January 2017: K8Ydd
1. Tell us about your caching name.
One of my mom's nicknames for me as a kid was katydid and K8Ydd was the closest I could get when I was signing up for geocaching.
2. How were you introduced to Geocaching and what was the first cache you found?
I read an article in my college newspaper back in 2004 and decided that it sounded interesting. I didn't have a GPS so my first few finds were extra challenging! Probably also why my very first find was a virtual and why I didn't have real success until my parents decided they would buy one of those new fangled GPS things for a trip to Hawaii. I don't remember the first find, just the adventure of figuring out that GPS during that trip.
3. Tell us about your receiver and any other “tools” (hardware and software) that help you cache.
I have a Garmin Oregon and love it, especially after working with some GPS units with not so awesome interface. I've loaded US maps on it but wish I'd been more successful with the rest of the world. I have my phone also but prefer the GPS because it's easier to travel with by loading pocket queries so I don't have to worry about reception throughout the world.
4. What essential items do you always carry in your cache bag?
I always have a pink ink pen to sign the logs, trackables to send onward, my pathtags and some spare rechargeable batteries. If the trip is more serious, the whole pack comes along to include flashlight, UV light, tweezers, extendable magnet, trash bags and first aid kit with tick remover and poison ivy wipes.
5. Do you trade items in and out of caches?
I'll move trackables along and trade or leave pathtags. I realized many years ago that I didn't appreciate the little SWAG items, so I leave them for those who do.
6. Do you have any signature items or ones in the works?
I've got a Germany themed pathtag and once those are gone, I'll move on to a Poland themed one. I really enjoy dropping them in random caches for an extra shiny surprise for the next finder.
7. What is your favorite thing about caching?
That you can do it absolutely anywhere. It gives me a challenge when I travel so that I have to find at least one cache per country and state. I get a little grumpy when I think about how many places I've missed caching in over the years.
8. Do you cache by yourself or with another person? How often do you go caching?
I prefer to cache with one or two other cachers and tend to cache less when I'm alone. I'd like to cache every weekend but work seems to get in the way if I don't have a motivational buddy. There has been a new addition to my family and I'm working at getting her up to speed for caching. Our first cache was a DNF but we finally avenged it! Now she's got an event and two caches under her harness. She's only seven months old, so she's actually doing pretty well! Have you ever met a caching cat?
9. What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual etc.)?
Being overseas, my favorite cache is one that has a description in English. You don't realize how valuable that is until it's not around. There's a multi cache in a cemetery a block away from me that I haven't tackled because of the translation. Yes, I'm trying to recruit some help. Second favorite type has got to be night caches! There's nothing quite as magical.
10. Tell us about your favorite cache.
Too many good memories. I really enjoyed finding Lego caches in Alabama, they inspired my own caches and you can't beat the Berkley County caches for so much fun in a small area. I like to cache by favorite points these days so I can go directly to some of the best ones.
11. Tell us about a memorable caching experience that you have had.
I should write a book there are so many! It's become a tradition that when I go to my grandma's for the holidays that my folks and I head out into the desert to work on the Marine Corps symbol...we're still only about a quarter of the way done! It's great family time to talk and wander. Of course I can't forget doing the whole Maryland Star with SullyD in one day...in the rain...and the dark. And there was this one time where I tied a rope into a climbing harness and had Nutmeg rappelled me under a bridge...in the rain.
12. How many states and countries have you cached in?
32 countries and 22 states (I can't believe I forgot to cache in some places, unacceptable!)
13. If you could take a vacation anywhere to cache, where would you go?
I would want an around the world trip to hit countries that I haven't been to with a focus on Asia.
14. Tell us about your other interests or talents.
I can make chocolate magically disappear!
15. Have you set any goals for yourself this year related to caching?
I'd like to find an average of a cache a day but in reality, it I can cache once a month right now, I'm doing pretty well. I just don't want to stop caching again like I've done in the past.
16. What would you like NoVAGO to focus on in the future?
We have such a good community of geocachers that I would love to see more people out at the events to and to volunteer to help run the organization. The more minds and hands we have, the more fun ideas and activities we can do.
So when are we going to mail that channel marker to Madame President to remember us by in Poland? It was certainly fun to cache with K8Ydd and find her creative caches, and enjoyed getting to know more about her (how these things didn't come up in NoVAGO board meetings is just beyond me!). NoVAGO misses you K8Ydd!