October 2008 Member Spotlight: Zygote2k

Tell us about your caching name.

First- “Zygote2k”. Around 1999 when everyone was freaking out about the millennium, I heard a Chinese fable about when the 1000 year egg hatches; the world will undergo great changes. At that time my life was undergoing a great deal of changes so I adopted it for my email and caching name.

Tell us how you started caching/how were you introduced to caching.

In 2003, my new girlfriend- Hayseed 40 was interested in mapping and GIS so I bought her a Garmin etrex Venture for Christmas. During my search for information on GPS, I ran across the geocaching website. 3 days after Christmas, we found our first cache- “Signal Knob”.

Tell us about your GPS receiver.

I originally had a Garmin etrex Vista, but the click stick broke after 2 years. I took it apart to fix it and realized that was beyond my means. Anyone want to buy a parts only Vista?
When the Garmin 60CSx came out, Pyronorm rushed out and got one and told me how great it was and I picked one up a short time later.
I put a 2gig card in it and use Garmin Street Atlas v7.

Tell us about any software/hardware or other gadgets that help you cache

I don’t use any computer apps or PDA’s for caching. I think they are an incredible waste of time and money. I see no reason to track my progress on a computer- that’s why I pay Groundspeak.

What essential items are in your cache bag?

My cache bag is my backpack that I carry everywhere. I have the following: Leatherman, Digital Camera, GPS, basic first aid kit, compass, knife, extra rechargeables, rain gear, gore-tex pants and gaiters, some tuna packets and 3 liters of soda water. Sometimes a TB or three.

What is your favorite thing about caching?

I would have to say my favorite thing about caching would be all the little out-of-the-way places that I have driven by a thousand times, but until now, never had a reason to stop and explore them.

Tell us about your favorite cache or type of cache.

My favorite cache type is really any cache that provides an interesting story or theme, a decent hike to a nice viewpoint or hidden area, an ammo-can, and interesting schwag. I would have to say that “1000 steps” is my favorite cache so far. It has a sadistical set of stairs, old buildings, nice trails, and an excellent viewpoint.

Tell us about a memorable caching experience.

As far as a caching experience, “Dead Man’s Pulse” is set in the wilds of Ludington State Park. While on the search for this excellent multi, I passed through some of the most tranquil land that I have ever set foot upon. It seemed like what the original settlers or natives might have seen at any given time. No litter and no one else on the trails.

How many states or countries have you cached in and how is it different from the NoVA area?

I’ve cached in a couple of different areas. In Michigan, most of the cache seem to be 3/3 or less and considerably far apart. In Pennsylvania around the urban areas, it seems like micro is king. Southwestern Florida caches are all under palmetto leaves which are by far the grossest cache covering. Lots of spiders and possibly an alligator too. Good hides and concepts though. I really think the Nova area has the most variety and most originality of any of the areas that I’ve been. I really think that our area is part of the cutting edge of caching.

Are you trying to meet any geocaching goals right now? (a milestone #, DeLorme Challenge, clear off your first 10 pages, etc.?)

Goals for geocaching? Doesn’t that seem kind of silly? It’s like someone telling me that they are a football fan and are trying to see 1000 live games in a year. I just plan on staying with it indefinitely. It’s a great hobby that promotes activity and intellectual thinking.

Tell us about your other interests or areas of expertise.

As long as I am able to do land surveying, I’ll be a geocacher. Both promote free thinking and a keen eye for details. I find that surveying helps me learn about how to find caches and caching teaches me to pay closer attention to details.

Tell us what keeps you caching. What do you love about this sport?

My caching philosophy is to leave all caches a little better than I found them. This means either adding some good schwag or dumping all the useless crap that seems to find its’ way into them. We live one of the top wealthiest areas of the world and people are pretty stingy with what they leave in caches. Trade even or up and empty the geotrash. Sometimes its fun to leave the “schwag bag” stashed nearby. Make sure to mention it in the log. This sometimes has the effect of enraging other cachers. I just say, “It’s only a game”.

September 2007 Member Spotlight: Rinauldi

Tell us about your caching name.

Rinauldi is a nickname that I was given in Jr. High School. There isn’t much of a story behind it, but here it is anyway. One of my closest friends had parents who did a lot of international travel. His mom was from France and his father from Rio and they had family spread everywhere. Of course, has was often brought along. For some reason I reminded him of someone he knew from his travels named Renalto, but he thought Rinauldi sounded cooler and started calling me that. I couldn’t walk down the hall at school without hearing “HEY RinnnnnAAAAALDI!” It stuck. College was no escape as we both went to the same school and pledged the same fraternity. I guess at some point I embraced it and made it my own. I came with me into the early days of computer BBS’s because no one used real names – even back in the early 80’s, and the same friends were still online.

Tell us how you started caching/how were you introduced to caching.

In my younger days I did a lot of wilderness backpacking. My career aspirations were to be a Geologist and I managed to hike large sections of the high desert and the Rockies. Through the years, time got in the way and I stopped. About a year ago, a friend suggested that we pick it back up. It lasted for a whole one outing, but I ended up with new gear and a Magellan eXplorist XL. It didn’t see much use until I chanced upon a few Geocaching blogs. It sounded fun and there was a cache within a 10 minute walk of my house. I tried it, loved it, and have been hooked every since.

Tell us about your receiver.

As I mentioned, I have an eXplorist XL with a 1GB SIM card. If I knew when I bought it what I know now, I would have something different. On the other hand, it does the job. I’ve already decided that I’ll be upgrading this Christmas (unless Santa comes early) to either a higher end Garmin or (drum roll, please) the Triton 2000. I’ve not been impressed with Magellan support since they were sold, so that may be a deciding factor. I’m so anxious to see the Triton though.

Tell us about any software/hardware or other gadgets that help you cache

The primary tool I use is GSAK. I have Mapsend Topo, but I haven’t touched it since the maps were loaded to the GPSr. I used to download the additional files for the eBook reader on my Blackjack, but those seem to have disappeared. Work just gave me a Treo with PalmOS so I’m starting to look at the paperless thing again now that I have a tool that can handle it. For the most part, it’s Pocket Query->GSAK->GPS and go.

What essentials are in your cache bag?

I try to travel light. I generally carry just a camelback with water, first aid kit, extra batteries, a telescoping mirror, utility knife, flashlight, compass, OFF, and a few trinkets. Humm, is that light? If it is less than a mile, or less than a three difficulty, the bag is usually in the car with a trinket or two in the pockets.

What is your favorite thing about caching?

Must I pick just one? If so, it would be “discovery.” I love to discover new things, sights, places, history, facts, trivia, etc. Caching always gives me these things. I’ve learnt more history in my short time caching than I did in school. A close second would be the people I have met. We have lived in the area for almost eight years now. My biggest complaint was always the unfriendly, itinerant people. So many are “just passing through” that it seems they feel an investment in getting to know someone or actually making a friend is too much to bother with. The caching community is different. I’ve never met a friendlier group of people who care so much about what they do, and those they do it with. I can honestly say it is the first group where I can’t find anyone I don’t like. (Of course, I haven’t met everyone yet. *grin*)

Tell us about your favorite cache or type of cache.

My ideal cache would be traditional, in a beautiful area, and both a challenge to get to and to find. I haven’t made the time to do many of these. However, I like any cache that presents a challenge. Event caches are up there on my list too and I’m already watching GeoBash08.

Tell us about a memorable caching experience.

The most memorable caches for me are the ones I’ve had to work hard at figuring out. Although I’d have no problems finding similar caches now, I will always remember “Uncommon Costco” and “Leaves.” I’m on a team that is at stage four of Blood and Guts and desperately trying to make sense of things enough to get to the final. As for most memorable, that one will be hard to beat. I’ve already invested more time in it than I did in many of my college classes.

Tell us about your other interests or areas of expertise.

I came to the area to manage large Information Technology contracts and love what I do. (Although I don’t love commuting to DC to do it. Chantilly is a dream.) I’m often the last point of escalation for technical problems and like being able to find solutions. As I mentioned, I also love to backpack and someday hope to find someone else to pack with. My other hobbies are Genealogy, Book Collecting, and Sports Card collecting.

Summer Shindig Sunday

Hey, hey, hey – it’s not too late to make plans (or change your plans) so you can attend the NoVAGO Summer Shindig (GC11329) in Pohick Bay Regional Park. The event starts at 10:30 this coming Sunday, August 5th, 2007. NoVAGO really knows how to host an event, and these major “season” events are not to be missed.

Good food, good folks, and good times are guaranteed! See the NoVAGO Event Forum for some exciting news about a Silent Auction – the list of items is amazing. There will also be a Raffle, caches to hunt in the park and surrounding area, and more socializing than you can shake a stick at. See you there!!!

2006 NoVAGO Cache award winners!

Best Kids Cache
Chalk-Art Challenge (GCV19F)

Best Location
Liver River (Liver Fiesta #6) (GCXTFC)

Best Hike
Troll Treasure (GC103KW)

Best Theme
The Liver Series by Team KKW

Best Name
Glimwicket’s Rocky Hillside House of Treats (GCZWXZ)

Best History Related Cache
“Peanut” Johnson (GCYZEQ)

Best Micro
Barking Up the Wrong Tree (GCYE4Q)

Best Multi-Stage
You are the GPS (GCV153)

Best Mystery/Puzzle
The Geo-Justice League (GCYAYJ)

Best Traditional (non-micro)
Glimwicket’s Rocky Hillside House of Treats (GCZWXZ)

Best Letterbox
The Missing (GCV8DM)

Best EarthCache
Great Falls Earthcache (GCZDA0)

Most Creative Cache
The Treasure you seek lies not in the box…. (GCY83X)

Cache of Year
Gimme Shelter from the Beavers (GCYEGC)

Rookie of the Year
TheFirstNoel

Cacher of the Year
2Wheel’in

2006 NoVAGO Geocache Awards

Hey, hey it’s that time again…NoVAGO would like to recognize the outstanding caches and cachers for the 2006 calendar year. Please review the nomination guidelines and submit your selections by February 28th…

Actual voting will take place during the month of March.

Here are the Categories:
Best Kids Cache
Best Location
Best Hike
Best Theme
Best Name
Best History Related Cache
Best Micro
Best Multi-Stage
Best Mystery/Puzzle
Best Traditional (non-micro)
Best Letterbox
Best EarthCache
Most Creative Cache
Cache of Year
Rookie of the Year
Cacher of the Year

Send your votes to: cacheawards(at)novago.org

Feedback for NoVAGO based on Loudon Connection Article

Got this feedback a bit ago through the site, thought you all might find it interesting!



Message: I read the article in the Loudoun “Connection” which prompted me to take a look at your website. Very nice. I read with interest that Mr. Rountree lives in Ashburn. You might be interested
to know that our family, which includes Jeremy Irish, the founder and CEO of Groundspeak, Inc. in Seattle, lived on Wayside Circle for 7 years from 1991 to 1998. Jeremy left Virginia in 1998 to work in
Seattle for an IT firm, then created the website that led to this popular sport. We are his parents, now living in Colorado, and watch with amazement as the sport continues to grow. Best of luck to NoVAGo!




Thanks for writing, Mr. Irish! And thanks for allowing me to share your note.



robert