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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:15 am 
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I am proud to introduce ZippyFinn as this month's Maryland Geocaching Society (MGS) spotlighted geocacher. ZippyFinn, Angela, is one of this year's Cache Across Maryland (CAM) cache hiders. She put together the CAM 2017: Biscoe Gray Heritage Farm (https://coord.info/GC6Y6GC) mystery cache that provided a fantastic tour of a historical part of Calvert county.

Interview Date : May 15

Caching Name : ZippyFinn

Real Name : Angela Huesman

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1. How did you become involved in geocaching. When did you start?

I started geocaching in July 2011. I have my summers free and got bored quickly. My family had done some letterboxing and I came across geocaching while investigating that. You’ll notice that my very first cache is a letterbox. I floundered in a lot of parking lots after that trying to figure things out. It was ugly!


2. How did you choose your caching name?

It’s a combo of my kid’s names: Zippy is my daughter and Finn is my son. I’m not a really quick Nordic person.


3. How many caches have you found so far?

Sitting at 3202 currently.


4. What brand/type of GPS do you use?

I favor my Garmin GPSmap 62s in the woods. Loved the rubber right off my old one until it perished. I’ll use my phone too to some extent but I get wiggy about losing battery power in the woods and try to use it as little as possible.


5. What programs/software or hardware (PDA/laptop/phone) do you use to make caching easier?

I do enough on my computer at home to get by. Sallysomd is still trying to teach me how to use GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife), but there’s a mental block. I lamely paste what I’m after that day into a word document and use it as my guide.

I don’t generally head out for a huge number day so it’s easy to organize myself without all the extras.

For puzzle work…jeez…I use everything. Excel is my sweetheart, though.


6. What type of cache do you prefer seeking – traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual?

PUZZLES! But I’ll also tackle any cache that involves some thinking aspect aside from just walking up to the container.


7. Which caches were the most challenging – physically/mentally? Why?

Mentally: Horcrux Final – The Deathly Hallows (https://coord.info/GC3R9Y7) was the most mentally draining puzzle I’ve ever worked on. I include all the preliminary puzzles in that statement. But HOLY COW – when you finally get it! can’t beat that feeling. Hixon is a master of the layered puzzle and word play and the beautiful joining of all the parts.

Physically: Intercept (https://coord.info/GC2JYHX) is probably not the most physically challenging for most cachers, but the heights involved in climbing that tree terrified me. I try to push myself a bit and go outside my comfort zone. It gets harder the older I get.

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8. Do you have a favorite or favorites among the Maryland caches that you’ve found? (Feel free to list a favorite for each type of cache)

Naturally all of these are mystery caches/puzzle caches.

Magna Cum Laude, My Hat's Off to You (https://coord.info/GC5FY1V). This cache has the most lovingly handcrafted final I’ve ever seen.

LoZ Series: Triforce (https://coord.info/GC35A91). This was the culminating cache for a fantastic series that took me all over the state of Maryland. Much care was put into the location selections and puzzles.

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay (https://coord.info/GC3ECVM). Kayaking in a ship graveyard – LOVED IT!

Do you have a favorite in a nearby state?

The Silent City (https://coord.info/GCQYTG). This multicache in Washington, DC is in a fantastic cemetery with an ending that will put a smile on your face.

Zorky Rooster (https://coord.info/GC4A2BG). This mystery caches in Virginia is a perfect blending of the physical and mental with a finale that will knock your socks off. Serrabou meshes the virtual world and the real one until you’re not sure where you are anymore. It’s terribly sad when the adventure is over and that’s what it felt like…an adventure!

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9. What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve ever found in a cache?

Well, it wasn’t IN a cache, but I thought is WAS the cache. It was a Red Bull can with a twist off lid. ‘How clever,’ I thought. Until I spied the small baggies of white rocks inside. Oh freak! It was early in my caching career and both my kids were with me. Called the cops and thrust my GPS and papers into his face to proclaim my boring, matronly, non-crack lifestyle.


10. What are your current caching goals? Is there a certain cache that you can’t wait to do?

Umm…The Test That Stumped Them All (https://coord.info/GC5ZMCJ). I’m at a year and a half on that sucker. *sigh*weep* VooDude is my puzzle doll. He bears the brunt of my angst. ProdigiousOne (P1) is part of the voodoo alliance and monitors my chicken offerings. And intake.

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So I guess I just have one goal. Other than that, I go out and have fun – I do what amuses me on any given outing – not a big numbers/grid person. I think I just accidentally finished my D/T grid last month. D’oh!


11. How many caches have you placed? Do you have a current hiding goal?

I have around 40 caches out right now, but no hiding goals. I need for inspiration to hit me in the face.


12. What advice would you give someone that wants to place a cache?

Get a good number of caches under your belt first then ask yourself, “What made the great ones great?” And then try to make a worthy experience for a seeker using that knowledge. Also – shake up the cache title a bit. Even if it’s a simple cache, I find myself drawn to something with an unusual name rather than “In the Pines” or “Walk in the Woods”

What steps do YOU take when placing a cache?

A topic frequently discussed…I generally have an idea first and then go hunting for locations. As I’ve gotten minimally handier with the computer, I’m trying to improve upon the looks of the cache page itself. I’m also working to make a better overall experience. It’s an evolution.


13. How often do you go caching?

During the school year, I try to get out once a week - more often during the summer as activities allow.


14. What advice would you give a beginning geocacher?

Look to the stars! Work your way up until you’re familiar with how things work and find out what you like.

Also – don’t be afraid to contact a cache owner for a little help if you’re struggling with a puzzle. I find that most will push you along in the right direction if you tell them what you’ve tried. You might want to punch Hixon when he writes back, but the funny part is, even HE generally gives you more than you might realize.


15. Have you completed CAM in the past? What was your favorite aspect?

Nope. Sorry.


16. Do you collect geocoins? Of the ones that you’ve collected, which is your favorite?

I have a handful but my favorite is my Cateran Trail coin from Scotland. Spent a week there with my daughter working on this and while mistakes were made in the footwear department, we’ve got fantastic memories. And blisters.

I also have a nifty one I earned in Bermuda. My husband calls it my most expensive coin. I hired a MOST AWESOME lady taxi driver for two days to cart my daughter and I around collecting the caches we needed. I saw parts of Bermuda that most tourists don’t see and I got the best local stories from her along the way. No pre-packaged tour could have beaten it.


17. What type of gear do you carry with you on your caching trips? What’s in your geopack?

Bwahahahaaa….the whole back of my car is caching gear for all occasions. In my backpack, I typically have emergency TP, granola bars, water, extra socks, batteries and assorted dolls depending on the cache. You know…for photo ops. I bring a hiking pole most all the time now. It’s multi-purpose: balance, weapon, pokey stick, how far into this mud will I sink?


18. What is your most memorable caching experience?

Jeez…not sure I can limit myself. I’ve been down a WWII bunker in England and inside a lava tube in Iceland. Both were fantastic because you just go to these spots in the middle of nowhere and do these crazy things.

But my most memorable was probably an Earthcache of all things (which is funny since I don’t particularly care for them). The Spar Cave, Skye Earthcache (https://coord.info/GC347RC) in northern Scotland. The family and I had to time it for low tide so we could round the rocks to the entrance. After carefully picking our way to the cave and climbing up the formations, we were in awe at the sight before us! We would have paid money anywhere else in the world, but we had it all to ourselves. Take a look at the gallery to see how magnificent a place it is.

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19. What is your best caching story?


I suppose my ‘best’ caching story was getting pulled under the water inside a storm drain last year while working on The Domino Principal (GC2PHQ9) which unfortunately has been archived. I really feel like I owe zgrav and Pfenix my life and you can read all about it in my log. Even now, quick moving water makes me incredibly nervous. What I learned: some storm drains are really freakin’ big FOR A REASON. Life lessons…

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20. What do you like about geocaching? What keeps you going?

My mind never really stops. The puzzles give me something to focus my energies on and they’re always so different and varied. I can click on any ? in the country and have something to work on! It’s especially nice if the weather is too crappy to go out.

I’ve gotten a bit more selective in what I go after and look for an experience and/or a sense of achievement when I go out now.

And really, I’ve met some of the most amazing, entertaining and smartest people I’ve ever met - the ones who tolerate my goofy posts and stupid pictures, the witty ones, the sassy ones, the ones who play my reindeer games and members of my birdwatching club. My life would be incredibly boring without the wicked quick banter over puzzles, clever zingers and feisty dialogue.

I love them all.


21. Besides geocaching, what other things do you like to do?

I love playing poker although I don’t play as much as I used to. Not half bad and enjoy tournament play the most. I read a lot. During the school year, it’s pretty worthless non-thinky stuff, but I prefer non-fiction during the summers. I enjoy traveling and seeing as much of the world as possible before I kick it.


22. What question did you expect us to ask but didn’t?

Which finger is your favorite? What is the answer? Hide a great cache and you’ll find out.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:37 pm 
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Great write up. Glad we got to know more about you.

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We are now Mr. And Mrs. Coupleocachers and Proud parents of AmeliaGrace
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