What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?
We like to hike, so we chose Hiker. We went through quite a few variations on the website before we found a trail name that wasn’t already in play. Dana is a musician so I chose BluesHiker. Ironically not Dana’s favorite genre.
Why did you decide to try geocaching?
We were inspired by our son-in-law Jeremy (jkusnetz) on one of our annual family beach trips. We weren’t with him on the hunt, but he came back with such a hilarious story we decided to give it a try.
What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?
Our first find was on the LSU campus. We had to practice stealth and climb under a bridge. It was an adventure; we felt like international spies. We were hooked.
Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?
A few of our most memorable hunts are DNFs. We attended a birthday celebration for my mother and on the way home we decided to attempt a cache in Covington. Our son Joe and his fiance Sarah were with us. We parked in a lot behind a restaurant, but Joe and Sarah decided to stay in the car. We jumped a ditch, crossed a street, jumped another ditch, then proceeded about 100′ into a wooded area. We got to GZ and fanned out, looking for the cache. Our standard operating procedure. Nothing to indicate the horror that awaited us.
There was our normal caching chatter. “Nope.” “Not here.” “Ugh, spider web.” Then Dana yelled “Run! Run! YELLOW JACKETS!” Yes, he had poked a nest of the meanest, most vindictive insects on the planet. I looked up and he already had about a 30′ lead. Luckily for me, Dana was the primary target; I had the B-team. The slackers, I guess, or maybe the old ones and the trainees. We stumbled through bushes, jumped over downed trees, tore through medieval thorns, hit the ground a few times, all the time waving our arms hysterically in a futile attempt to protect ourselves from the winged horde. We burst out of the woods and jumped the first ditch. It was like the scene from the first Indiana Jones movie. START THE ENGINE! START THE ENGINE!
Watching his bloodied parents jumping and flailing and running toward the car, and realizing that they had quite possibly gone mad, Joe jumped into the front seat as we ran across the street and jumped the second ditch. He started the engine, rolled up the windows and locked the doors. As we ran around and around the car in an arm-flailing Chinese fire drill, we began to realize all of these were probably good decisions on his part.
Signaling crudely to Joe through the windows, we indicated that he should move the car to the front of the lot, and we would meet him there. We continued to run around in circles waving our arms and gradually made our way to the car. I hope we provided some entertainment for the diners in the restaurant. By the time we jumped into the car only a few yellow jackets were still following us, and only one got into the car. We quickly whacked that brave soldier. We whacked him good.
Like I said, I had the B-team. Only four stings. But Dana was covered, all over his arms, legs, neck and face. I stopped counting at twenty. He looked like a puffer fish. Luckily neither of us have allergies and there was a CVS in the next block and we stocked up on Benadryl. And that’s why we keep Benadryl in the first-aid kit.
What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?
Must have – pen, tweezers. I usually keep these in my pocket. In the car just in case – walking sticks, extra logs and zip locks, bug spray, water, germ-x, swag, cache repair kit, first-aid kit.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?
The time we accidentally went to the Empire State Building. We attended GeoWoodstock XIII in Maryland, and our daughter and son-in-law and grand babies live in northern Virginia, so we made a nice family visit out of the trip. We wanted to grab a few extra states, like Delaware and New Jersey. That crazy man jkusnetz was driving and he wouldn’t stop at New Jersey. We went straight into Manhattan and found The Empire Strikes Back (GC4D7F) at the top of the Empire State Building. An amazing adventure and it wasn’t even on our radar when we started out that morning.
What cache is on your Bucket List?
No one particular cache right now. We would love to cache old Route 66. Start in Chicago and cache all the way to Santa Monica.
Any other hobbies?
Camping and hiking.
Anything else you would like to say?
Because of our crazy work schedules, we are unable to attend many events. But we get a big kick out of meeting other cachers on the trail.