June 2013 Geocacher Profile
The Membership Relations Committee is happy to showcase some ArkGeo Geocachers through the "Geocacher Profile". The committee thought Jim and Barb Sick aka Sayitagain should be the next cachers to be in the spotlight.
What is your geocaching name?
How did you choose your handle?
I have worn hearing aides for 25 years. When we were trying to pick a geocaching name everyone thought that it should somehow reflect my hearing problem. For most people hearing is a passive activity. Someone says something and you pick it up right away even if you did not know they were going to say something. You hear it and understand it. For people with hearing disabilities hearing becomes an active process. I really need to concentrate on what is being said because my hearing loss causes me to miss pieces of words and conversation and I have to fill in or guess what is missing. By the time I figure it out, the person is already on the next sentence. Your ear has to first pick up spoken word and send a message to your brain saying that something is being said. As a result by the time you realize that someone is talking and you need to be listening you have missed the first few words. So you have to then start concentrating on spoken word and as a result you ask that they repeat it. My wife and kids came up with Sayitagain because about half the time when they say something to me I do not hear it the first time so I had to ask them to “say it again”.
How long have you been geocaching?
Since December 0f 2004
How did you find your first Geocache, and which one was it?
We were visiting my wife’s family in Jerseyville Illinois over the Christmas holidays and my brother in law asked me if I would like to go geocaching with him and his son. I remember it was cold as heck that day. The cache that we were looking for was supposed to be under a rock but we were never able to locate it. We found out later that it was actually there but the ground was frozen so hard the rock was frozen to the ground. I think we actually may have found a couple more that day but it wasn’t until the next day when I found the first one I actually logged, The Calhoun Point Cache by Myotis GC17C1.
Who usually goes with you when you go caching?
My wife usually goes with me. I’ll drive and she’ll look at the GPS, read me the description and tell me when to stop. She usually reads in the car or something while I look for the cache but if I have trouble finding one she will come help. She usually has it located in no time.
How long will you work on puzzle caches before you give up?
I have never really gotten into puzzle caches. I’ve attempted some, but think that you probably really need to spend some time figuring out how they work and so far I’ve never done that.
What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in?
Clarksville was always the place to go to find the really neat caches when I started caching in 2004. I think a lot of unique caches all over Arkansas are patterned after those early hides in Clarksville. I also enjoy caching in Searcy and Morrilton.
Do you do paperless caching?
Yes, although with my I phone app giving me live info I tend to rely more on that unless I am heading to a particular area to cache then I will do a PQ.
What kind of geocaching rig do you use?
A GPSMap62 s as well as my” I” phone.
Why would you recommend anyone else to take up geocaching?
I think it’s a great activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, it’s a great way to get some exercise and once you make the initial investment of a GPS it is not an expensive hobby. I have been to some fantastic places and learned a lot of very interesting facts and history following that little needle. I think the neatest thing about geocaching is that there are no age limitations. Any age can do it and they can do it together. There aren’t many activities that fall into that category.
Where are you originally from?
In what states have you geocached?
Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Colorado, North Carolina, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Texas, Kansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Mississippi, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, New Mexico, New York, Arizona, Ohio, Louisiana and Virginia.
What was your first event ever attended?
Conway Arkansas CITO(GCN70J) put on by Gaddiel and Orange Danish and Team Rock Hound at Beaverfork Lake in April of 2005.
How many caches have you found?
Which type of cache container do you prefer over the rest?
I like containers large enough to handle trade items. Most of those usually require some sort of hike to get there as they are usually hidden in wooded areas. I also like unique hides that utilize some type of structure or equipment to help camo the cache location.
What was the most famous cache that you have found?
Fort Williams Cache ( GC128 ) on the coast of Maine in Cape Elizabeth, south of Portland. It is the first and oldest cache in Maine and was featured on the 2005 Maine geocoin as well as a 2011 special geocoin commemorating the 10th anniversary of the first geocache in Maine. Fort Williams is adjacent to the Portland Head Lighthouse which according to the cache description is the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
Do you use disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries?
Do you enjoy hiding or finding more as your part of the hobby?
I enjoy hiding them and reading the logs of people who find them but I think I enjoy the hunt better.
Do you have a personal goal in mind when you make a hide?
I really try to make my caches interesting and educational. I love old buildings and it’s really neat to research the history of a place and then share what I’ve found with other people by placing a cache there.
What is you favorite type of cache hide?
One that has some type of story associated with it.
Out of all your hides, what are your personal favorites that you take pride in?
My son Tony (Maumellean) and I started caching together so a lot of my first hides were done jointly with him. Hidden History was our first hide. I found a concrete block with the name of a building and a date sitting on a wall just West of Riverfront Park. I went to the library and researched the name and came up with the location of where the building previously was located. From that I was able to construct a time line of when the building was built and when it was torn down and a little bit about the individual who built it. Once you locate the first stage there is a puzzle that you must solve to get the coordinates for the second stage where I have included copies of the history that you can take with you. It’s a fairly good size container capable of holding travel bugs which was one reason we have tried so hard to keep it going. There just aren’t too many caches downtown where you can drop a travel bug. It’s not really a hard cache and the two stages are not that far apart but most people don’t want to take the time to look for a multi when there are so many single stage caches close by.
What do you think the proper hide to find ratio should be to keep the sport fresh?
I don’t think there is any magic number. I really enjoy hiding caches because it’s so much fun reading the logs when people take the time to write something other then TFTC.
How did you end up getting into this wacky hobby?
Like I said previously my brother in law got me started. The first day we went my brother in law Tom (The Dizzy Bee), Nathan his son and myself went alone. When we got home that day and started telling everyone how much fun we had we decided to plan another trip for the next day. 13 of us in three cars spent the next day looking for the Calhoun county caches a series of 9 placed along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. We had a blast.
What's your favorite geocache?
It’s a virtual cache in Louisville Kentucky called “Itty Bitty Railroad” GCC146. This man has spent about 20 years constructing a Garden G scale railroad in his front yard. He has a basement and he keeps the trains in his basement. When he is operating the railroad the basement window opens and the trains come out. He has buildings, streets, bridges a working saw mill that really cuts wood, a campfire with hobos around it and a full blown carnival with rides that really work. We were lucky enough to meet him the day we were there and he let us in to walk around inside the fence and told us a lot of stories about building it.
If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching?
I would love to go to Sweden. Four years ago when my daughter was a student at the University of Arkansas she went there with 14 other students and several of her instructors through the “Medical Students Abroad” program. As luck would have it my wife and I found a travel bug in a cache a few months before she left called “Sweden Here I Come” it’s destination was Sweden. We held onto to it and when she left for Sweden we sent it with her, along with a GPS. She had been caching with us before so was pretty familiar with geocaching but we needed to figure out where she could drop it once she got over there. I looked at cache locations in some of the towns that she would be visiting but most of them were in Swedish and besides that I was unsure of how safe the area was where they were located. We really needed a contact over there to help us out but how did we find one. I picked one town and sent a blind email to the Visitors and Convention bureau telling them who I was, what we were trying to do, and asked if per chance they knew any geocachers. The very next day I got an e-mail from Jorgen Ronning (Trio) asking how he could help. I told him about Mary Helen and the travel bug that we were trying to send home and he gave me the name of a travel bug motel in one of the towns that she was going to be visiting and said that it was in a very safe area of town. With a location as to where to drop the travel bug settled we instructed her to make sure that someone was with her when she went to drop it and if she could not find anybody to go with her to just bring it back home. She only knew one other student that was going on the trip along with the instructors. While in Sweden they traveled from town to town on a bus. Before they got to the town where she was supposed to drop the travel bug she was talking to the boy seated next to her and she told him what she was trying to do. He volunteered to go with her to find the cache and drop the travel bug. She had never met Andrew but he seemed like a nice enough guy and he was a catholic, who just like her, would be looking for a place to attend Mass on Sunday. They ended up going to church together as well as looking for the cache together. When they found the cache they deposited it in the container and Mary Helen signed the log with the caching name we had agreed she would use,” Hearitagain”. She is going to be an audiologist. When they got back home that summer they both went their separate ways, he back to St. Vincent where he was from and she back to Little Rock. That Fall when they got back to school they started dating. The Saturday after Christmas this past year Mary Helen went to St. Vincent to have a late Christmas with Andrew’s family. When she got there Andrew asked her if she wanted to go geocaching. Since she really hadn’t dressed for it she wasn’t too happy about it but agreed to go along anyway. He took her out to some property his Dad owned and gave her the GPS and told her his brother had hidden a cache there. She soon found an ammo can and upon opening it found it lined with carpet and containing two boxes. One was a charm for her charm bracelet that he had given her and the other was an engagement ring. They are getting married on August 31. I would love to travel to Sweden and see some of the sites she told us about and meet Jorgen. He keeps a blog and posts on it his caching experiences. http://www.treocaching.se/#me
Do you like geocaching by yourself or in a group?
Its always fun going with someone because you get to visit and share geo stories while you cache.
How many First to Finds do you have?
I think I only have about 13 of them.
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?
When I first started caching FTF’s were a big deal. I think all of mine I have, I got in the first three years I cached. I don’t cache as much as I did in the early years because there is so much other stuff going on in our lives. I did finally figure out how to set alerts a couple of months ago and I think I set them for ten miles. I’m not really a set on go cacher anymore because between work and home I stay pretty busy.
Do you have any other hobbies besides geocaching?
I like to repair and refinish furniture, fish when I get the chance and every Friday I hit estate sales.