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Cacher of the Month - March 2012
Sometimes I think that this should have been my geocaching user name, "Mindless Drifter". To me, it invokes the image of a feather in the wind, going wherever the air current takes them. Or, someone who walks around in a daze most of the time. Both descriptions would apply to me. But, this write up is not about me, it's about March's Cacher of the Month! Mindless Drifter has been caching for almost 5 years. For most of that time, he cached under the name of rnakonec, which is how I know him. In that time, he has amassed over 1,700 geocaches in at least 3 countries, including Panama. Taking a quick gander at his statistics page shows that for the month of March alone, he has hit over 450 caches!! Methinks someone is working on a power trail! Congratulations, Mindless Drifter, Happy GeoTrails to you!
- When did you start Geocaching?
- How did you find out about Geocaching?
- What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
- Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
- Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
- How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
- What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
- What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
- What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
- What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
- What, currently, is your favourite, unarchived Manitoba geocache?
- What is your favorite Caching Story?
- What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
- What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
- What kind of GPSr do you use?
- What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
- What is the meaning of your username?
- What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
- Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
- With whom do you normally go geocaching?
- If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
- Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
- Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
- What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
- Can you play a musical instrument?
- How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
- Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
- Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
- What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
I found my first geocache, "Skiing, No Boating - Lotto 6/49 - East District(4)" (GCX8YM) on September 9, 2007. I had a GPS enabled PDA (a Mio Digiwalker, hardly knew what I was doing with it), hand-punched the coordinates, jumped in the car with my wife and so the adventures began.
I happened to be at work and remembered that I wanted to watch an episode of a new CBC television show called "Living Winnipeg". So, I found it online (see it at http://www.mbgeocaching.ca/node/265/play), watched a segment featuring OHMIC and off I went to www.geocaching.com.
On that 1st day I learned of Geocaching, I checked out the caches in my original home town of Elphinstone, MB (pop. of maybe 250) and noticed there was a cache located there…right in my old stomping grounds! It was then I realized how far ranging this little-known hobby was! OK, so now I bit the hook, and then off I went into Transcona to find my first cache. It took me a while, initially trusting my GZ to the last millimeter before I took a moment to look around and soon had the "what the heck is this" moment…wow, what a rush! That was the Hook, Line & Sinker event for me.
Yes, I have found caches in all provinces except Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and the Territories. Since we have relatives in the US, I have found caches in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington DC. And, over the New Year while on a cruise, I did a virtual cache passing through the Panama Canal.
Yes, I told my co-worker (Gizzmo1) about Geocaching a while back, but she really became interested when she attended MBGA Pub Night- Boogie in to 2012 in January! Although she was mildly interested at first, she said "let's go next weekend". So we teamed up and she ended up finding over a 100 caches so far! Another co-worker was also interested and he & his wife teamed up as "Chris and Angie". Chris recently asked me to load up his GPS (I'm the Geocaching go-to guy at work) with Hawaiian caches for their upcoming trip. I hope they enjoy finding a few caches in a tropical paradise.
After the initial explanation and the "you do what?" responses, I tell them about the sheer number of caches all over the city and the world and how much fun my wife and I have had, finding neat, interesting, unique sites and scenery all over. I also explain how much fun it can be for children or even if you take your dog out for a walk. People are usually amazed at the number of caches I've found (which is really not a lot) and they always ask how many people are actually Geocaching in Winnipeg.
Work keeps me pretty busy these days, but I do enjoy travelling, photography and fishing. I also like going to concerts to see those superstars one more time before they retire!
Wow, there are not too many things I dislike about geocaching. I guess caches that are ignored or abandoned by the cache owner bother me. And although rare (but it did happen to me), cachers who didn't log their FTF's for my caches.
I have to admit that one of my favorite multi-caches was "Around Clear Lake" (GCWW1C) that took you completely around the entire lake to enjoy multiple landmarks, such as an isthmus, beach, spruce trees, a wishing well, piers and so on. Finding this cache in late November with a dusting of snow made for an enjoyable, muggle-free day!
I would have to say that logging a virtual cache on the Panama Canal (GC6CD6) constitutes as my most memorable cache. It is a nice tribute to the amazing feat of engineering and perseverance by the people who built this canal and have kept it running for almost a 100 years.
My favorite Manitoba geocache would have to be "Betwixt & Between Trove TCDNMB YLHD" (GC15HRZ); a very creative hide and a very rewarding find.
Favorite, hmm, let's say "Eventful". This happened when I attempted to find "St. Germaine cache #1" (GC2HQ0Q). I spoke to a record number of police officers that day!
Foremost, a pen, mirror, tweezers, flashlight, telescoping magnetic pick-up tool, (Leatherman-like) multi-tool, walkie-talkie, spare batteries and my cell phone. On occasion, I will bring along my hiking stick or a "Mr. Reachy" if required. I have been known to stick my camera in the hollows of trees and tight places to take a flash picture as opposed to doing a lot of touchy-feely exploration.
Lately, I've been using my Garmin Oregon 450t, but after caching with Gizzmo1, she said I should buy a new one and sell her my 450t. So I did and now I have an Oregon 550t.
I usually pretend my GPSr is a cell phone (although that didn't work when Lynda L. called me on it at "The Gateway to Angels - Shady Stop" (GC3AMXF) earlier this year).
When I first signed up on geocaching.com, I didn't realize how important it was to have a reasonable caching username. So, I chose my user id from many years ago when I used the U of M's Amdahl mainframe in the 70's, "RNAKONEC", which is a first initial & last name concoction. However, as I kept caching and running into more & more cachers, this name was too cryptic and completely forgetful. So I thought, what do I really do out there?…yup, mindlessly drifting from cache to cache --- Mindless Drifter. And, most everyone I meet now easily remembers this username.
My first TB was in the shape of an electric guitar that I picked up in Montana.
klbue & Jean Déniche have certainly earned my respect with their impressive caching stats in a relatively short amount of time. Finding so many caches and FTF's, they are truly awesome. I had the pleasure of meeting klblue a while back and have communicated via email with Jean Déniche for some advice on "Power Trails" that I may tackle in the near future. And, to 1purplemonkeydishwasher1 for the sheer number of caches placed for all of us to enjoy.
My wife accompanies me on all my cache runs (normally early mornings on weekends), but she does not geocache and prefers to read the newspaper while I am out looking for caches. She is, however, on that other walkie-talkie, warning me of impending muggles. I normally cache by myself, but for the last 2 or so months, my new recruit, Gizzmo1, has accompanied us. Far more fun & success to cache with another set of eyes looking for the prize.
Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska and the Yukon would be amazing!
"HUH?" (GC12W1Y). I have been here WAY too many times, even with a metal detector once!! I will try again soon.
The cache "Swistun Buddas" (GC3693Z) is one of my favorite placed caches. It's virtually in the middle of nowhere and it's an interesting historical site. Kimmykaze's log entry summarizes it beautifully: "Group FTF with Trove Chasers and TXNCHK!! Yippee!!!! Sooo exciting. This cache is why I love geocaching. It brought me somewhere I probably would have never been otherwise, and taught me about the history of something I didn't know. :)".
I mostly like comedies & short stories. Right now I am reading "Stories from the Vinyl Café" by CBC Radio's Stuart McLean and Fawlty Towers (of John Cleese fame) by Graham McCann.
I play a little guitar, but most of my free time is spent geocaching.
About 2.9 km away!
I make use of the standard GSAK and MapSource from Garmin. GSAK has a great macro to load up my Oregon 550t. However, I use my trusty Nuvi 255W to navigate to within walking distance of the chosen geocache. I use MapSource to load up the Nuvi with cache waypoints because I like to have a different icon for Winter-Friendly caches (I use a snow-capped mountain) rather than the usual treasure chest. A little extra visual information is always handy!
No…just for geocaching!
The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, AC/DC, Aerosmith and ZZ-Top, balanced with a little Habib Koité.