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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:02 pm 
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It is my pleasure to introduce to you a pair of geocachers who have been in the state for a little more than a year now. When they first came to MD, they reached out on the forums and have been pretty active on the site since then. I am happy to share more of their story with our members! Meet LestISmiteThee.

Interview Date : December 2015
Caching Name : LestISmiteThee
Real Name : Nick + Gally



1. How did you become involved in geocaching. When did you start?
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I’d just graduated from college and moved to Monterey, CA. Another military spouse who moved to our neighborhood from Texas introduced me in April 2010, and then I got Nick into it.


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We’d ride our bikes for hours through the beautiful parks, pristine beaches, tall sand dunes, and abandoned buildings of Monterey Bay, Fort Ord, Seaside, and Marina. But Highway 1 was our favorite route because it took us through the majestic mountains and sapphire shores of Big Sur, Point Lobos, Carmel Valley, and the Carmel Highlands.

To this day, that area of CA remains the most gorgeous place we’ve ever been.


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2. How did you choose your caching name?
One of my other hobbies is writing. I wrote many fantasy and sci-fi stories with friends in high school, and one of the lines that stuck with me because it made me crack up was when someone wrote in warning to something my character was doing: “lest I smite thee with the back of my hand.” I’ve used “Lest I Smite Thee” in some form as a username on various sites since then, and Nick didn’t have a preference for username, so I kept it for Geocaching. Now it’s funny to say, “Place the cache back exactly as found, lest I smite thee.”

3. How many caches have you found so far?
592 caches, 2460 trackables

4. What brand/type of GPS do you use?
Oddly enough, we started using our Garmin car GPS in CA and it worked very well. Then Nick got an iPhone in South Korea so we just used Groundspeak's official Geocaching app. When we moved to MD and wanted to participate in our first CAM, we decided to get a Garmin Oregon 600. We still mainly use the Geocaching app, but if we know we’re going into the woods, we’ll bring the Oregon.

5. What programs/software or hardware (PDA/laptop/phone) do you use to make caching easier?
Nick just likes to find caches so I do all the other Geocaching stuff for us, like looking up where to go on the geocaching.com or Geocaching app map, loading the GPS, logging finds when we get home on a computer or laptop, communicating with other cachers, etc.

If there are a lot of trackables to log, I’ll use logthemall.org but I still like going through and reading about trackables we find.

To get finer statistics for challenges and other milestones, I’ll use project-gc.com.

6. What type of cache do you prefer seeking – traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual?
No preference except we much prefer unique hides, like home-made or tricky containers, or one-of-a-kind puzzles someone takes time to craft, etc. It’s not a numbers game for us, but about discovering new areas, exploring places we thought we knew, and experiencing things together.


7. Which caches were the most challenging – physically/mentally? Why?
For me, anywhere I can see ticks and spiders. They seriously creep me out to the point where I’ve asked Nick to go on without me on a few occasions. He’s not phased by anything! We don’t mind physically demanding journeys; we love rock-climbing, after all, but I sometimes psych myself out when it comes bugs.
Nick says he hasn’t come across anything challenging, per say, but we have a tendency to try and walk to caches in a straight line, which leads to a lot of unnecessary bush-whacking instead of finding trails. So sometimes we make caches harder on ourselves!

8. Do you have a favorite or favorites among the Maryland caches that you’ve found? Do you have a favorite in a nearby state?
Here are our logs for favorited caches in MD and VA, plus other northeastern states we visited in September ~
MD:

PURE EVIL

The Beast's Dungeon


VA:

A house on a hill top

Just Another LPC..

Hi-Tech


MA:

The Depot

Cape Cod - Changing Glacial Bluffs


NH:

Nashuan’s First Cache

The Things We Seek


VT:

Quechee Gorge Earth Cache


ME:

Team DeLorme Coin Vault


9. What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve ever found in a cache?
We’ve encountered plenty of surprises inside and near caches — cool dioramas, Lego sets, and a wide variety of critters — but if I had to narrow it down to three…
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… the first thing that comes to mind is the Pi Day Mystery Fish we found in the middle of a parking lot next to a mystery cache on Pi Day this year…

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… then a random muggle note on a log in MS…


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… and the best one of all, the three stages of Director’s A-Mazing Treasure Hunt!


10. What are your current caching goals? Is there a certain cache that you can’t wait to do?
Our goals are:
Beat our current record of 265 caches found in a calendar year.
Find at least one cache on every calendar date. We currently have 218 of 366.
Get to 10K caches so I can complete my Pocket Cache Counter.
Find at least one of every cache type. We currently have 14 of 20. May not be possible since locationless and other types no longer exist.
Jasmer (139 of 186 so far) and Fizzy (51 of 81 so far) challenges.
Find our first 5/5 cache. Our current highest are 5/4s and 4.5/5s.
Find the oldest/first cache in the world. Our current oldest is Octopus Garden.
Visit Geocaching HQ and attend a Block Party if they ever have another.
Find at least one cache in every state. We currently have 23 of 51 including D.C.
Find at least one cache on every continent. We currently have three countries and two continents.
And really just cache as much as we can in as many countries as we can!

11. How many caches have you placed? Do you have a current hiding goal?
25 so far including events. We also have several cute candy tin containers we’re going to put out soon as a “Sweets Series” or something similar possibly highlighting good places to eat.

12. What advice would you give someone that wants to place a cache? What steps do YOU take when placing a cache?
First and foremost — as with many things in life — if you can’t handle the responsibility, then don’t do it. Please make sure you can get to the cache whenever it needs maintenance. I don’t place caches where they’re too far away for me to even want to go out there. I’m not sure what COs with 5/5s do in these cases, but if your cache is less than a 5/5, it should get timely maintenance. You are, after all, basically inviting other cachers to make the trip to find your cache when you place one, so please don’t waste others’ time and money.
Second, communicate! Whether it’s letting someone know that it may be another week before you have a day off to maintenance your cache or helping out another cacher with a hint, it’s important that we act as an open and friendly community by communicating kindly with one another.
Lastly, take the time to create something unique. Good caches don’t have to be complicated, but sometimes it’s nice finding something that isn’t just another LPC or guard rail cache. When we placed our first cache in South Korea, I wanted it to be a mystery instead of a traditional, so we made an on-site puzzle you had to solve after a hike up a small mountain. None of our caches are LPCs, but even if they’re in easy locations, we try to personalize it with a small puzzle or something we make up ourselves.


13. How often do you go caching?
Not as regularly as I would like — probably a couple times per month. We have more time for caching when our work schedules and days off line up. Since I’ve had to work Saturdays too for the past year with no end in sight, we’ve cached a lot less than last year and I haven’t been able to attend as many events. Hopefully 2016 will be the year we can reach 365 caches!

14. What advice would you give a beginning geocacher?
It may seem obvious, but have fun! I think some people forget Geocaching doesn’t have to be a competition, it doesn’t have to be about numbers, filling in a grid or calendar, or completing challenges. Sometimes it’s nice to just grab an easy one while you’re out grocery shopping or walking the dog. And sometimes it’s invigorating to tackle a hard puzzle with friends. In all things, have fun, because life’s too short to waste on things you don’t really wanna do.

15. Have you completed CAM in the past? What was your favorite aspect?
Since we moved to MD last Dec, 2015 was our first CAM and we’re happy to say we completed it! It was one of the most fun Geocaching activities we’ve ever done because it helped us explore the new state we live in, we got to meet friendly new cachers at almost every CAM cache, and we got lots of quality hiking time with our dog Coconut. We even discovered that she likes walking on logs!


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16. Do you collect geocoins? Of the ones that you’ve collected, which is your favorite?
Yes! Trackables are one of my favorite elements of Geocaching and I like finding them almost as much as finding caches. Unlike caches, you can see where they’ve been and what they represent to the owner, and some of them have interesting stories and photos.
We own 50 trackables so far. I like to get ones that symbolize our milestones or just have cool designs. Most I keep on display at home and sometimes bring to events. Of the five I’ve released, three are traveling and two are missing. Two are actually overseas at the moment.

My trackable tattoo is my favorite since I designed it. The tracking code I used was our first trackable, a Geocaching patch, and also happens to be the only code with a combination of letters and numbers with secret meanings for me. These are also super special trackables because of the journey involved:


Pocket Cache Counter

Our Geocats

Our Geodog

U.S. Space & Rocket Center GPS Maze Geocoin

24 Caches in 24 Hours Geo-Achievement Geocoin

Jeremy 2014 Tag

Cache Across Maryland 2015 Geocoin

GeoWoodstock XIII Geocoin


17. What type of gear do you carry with you on your caching trips? What’s in your geopack?
iPhones with the official Geocaching app, HuntMarkers benchmark-finding app, Camelbak, Fisher Space Pen and extra pens, mirror, tweezers, flashlight, bug spray, sunblock, magnets, multitool, Garmin Oregon 600

18. What is your most memorable caching experience? AND 19. What is your best caching story?
Very hard to choose just one, but I’d have to go with Going Caching 2014. The link goes to part one of a two-part log with photos that I titled:

“I Came, I Saw, I Cached:

LestISmiteThee's Going Caching MMXIV Log Part 1

A pseudo-novella in which Gally attends her first mega-event, finds her first lab caches, accidentally finds the President of Geocaching, hugs Signal the Frog, and other adventures!”

20. What do you like about geocaching? What keeps you going?
For us, it’s really all about finding places we never would've known about without a nearby cache, seeing unforgettable views, working through puzzles or tough terrain together, and always craving new experiences.
I’m 28, and due to military life, I’ve moved 19 times now. I wish I’d known about Geocaching sooner because everywhere we go, caches help us get familiar with new areas and discover new favorite places. It’s the ultimate combination of two things we love: games and traveling!

21. Besides geocaching, what other things do you like to do?
We both like hanging out with our three cats and one dog, playing video/tabletop games, traveling the world, rock-climbing and other outdoor activities, watching TV/movies, and food. ALL THE FOOD!

I’m also a writer and avid reader. I read about 60+ books a year depending on the page count. I LIKE BIG BOOKS AND I CANNOT LIE! My favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, graphic novels/manga/comics, thriller, gothic, science, and philosophy. Some of my favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Hermann Hesse, Taylor Stevens, Malala Yousafzai, and many others. If you’re on Goodreads, add me!
Nick also enjoys mountain biking, computers and technology, building and painting miniatures, designing and building stuff, and pretty much anything hands-on.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:51 pm 
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Great write up here! Looking forward to meetin and cachin with y'all on Saturday!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:34 am 
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Good write up and got to meet both of you at Meet the Officers 2015. I still haven't ordered that milestone trackable but sooner or later I will cough up the cache..cough I mean cash.

I will have to check out some of the caches referenced in our future trips!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:46 pm 
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Thanks, Dradicus and CacheNCarry45! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:14 pm 
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Terrific spotlight, Gally! :smt023 Thanks for sharing your story. It was a delight meeting you and Nick at events last year, and i enjoyed reading a bit more about you. I hope we get to keep you here in Maryland for a long while!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:07 pm 
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Thanks, Alzarius, it's always a pleasure seeing you at events!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:53 am 
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Great write up. Glad we got to learn more about you. That is an interesting note. We haven't found anything that strange yet, but we have found some interesting items in and nearby caches.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:02 pm 
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Very cool write-up! I've got to agree with you: Monterey is absolutely beautiful! We visited when my son was at NPS briefly; I'm hoping he returns soon (a very real possibility), so I can visit again. :wink:

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