February 2017: platoaddict
1. Tell us about your caching name.
I was a classics and government double-major in college. On the classics side, I loved Greek literature, and on the government side, I enjoyed political theory. Enter Plato's dialogues. I even wrote a paper on how the original "Matrix" was a dystopian manifestation of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. But I digress . . . as social networking expanded beyond AOL and relative anonymity became preferred, I created usernames reminiscent of Plato. Thus was born "platoaddict.”
2. How were you introduced to Geocaching and what was the first cache you found?
Around 2012, I stumbled across geocaching (not sure how) and noticed a cache near my house. As I read about how to play, I didn't "get" it. I deleted whatever app I had downloaded and forgot about it. In Fall 2014, I was on a bike (bicycle, not motorcycle) trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. Another member of our group is a cacher and would occasionally dart off to look for a cache, including one at Angkor Wot! Even then, I thought I "knew" what it was all about and dismissed it.
Fast forward to May 2015. We had moved to McLean (from N Arlington) a year earlier and were still learning the ins and outs of our new neighborhood. I was looking for something "to do" while walking the dogs and decided to look into geocaching again. I downloaded the Intro App, created an account, and discovered that there were two caches relatively close to me: Teta's Treasures and Graffiti Trail. I convinced my husband to go with me, and we discovered two "hidden," Fairfax County-maintained trails right in our "backyard."
After DNFing Graffiti Trail (no, I didn't log it), we moved on and quickly found Teta's Treasures. I was hooked!
3. Tell us about your receiver and any other “tools” (hardware and software) that help you cache.
• GPSr: iPhone 7 and Garmin GPSMAP 62s.
• iPhone apps: Geocaching Classic, Geocaching (free), Cachly, Wherigo
• Computer based apps: GSAK (on MacOS), Garmin BaseCamp
• Web-hosted: http://www.project-gc.com , http://www.mygeocachingprofile.com
4. What essential items do you always carry in your cache bag?
Trackables, tweezers, telescoping magnet, mirror, magnifying glass, flashlight, extra logs, extra ziploc bags
5. Do you trade items in and out of caches?
Only trackables - generally not swag
6. Do you have any signature items or ones in the works?
Not yet. Have thought about it and am continuing to think about it.
7. What is your favorite thing about caching?
Being outdoors, discovering new places, meeting new people...
8. Do you cache by yourself or with another person? How often do you go caching?
"platoaddict" is a geocaching team of my husband and me. Although I occasionally will grab a cache or two by myself or with my husband, we find it more enjoyable to cache with others. We typically go out about once/month with the Geocaching DC & Beyond Meetup group (you may have seen our "GCDC&B" logs). I really enjoy vpdj's cache mobs and have recently experienced what it is like to cache with seadog129 and schwandt!
9. What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual etc.)?
I generally like all cache types. Puzzles can be frustrating at times but oh so satisfying when you have that "lightbulb" moment. Good traditionals can bring you to new places or have extremely clever/well-designed containers.
10. Tell us about your favorite cache.
There are so many excellent caches that it is impossible to pick just one favorite: is it the location, the steps that got you to the final, the container, the experience, a combination of so many things? Ultimately, I pick There’s a Bug on the Bump on the Log in Kansas. We found it on our cross country trip to Denver, CO for GeoWoodstock. It represented my first trip to Kansas (among other states), and we found it while stopping to claim a smiley at Mingo. In addition to being a memorable experience, it is such a cute container!
11. Tell us about a memorable caching experience that you have had.
This past summer, we drove with the geopups from VA to CO to attend GeoWoodstock. We took 3 days to drive there (basically along I-70) and 3 days to return (basically along I-80). Although we didn't have enough time to truly experience every state, we did manage to get at least one cache in each state we visited (including Mingo in KS!), and a small detour to Michigan. We visited state capitals, national monuments, and national parks. The trip also allowed my husband to reach 48 states visited (he's missing HI and ND).
12. How many states and countries have you cached in?
26 states (including DC) and 8 countries (US, Canada, France, UAE, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Japan)
13. If you could take a vacation anywhere to cache, where would you go?
Australia and New Zealand
14. Tell us about your other interests or talents.
Hiking, kayaking, traveling, CrossFit. Basically, anything that requires being outside or otherwise being active (just not the beach!).
In the last few years, we’ve traveled to Canada, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Falkland Islands, England, Ireland, France, Tanzania, UAE, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Japan. Unfortunately, most of these places were before we started caching, so we’ll just need to return!
15. Have you set any goals for yourself this year related to caching?
No specific goals. Just to keep caching, keep working on achieving a Jasmer, keep working on my Fizzy, keep working on filling in my calendar, keep chipping away at VA Delorme and MD/DE Delorme…the list goes on.
16. What would you like NoVAGO to focus on in the future?
Continuing to give back to the community through CITOs and other events. Educational activities for members and others. Continue being awesome!
Excited to have yet another well-traveled, well-read Officer on board, and glad someone's trying to keep Schwandt in line sometimes. Cool bio platoaddict!