May 2017: BuckeyeFan
1. Tell us about your caching name.
When I first started caching, I was too excited to be creative with a name. Having grown up in Ohio for a number of years, I was and always will be a BuckeyeFan.
2. How were you introduced to Geocaching and what was the first cache you found?
I was working as an Emergency Operations Specialist for an Indian tribe in Arizona. We had a monsoon storm impact the community and we had to submit damage assessments to FEMA. Part of the reporting form required latitude & longitude coordinates. The program director purchased a few Garmin GPS receivers and asked that I train the staff. I knew nothing about GPS technology so I Googled ‘How to use a GPS’. Geocaching.com was a page that popped up, so I started reading and was intrigued. So I went home and asked my daughter if she want to go hunt for treasure. The first cache we found was Just Around the Corner. It was hidden in a PVC fence post and full of swag! That was it…we were hooked!
3. Tell us about your receiver and any other “tools” (hardware and software) that help you cache.
My original GPS was one I borrowed from the office. Then for Father’s Day 2007 I received a Garmin 60CSx which I loved. Unfortunately, last Father’s Day (2016), I was out with a group and it was lost/stolen while we were loading kayaks at Fountainhead Park. So most recently, I acquired a Garmin GPSMAP64S. In most cases, I use my cell with the c:geo app. I find it accurate and it’s nice to have all the details at your fingertips. I also use GSAK and Garmin BaseCamp when preparing for cache outings.
4. What essential items do you always carry in your cache bag?
It depends on where I’ll be caching. If in an urban setting, extra batteries, a pen or 2, any trackables that I need to move along, and some sort of quick acting sugar since I’m diabetic. If I’ll be more rural, I pack a full day hike: trail food, water, first aid kit, and of course caching related items.
5. Do you trade items in and out of caches?
I used to. But anymore it’s about being out with friends as I cache. I do collect signature items, but that’s about it.
6. Do you have any signature items or ones in the works?
I do! Being a BuckeyeFan, I struggled for a long time to come up with a signature item. One day I was in Michaels looking for cache ideas, and came across the clay aisle. I then realized I could make a buckeye signature item from clay. So I have two styles: the traditional dark brown and tan buckeye and for those caches I find extra special…I have a red & silver.
7. What is your favorite thing about caching?
There are too many. Places caching has taken me, friends I’ve made over the years, the opportunity to teach others about caching, the faces of newbies when they make their first find, and just being outside.
8. Do you cache by yourself or with another person? How often do you go caching?
In the beginning it was all about spending time with my kids. We’d go out for a full day of caching sprinkled with a few stops at parks, picnic lunches, ice cream or Icees on the way home to celebrate. Now that they’ve grown, I usually go out with member of my MeetUp group, Geocaching DC & Beyond (GCDC&B). We get together at least once a month somewhere in the greater DC area to spend a day of socializing & caching. Then afterwards, we’ll find a local eatery to have a late lunch or early dinner before going our separate ways. I still cache on my own when I need some quiet time in the woods.
9. What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual etc.)?
Those I find, of course! I like all the cache types, with one exception: puzzles. Don’t get me wrong, I love making puzzle caches, I just hate trying to solve others.
10. Tell us about your favorite cache.
My favorite cache found…well, there’s Highwire, Here’s to your tricks, and countless others. But I think the most memorable was GO TO – THE CACHE. It’s a multi on the far west side of Phoenix south of I-10. My kids and I went for it early one morning in July. My daughter found the first stage and when she opened it, was greeted by a scorpion. We moved onto the next stage, but not before my daughter was being affected by the heat. So she sat in the shade and drank my water, while my son and I headed to the next stage. We found it, but cracked the lid before calling it a day without finding it due to extreme heat…104, in the shade! I returned the following week to finish the cache and claim a coin. The whole adventure can be read in my log for GCA822.
Favorite cache hide: In addition to my Occoquan Water Trail series, there is only one that I call a favorite…Inspired By Leo. When I relocated to NoVA, the cache was adopted, but has since been archived; the logs are still fun to read. I would share details of the cache, but I may recreate it here in NoVA…so stay tuned
11. Tell us about a memorable caching experience that you have had.
A day out with GCDC&B looking for WVTim caches! It was a great day with 12 friends and culminated in meeting Tim & his wife at their home. They are by far some of the nicest people I’ve met since I started caching. Tim even gave the group a tour of his cache workshop. I was a great and memorable day!
12. How many states and countries have you cached in?
No countries, yet, but I have cached in 16 states so far.
13. If you could take a vacation anywhere to cache, where would you go?
Within the US, I say to Portland to find the original cache. This may actually happen in the not too distant future, which would be awesome. I’d also like to visit Hawaii for a cache that requires an intense hike past waterfalls and thru a mountain tunnel. Internationally, I’d have to say Germany (I hear they are very serious about their caches), Australia (it’s always been a dream trip) and anywhere else I can get to.
14. Tell us about your other interests or talents.
Anything outdoors. I began backpacking in 1997 and continue to enjoy it only with lighter gear now. Kayaking on any body of water and its all the better if I can combine camping for a few days. But, I’d have to say my latest addiction is hammock camping. Creating my own hammock, bug net, suspension, and making it as light weigh as possible…less that 16oz for the whole thing!
15. Have you set any goals for yourself this year related to caching?
My goal for 2017 is to find #2000 while enjoying time out with GCDC&B
16. What would you like NoVAGO to focus on in the future?
I’ve been a member of NoVAGO for some time, but not active due to other duties, so I really can’t say. I’m kept up to date from Plattoaddict when we get together, but I have no answer.