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Featured Cacher For January 2007 - GrangerFam


GrangerFam of Sugar Land, TX.
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How did you learn about caching?
GrangerFam: My sons and I were on a Cub Scout campout in April of 2005 in Stephen F. Austin SP. A good friend of ours brought a GPSr and we hunted an elevation marker on the trails of the park (Don’t Dtub Your Toe). Before we left the park, we attempted a few other caches, but they were pretty daunting for first-timers with really young kids. On the way home, we did our first cache in Katy. A few weeks later I got a Garmin ETREX Legend and we’ve been hooked ever since.
Embarrassingly, it took a while for us to figure out that we really needed to log the caches. We did several in the Sugar Land area before we finally decided to log the one’s we found. I think Rain Tree was the first cache we found near our home. Boy were we psyched!

What kind of equipment used (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)?
GrangerFam: Since the first Garmin, we’ve upgraded. We now have a Garmin 60CSx with City Navigator 8.0 maps installed. We typically use GSAK to manage the caches and use PQ’s extensively to get caches in the areas we hunt. My wife has (had) an HP IPAQ Pocket PC, which we’ve basically taken over when we installed Cachemate. She occasionally reminds me that we’ve still got her PPC, but has been a really good sport about the fact that we stole it from her.

We try to be paperless as much as we can, but sometimes print the pages if they are FTF opportunities or puzzle caches. We learned the hard way that you lose some of the information (like graphics on the cache page) when going paperless. When I did Dreamcachers’ Treebeard and The Earthly Essence of Gandalf (the boys didn’t want to go) I searched a long time around Williams Tower and stirred up the security guards a bit (they never found me as I watched them from the sky bridge…), but it was a puzzle cache and I didn’t realize it until I got home and rechecked the cache page. Live and learn…

What are your all-time favorite cache/s and or adventure whilecaching?
GrangerFam: Wow…where does one begin?
It’s funny, when we think of our all time favorites, we usually go back to some of the first ones we did when we started out.
Dreamcachers Circumcenter was a mind-blowing experience, followed closely by Sugar Land Safari. We had no idea what to expect and spent weeks doing these caches, so we felt really great when we finally got to the final.
We love anything from Piman; his caches are some of the most creative we’ve done and he keeps coming out with more. A Little More Chlorine was certainly one of the most memorable. How does he find these places?
Geowyz opened up our minds with Power to the People and a Bridge Too Far, where we discovered Cullinan Park and got up close and personal with quite a few thorny plants and learned that one must always mark the location of the vehicle and turn on the “breadcrumb” feature of the GPSr.
Bosun always amazed me with his urban camo jobs. I still use some of his caches as inspiration on mine.
Muddy Buddies, when they are not out sweeping the area of FTFs, have put out some great caches. MTP1K Yo-Yo took me 2 tries, several e-mails, and a phone-a-friend to finally get. Very crafty.
Texas Dreamweaver’s epic Strider series was an absolute blast as MAES, MaggieB, and us all stayed up way too late trying to get FTF on as many of the series as possible. At first, the boys and I ended up with several FTFs, but then we started to run into logs with both MAES and MaggieB. We thought…”Game on”. It was a ton of fun.
MAES has some of the best cache containers, Sonny Susan, Johnny Cache, er Cash, and Chariman of the Board are a few of our favorites.
mtp/SP/FTF/ etc. has some of the most evil puzzle caches (i.e., Tu-Tone, ACS, and A New World) and a few Terracaches, which I have no idea how to even approach.
MoTexOutlaw had a significant impact on opening up our minds on what a cache could be, like A Horse Less Cavalry in Texas and the whole LH series.
As far as adventures go, Snoogan’s Quantum Leap is by far the most amazing caching experience of our lives! I still have no idea how he was able to craft such a unique and personal caching experience. I mean, how did he know about my scar or that I was bitten by a nest of yellow jackets as a kid? We’re still working on that one but, man, it’s incredible!
While we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites, we love the variety, creativity, and workmanship of all of the caches we’ve found.

Do you have any other hobbies?
GrangerFam: You mean other than caching?
The boys are involved with a variety of activities, including baseball, soccer, gymnastics, karate, etc… Mostly, I follow them around and take pictures. This is actually the most important thing for me. I love to be part of their stuff and I’m glad that they’ve also taken to geocaching with me. They don’t always feel like going, but it’s funny how they get up for an FTF opportunity!
I don’t know if it counts as a hobby, but I like to coach by boy’s teams. Unfortunately, my work requires frequent travel, so I end up “assisting” more than I’d prefer. I guess the upside is that I get to cache in other places besides Houston on a regular basis (although without the boys). If I had to guess, around 30% of our cache finds in the Dallas area. In fact, I got my boss addicted to it as well since we both end up in Dallas for work.
I enjoy digital photography and have photographed my kids playing sports quite a lot. Fortunately, the camera I have (Canon Digital SLR), makes my pictures look much better than I really am. I think I need to get a 15 terabyte, RAID setup to store all of my pictures now.
I also really enjoy playing sports (basketball and soccer mostly) and just try to stay active in whatever way I can. Finally, I’m addicted to online Backgammon. It’s a curse.

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
GrangerFam: Probably the most embarrassing moment is when the boys and I went out for our first night cache. It was GQ’s The Hessian (which tragically was muggled, but still ranks as one of our top favorites). We had no idea what a fire tack was or anything else, for that matter. I thought that we needed to keep our flashlights turned off to see the markers and that they would somehow just glow. After wandering around in the dark for a while, while following a trail in the moonlight, we decided this was not the best approach…duh.
As we got back to the starting point, we met up with the FTF group who had just completed the cache. GQ generously offered to help us find the cache, even after he just accompanied the prior group. GQ took the picture in our profile after he practically led us to that cache. Thanks, GQ!
Another embarrassing moment was when I did One Good Jump by myself. I discovered the limits of my cache mobile. My cache log says it all. Bottom line, I didn’t really need to drive there at all and was very thankful for the some of the nearby workers to help get me out of the mud. I’m really glad that no police officers happened to go by, or I would have had some serious ‘splainin’ to do.

How did you decide on your caching name?GrangerFam: GrangerFam = Granger Family. The boys like to go and we’ve gotten my Father-in-law in on the act as well. We did some caches in Tucson over the Thanksgiving holiday where we had three generations caching. That was pretty cool.

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
GrangerFam: This is a tough question. I love them all and it kind of depends on the mood I’m in. Sometimes it’s great to get a bunch of P&Gs in a row and pump up the numbers, but I also love to do the puzzle caches. The thrill of the find makes the pain and suffering of the puzzle worthwhile.
When the weather is crummy, I tend to agonize over puzzle caches. There are so many very high-quality puzzle caches; I may never get through them all.
Tell us about your cache mobile.
GrangerFam: 2000 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab. Boring, but fully paid for. I wonder if TDW will let me borrow his FJ Cruiser?

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?
GrangerFam: As I write this, we’re at 999, so our goal is to hit 1000 before the end of the year. After that, I’d like to think that I will spend more time placing caches and doing more terracaches then, but somehow I think I’ll continue to go for more geocaches as well.
Perhaps later, I can live a life of philanthropy and community service…

Is it all about the numbers?
GrangerFam: I admit I watch the numbers. I’m a pretty competitive person, as well as obsessive/compulsive. This is a dangerous combination, particularly when it comes to caching. In fact, I’d say geocaching is the perfect sport with my particular list of disorders. The boys tend to just put up with me.
Having said that, I really don’t like to actually talk about the numbers, I just like to find cool caches with the boys. To us, it’s about the whole experience, the themes and seeing how folks can come up with new, innovative ways to hide a cache. I think the numbers are a by-product of the fun we are having while hunting the caches. That’s my story…


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