Meet January's Featured Cacher, BigChiefS4!
How long have you been geocaching?
I started caching in March of 2010. I was a very casual cacher that first year and a half, only finding a few caches per month. I attended the MNGCA Fall Event in 2011 where I met tonkaMN and Copaman, and the rest, as they say, is history. tonkaMN and I went out once a week to clear out a park of all caches. We did that for quite a few months until there were no more parks to clear out near our houses or where we work. The three of us still go caching together on a regular basis.
How did you end up getting into this wacky hobby?
I read about it on a website and started doing it that very day using my iPhone. I couldn't believe that I had missed out on the first 10 years of this great hobby. I bought my first Garmin GPSr in the fall of 2011.
How did you come up with your geocaching handle?
My username is BigChiefS4. The BigChief part is because I'm a big guy and I was a Warrant Officer in the Army (now retired). The S4 is from the car I used to own, a 2006 Audi S4, which was totalled in an accident in the fall of 2012.
How did you find your first Geocache, and which one was it?
The first cache I found was called Packer Eater. It was placed by a Green Bay Packers fan and has thankfully been archived due to an incident with a city lawn mower. I have since placed a cache in its location, Big Ole.
What/how many states/countries have you geocached?
I have found caches in 15 states (MN, ND, SD, WI, MI, IN, IL, IA, MO, KS, OK, AL, AR, GA, and FL) and 2 countries (US and Canada).
What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in?
I have found so many amazing parks in the Twin Cities because of geocaching, but both Minneapolis and St Paul have the best small parks.
What is a favorite caching memory of yours?
When I first started caching, I never thought I'd find 1,000 caches, much less the 7,000+ that I have now. It seemed like a goal I would never achieve, but after caching with tonkaMN and Copaman for a few months, I quickly realized that it wouldn't be hard at all. tonkaMN has been there to celebrate every one of my milestones and my 1,000th find was my favorite. I found We Built This City, which is a very well done field puzzle cache and is still one of my favorites to this day. As a side note, I found this cache in January, less than 3 weeks after I broke my ankle while geocaching.
My second favorite cache is Cliff Hanger. The cache owner, EskoClimber, was very gracious and came out with tonkaMN and I to help us retrieve this cache. We both had to overcome our fears and rappel down an 80 foot cliff to get a smiley on this terrific cache.
Do you enjoy hiding or finding more as your part of the hobby?
I really enjoy both. I have placed over 120 caches, including 2 events, and I hope that other cachers have enjoyed finding my caches as much as I have enjoyed finding theirs.
What is your favorite type of cache hide?
I love finding older, regular-sized caches. It's amazing that there are still caches from the first year of geocaching still active. Most of the ones I have found are in very memorable places. I also enjoy finding tribute caches that celebrate milestones.
What do you do when you’re not geocaching?
I go caching every day, so it doesn't leave time for much, but I do spend as much time with my daughter as I can. She still comes caching with me once in awhile. I used to play a lot of FPS games (First Person Shooter), like Call of Duty and Battlefield, but I tend to get motion sickness from them now, so I've stopped playing.
Anything else you'd like folks to know about you?
Jane Wyman (Falcon Crest) is my third cousin.
Thanks again to BigChiefS4, our January featured geocacher!