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Featured Cacher For August 10 - Lefty Writer

Lefty Writer of League City, TX.
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What got you interested in caching?
Mr. Lefty Writer: After purchasing my first GPSr, a Magellan 315, I was browsing for accessories when I saw this banner add for something called ""Geocaching."" It sounded interesting, so I clicked on the link to read more about it. Once on the Geocaching website, I knew this was something that would be fun, so I signed up for a free account and got started. I became a premium member after just a couple of weeks of caching. After that, though, I sort of went on an extended hiatus for a couple of years, and got back into it shortly before meeting my better half.

Mrs. Lefty Writer: I was introduced to Geocaching through Patrick when we first met. However, I would mispronounce the name as geo-cache'ing. Once I found my first TB, I was hooked!!

Mr. Lefty Writer: The first few times she called it geo-cach'ing, I didn't have the heart to tell her. Before our first event, though, I clued her in so she wouldn't be embarrassed.
How did you decide on your caching name?
Mr. Lefty Writer: Being predominantly left handed, the "Lefty" part was easy. For those who have read my logs, y'all know I love to write (and write…and write….and write). I also like the whole dichotomy of the Left/Right thing when spoken aloud. I use Lefty Writer on pretty much any forum I sign up on. After Cindy and I got married, I asked her if she wanted to change our caching name to "Team Lefty Writer" to reflect both of us, but she preferred we keep the "official" name as it is. Unofficially, we call ourselves "Team Lefty Writer".

Mrs. Lefty Writer: Patrick already had a name, so we just call ourselves Team Lefty Writer.

When you cache, what equipment do you use? (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)
Mr. Lefty Writer: I use a Garmin Vista HCx, while Cindy uses a Magellan eXplorist 500. We also have a Palm Z22 PDA loaded with CacheMate while we are in the field. I use GSAK to manage our data. In addition to that, I frequently use a digital voice recorder to make detailed notes or observations about a specific cache so I can use that later when logging the finds online. Throw in a digital camera, and sometimes an HD camcorder and we'll call that good. Mrs. Lefty Writer thinks it's pretty funny when I load myself down with all of this "stuff."

Mrs. Lefty Writer: By the looks of my husband, Patrick, everything but the kitchen sink! Let's see a PDA, two GPSs units, TomTom (sometimes), voice recorder, camera, two hats, two walking poles, a pack back, a cooler, a print out list…get the point!!

Mr. Lefty Writer: See what I mean?

What are your all-time favorite cache(s)?
Mr. Lefty Writer: Wow, there are several that really made an impression on me! It's hard to list just a few, as there are many that made us laugh when we saw the container, or cheer when we finally found it, or just marvel at the view. One very clever cache is in a rest stop on I-10 east bound, just east of San Antonio: Desert Flower (GCTPDX). Another ""must do"" cache is a virtual in Grand Cayman (GC6CE7). It was on this cache that my beloved Magellan SporTrak Pro drowned. Now that's a long story, but if you want to hear it, look me up at the next event.

Do you have any special caching adventures you want to tell us about?
Mr. Lefty Writer: We've had several special caching adventures, but the one that I tend to recall is our honeymoon cruise. We were on the Westerdam on an Alaskan cruise, and our last port of call was Victoria, B.C. Having already scouted out the area and selected a bunch of caches, I loaded up the GPSr, and PDA. The ship didn't arrive until later in the day, and we weren't able to disembark until after dinner. By then, it was already dusk. Knowing we'd be out after dark, I wanted to make sure we had a flashlight when we got off the ship. We hustled down to the cabin to grab our jackets, GPSr, PDA, etc. and left the ship.
Once we got out of the cruise terminal, we selected the first cache and took off. This cache (GCJ7CQ) was right on the beach, and the view was awesome! Besides our ship, there was another Princess ship tied up next to us, and with all the lights on, it was quite a site! The nearly set sun and the lights on the ships prompted me to reach in our bag for the flashlight….which wasn't there! Yes, that's right, I totally left our flashlight in the cabin! D'oh! Being the resourceful cacher that we are, though, we used the light from our PDA and the Maggie as our ""flashlight."" Believe it or not, once it is full dark, the Palm Z22 actually puts out a lot of light. We used them both over the next few hours as we explored Victoria.
It was so dark, that when we wanted to take a picture, one of us would have to hold the Maggie with the screen out so there would be something to aim the camera at. The temperature was dropping, too, so we were glad that we had at least brought our jackets with us. We got back to the ship about half an hour from the ""all aboard"" time. We ended up with 14 finds that evening, which was more than we thought we'd get.

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
Mr. Lefty Writer: For me, there was this one time when Cindy was working, so I decided to join up with the ""Memorial Park Mob."" We were to meet at a particular parking spot in Memorial Park. We all had the coordinates for the parking spot, so I dutifully plugged ‘em in to the GPSr. I was running a bit late, so before I got to the park entrance, I called ATMA to let them know I'd be there, but just a little late. I pulled into the park entrance, glanced at the GPSr, and saw that it was pretty close to where I should be. I jumped out of my truck, grabbed my stuff, and started looking around for everyone else.
"Where the heck is everybody?" I wondered to myself, "I don't even see ATMA's van!" I looked around some more, wondering what to do next, when my cell phone rang. "Hey Lefty, where are you? Everyone is waiting for you." I replied to ATMA that I was at the parking spot, described the surroundings, and was told that I should be able to see everybody, if not their cars. It was then that I took a closer look at my Maggie and saw that I still had another tenth of a mile….that way. I glanced over to where the arrow was pointing, and sure enough there was another parking lot with lots of cars including our group.
I then got back into the truck, hustled over to where everyone was waiting, and tried not to look like the idiot I felt I was.

Mrs. Lefty Writer: Hmmmm I would have to say either the time I dropped the GPS upside down in the mud as I was losing my shoe in the mud, or the time I left the GPS on the park bench and ATMA had to turn the car back to go get it!!

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
Mr. Lefty Writer: I like traditionals, multis and virtuals. I'm not much into puzzle caches (even though we have one of our own) because I usually feel pretty stupid when I try to solve the danged thing and can't even figure out where to start. What makes it hard is that I'll read some of the logs: ""Pretty easy puzzle, solved it in about 3 minutes.""

Mrs. Lefty Writer: I like traditionals and multis, because you can adjust your search for size and difficulty. I have yet to dabble with puzzle caches.

What is your favorite local cache?
Mr. Lefty Writer: Tough choice, as there are many that I really like. Since I have to pick just one, though, I would have to say it's "All I Want for Christmas is Snow Again" (GC19VW0). It's not particularly hard, but it was a fun cache to do.

How about your favorite out of state cache?
Mr. Lefty Writer: Again, what a tough choice! This cache is one I often tell friends about, especially if I know it won't be a spoiler for them. While preparing for our Alaskan cruise, Cindy and I spent some time in Seattle and did a little caching after visiting Groundspeak HQ. Luckily, we decided to do ""Seeing Seagulls"" (GCZ02V) on a Saturday morning when there weren't too many muggles around. Very clever place to hide a cache, lemme tell ya!

Summer or Winter caching? Why?
Mr. Lefty Writer: I prefer to cache in our version of "winter." It's not so darned hot and usually the vegetation isn't quite as dense, especially the poison ivy! Even park and grabs can be tiring in the peak of summer.

When a new cache is listed, are you tempted to go for FTF?
Mr. Lefty Writer: IF we see the new listing pop up and IF it isn't too far away, then yes, I'm tempted to go for it. On one of our first attempts on a newly published cache, though, it was an epic fail. You'll just have to read all about it when you visit GC1N5Q7. I'm just sayin'….

Mrs. Lefty Writer: I am tempted to try to be FTF but my husband won't let me speed!!

Tell us about your cache mobile.
Mr. Lefty Writer: Besides ATMA's mini-van? We usually take my vehicle, a Hyundai Santa Fe. I like all the room it has, and the gas mileage isn't too bad, except if we do lots of park and grabs. Every once in a while, we'll take Cindy's Taurus, but not often.

Mrs. Lefty Writer: ""Frodo"" is a black Hyundai Sante Fe with lots of room for all of our geo stuff and more!!

Mr. Lefty Writer: Yes, she actually gave both vehicles a name. Ummm, yeah…..

What other hobbies do you have?
Mr. Lefty Writer: Did I mention that I like to write? I love to go shooting when I can, although it starts adding up when buying lots of ammo. I always take a camera with us whenever we go on any trips (Yes, we love to travel, does that count as another hobby?) and now that we have acquired a compact HD camcorder, I want to start shooting lots of videos. I love to cook, and even my wife seems to like it, so I guess I'm pretty lucky there, huh?

Mrs. Lefty Writer: Foooooood!! Nothing beats a good meal after a day of caching!!

Mr. Lefty Writer: See? She does like my cooking! Yay!

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?
Mr. Lefty Writer: We have talked about hitting 1500 by our next cruise, but that's coming up on us pretty fast. One of my goals is to complete the Texas County Challenge and the Texas Area Code Challenge in the next couple of years. Also, I'd love to find at least one cache in every state in the US.

Mrs. Lefty Writer: I think our next goal is to reach 1500 by our next cruise.

Is it all about the numbers?
Mr. Lefty Writer: Well of course it is! Without numbers, you wouldn't have longitude and latitude, would you? Seriously, though, I'd rather find one or two caches in an awesome location then do just a strict numbers run. That's not to say I don't enjoy a little power caching now and then either. I like variety, so after doing some scenic caching, it's fun to challenge ourselves with a power caching run, just to see how many we can do in a day.

Mrs. Lefty Writer: Well…….? A lady does not cache and tell. You will have to wait for my tell all book to come out.

Mr. Lefty Writer: Hmmmm, I think I'll just leave it at that.

Thanks for this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
Mr. Lefty Writer: I'm glad that I found an awesome wife who loves caching like I do, and I'm glad there are so many cool people in the area. Where else can one get an inside view of a major airline, or learn the local history of our community? I'm glad to be a part of such a unique environment!