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”.

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