How long have you been geocaching?
Since April 7th, 2011.
How did you choose your handle?
In early 2011, I took my family to a wedding in Eunice, LA and on the way we were stopped at a red light. On the corner outside my window there was a lady selling bonsai trees. My wife and I looked at each other, and I said, ‘Let’s yell BONSAI at her like Mr. Miyagi on Karate Kid.’ So we did. Well, the lady on the corner raised her arms, gave us thumbs up, and yelled it back! It was such a fun moment, and when I signed up on the site, that word was still hanging in the air of my mind. I had to find a variant of it that wasn’t taken; hence the double a’s.
How did you find your first Geocache, and which one was it?
It was GCK9VW Lets go to the Park, in Golden Meadow. I made finds all the way home to Alexandria.
Who usually goes with you when you go caching?
I’m typically caching alone, en route from work to home or vice versa. But once in a while my wife and children come with me when I’m home, or when we go on a trip somewhere.
How long will you work on puzzle caches before you give up?
I haven’t given up on any yet. Puzzles are my thing. I’ve got the solutions to a great many more puzzles than I’ll ever be able to physically visit.
What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in?
The Northshore is a special place for me; Many of my favorite finds have been there. South Florida was really fun also simply because of the number of puzzles and how easy it is to drive around down there. Closer to home, there are and have been some gems in Kisatchie National Forest near where I live, but the USFS is only tolerant of geocaching, and hardly supportive. Our Forests are wonderful places, and there could be better opportunities for enjoyment if their public policy on geo-gaming would change.
Do you do paperless caching?
At first I used a lot of printouts but it’s becoming less necessary. I will add though that I’m definitely not an advocate of abandoning paper as a tool. I have worked in the forestry industry, and paper as a commercial product employs thousands of people in Louisiana. And for me, a detailed, planned geocaching trip simply can’t be done effectively without printouts of some kind. I rely too much on route planning and contingencies to be limited only to device data.
What kind of geocaching rig do you use?
Mostly I use my smartphone for finds, with the official Groundspeak app. When I’m hiding a cache however I employ my Magellan eXplorist 200 for point calculations, which despite its monochrome appearance and the fact that I got it used off the local classifieds, is a rock-solid GPS unit. It also becomes necessary in the deep boonies where cell-service is lacking. All my deep woods finds were made with that guy.
Why would you recommend anyone else to take up geocaching?
I recommend to everyone that they give it a try. But I believe it takes a certain kind of nerdyness to truly dig it long-term. It’s kind of like how it was when we were kids and we went outside and played. Exposed tree roots became tunnels for matchbox trucks, and code words and nicknames and secret neighborhood clubhouses and hide-and-seek games dominated our imaginations. This is why most everyone I tell about geocaching says something like, 'I bet my son (or daughter) would really like that.' We connect with the spirit of our children through this game.
Where are you originally from?
Evangeline Parish. I grew up just outside of Pine Prairie, where the Cajun tongue meets the red neck head on, full blast.
States you have geocached?
Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia.
What was your first event ever attended?
Metairie CDM – July 2011. I remember sitting there not knowing who anyone was, and Bajaone called me over to sit with herself and Bamette. They might not remember me, but their friendliness made quite an impression on me. They introduced me to Bamboozle and SC2, also to Shane & Garnet, and were telling me who the other cachers were, and it was particularly funny to hear them tell me how it was T-Maggot got his name.