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Cacher of the Month - July 2011



I had seen several cache logs by someone named "ruylopez". I recognized the name as being Spanish, but didn't know what it meant. I knew that "muy" means "many" or "very", so I just figured it was a spelling error and that he was just Very Lopez ... of course, I was wrong about that. Although, knowing the word muy helped with my pronunciation of this caching name ruylopez = Roo-ee-lo-pez. I did finally have a chance about a month ago to ask what the meaning of his name was, and had to face-palm when he told me, as I had recently been asking him many questions about how to solve the Bobby vs. Boris cache. Of course, he would know how to solve this cache!?! I had the opportunity to meet his wife and son at the 2010 Hallowe'en event at the corn maze. His son makes an adorable dragon. Ruylopez has been caching for just over a year and has already found over 3,000 geocaches. That's approximately 7 caches a day... quite impressive.

  1. When did you start Geocaching?
  2. I found my first cache, "The Castle" (GC27PFG), on May 7, 2010

  3. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  4. My brother, TimPile, was into caching and took myself and my sister out one evening on our bikes. I was dubious at first, but after about a week since our little caching spree, I got the itch to go out on my own and have had a mild addiction ever since.

  5. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  6. The outdoor adventure, exploring, solving puzzles, and of course, finding treasure in the middle of nowhere. I also suffer from "Just Another Cache Syndrome".

  7. Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
  8. I've cached in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.

  9. Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
  10. I was able to introduce my good friend who goes by the username jbduffman. On our first caching outing he helped me solve "Eye Spy ???" (GC16FFR), which I had no hope of solving on my own.

  11. How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
  12. Looking for plastic containers in the woods. Some of them still don't quite understand. My favourite question after returning from several hours of caching is: "Did you find what you were looking for?". I'm still not sure how to answer that one.

  13. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
  14. I enjoy long distance running. I've done marathons and more recently discovered trail running and ultra-marathons. Several years ago I tried my hand at the Canadian Death Race: a 125km mountain trail run in 24 hours. After discovering that my knees aren't quite built for this type of distance, I usually stick to the 50km races now. I've found that caching is a great way to find new places to run in.

    I'm also an avid chess player. Back when I had more time I played competitively. When I'm not caching or at work, I am running the Manitoba Scholastic Chess Association - the provincial branch of Canada's national chess association for students.

  15. What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
  16. Unmaintained caches and caches that have been disabled for months and months on end. If you're done taking care of it, archive it, and make room for another cache that someone wants or has the time to maintain.

  17. What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
  18. While caching in BC last year, I found a cache called "One Second Falls" (GCXY6Q). The cache was hidden just off of the trans-Canada highway at a set of waterfalls without a name. The cache owner called them the One Second Falls since that's about as long as you get to see them while driving by at 100km/h. But thanks to the cache, the family was able to hike right up to the falls and see them up close. A little gem that would have gone by unnoticed otherwise.

  19. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  20. Mount Temple (GC1607): The cache has been hidden on the summit of Mount Temple at about 3555 meters; one of the highest mountains that can be scrambled in the Canadian Rockies. This cache was been hidden in 2001 and still remains unfound. Most people suspect that the original container has been lost or destroyed and so a second cache was hidden in 2009 at different coordinates on the summit, but it too remains unfound. I summited Mount Temple in early July of 2010 on a rainy / snowy day. It was still far too early in the year to even make a search as the summit was still covered in deep snow. I dug around anyway, but the cache is not winter friendly - there are probably only a couple of weeks in August in which to make a search.

  21. What, currently, is your favourite, unarchived Manitoba geocache?
  22. "Elk Island Splash" (GC13239). I did this one with my brother and sister only about a month after I had gotten into caching. The adventure started with some wading out to Elk Island from Victoria Beach while we were carrying our packs and hiking boots above our heads hoping the water wouldn't get too deep before we made it to the other side. Once on the island it was a nice long hike to find this six stage multi.

  23. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  24. I was searching for a cache in Winnipeg (that won't be named to protect its identity) with my brother that I had previously DNFed on. It was near some shrubs so I grabbed a stick and used it in my searching. Twenty minutes later we hadn't found anything at all. My brother then looked at me and asked, "What's that in your hand?" Turns out the nano was hidden in the stick I had been using to search for the cache.

  25. What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
  26. Not too sure - I don't really do any trading unless I'm with my son. For him an interesting item is some dice or a toy car.

  27. What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
  28. I travel light so usually just my GPSr. If I'm going down a trail or away from my car for a while I'll take my multi-tool, tweezers, and extra batteries. In the winter I've found that an ice axe is an effective tool for finding those buried caches.

  29. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  30. I started with a Garmin Gecko because that's what I had lying around. After losing it (i.e. placing it on the roof of my car and driving off), I picked up a Garmin eTrex Venture. After about 2000 caches with that device, I found a Garmin GPSmap 62s on sale and will never go back to non-paperless geocaching again.

  31. What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
  32. If I'm with my son, who is three years old, it's much easier to look normal while searching, although it can be harder to search since I tend to try and keep and eye on him. When I'm alone I just try and make it appear that I actually belong and have a reason for being there - no fidgeting, no sideways glances, etc.

  33. What is the meaning of your username?
  34. Ruy Lopez was a 16th century Spanish chess player considered to be the first unofficial world chess champion. I've played chess nearly my whole life and always used that as my username.

  35. What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
  36. I recall a very large ball and chain I found once but left behind since I like to travel light. I also found a Geo-Olympics geocoin out in BC that had the slogan "Geocaching is not for Wimps", which I enjoyed and dropped off back in Manitoba.

  37. Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
  38. 1Queenand4Jokers since they have hidden so many caches near where I live; I honed my skills for the first while on a lot of their puzzles and hides. I also have to mention bergmannfamily simply for the sheer number of active caches that they currently have. I've found 113 bergmannfamily caches and counting. And let's not forget both the Trove Chasers and Ztirnats who have taught me the meaning of "hidden in plain sight".

  39. With whom do you normally go geocaching?
  40. I'm usually by myself or with my son. He comes for the geocaching, but stays for the playgrounds.

  41. If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
  42. Alaska - I love mountains and would enjoy going to each and every remote cache in this state.

  43. Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
  44. The "Manitoba Provincial Parks Challenge" (GC21BKD) will be quite a challenge to complete. It has already taken me to several parks I had never hiked in and several others I had never even heard of before. Some of the last ones will take me to parts of the province I've never seen either. What more could you ask for from a cache? I likely won't complete it until next summer, but I have a lot of traveling to look forward to.

  45. Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
  46. That Which Survives (GC2VYJQ): This cache involves many of my favourite things about caching. It is a multi stage cache that takes you to some hard to get to places in the city. Each hide was designed to be different and unique from one another. And there is, of course, a twist - enough said.

  47. What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
  48. Pro C# 2010 .NET 4.0 platform.

  49. Can you play a musical instrument?
  50. I took piano for one whole year a long time ago, so no.

  51. How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
  52. 15.2km. It requires a special tool that's currently "In the mail" (for a month and a half - thanks Canada Post).

  53. Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
  54. When I'm out caching I usually have a multi-tool and some tweezers handy. On the road GSAK is great for when there is no internet connection. At home Google is all I usually need to solve a good puzzle cache.

  55. Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
  56. I usually have it with me when I'm scrambling in the mountains. It's not always easy to find your ascent route and you won't believe the number of times I've returned down a mountain on a different route than I ascended, which usually ends with some cliffs and then some backtracking back up the mountin. Following the bread crumb trail on my GPSr is the best way to avoid unnecessary backtracking.

  57. What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
  58. Splash'n Boots, Wiggles, Al Simmons, … They all sound the same by now.

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