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Featured Cacher For December 2006 - Two Dog Knight

Two Dog Knight of Sugar Land, TX.
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How did you learn about caching?
Two Dog Knight: It was June of 2001. I was visiting family in Denver, Co. There was an article on Geocaching in the paper. It peaked my interest, being one to be always on the inquisitive side when it is about something new and different. It was a matter of cutting out the article and filing it for future exploration. I did not own a GPS and I was headed for Las Vegas, then Utah, then Wyoming, then Montana, then Idaho, then Oregon, then Nevada, then Utah, then Arizona, then New Mexico, then home to the Houston area. It was just at the beginning my planned trip for the summer. Upon my return to Houston I came across the geocaching article that I saved while unpacking. I wound up buying the little yellow Garmin Etrex and used it for the 1st time in January of 2002. My first find is now a letter box cache, but, it is still active.
What kind of equipment used (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)?
Two Dog Knight: I do not have the yellow Garmin Etrex, spoken about above, anymore. The summer of 2002 I went to Alaska and came home via Washington state, where I took the opportunity to climb the back of Mt. St. Helens, up to the crater. On the way down I FOUND in the rocks a Garmin Etrex Vista that a climber lost. It was programmed for German. I took it to the site where we all had to sign in and out if we were making the climb. I took the names and telephone numbers of all the climbers that had German sounding names. Called all of them and none had lost a GPS. I checked the Garmin site and it was no help either. When I got to Denver, on my trip home, I gave the Vista to my daughter. After all, it was in German, and even though I had two years of German in college…that was a long time ago. This also tells you how much I knew about a GPS.
I started geocaching in earnest in the spring of 2003. The little yellow Etrex did a great job for me. Again on my summer trip, and going through Denver, I asked my daughter what she used the GPS for, (I had since found out the German language was a GPS option) she said she didn’t use it. So I traded her the yellow Etrex for the Vista. My GPS of choice is the Garmin Vista. I like it, I am used to it, and it does the job for me.
I do have a Palm IIIxe pda that I used quite often with cachemate. Then it was put away in favor of my laptop and GSAK. I carry my laptop with me in the cachemobile most times when I cache. However, I am learning how to use my Vista a little bit more, and maybe in the future the laptop will only be an occasional companion when caching. On the laptop I have Delorme Street Atlas and I download my waypoints on to a map that is specifically designated for geocaching. It is great when traveling.

What are your all-time favorite cache/s and or adventure whilecaching?
Two Dog Knight: I have several favorite caches:
The LH series by Motexoutlaw. I liked them all and they deserve the right to be at the top of this list. They were my first…my training ground.
Of course, the Sugar Land Gridiron cache. This cache caused me more frustration than any other, and became a challenge and an obsession.
There is a cache in Wyoming that took me to a mountain mans abode, GCF033, John Blue’s Cabin. A stone structure about 8x8 feet with a flat roof. I never did find the cache, I was alone, it was summer, rocks everywhere and a great place for snakes. I wasn’t interested in meeting up with , a rattler. Even though I didn’t find the cache it was okay because the cache became secondary to being at the mountain mans cabin.
This past summer I was again in Wyoming and I found myself at a cache that was placed at 11,000 feet, Stubbed Toe GCX06G. I was able to drive within 300 feet of the cache. The view was awesome. This was only one of several high altitude caches I have done in Wyoming. All of them had spectacular views of the Big Horns.
I have done caches that have taken me to trenches dug by confederate soldiers in Virginia, Confederate Breastworks cache, GCAF56, a shipwreck cache, Boca Chica Shipwreck, GCBE43, ghost towns, old logging flumes, old mines, lots of National Parks and Monuments. The most poignant would have to be the 911 cache, GC9A74 in Tulsa Oklahoma.
All the caches that I have done, have been an adventure. I consider going caching as always being an adventure. Do I have a most adventurous cache? You bet.
The Hearty Cache for Hearty Cachers, GC5A0F, rated 4-4, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
I was in Denver, I was wanting to cache, and I advertised in the forum for someone to cache with. This tied me up with Tahosa, a geocacher from Longmont, Co. He had a cache that he was going to go and pick up because it was not getting much action. He was going to place it somewhere more accessible, and he asked if I would like to go along. I did and WOW!
It was a trek up into the Rockies. It took us about 3 hours to get to the cache, but along the way he also taught me Geoteering and Geotouring, compass and topographical map work. Anyway, to make a long story short it was a great cache, a great trek and my guide/mentor, was absolutely awesome. He is a true friend to the environment and dedicated to the Rocky Mountains. When we got back to his place and I was saying good-bye, I told him that I had a triple bypass a year before that I did not want to mention to him before we left. He said, that only 3 cachers had done this cache (including me) and they all had bypass surgery. Hhhmmmm, what does that say for the healthy. But, I might add, my butt was dragging.

Do you have any other hobbies?
Two Dog Knight: I like to read, historical novels, sailing novels, Clive Cussler, Dirk Pitt novels, how-to-do books and just about anything else that peaks my interest. However, no where do I admit that I retain what I read. I like contra-dancing,(look up “contra-dance Houston” in your search engine) and I also do some square dancing. I used to fly-fish while I traveled, but the licenses became too expensive. I enjoy movies, especially, the moldy oldies…40-50’s stuff. And, of course, you are already aware that I like to travel. I try to leave the Houston area for the summer every year and stay away till late October or November, getting back in time for Thanksgiving.

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
Two Dog Knight: My most embarrassing geo-moment always revolves around the cache that I could not find. It is the rude awakening regarding my stupidity that I find to be very embarrassing. Fortunately, I have had no run in with the law, local gendarmes or the FBI. I have not been chased out of, or off of any property. I have not been stopped and asked what I am doing. Does that make me less a cacher?

How did you decide on your caching name?
Two Dog Knight: Two Dog Knight where did you come from? I belong to a Single RVers list on Yahoo. We get together several times a year and camp for a week or two. At the time I joined I had two yorkies, Kibbles n Bits, that I gained custody of through a divorce, and they were my travel buddies. Of course, they slept with me, and TDK is a take off of Three Dog Night. The knight part, I was informed by the ladies, was because I was such a gentleman. I can verify that the Two Dog part is true, and I will not touch the Knight part. It stuck and whenever I get to a campout I am always referred to as Two Dog Knight even though the dogs have gone to wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge.

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
Two Dog Knight: I like the traditional cache, most specifically the ammo can that has added benefits viz: In a wooded or not muggle friendly area. Near a historical site or the cache itself has some historical significance. Is a nice walk, preferably less than 1 mile one way from parking. Since, I do a lot of caching when I travel, multi caches and puzzle caches are not very interesting to me. Virtual caches, I find to be awesome. A Virtual cache always takes me to an interesting site, informs me of some local, state, or national history fact that I may or may not know. Most times a virtual cache will take me to an out of the way place that I normally would not visit.

Tell us about your cache mobile.
Two Dog Knight: My cache mobile is the only vehicle I own. It is also my recreational vehicle (RV). Since my retirement I have always owned a vehicle that I could camp in. My largest was a 30 foot RV that I towed a car behind. My smallest is the vehicle I have now, a 2006 Ford Ranger with a camper top on the back. In June I spent a month in Tulsa, outfitting the camper top. It has a bed, TV, shelves, drawer, electricity all installed in the back of the truck. In the cab there is a table to hold my laptop. I like it because it is small and it gets very good gas mileage. Even though it is not a 4x4 it still gets me to the places that I need to be in order to cache.

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?
Two Dog Knight: I have no caching goals. Caching is a casual thing with me. I cache when I feel like it or decide I need to get out into the fresh air or if someone wants a caching companion I would go. If there were any goals that I would pursue, they would be to cache in all 50 states, and get some Earthcaches under my belt.

Is it all about the numbers?
Two Dog Knight: For me, I don’t think too much about the numbers till I get close to a landmark, 100, 500, 1000, etc.