I opened up my mailbox earlier this week to find an invitation from fellow Geocacher, Washknight, to complete his Interrogation Challenge. How could I possibly refuse as I have always enjoyed reading about other geocachers so it was time to put forward some info about me.
1) When and how did you get into Geocaching?
My husband (Cockrobbinn) and I started geocaching late August 2014. Some friends on the Island (Isle of Wight) often disappeared; they had probably mentioned going ‘caching’ but we hadn’t picked up on it until last August when they explained exactly what they were doing. We were extremely interested as it would combine our love of walking and exploring with finding ‘things’.
2) Do you remember your first find?
Vividly! It was A Stone’s Throw from Salvation GC3MTRW in Bembridge. It was hidden in a stone across the road (the stone’s throw) from the church (salvation) – and in a private garden. I’m still amazed we found it but we were jubilant; we also loved the clue.
3) What device(s) do you use for locating caches?
We started with my iPhone 5 which I still use (and prefer). Cockrobbinn got a Garmin Dakota 10 for Christmas which he has got used to but we haven’t loaded any different maps on it and although it can find Paris, Kentucky and most of the UK, it won’t recognize the Isle of Wight so it is stuffed into the bottom of our Geobag at the moment.
4) Where do you live and what is your local area like for geocaching? (Density/quality/setting etc)
Camberley, Surrey. We seem to be ideally situated for a variety of caches within very easy reach. There are also quite a few series of caches locally.
5) What has been your most memorable geocache to date, and why?
The one that springs to mind is Old Jar in a Tree GC53A3V; the last cache I found in Kentucky when I visited in February. It was my last full day in the USA and Kentucky had been hit by Storm Octavia. Temperatures got down to 22 degrees below and the snow was deep, dry and powdery. I’d gone for a walk to a coffee shop and was on the way back with a bag of do-nuts when I realized I was passing Stonewall Park where I knew there was a cache hidden. To get to GZ I had to first cross a vast slope where the kids (and grownups) had been tobogganing; it was absolutely lethal with packed ice and I gingerly crept across it. Then on into a wooded area where I kept disappearing into snow drifts. I eventually came to the cache which was hidden in one of those large majestic trees, but if anyone could have seen me, I think I would have been arrested. I kept falling over in the deep snow; my do-nuts had escaped from their bag and joined me rolling about and I was laughing my head off. It felt like I was the only person on the planet but in reality I wasn’t that far off the beaten track (even if it was completely obscured by ice and snow). It was such a relief to eventually get back on the road without breaking my ankle (or worse) but I was also so happy to have found the cache on my own – and I retrieved the do-nuts which my daughter-in-law and I ate later.
6) List 3 essential things you take on a geocaching adventure excluding GPS, pen and swaps
1 – little gadget thingie which looks like a small pair of pin-nose pliers but is in fact tweezers, knife, pliers, scissors etc.
2 – bottle of water (Cockrobbinn dehydrates very quickly)
3 – tissues! I don’t mind getting caught short in the woods, but I don’t like getting caught short without any tissues. Biodegradable of course. Sorry if I have offended anyone!!
7) Other than geocaches and their contents, what is the weirdest thing you have discovered whilst out caching?
To be honest, we haven’t really found anything very weird. We still feel fairly new though and our tally stands at 244 at the moment. Thinking again…..perhaps we are the weird things!
8) On a scale of 1 – 10 where 1 is I am obsessed by numbers and 10 is I am all about the experience and the quality of each individual cache. Where do you put yourself?
In the very early days I would have put us around a 2 or 3 as we liked to number-crunch, but we are really starting to appreciate the cleverness/craftiness/diversity of some caches so I would think we are around a 6 – 7 now.
9) Describe one incident that best demonstrates the level of your geocaching obsession
I haven’t even admitted this to Cockrobbinn yet, but we recently had to attend a very sombre funeral. Whilst waiting in the church for the service to begin I checked my phone to see whether there was a cache outside.
10) Have you picked up any caching injuries along the way?
No real injuries apart from scratches and nettle stings, but Cockrobbinn did fall off a little wooden bridge once and landed painfully on his bum in a stream.
11) What annoys you most about other geocachers?
Broken trash they leave as swaps.
12) What is the dumbest thing you have done whilst out caching?
I really hate to admit to this, but we once couldn’t find our car. We had gone into a forest from one direction and completely lost track of where we had come from. Sounds impossible, but it’s not. We now always note where we park.
13) What do your non-caching family and friends think of your hobby?
We get the pi$$ taken out of us regularly by my two sons but my son in America drove me around Kentucky in February in one of the coldest/snowiest spells they have ever had, and my son in the UK offered to go caching with me on Mothering Sunday (did he know I’d be away!!). I know they are much happier knowing that Cockrobbinn and I don’t sit indoors in front of the TV all day stagnating. I’ve never asked my friends although many seem interested.
14) What is your default excuse you give to Muggles who ask what you are up to or if you need help
Cockrobbinn has a very annoying habit of chatting away to Muggles saying that I’ve only been let out for the day and that he will look after me and get me back before nightfall!! They don’t seem to stay long after that…..
15) What is your current Geocaching goal, if you have one?
We haven’t really thought about reaching a goal; 1000 seems a very long way away. I think at the moment it is to carry on enjoying geocaching as much as we do now, and to increase our circle of geo-friends both on and off line.
16) Do you have a nemesis cache that despite multiple attempts you have been unable to find?
It’s not a single cache but a series of 4 called Jagger, Watts, Richards and Wyman – yes, the Rolling Stones, located very close to home. I don’t think they are particularly difficult to find but every time we have attempted them, the weather has been atrocious. They are hidden on MoD land with lots of trees and we have so far, only managed to locate one. We keep going back and are determined to find them in due course. Perhaps when the weather is sunnier.
17) What 3 words or phrases best sum up what Geocaching means to you
Togetherness (Cockrobbinn and I are like chalk and cheese but we both love this hobby)
The great outdoors (self-explanatory)
Laughter (some of the things we get up to have us curled up laughing)
18) What prompted you to start blogging about Geocaching?
Late December we found a local cache and the CO responded to our comment and mentioned that we might like to check out their Geocaching blog (SandhurstGeocachers). We loved it and thought what a good way to diarise our own adventures and our friends could either choose to read it, or ignore it, as they saw fit.
19) Which of your own blog entries are you most proud of?
Not sure I am particularly proud of any entry; still hesitate before hitting the ‘publish’ button – who wants to read my ramblings? However, saying that, there must be something of interest there as I am very surprised and proud of the regular followers we have from around the globe; USA, NZ, Australia, Portugal, Spain, India, Brazil to name but a few. Followers from an amazing 38 different countries – it’s unbelievable. A big thank you to you all.
20) Which other Geocaching blogs do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy almost any blog about Geocaching. It’s amazing how many little hints and tips can be picked up from fellow geocachers. We are looking and learning all the time.
I would like to thank Paul (Washknight) for including us in his interrogation. We have enjoyed learning about other geocachers and look forward to reading about many more in the future.
Happy Easter geocaching to everyone.