December 2016: Pfenix
1. Tell us about your caching name.
I was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix en español (Harry Potter y la Orden del Fénix) when it came time to sign up for a geonick, and I thought that "fenix" would be a cool name. Unfortunately that name was already taken, so I brainstormed spelling variations I could leverage to come up with an unused name. Sticking the letter "p" in front seemed like a good idea, especially because my first name in real life starts with that letter. Plus, Germans spell things with the consonant "pf" all the time, so why not? The "p" is silent when pronouncing my geonick, so it's basically the pronunciation of the Spanish word fénix.
2. How were you introduced to Geocaching and what was the first cache you found?
I first learned about geocaching through an online article discussing various things you could do with a GPSr. My first find was a virtual close to where I was living at the time, My Life Is My Mission. Going back and reading my log for that cache certainly brings back memories!
3. Tell us about your receiver and any other “tools” (hardware and software) that help you cache.
When I first started caching in 2004 I had a Garmin eTrex. I forget the exact model, but it was electric blue and had a joystick as its only input mechanism. Loading waypoints onto the device was a PITA (I had to get an RS-232 adaptor cable to hook it up to my computer), and I often wandered around with a sheaf of cache page printouts to facilitate searching.
After a few years, life got in the way of the hobby and I put it aside for a (long) while. My geocaching statistics page shows a "slump" of just over eight years.
I rediscovered caching in 2014 with the Android version of the "official" app available at that time. That app is no longer available, and I primarily use c:geo when caching by smartphone. I also have a Garmin Oregon 650 that I like a lot.
4. What essential items do you always carry in your cache bag?
I don't have a cache bag as such. I'm more of a pocket person.
I always have a pen with me when caching, and I'll often carry tweezers when searching in urban areas. I also usually carry a notebook to keep track of things (caches, trackables, etc.) I need to log, as well as to write down information for mysteries and multis.
5. Do you trade items in and out of caches?
Not really. I'll pick up trackables to move along, but I'm not that interested in geoswag.
6. Do you have any signature items or ones in the works?
7. What is your favorite thing about caching?
I enjoy the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of a particular area. For example, there are lots of back streets and pocket parks that I wouldn't have known about but for caching. I also like the bits of historical and geographical trivia that you can learn from visiting cache sites.
8. Do you cache by yourself or with another person? How often do you go caching?
I started caching as a solo activity and still enjoy going out by myself. I have also come to appreciate the camaraderie afforded by caching with others.
For the past year I have worked on filling up calendar days, so I went caching a lot. Now that I have largely met my calendar goal (I have three days in January left to go thanks to last winter's blizzard), I go out less. Generally speaking, I will cache once a week or so on the weekend.
9. What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual etc.)?
I enjoy them all!
10. Tell us about your favorite cache.
I have too many favorites to choose just one!
11. Tell us about a memorable caching experience that you have had.
One of my most memorable caching experiences was my first FTF for 4 Velvet Elvises (2014 Cachemas in NoVAGO). I wasn't going into the office that day, and was able to solve the puzzle soon after the cache published. Unfortunately, I had a few things to take care of that morning and couldn't get out to search for the cache right away. I knew that there was a dedicated group of cachers trying to get FTFs for the entire cachemas series, so I didn't think I had a realistic chance. Surprisingly, I found myself at GZ a few hours later holding a blank log book and doing a happy dance.
12. How many states and countries have you cached in?
I have logged caches in fifteen states (California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia) plus Washington, D.C. Aside from the U.S.A., I have also logged caches in the U.K., Germany, Bermuda, and New Zealand.
13. If you could take a vacation anywhere to cache, where would you go?
I'd take a vacation anywhere, really. It's been a while since I've been to Europe.
14. Tell us about your other interests or talents.
Currently, my other major pastimes are knitting and singing tenor with a women's barbershop chorus.
15. Have you set any goals for yourself this year related to caching?
Now that I have largely finished filling my calendar, I plan to work towards filling my Jasmer and Fizzy grids. I'll also be looking to clear out the five mile radius from home.
16. What would you like NoVAGO to focus on in the future?
I like that the members of NoVAGO are a good "go-to" resource for local cache lore. I also like that the organization is fostering a good relationship with local parks and governmental organizations through events like CITOs. Keep it up!
This gal is a truly clever cacher with a rock solid performance while trapped in a storm drain - she is the epitome of calm, cool and collected. Cheers, Pfenix and thanks for sharing!
A fun read!! See ya in the logs and maybe on the trails!! =)