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Featured Cacher For October 2007 - One Step Closer

One Step Closer of Houston, TX.
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How did you learn about caching?
OSC: One evening back in May of 2005, Mrs. OSC and I were watching an Episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and the plot involved the murder of a geocacher. The next morning while we were talking on the phone about the episode Mrs. OSC asked me to look into Geocaching because it sounded interesting. I said something to her about a co-worker, Rick, of One of the Texas Vikings, who I had heard talking about this Geocaching thing before. Well, one look at the website got us intrigued so we went out to Walmart and bought the little blue Garmin eTrex Legend and found our first cache the next day down at Cy-Fair Community College. It was called “Popular Culture Cache” (GCN97C).
What kind of equipment used (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)?
OSC: We started with just the Garmin eTrex Legend at first then after 100 finds or so we went paperless and bought a cheap Palm Zire31. We’ve been paperless ever since. After getting some wacky readings one day from the eTrex when Mrs. OSC asked, “Does that thing even work?” we upgraded to the Garmin 60CSx without any argument from Mr. OSC and boy did that ever make a difference! You can’t beat a GPSr that stays at 20ft accuracy when you’re in a James Coney Island having a bite to eat and looking for caches to do! For software we use GSAK for the Pocket Queries and we use Cachemate for the Palm.

What are your all-time favorite cache/s and or adventure while caching?
OCS: So far the Four Cache Loop has by far been the best experience for caching! It has everything you need: a long hike, a good variety of sizes and hides, but most of all we did it with a really great bunch of people: The Popeteers, Georeyna, Copperfield Rose, and Pappy’sPosse. Otherwise we like hunting all caches.
As far as adventures, it’s mainly been about going places we would have never been before and seeing things from huge yellow spiders and slithering snakes to families of deer.
We’ve also become a little daring while hunting caches in the woods. It was just the other day when we came out of the woods from a cache with some wicked looking scratches and comparing our wounds and saying to each other, “Yeah, that’s a Good One!”
We’ve also had photo shoots with snakes, and run-ins with Feral Pigs and Mr. OSC has become quite the Tick Magnet lately.

Do you have any other hobbies?
OCS: I guess you can say we like a lot of things: we are big into our tropical fish with five tanks ranging from five to 100 gallons. We like different kinds of collectibles, from stamps to coins, magazines, memorabilia, stuff like that. Mrs. OSC is really creative with Sculpey clay that we do a lot of stuff for geocaching with (some of you may have gotten some of our First to Find plaques made with it..) we also started riding bikes to try and get in shape…it has great geocaching applications… Did we mention we’re big into collecting geocoins?

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
OSC: All you really need to know is in the DNF log of “It’s a Wash” (GCW02H) from May 13, 2006. Mrs. OSC wasn’t with me when I blundered that morning...it was a FTF run before 7am. I studied the map in Google Earth really carefully and drove to the end of the service road. There was a gate and it was open and there were NO SIGNS saying DO NOT ENTER. It was a beautiful morning and there were deer all around; it was quite peaceful. At the end of the road there was a water treatment plant. It had a gate that was open and a worker on the grounds doing something inside. That area had a gate that said Do Not Enter! No worries, I parked outside the treatment plant’s gates and began the hunt. The reception was pretty poor and the coords were a little off (but it was probably me), and then I got this bad feeling. I think I heard the truck drive off and something inside of me hit the panic button. I got back to the car to see the water plant closed up, jumped in the car and raced down the road to find a locked gate!! Hoo boy. Not good. How am I going to explain this one to Mrs. OSC? After a while and after a few neighbors ignored me I finally got a hold of a Sprint tech (their cell tower was back there too) who was going to drive out and try to assist. I called Mrs. OSC around 7am and after she got done laughing at me she had me verify that there were no signs (there weren’t) indicating I shouldn’t be there when a neighbor saw me and happened to have the combo to the gate’s lock. What a hero and what a lesson about water plants!

How did you decide on your caching name?
OSC: We were initially going to create separate accounts and Mr. OSC picked a Star Wars character (Wedge Antilles) and Mrs. OSC wasn’t able to get her first choice of Redkitty (in honor of her favorite cat who had passed over the rainbow bridge) because it was taken. So we were brainstorming and decided to go with only one account and set out to find our geo-name. We were listening to several U2 CD’s since they’re Mrs. OSC’s favorite band and hit upon several candidates. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was a little long and then we came upon the song, “One Step Closer.” It’s a pretty powerful song if you read about why Bono wrote it and the title sounded geo-like, so we picked that and we’ve been OneStepCloser ever since.

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
OSC: If it’s an ammo box in the woods, it’s usually a winner. Micros can be fun, some puzzles are great but give us a big ol’ honkin cache any day of the week! We also enjoy hiding caches, too, and we work really hard to make it enjoyable for others. In that regard, I’d say out of our 70 hides, I’m responsible for coming up with the idea for one (Finding Olive Oyl) and Mrs. OSC is responsible for the other 69 caches. We primarily like hiding full sized caches and spend a lot of time and effort hunting around our side of town looking for ideal locations. It’s surprising what’s really available out there if you look hard enough!

Tell us about your cache mobile.
OSC: We primarily use our Volvo S40 for caching and it doesn’t go off road very well. Pappy of Pappy’sPosse is always egging us to take it four-wheeling but we’re not that brave! We keep our trekking poles, a cooler, a tote with first-aid stuff and bug juice, spare logs, waders, usually a supply of swag and sig items, and good supply of CDs to keep us prepared.

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?OSC: We hit 500 at the end of October, 2006 so it would be nice to hit 1000 by the end of October 2007. We’ve hit our other goal of 100 FTFs already…maybe 100 cache hides? We’ve got 70 so far…

Is it all about the numbers?
OSC: We prefer quality over quantity…

What about your FTF count? How do you do that?
OSC: Sitting at 100 as of this writing. Most of it lately has been on the way to work early in the morning…around 5:30AM and solo. Not all of our FTFs have been that early and Mrs. OSC has been on a lot of FTF runs when they’re during normal daylight hours. It’s been fun and a challenge to see how many we can get.

Thanks for this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
OSC: Yes, that because of Geocaching we’ve met some wonderful folks we wouldn’t have otherwise and it’s given Mrs. OSC and I the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time together doing something really rewarding.