting with a GPS'
- What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
Who has time for anything else besides work and geocaching!?!
- What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
Our biggest pet peeve has to be when people put things in their logs that give away the cache hide. The ability to encrypt your logs is there for a good reason. We love the challenge and reading someone's log that basically tells you where the cache is or how to solve a puzzle takes the fun out of the game. While we understand that the pride of knowing the hide or solution can be very satisfying we like to feel that satisfaction too.
- What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
We'd have to say that would be "Mayan Ruins of Tulum" in the Riveria Maya appropriately named The Mayan Ruins of Tulum GC29B5. The ruins are amazing and the beach there has the most beautiful sand. It was a great way to spend the day.
- What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
There are several very memorable ones but if we had to choose one we'd have to say that it would be "Pinehurst" GC1DH0T. It was the very first cache we attempted. Of course being so green we had no idea what we were doing. We arrived at stage one and we looked and we looked but couldn't find anything. There was a good hiding spot in a tree very close to GZ but it was empty. At the time the thought of something being muggled or needing maintenance didn't even enter our mind. We skulked away with heavy heads and hearts and feeling very inferior. We went back home, Mrs. GeoPahker shed a tear or two and then never to be beaten back onto the website we went to try another cache. Off we went a short time later to snag our very first find.
- What is your favorite Caching Story?
Another difficult question. How can you just pick one? Would it be the first night cache in the bush and getting that first branch slapped across your face forever addicting you to night caching, getting your hair stuck in five foot high brambles so bad that you almost had to cut your hair off and leave it behind, the first FTF, the cache that you dig out from under a rock, hold against your body while taking off the lid only to have the very distinguishable scent of animal urine hit you like a brick wall, the buffalo in the field waiting for you to dare step any closer to it that exists only in your mind, the bird swooping down to attack you, the first dead animal carcass you find, that first cache you can see but can't reach, the first all day caching spree, the cartilage tearing injury that will forever remind you that you are not young anymore all for a cache that wasn't there anyway, or finally finding that elusive cache that you've DNF'd four times on?
- What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
Not sure how 'interesting' it is but Mr. GeoPahker was sure excited when he found a flashlight carabiner in "Falcon Lake Trail" GC1WNTX. So much so that we left the FTF prize of $3 for the STF and took it instead. The same cache brought us to a nice blueberry patch which Mrs. GeoPahker thoroughly enjoyed while the log was signed.
- What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
We have the usual tools of the trade; mirror, poking stick, magnetic thingy, flashlight, and a couple other special items that we've found to be useful.
- What kind of GPSr do you use?
We have two: eTrex Vista HCX and an Oregon 400T. We also sometimes use Mrs. GeoPahker's Blackberry Storm.
- What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
Usually the old using the GPS as a phone or camera trick. Looking at a map or tying your shoe works pretty well too. There have been many times that we wish we had a dog or small children again though.
- What is the meaning of your username?
Well the Geo part obviously comes from Geocaching and the Pahker's comes from our last name: Pahkala.
- What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
"Tiggers are wonderful things!"! It seems like we carried that thing around forever. It was big enough that we couldn't easily carry it in a pocket so it was often left in the car and when we did have it with us we never found a big enough cache for it. Whenever we are out shopping we keep our eyes open for a Pooh or a Piglet to release for Tigger to find.
- Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
We would have to say that we respect all cachers with the exception of an unknown few who based on some of the evidence left behind don't respect other's property. We've met some really great people and hope to continue to do so. Of course the Trove Chasers caches have impressed us over and over again.
- With whom do you normally go geocaching?
Usually just the two of us, although occasionally our son will join Mrs. GeoPahker if Mr. GeoPahker is at work. When we went caching in Brandon we met "JBrandt36" for the first time and then spent the good part of a day caching together and we did go group caching once with "ernie&bert&elmo&grover", "Cache and Cary", "Google Eyes" and "Gotour" once and we had a great time. Of course we've run into several people while at caches and it's always fun to finally put a face with a name.
- If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
Ideally we would like to catch all over the world someday. Unfortunately unless we find a 'GeoPahker's Pot of Gold' cache somewhere that isn't going to happen.
- Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
Not sure they are too challenging but we just seem to have no luck finding both "Is Widget Home" and "Ganesha and His Mouse". They are driving us crazy but we never give up, someday they will be ours!
- Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
It would be hard to pick a favorite. All of our caches are special to us for different reasons, including our first cache "Welcome to Winnipeg West". Of course "Peek-A-Boo"'s DNF's and the emails it generated probably gave us the most laughs and the emails and compliments we received from Ztirnats meant the most to us. They certainly were excited to get that FTF! We also have another one out there right now that was published December 12 and is still unfound.
- What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
Mr. GeoPahker does not have an interest in reading. Mrs. GeoPahker loves detective/mystery novels. The last one she read was John Grisham's The Associate.
- Can you play a musical instrument?
Mrs. GeoPahker learned the flute years ago. Mr. GeoPahker can play the drums and guitar.
- How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
That would be "Beauchemin Park Cache", 1.2 miles away.
- Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
We sometimes use Google Earth to confirm puzzle solutions and Trimble's Geocache Navigator.
- Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
Mr. GeoPahker sometimes uses it for navigating the rural roads while at work.
- What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
Mrs GeoPahker is more of the radio type but loves Hedley. Mr. GeoPahker currently has Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Trivium in the CD player.
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