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Featured Cacher For November 2009 - Cachestacker

Cachestacker of Clear Lake, Tx
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What got you interested in caching?
Cachestacker: I had heard about caching a long time ago on a trip to Colorado when we were going on Jeep trails in the mountains. I had seen my dad’s very old-school GPS, and just thought ‘too complicated, too expensive.’ Well, that was some time ago, and it was quickly forgotten. Fast forward to mid-2007, I had stumbled across something that had a link to the GC.com site. I perused and after a little research saw how things had dramatically improved and knew it was for me. Santa brought me a GPS and the addiction started after my first find.
How did you decide on your caching name?
Cachestacker: I work for a bank in the personal trust department. On of my beneficiaries truly believed that I would walk into the vault and take money whenever I needed it, and I should be able to do the same for him. He literally thought I sat in the vault all day counting and stacking money. As if… the bank is way smarter than to allow me near a pile of cash! Anyway, he called me a cash stacker. It’s stuck ever since.

When you cache, what equipment do you use? (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)
Cachestacker: Santa brought me a Garmin etrex Vista Hcx. It’s the only GPSr I’ve had, and it’s worked great so far (save for it’s generic band-coming-off flaw). It’s had its fair share of abuse, too. I *just* got an iTouch, so I’m learning about this theoretical paperless thing. It’s a really foreign concept, but I’m working on it.

What are your all-time favorite cache(s)?
Cachestacker: Generally, I love EarthCaches more than any other type. I love any cache that takes you someplace special, be it something important or memorable that you would not have otherwise known about or seen. Something that takes you to a beautiful spot. I had some of those in La Jolla along the bluffs. Amazing views. But I also like ones that are truly fun and well thought out. Some of my favorite local caches include Things That Go Bump in the Night - a Night Cache (GC16Z2C), Plundering the Treasure of Captain Drew (GCKVC8) - ATMA’s 10,000th cache. I also like fun caches. Bumpy Adventures Under the Tower (GC1YAMX) is my most recent add to the favorite list. Cleverly done, something different, and fun in the Jeep.

Do you have any special caching adventures you want to tell us about?
Cachestacker: Every time I take the kids out caching it’s an adventure! My son likes caching when it’s just me and him. My daughter is afraid of nature. She’s like the giraffe, Melman, in Madagascar when he comes out of the forest with the vines around his head going “Ahhhh, nature!! Get it off of me! Get it off of me!!!!” I’m trying to introduce them to hiking so we can do more elaborate caches and series and, ultimately, for a real day hiking trip / mountain hike or climb. So far…. it’s not working.

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
Cachestacker: Fortunately, there have not been too many of these. By far, for me, was my adventures on an FTF run before work on Gil Grissom (GC1PZ9B). You can read the log for full details. The short version is this is when I had fun explaining to two constables what geocaching was. As I exited the woods, one was already there at the pull off behind my car running my places. Another came in at nearly super-sonic speeds, also with lights ablaze. It was very early, so I was dark. Here I come popping out of the woods, and needless to say both were shocked to see me. So I explained the situation. One was not amused. The other was interested. Then the dreaded “show me.” Ok. Back into the woods I go with one of them. The unamused one kept his hand on his gun and stood ready at the edge of the woods. All in all, it worked out fine. Did not even ask for my DL, but he took out his ticket book. I cringed. Ended up he wanted the GC.com web address. Fortunately, that is my only police encounter. So far.

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
Cachestacker: I like traditionals and EarthCaches the best. I like a good hide - something clever or different. I like nature centers and parks like that. I like going to beautiful spots and have always been fascinated by geology. So EarthCaches are really my favorite. But due to their limited nature, traditionals are what I normally go after. I suck at puzzles, so it has been rare that I even try. But as I clear out the area around me, when I get the bug I have been solving puzzles more frequently. Of course, some I just have to look at and laugh because I have no idea where to even begin. Maybe when they have a puzzles for idiots book or a puzzles 101 class…..

What is your favorite local cache?
Cachestacker: Oops. I should have read ahead in the questions.

How about your favorite out of state cache?
Cachestacker: I have a couple. I go high pointing (reach the highest natural geographic spot in each state) and since I started caching I have tried to get a cache at or near the highpoint. Many have virtuals there, such as Florida (GC7199), Nebraska (GCC194) and Kansas (GC2A76). Others have traditional ones near the summit, such as The Highest Cache in Colorado (GC141NQ). Because of the journey to get there, these will always rank up there for me.
The caches with the best views I’ve gotten so far were in California, in La Jolla and along the peninsula heading to Point Loma. Anything along the water in either spot has an amazing view, and I was lucky to squeeze in several in each of these places during our summer vacation.

Summer or Winter caching? Why?
Cachestacker: I love cool and cold weather. A clear, crisp morning is the make of a great day. As a bonus, snakes and mosquitoes are generally not there out in the winter. And spiders. I hate spiders. And spiders don’t like the cold, and that works just fine with me. Cooler weather allows you to go on longer outings and actually enjoy them, rather than just being on a ’get the cache mission’. Now, freezing wet winter weather… only for an FTF.

When a new cache is listed, are you tempted to go for FTF?
Cachestacker: Of course! I love the rush of flying to a new cache and finding that blank log. It’s a great feeling. And if you’re lucky, you get to run into other cachers doing the same. I used to live for FTFs, but between family, work schedule change, and PR deciding to publish caches are more ‘unusual’ times lately (like when I’m out with the family at dinner), FTF runs have mostly taken a back seat lately. Also, I’ll admit, I am getting stomped by cachers with the ‘new’ technology. I’m not super high-tech, so no blackberry or smart phone for me. Thus, I only get the chance if it comes in while I happen to be home and at or near the computer to see it. I did get an iTouch (just can’t justify the expense for the phone now, although I would LOVE it), so I am getting a little more modern, but that still won’t help much with most FTFs.

Tell us about your cache mobile.
Cachestacker: I had a 99 Honda Accord till August. Then I get an 08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. My Accord did me well for the first 1,000 finds. But man, now I know what I’ve been missing. No, the gas mileage is not great. But the fun factor is, and that more than makes up for it. And I don’t have any fears about getting the car grounded on ruts or stuck in the mud. And with the nice weather we’ve been having lately, there is just nothing like throwing the top back and going. It was a blast doing the OOPS series near Waco like that. The kids were always going “no - takes Mom’s truck - we want to watch a movie!” Now - “We’re taking the Jeep, right?” even if it’s with the top up (and there is no movie player).

What other hobbies do you have?
Cachestacker: I love to travel, and don’t get to do that nearly enough. That meshes great with caching. I have two kids - my daughter Sydney (9) and my son Alex (6 ½). My wife does not cache, so that factors into it, but she’s usually game while traveling anywhere and understands that it’s a law when we go to a new state we have to get a few. Especially if there is an EarthCache in a new state that fits into our travel plans. I also like to go high pointing. Some of my travels are planned around that, but that is sometimes solo event or involves my brother-in-law. I’m trying to get the kids camping. That will allow us to travel places, cache, and hike. It all ties together, right? Other than that, it’s work, work, work, family, cub scouts, kids’ homework, and life in general.

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?
Cachestacker: No. I pushed it to get to 1,000, and then took a day to do the OOPS series afterward. But now, I cache when I can. Have to have some time with the family and to do the to-do list. I have a couple great ideas I’m working on and trying to bring into being. I’m trying to get some more devious and quality caches up and running. And possibly something new and different in the area.

Is it all about the numbers?
Cachestacker: Absolutely not. Well, sometimes. Maybe. It is and it isn’t. I love a good numbers run once in a while. The OOPS series was my first big series. That day I got more finds (107 I think) in a day than I had done previously in an entire month. I picked up some new counties and still made it back in time for dinner with the family. I don’t look just for those, though. I’d rather have a few well-done caches and some in great locations, or an FTF and a fun event, than a large number just for the sake of having a large number. But I find myself putting in a little extra effort as I approach a milestone just to get there. So while it may not be about the numbers, entirely, the numbers are unavoidable. Which is fine. It’s just another element of the fun. And sometimes it’s a good motivator to get you back out there.

Thanks for this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
Cachestacker: Caching has been a lot of fun. It’s been great for the kids. It’s taken us to some great places, and we’ve met many great people along the way. We have a great local caching community, and we’re really glad to be a part of it!