October 2012 Geocacher Profile
The Membership Relations Committee is happy to showcase some ArkGeo Geocachers through the "Geocacher Profile". The committee thought Frank Philpott aka Old River Runner should be the next cacher to be in the spotlight.
What is your geocaching name? Old River Runner
How did you choose your handle? My geocaching name comes from my love of rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, a wilderness voyage of 7 days and 183 miles. Since 1986, I have done this 9 times (1986, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007, and 2010). Trip # 10 is in June 2013. The name “River Runner” was taken when I created my account, so I added “Old” to the name, figuring that I would never outgrow it!
How long have you been geocaching? Over 9 years now. I opened an account on Geocaching.com on May 24, 2003. However, I did not actually look for my first cache until July of that year, when I had my first find on July 20, 2003.
How did you find your first Geocache, and which one was it? My first find was Beaver’s Lair (GCB541), which is still active. It is located in the Bona Dea Trails area in Russellville. On July 19, 2003, I had gone to the trail to take a walk and just after I parked my car, I saw a man coming off the trail, carrying a GPSr. I knew that the geocache was nearby, so I asked the man if he had been looking for it. He replied that he was the cache owner and was just doing some maintenance on it. We chatted for a short while, and although I had never been motivated to go to search for that cache before that day, I suddenly wanted to try my luck at finding it. So the next day (July 20), I returned with my GPSr, and after quite a bit of searching, I found it. The search was much more challenging than I had expected!
Who usually goes with you when you go caching? I usually cache alone.
How long will you work on puzzle caches before you give up? As long as it takes, although if I am having trouble figuring out one, I may put it aside for weeks or even months before I come back and work on it again. I also enlist the help of my wife, who is a much better puzzle solver than I am.
What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in? Clarksville, AR; New Orleans, LA; Washington, DC (mall area)
Do you do paperless caching? Yes (since 2004).
What kind of geocaching rig do you use? Garmin GPSmap 62st
Why would you recommend anyone else to take up geocaching? Because it is a mind-stimulating hobby that gets one into the outdoors.
Where are you originally from? Bassett, VA (home of Bassett Furniture)
In what states have you geocached? 30 states, and also the District of Columbia. I lack New Jersey and most of the New England states in the Northeast. In the West, I lack the Pacific Coast states, Nevada, and the northern Plains states. I also lack Hawaii and Alaska.
What was your first event ever attended? First Ever Ark. River Valley Geo Meet and Greet (GCHF58 ), on January 24, 2004, which was the first Clarksville event.
How many caches have you found? Over 6600 as of the end of September 2012.
Which type of cache container do you prefer over the rest? Ammo cans, but also anything creative.
What was the most famous cache that you have found? View Carre’ (GCE02C)
Do you use disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries? Rechargeable, always, since early 2004.
Do you enjoy hiding or finding more as your part of the hobby? Finding
Do you have a personal goal in mind when you make a hide? To make it fun for the cacher looking for it. Something that will make them laugh or go “Wow!”
What is you favorite type of cache hide? I like caches that are hidden in places that are uniquely special and that I would not have ever found out about otherwise. Like those near special scenic spots, waterfalls, historical spots, etc. Or that require some special effort to reach, like hiking a trail, climbing a mountain, boating to an island, etc.
Out of all your hides, what are your personal favorites that you take pride in? (1) Main Street (GCHZKF); (2) Arkansas’ 1000th Cache: B-25 Crash Site (GCKH8H); (3) The Knife Edge (GC11GWB); (4) Where Eagles Dare (GCYD1K); (5) The Twilight Zone (GC33DPC); (6) Night Gallery (GC33DPG)
What do you think the proper hide to find ratio should be to keep the sport fresh? I don’t think there is a proper hide to find ratio. The key is that one does not hide so many that they cannot properly keep them all maintained. There is nothing that hurts the fun in geocaching more than a cache that is not properly maintained. For some, even one hide is too many. For others, several hundred is not a problem. It depends on the individual and their commitment to the game.
How did you end up getting into this wacky hobby? Back in 2003, I saw a show on the Discovery Channel about treasure hunting and they mentioned geocaching as being a high-tech form of treasure hunting. I checked out the Geocaching.com website, created an account, and finally got out and found my first cache.
What's your favorite geocache? Inspector Cache-It (GCGTGY) found on September 5, 2003. This one was archived several years ago, unfortunately. This is the one that really got me hooked on geocaching! Among active caches, the one that sticks out in my mind is View Carre’ (GCE02C), but that is perhaps because I found it not long ago (mid-August) and the memory of it is still fresh. Some caches are great for their camo, some for their location, and some for the experience in finding the cache. Well, this one was great for two of those three reasons - the location and the experience!
If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching? The International Space Station, followed closely by Antarctica.
Do you like geocaching by yourself or in a group? I prefer going solo. I like the solitude and the personal challenge of finding a cache without any reliance upon others.
How many First to Finds do you have? I really don’t know, as I haven’t kept count. Several hundred. I do recall that the second cache I ever found was my very first FTF. It was Treasures from the Lake (GCGEZW), found on July 21, 2003.
Are you a First to Find person who is always set on go and if so, how many miles out do you have your settings on to get notifications? I like an FTF as much as the next person, because it is nice to find a cache in the exact state that it was left by the cache owner. However, I am not as fanatic as I used to be and don’t jump at the opportunity as much as I did at one time. I am now more intrigued by caches that go unfound for several days. My notifications alert is set at a 50-mile radius.
Do you have any other hobbies besides geocaching? Rafting the Colorado River (and others); hiking; history