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Featured Cacher For May 2011 - Agtitan

Agtitan of Atascocita, TX.
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What got you interested in caching?
Agtitan: My parents (rocky4) started caching in October 2009. I never really went along with them because I hadn't yet been infected with the "caching bug"! It wasn't until the next month that I found my first cache. We were at one of our favorite hole in the wall restaurants in Fulshear, TX, and my parents told me there was a cache just a hundred feet away. So, after we finished eating, we walked over to "Blink and Miss it!" (GC1QNG8). I really had no idea what I was looking for, but after a few minutes, I had the cache in my hand, and I was absolutely hooked! The rest is history!

How did you decide on your caching name?
Agtitan: Back in 2001, I came up with the name AgFrontier for a truck forum that I belonged to -- I had just bought a silver Nissan Frontier. I used Ag because Ag is the periodic symbol for silver. And Frontier obviously for the truck…so AgFrontier. I sold the Frontier in 2006 when I bought my new Nissan Titan. My Titan is dark gray color, so the Ag wouldn't really fit anymore…however, I had just become an Aggie getting my Masters degree at Texas A&M University. So, when I joined a Titan forum, I kept the Ag for Aggie, and added the Titan…hence AgTitan! It's been my online handle since then, and it was an easy choice for AgTitan when I registered on geocaching.com. On caches I find at night, I go by the name Night Time Ninja 019 (or NtN019 for short) -- more on that later.
When you cache, what equipment do you use? (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)
Agtitan: When I first started geocaching, I used my BlackBerry using BlackStar Navigation. Some of my caching friends would always give me a hard time about using a phone for GPS, and not having a real GPS…so in early 2010, I bought a Garmin Oregon 450, which I still currently use as my primary GPS. I also now have an Android phone, and use c:geo it which is great because I can see satellite and have real-time access to all the caches. It's also great for chasing FTF's so I don't have to waste any time loading waypoints on the Oregon (more on that later).

What are your all-time favorite cache(s)?
Agtitan: This is a hard question because there are so many great caches that many different people have put a lot of time, effort, and thought into. But to name a few of my all-time favorites, I will list them out: Precarious - A NTN Cache (GC2QP9Y), View Carre (GCE02C), House Series - Transylvania Manor (GC1NWW1), Necropolis of Brittania Manor III (GC2B034), Shhhh, be very, very quiet!!! (GC1PQ3K), The "A" Bridge (GC1M6PM), Arrow-Space (GC2B9ZQ), Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum (GCB6A8), Bubbles the Bayou Monster (GCNWHV), BNC - Caching is Fu-Tile (GC19ZFN), Cleveland Water Works (GC232QX), Daisetta Sinkhole (GC2176V), Houston Area Pick 6 Challenge (GC219QQ), MBR#15 - Where did I leave my pills? (GC26FMQ), Moray Eel (GCMP79), Phenomena of the Mind Series "Jamais vu" (GC2R32W), Step into my Parlour - Night Cache (GC1QE02), and Trees of Texas (GC22844). These are just a few of my favorites. There are so many more that I'm sure I left off the list!

Do you have any special caching adventures you want to tell us about?
Agtitan: I am a part of the Night Time Ninjas, a group of cachers who enjoy caching at night. I was the 19th ninja accepted into the group. I could stay up all night and tell you about some crazy night time caching adventures! Most of them involve other ninjas as well, as we normally run into each other hunting for FTF's at night. On one such occasion, I was chasing after "FTFC #81 - It's All In The Name" by myself. It was November 21, 2010, I had just got home to my house in Atascocita around 11:00pm. I had spent the last few hours watching Texas A&M beat Nebraska, and watched Jonah Hex. Good times. Earlier in the day, I had enjoyed the wonderful weather at the Dog Eat Dog event on Bay Area Blvd. Anyways, it had been a long day, and I had just changed clothes and started relaxing in bed. My phone buzzed, and I saw the cache publish! I quickly start solving it, and about 45 minutes later, I had the solution. I scouted out the terrain via satellite and began to plan how I would attack this cache. Plugged it into my Garmin, and was a good 50 miles away from the cache. I hopped in the truck, leaving my home in Atascocita around 12:30am. Finally arrived to the parking coordinates about 1:25am. I had dressed appropriately: jeans, boots, and a sweater to protect from thorns. My gear consisted of my GPS, pen, pathtag, walking stick, extra batteries, and Maglite. Started down the "trail" through some very thick brush. This was some of the WORST bushwacking I've ever done! You couldn't even call it bushes, it was pure thorns and absolutely no pathways during most of the initial bushwack. I even had to get on my stomach and crawl through some areas. After the initial 0.33 mile bushwack, I arrived at a clearing in which there was a large new 5-level barbed wire fence. I thought no way I would have to cross it, so I started walking the fence line. But my GPS kept pointing over the fence. I walked back and forth for 15 minutes before finally calling Carrie at 2am to confirm before I attempted to cross the fence. She confirmed it was over there, so I unwillingly started to cross the fence. Thankfully the barbed was wound so tight that it was kind of a step ladder, just with lots of barbs. Thankfully I made it over with no problems. 500 feet, 400 feet, crap another barbed wire fence. This one was older so I was able to squeeze between some of the levels. However, one barb did get my back and ripped my shirt. 300 feet, 200 feet, then I start to bushwack off the road again through some more nasty thorns. At this point, I didn't even care about the pain of the thorns, I just kept pushing forward and would deal with the repercussions/pain later. Finally made it to GZ and spotted the cache and grabbed the FTFC trophy! I was just about to take a self portrait of myself to post with the log, but about that time, I started to hear coyotes howling, and it was getting closer and closer and closer! I was starting to actually get really scared because I was in the middle of nowhere by myself, and had nothing to protect myself except my walking stick and hands! I shined my Maglite, and saw eyes of the coyotes staring at me from no more than 50 feet away. Terrified, I threw everything back in the box, shut it, and ran out of there. On my way out, I found a much easier way out than I had taken to get in! Always seems to happen that way doesn't it!!! Significantly less thorns!! I could have avoided 95% of the bushwack! Fun times!

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
Agtitan: I'll keep this one short and sweet because I think most have heard about this story by now…but a few weeks ago, Kenny (geogeex) and I were hiking in southern Bear Creek Park going after Precarious - A Night Time Ninja Cache. After several miles of hiking, twelve snake sightings, and several painless creek crossings, there was one creek that was less than accommodating to me. I was in the middle of the log we were crossing on, and I made a slight turnaround to look for a snake we had seen earlier. About that time, I lost my footing and took a dive into the drink. I didn't realize until about 15 minutes later, but I had lost my Aggie ring in the creek. We weren't able to find it, but I did take coordinates, and posted them on Facebook. Z_Malloc unselfishly hiked with a metal detector two miles out to where I lost the ring, jumped in the water and started searching. He found my ring!!! It is an unbelievable story, and I have a new friend for life! You can read more about the story here: http://goo.gl/UGpCX

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
Agtitan: At first, I would go after nothing except traditional caches. However, one night when meeting up with CriffRee, FamilieRyan, and GeoGeex at an FTF, they started getting me interested in puzzle caches. I now have found 154 puzzle caches, with over a hundred more puzzles I have solved but not yet found. Puzzles are my favorite because it requires a little bit more work than just a traditional. Not only do you get that rush when you find the cache, but you also get a rush when you solve the puzzle and get the coordinates! Also, most of them are great brain exercises and helps keep you sharp!

What is your favorite local cache?
Agtitan: My favorite local cache would definitely have to be "The "A" Bridge" (GC1M6PM). I found this one with my parents (rocky4) when we were both still very new to caching. In fact, at the time, I think we each only had about 20 or so finds. The camo on this cache was awesome, and it was so exciting when we finally found the cache! I would recommend this one if you haven't yet found it! Also, I enjoy any cache in George Bush Park. I have found a good percentage of all the caches in the park, but I still have many left to find.

How about your favorite out of state cache?
Agtitan: View Carre (GCE02C), in New Orleans, LA. This was a really fun cache. If you haven't had the chance to do this one yet, I highly recommend it. You will experience some amazing views of New Orleans from the top of a skyscraper. This is definitely a must-do cache. I also really enjoyed the wherigo cache (GC1Y3HH) at Downtown Disney in Florida, as well as all of the virtual caches at each of the parks in Disney World. Finally, "The Man In Black" (GC4E07), at Daytona Speedway in Florida, is a great virtual cache honoring #3 Dale Earnhardt.

Summer or Winter caching? Why?
Agtitan: Winter caching for sure! The snakes are not out as much, the weather is cooler. I still cache during all the seasons, but summer caching is brutal in the heat.

When a new cache is listed, are you tempted to go for FTF?
Agtitan: Nope. Not at all. Just kidding. Yes, I am a member of the West Side First to Find Committee (WSFTFC), and chasing after FTF's is definitely an addiction of mine. As of this interview date, I have 134 FTF's. It's great because I've met so many other cachers when going after FTF's. As I was completing this interview, a new puzzle cache published at 11PM, "Night Time Ninja Aptitude #11" (GC2V42P). Of course, I had to put the interview on hold to solve the puzzle and go get the FTF in the middle of George Bush Park at night! Definitely an addiction.

Tell us about your cache mobile.
Agtitan: My cache mobile is a 2006 Nissan Titan. It's got 60,000 miles on it, and is full of soda tubes, a couple ammo cans, and other cache swag. My next car will hopefully be an Infiniti G37S.

What other hobbies do you have?
Agtitan: I really enjoy the outdoors. I enjoy biking, camping, and hunting. I try to bike as often as I can, and love to find new bike trails around town. I also love going to state parks and camping. It's great because you can combine camping, biking, hiking, and caching all inside the park! I also try to go hunting at least once or twice per year with some friends.

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?
Agtitan: My goal was to get at least 1000 caches per year. I reached 2000 caches on April 16, 2011. I think my next real "goal" will be to get to 5000, but that probably won't be until 2013. I'm sure once I get closer to 3000, I will start getting excited about that milestone and kick it up a little bit. I'd like to keep hiding more caches, and making interesting containers. Also, I am trying to finish all the caches in George Bush Park.

Is it all about the numbers?
Agtitan: At first, it used to be. After all, I am a CPA, so I'm always keeping track of the numbers! But now I've slowed it down a bit and enjoying the scenery a bit more, and enjoying the camaraderie with other cachers.

Thanks for this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
Agtitan: I just wanted to thank everyone who places and maintains caches for the community to find. Thanks to everyone who goes after my caches too. It's been a great year and a half of caching, and I am really looking forward to many more years of fun caching to come.