The Membership Relations Committee is happy to showcase some ArkGeo Geocachers through the "Geocacher Profile". The committee thought Ken and Sue Hayes aka Nukeworker and Racquetball Girl should be the next cachers to be in the spotlight.
What is your geocaching name?
Nukeworker and Racquetball Girl
How did you choose your handle?
NW has worked as an engineer at Nuclear Plants for 36 years and we played Racquetball when RBG picked her handle. That sport has now been replaced with Pickleball.
How long have you been geocaching?
We began geocaching in May, 2007
How did you find your first Geocache, and which one was it?
RBG read an article about geocaching in the newspaper. Since we had an old GPS and enjoy hiking, she thought it would be a fun activity to try. We actually found a cache along the Bona Dea trails for our first find, but didn't have a pen with us to sign so we didn't log it. Our first logged find was CAA I-40/81 Clark's Vacation Pit Stop GCHECE
Who usually goes with you when you go caching?
We usually cache as a couple, although our children, grandchildren, and some friends have joined us through the years.
How long will you work on puzzle caches before you give up?
We aren't very good at the hard puzzles, but will try everything we can think of before asking the cache owner for some help. We usually only work on puzzles close to home since there are just too many variables for errors when traveling.
What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in?
When we began caching Clarksville, AR was #1 on our list. We have enjoyed caching within every Arkansas county and inside each of the 52 State Parks. Arkansas residents are blessed to have free state parks with such diversity.
Do you do paperless caching?
What kind of geocaching rig do you use?
Garmin 60CSX and Garmin 62st
Why would you recommend anyone else to take up geocaching?
Geocaching helps you to discover the world and the amazing people within it. You can be inspired by a view, an interaction with a fellow cacher, writing up a cache page, a chance glimpse of wildlife, etc. Fortunately, caching can be done on many levels from easy to challenging, physically to mentally, so you can choose your own path.
Where are you originally from?
We were both born in Northern Illinois where RBG lived as a child. NW lived in many of the upper Midwest States growing up. From our wedding until the early 90's we raised our family in Northern Illinois and then moved to Arkansas.
In what states have you geocached?
We have currently logged caches in 37 states.
What was your first event ever attended?
It was called: Meet and Greet - Morrilton hosted by AR-Hick & 4 Wheeling-1. It was a great event filled with wonderful fellowship and lots of caching tips.
How many caches have you found?
We have 8776 finds to date
Which type of cache container do you prefer over the rest?
It really depends on the season and day that we are having. When enjoying a winter hike we appreciate finding large containers. On a sweltering hot summer day on our way to an appointment we appreciate a quick mirco, maybe even a LPC. It's always a fun challenge to search for an unknown container and see what appears.
What was the most famous cache that you have found?
Within Arkansas it would be "Gorilla Stash". Another favorite is "Foam Henge" in Virginia.
Do you use disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries?
Both depending on the circumstances
Do you enjoy hiding or finding more as your part of the hobby?
We enjoy both. The journey to a cache, the adventure of discovering something new, along with the hunt is exciting, but the victory of finding a cache just gives you a thrill. We enjoy hiding caches for our fellow cachers, but really enjoy reading the logs of their experience.
Do you have a personal goal in mind when you make a hide?
Our goals vary from hide to hide. Sometimes it is just to raise the number of caches in an area, sometimes we hope to introduce a new type of cache or give our fellow cachers a fun challenge. .
What is your favorite type of cache hide?
We have had fun hiding some puzzle caches, some mechanically-abled caches, some multi's where info must be gathered at GZ, and our Earthcaches.
Out of all your hides, what are your personal favorites that you take pride in?
Fire Station 2, Our element series, Mapping Fun, Mapping Fun Again, We'll see you at 319 again, 5~4~3~2~1, and Earthcaches Sedimentary and Igneous Rocks, Red Pecos Sandstone.
What do you think the proper hide to find ratio should be to keep the sport fresh?
Every cacher has a different situation with work, family, health issues, etc. so we don't believe there can be a set ratio of hides to finds. A cacher should hide caches if he or she is inspired by a location, a container, or a hide type that they would like to share. It is nice when active cachers hide caches to help support the fun.
How did you end up getting into this wacky hobby?
RBG saw an article in the paper about geocaching. In a few weeks we hunted and found our first cache. Two months later we visited with out son's father-in-law, Quartzcacher. He had probably 50 more caches than us at that time. He showed us some of the caching tricks.
What's your favorite geocache?
When we travel we seek out earthcaches and virtuals. We love learning new information about places we are visiting.
If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching?
The international space station and on every continent.
Do you like geocaching by yourself or in a group?
We enjoy caching with a group, but usually cache as a couple. As the grandchildren get older they love treasure hunting with Grandma and Poppa.
How many First to Finds do you have?
Only 15, which were by pure luck of being in the right place at the right time.
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?
We will grab a FTF if one becomes available, but with work, family, and health we don't actively seek them.
Do you have any other hobbies besides geocaching?
Our first joy is family. We also enjoy hiking, Pickleball, traveling, and photography.