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Featured Cacher For September 2007 - Team Skammer

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How did you learn about caching?
SKAMMER: We had read about it on the internet, thought it interesting, then back-burnered it. Months later, we were bored one Sunday and since Robert already had a GPS (albeit ancient) we decided to log onto geocaching.com to see how far we would have to drive to find one. We had nothing else planned and decided that if we had to drive a couple of hours to find one, that would be fine. So we typed in our zip code and were stunned to see hundreds of them all around us, the nearest one within walking distance! We were so excited and hurried off to find our very first—Ivantofindit’s Crop of Pines. We couldn’t wait to try another one and went looking for the next one out in The Woodlands. We realized pretty quickly that Robert’s old GPS was not going to cut it when it took us 45 minutes to find an ammo can and we only found it after we gave up looking and tripped over it on the way out. I vowed no more caching until we had a new GPS.
What kind of equipment used (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)?
SKAMMER: We use Magellan, of course, and an Ipaq with Mapopolis and wireless bluetooth GPS, GPX sonar and GSAK. We also carry an Etrex for finding caches put out by disadvantaged cachers.

What are your all-time favorite cache/s and or adventure whilecaching?
SKAMMER: Our favorite caches are the legendary ones, stories that are repeated around every campfire, growing taller and taller with each retelling, as cachers strive to outdo each other. When we first started we had inspirational role models who put out really innovative and difficult puzzle or themed caches, ones that really took a lot of effort, but were such a coup to finally solve and find. They made for such great caching stories, the kind that you just don’t get out of a park and grab. A few of the very many we really enjoyed are: Four Cache Loop, Strangers in the Night, Row Vs Wade, just about any Geowyz or Parkerplus cache and many others that are now only fond memories since the caches/cachers aren’t around anymore.

Do you have any other hobbies?
SKAMMER: Besides geocaching?!!

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
SKAMMER: I think Love2Fly stripping naked without warning for an impromptu Nude Cacher photo op along the banks of the beautiful Buffalo Bayou about takes the cake. Even Blanco was aghast! And where ARE those photos, hmmm?
Or maybe having the park rangers walk up on me as I taking a geowhiz in the woods while Robert watched my back—good job, honey!

And then there was the time that we went after a MedTexPlacer first-to-find at the Houston arboretum. We left the dog in the truck momentarily while we gathered some puzzle-solving information, only to find that while we were gone Blanco had neatly removed the lid from Robert’s Starbucks cup, consumed over half of the latte and hopped back into the back seat hoping no one would notice. The caffeine kicked in as we searched for the cache, just as a couple of prominent members of the geocaching community joined in the search. We hadn’t met these particular cachers before so it was a little embarrassing when Blanco starting running banshee-like back and forth, repeatedly whacking one of them in the legs with a big stick.

Also see attached photo of hula competition—what we won’t do for points—heck, even the dog is laughing at us.

How did you decide on your caching name?
SKAMMER: At the time we wandered onto the site, we had no idea how much a caching name can play into your “identity.” We gave it no thought whatsoever and used our email address. Later, other cachers admitted that based on the name, they thought we were some 23 year-old male who went around pirating caches. After people got to know us, it just became fun to play with the misconceptions.

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
SKAMMER: We like puzzles for the feeling of accomplishment. For us, the more effort a cache takes to find, the more we enjoy it. The exception is any stream of consciousness MedTexPlacer puzzle that requires you to get into his head, to become one with his thoughts, in order to solve the puzzle. This scares us.

Tell us about your cache mobile.
SKAMMER: Our cache mobile is usually our pickup truck, which is ideal because you can carry ice cold drinks in a cooler in the back along with swag, batteries, flashlights and other necessities. The dog can get wet and muddy without worry and you can often drive closer to the cache and park anywhere. We’ve cached in the Corvette on rare occasion, usually on road trips, but the dirt backroads are hell on the paint job and the dog barely fits in the back and usually ends up in my lap.

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?
SKAMMER: To find time to get back to doing some caching on a regular basis again.

Is it all about the numbers?
SKAMMER: Absolutely not. That whole frantic obsession is not our thing at all. One of the best things about caching for us is exploring places we never would have found on our own and enjoying the wildlife we encounter along the way. My (Shannon) caching nickname is STF, which does NOT mean Second to Find, but instead stands for Smells The Flowers because I do enjoy the whole experience and not just running from cache to cache collecting smileys so that the whole day runs together and you can’t remember one cache from another. Also, caching has changed so much from when we first started. Now there are so many effortless park and grabs, that caching for numbers seems pretty pointless since one is the same as the next. Not much interest or challenge in that.

Thanks for this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
SKAMMER: Thanks for the opportunity. We have really enjoyed geocaching and all the friends we have made through this sport.