What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?
The first half of our username comes from Michael’s obvious nickname, Mike. Erica’s half of the username, Pink, comes from her high school mascot being the Pink Panther. Thus, mike ‘n pink!
Why did you decide to try geocaching?
A friend introduced the game to Erica in college, who felt Michael would love it. The concepts of a treasure hunt combined with technology seemed like the perfect combination for fun in our relationship. We lived two hours apart from each other at the time (in Lafayette and in New Orleans) and would both meet up in Baton Rouge on the weekends and spend our time together geocaching.
What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?
The first cache we went after was “Heart Check” (GCGP63). Erica had the vaguest idea of what to look for from that first geocache that her friend showed her, but it was brand new to Michael. It took some effort, but once we found it, Michael was 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 caches come to mind, but one that stands out is “HTGT: Wildlife 2” (GC5HF85). It’s part of the Houma Geocaching Tour series. We were determined to find the 27 caches we needed to complete the tour in one day. For this cache, we trekked through a swamp wildlife refuge just as it was starting to drizzle. The hike involved crossing a bridge swarming with dozens of wasps (Erica’s great nemesis), dodging falling golden orb spiders that were being knocked from their webs by the rain, and watching our feet to avoid stepping on the hundreds of mating grasshoppers that were all over the path. The drizzle turned into a storm, and the longer we looked, the louder we could hear the grunting sounds of nearby alligators. The hide was a fairly easy one, but nervous about the alligators, it took us much longer to find than it should have, and we had come too far to give up. After making the find, we ran the mile back to our car, completely soaked, covered in mud, but victorious.
What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?
We HAVE to have a pen and our phone—can’t cache without either! Erica keeps an arsenal of pens in the center console of the car just for geocaching and always tries to remember to keep a towel or two in the car in case the search gets dirty. We also try to keep our geocaching bag in our car, which Michael keeps stocked with extra logs and baggies, tradeables, and our first aid kit, among other items.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?
Michael’s most memorable sight was at our 600th cache in Alabama, Favorite Places Series: The King’s Chair (GCKRVB). We hiked to the top of a mountain and sat on the very edge of a ledge, our feet dangling over an incredible drop while we looked out at the beautiful view below us.
Erica’s favorite was seeing the Grand Canyon covered in snow. We were the only two people on a particular ledge where there was a mystery cache, and we stood on the edge of the canyon and felt like we were the only people in the world.
What cache is on your Bucket List?
We just completed a big bucket list item of ours, which was to find all of the caches in the Louisiana Star Geocaching Challenge—which was made extra challenging what with Erica being 8 months pregnant at the time.
We’d really like to visit the Geocaching Headquarters in Seattle and visit the cache on location. And although it’s not a specific cache, our biggest bucket list item is to find a geocache in every state. We’ve got 18 crossed off so far…
Any other hobbies?
Michael enjoys playing computer games and building things for fun. Erica loves to read and write.
Anything else you would like to say?
We got engaged when Michael created an entire fake geocaching page and surprised Erica by “finding” a ring instead of a cache—we now have a real cache placed at the site in memory of the proposal (GC48G6R). At our wedding, the priest who married us knew of our love for geocaching. He made us a homemade “cache” with the “Love is patient, love is kind” verse on a paper inside in place of a log and presented it to us after his homily. Michael’s groomscake was even designed to look like a giant geocache. Geocaching is a big part of our lives, and we can’t wait until our son Benjamin (who was born this March) is old enough to cache with us!