Amazon Annie has been voted this month’s Cacher of the Month. She has given us some excellent answers to the questions below, especially the last one.
Q and A with Amazon Annie
Q: Where do you call home?
A: I call anywhere home but right now I have a roof and weedy lawn in Waterdown.
Q: Where does the name Amazon Annie come from?
A: I started caching under the name of “1short” but at my first GHAGAFAP I happened to mention my nickname to TrimblesTrek and from then on he insisted on calling me Amazon Annie. There was no choice but to change my name (you could do that back then). My new nickname is “Wrong Way Annie” – good thing you can’t change your caching name anymore.
Q: When you are not caching, what do you do? (work and/or relax?)
A: I work one day every other week in a Not-For-Profit ISP in Hamilton. In my spare time I volunteer at the Bruce Trail Association and I’m on the Board of OGA and HWCN.
Q: How long have you been geocaching?
A: I started caching in August of 2003.
Q: How did you find out about geocaching?
A: A fellow I was dating at the time suggested we buy a GPSr and try out this new hobby. We had about 5 DNF’s around Kitchener but I was hooked. I went out and bought my own GPSr and met some fellow cachers at an event in Burlington… and despite the fact they scared the heck out of me, the rest is history.
Q: Have you gotten anyone else involved in the sport?
A: Every chance I can get I mention geocaching. My adult daughter enjoys the occasional outing and all her friends now want to try it. I have done lots of training sessions with OGA throughout Ontario and constantly spread the word.
Q: What gear do you use for caching?
A: I started off with a Sportrak Map (Magellan) and after about a year I bought a Garmin GPSMap60Cs. I recently bought a Map60Cx. I have my trusty hiking stick and I use a Palm T|X with CacheMate that holds all my caching info. GSAK is my database at home to help me with the uploads and sorting.
Q: Tell us some of your caching milestones. (First, most memorable etc.)
A: My first successful cache on my own was “Family Picnic” in Burlington. I used the map screen (not knowing any better) to find the cache. I still remember caching with my daughter at Flick’s “1812 on the Niagara Parkway Tour: Part 1” (still one of my favourite caches of all time). For me highlights are no longer number related, they are more accomplishments – getting lost with Beaux doing “Hilton Falls Loop” and adding about 10km to our route, doing “Bruce Almighty” series twice – the second time all in one day, attending 2 GeoWoodstocks, finding an APE Project cache, some 5/5’s… oh I could go on all day.
Q: What are your favourite caches?
A: My favourites are “Wow” caches – ones that are nice hikes to places that I want to take my camera out and capture for a memory or I learn an interesting fact. “Tour of… ” and caches by water are top rankers too! I enjoy events that are all day themed runs that we do as a team and laugh about for a year after (and only get one found out of it).
Q: What are your least favourite caches?
A: I’m not fond of urban caches with no point. I just got back from GeoWoodstock 5 in Raleigh NC and we did a bunch of urban caches with ticks and poison ivy and I kept thinking “Why did the owner bring me here? Why is this so unique?” I’m not good at caches that require physical dexterity and I do not enjoy bushwacking or heights.
Q: Any recent highlights you would like to share?
A: You mean other than crossing the “New River Gorge Bridge” (longest steel-arch bridge in North America) without closing my eyes even once? We just booked GHAGAFAP #6 ! Save the weekend of September 15th, 2007 on your calendar for a weekend of fun at the same location but a different venue!
Q: Any thoughts on caching you would like to share?
A: Without getting too much into ‘soap-box’ mode, I’d just like to remind people that this is a fun hobby – it’s all about hiking and enjoying the outdoors, spending time with family and friends and finding awesome places that would otherwise go undiscovered. The only numbers that count are the ones on your GPSr that tell you where to go. I have discovered that Cachers can be the best people in the world and I value the friendships I have made through this sport. I have never laughed so much (mostly at myself)! That’s what caching is about to me. Let’s keep the wonderment and laughter alive.
Thanks to Amazon Annie for taking time out between finding caches to share a few moments with all of us. Always looking forward to reading about your adventures.