Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:39 pm
Interview Date: 1/03/19
Caching Name : Que3nbe3
Real Name : Rebecca Larson
Hello everyone! I am honored to have been nominated for the position of Public Relations Officer for the MGS. As a way for others to get to know me better, the outgoing Public Relations Officer for the MGS, FatBaldOldMan suggested that I share about myself in this forum. For now, I will stick to the same format and questions as in the past.
1. How did you become involved in geocaching? In the late spring of 2016, my husband and I heard about geocaching from one of my sisters. I didn't pay much attention at the time, but later, my husband downloaded the app and said, "Let's just try it". Little did he know what he was starting! Our first find was a light pole cache about a mile from our house. We had the hardest time finding that one, but my husband finally found it right where you would guess. After that, we tried a few in the area and then school let out for the summer. My younger daughter and I went on two road trips that summer. One roadtrip was up through Pennsylvania to Erie, a quick trip across the border at Niagara Falls, and along the St Lawrence River to Clayton, NY. We finally ended up in the Lake George area of New York. While in the area, I visited another of my sisters, who lives in Vermont. We decided to do some Geocaching together and ended up Geocaching well past midnight! The second road trip with my daughter, after a week at home, was along the east coast, all the way up to Augusta, Maine where another sister lives. My daughter and I stuck to the small roads and followed the coast as closely as we could. On both of these trips, the goal for me was to visit lighthouses. Geocaching, at the time, was just something my daughter and I tried along the way when it was convenient. By the end of that summer though, I was hooked.
2. How did you choose your caching name? I tried several versions of my caching name before finally settling on the current one. First, we have owned one or two honeybees hives for about 5 years, each year being a struggle, hoping they'd make it through the winter, buying more when each hive eventually failed. I also own a yellow Mini Cooper convertible with black stripes that I call, "The Bee". The last reason? When I was a baby, my parents called me Bee, short for Becky. That didn't last past my toddler years, but my two granddaughters now call me that--it's my official Grandma Name, "Bee".
3. How many caches have you found so far? I have found 3592 as of yesterday.
4. What brand/type of GPS do you use? I do have a GPS device, but you will rarely see me use it, unless I'm placing a cache. My current phone is Google Pixel and I've never been as happy with a phone as I am now.
5. What programs/software or hardware (PDA/laptop/phone) do you use to make caching easier? I use both the geocaching app and C:geo while caching with my phone. Google maps is very helpful. At home, when solving most puzzles, I'll sit in front of the desktop computer in our office. I like Geocachingtoolbox alot. I use MyGeocachingProfile to update my stats. Project-GC is great for checking Challenge Cache requirements against my stats. I recently used the same website to request that a checker be created for my 75 Letterboxes Challenge when a search for one came up with nothing. I got great results fast!
6. What type of cache do you prefer seeking – traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual? Honestly, I prefer mystery caches with a field puzzle, such as gadget caches. My second favorite type are Letterboxes--the ones that are closest to traditional Letterboxes as possible, not simply a box with a stamp, but one that you reach by following simple directions and landmarks along the way.
7. Which caches were the most challenging – physically/mentally? Earth caches are pretty mentally stimulating most of the time. I really do enjoy doing them, but you wouldn't know it from my stats. Sometimes the questions asked are so in-depth, I feel like I need to be a specialist in the field in order to answer them. That's when I'll skip it. In my humble opinion, if we want the younger generation to join in this game and make it fun, we need to create more Earth caches that children can do (and yet are still a bit challenging to us adults).
The most physically challenging caches for me are the ones that require the use of a kayak. Along a river. With crazy currents. These could be any type of cache. The next toughest would be the ones with lots of ups and downs--and rocks!
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) I’ll name a few caches that are my favorites:
Spice Creek-Small Boat (GC4265) an oldie that is on an island in the Patuxent. My husband and I paddled out to it for my birthday last year.
Intersection (GC7TDB1) is another favorite of mine. I went in search of it by myself, on a whim. It was the toughest six-tenths of a mile hike/climb I've ever done, but my reward was the claim to FTF.
Do you have a favorite in a nearby state?
My favorite series is in a state that isn't quite nearby; it's in Maine and it is called, "The Stockton Springs 10", a set of gadget/puzzle type caches created by rhendy. GC5PVMR is the code for the first one in the series: "Stockton Springs 1". Robert has another series of gadget caches (you can earn a different patch for completing each series) as well as various other caches in the area.
A cache that is a local favorite in upstate New York is called Tin Man (GC3JAY4). It won geocache of the week in October, 2012. Tim man has a heart! And you follow the yellow brick road to reach him!
9. What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve ever found in a cache?
I found a pack of cigarettes in a cache once. Early on in my caching career, I found a piece of chewed up gum in a Ziploc with some other candy and swag--no log anywhere. I ended up tossing the gum, then wondered later if it was one of those caches made to look like a wad of gum. I guess I'll never know.
10. What are your current caching goals? My personal geocaching goal is to complete the Find Your Chesapeake Geotour, which I am very close to doing. I'd also like to work on finding all of those caches in the "Do Not Release the Kraken" series.
As the Public Relations Officer, I would love to create some type of mentorship program for anyone who is new to geocaching, to promote geocaching to more parks and to make more public officials, such as police and security officers, more aware of the game and how it works
Is there a certain cache that you can’t wait to do? Yes. I want to visit the MINGO cache in Kansas (GC30), which is the oldest ACTIVE geocache in the world. I came so close to that goal when my family and I flew to Lincoln, Nebraska over Thanksgiving break. Unfortunately, it was a busy time and I just couldn't make it happen. I'll get there.
11. How many caches have you placed? I currently have 54 caches placed using my caching name, with one more soon to publish. I also have placed (with a friend and under a separate geocaching account) 54 caches for a local GeoArt that some of you may have heard about. I have placed 7 others under a Geotour.
12. What advice would you give someone that wants to place a cache? Ensure that your container is watertight, your location is interesting, and remember, YOU are responsible for maintaining it so don't place a cache somewhere that you aren't willing to revisit. Also. HIDE the cache!
13. How often do you go caching? I try to get out as often as possible, at least three times a week. Even if I am not caching, per se, I enjoy exploring parklands and looking for places of interest and beauty where I can hide caches.
14. What advice would you give a beginning geocacher? Attend events! The smaller and more personal, the better. Your questions will be answered and you might even find new friends who will show you THEIR favorite caches.
15. Have you completed CAM in the past? Yes, my husband and I have completed CAM for the last two years
16. Do you collect geocoins? Yes – My favorite geocoins are the Planetary Pursuit set that I have, among others. I am most proud of the geocoin that my husband and I earned doing the Smithsonian's Geotrail, which is now archived.
17. What type of gear do you carry with you on your caching trips? I try to pack light most of the time, once I'm outside my car. Just a pen or two and my phone. If I'm off by myself in the woods, my dog, pepper spray, or both. My car is stocked with most of the essentials, which now includes a telescoping ladder. My downfall is that I'm too spontaneous and do not always prepare ahead with snacks and enough water and things like tissues or extra paper. I have a small pack that I can stuff an amazing assortment of TOTTs into--when I remember to grab it!
18. What is your most memorable caching experience? Being attacked by ground bees at a cache in the cemetery where "Uncle Sam" is buried (upstate New York). I clawed my way to the top of a steep, high ridge, swatting at the bees and nearly falling backwards once. I got stung on my legs six times, but I found that cache!
19. What is your best caching story? The one where I found a cache that was submerged under murky water by half a cinder block. I used a kayak, my phone, and a very strong magnet. I was FTF on that one and found $20 inside as my prize!
20. What do you like about geocaching? What keeps you going? My dad always enjoyed hiking and mountain climbing. I suppose he had the wanderlust and so do I. I absolutely LOVE traveling! I would go anywhere as long as it was safe to go there. Unfortunately, I'm not rich, so I am limited that way. I remember a period of time when I was feeling SO desperate to see the world and imagined how many places I would never experience myself. I believe that feeling is what spurred the road trips with my daughter. I have come to realize, through caching, that the world within your reach, right now, is worth exploring. From little secret pocket parks, underappreciated and previously unknown murals on buildings, to mountaintop and waterside views. There are so many things to see and enjoy. Thanks to the many thousands of geocachers placing caches, I am able to satiate that feeling of wanderlust!
21. Besides geocaching, what other things do you like to do? My main hobby that I do whenever I find myself stuck at home for whatever reason, is quilting. I am currently working on a quilt for my second granddaughter. She lives with my son and his wife in Hawaii, so I don't get to see her much right now. That will change in the next year because he received orders for Fort Gordon, Georgia as an instructor. I also enjoy cooking for my family when I'm not too worn out from geocaching.
22. What question did you expect us to ask but didn’t. What is the answer? Name an event that you have attended that was memorable and what made it so? My first thought would be GeoWoodstock because it was so huge. Yes, I enjoyed myself a lot, for many reasons. But I cannot discount the small person-to-person events in far-off places like Maine and Hawaii where I met cachers local to the area and made several new friends.
And of course, my all-time favorite: the Eating Challenge Event for the NoVaGO Survivor18 series! I can't forget THAT!
Bonus Questions: How does your family feel about your geocaching habits?
My three sisters geocache. I've "converted" several family members including several cousins, an uncle, one of my husband's sisters and a couple of his cousins, too. Most of my extended family and all of my friends know that I geocache. They, might get tired of hearing my stories and might even think I am a bit crazy, but I'll keep geocaching as long as I enjoy it!
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:56 am
Hmmm... QB... she's ok, I guess.
Oh wait, that's right! She'll do any crazy stuff I wanna do and hides freaking great caches. So she must be SUPER OK!!!
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:35 pm
Excellent write-up! I can attest to her excellent cache hiding skills and I greatly appreciate her efforts in this area! Good luck as our incoming PR for 2019!
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:41 pm
One of the best write-ups I've seen. What a great start to your PAO position. Of you included pictures in your write-up, I didn't see them, and that's a shame. All my best to you in 2019. Any help I can provide, please don't don't hesitate to ask.
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:26 pm
Great write-up, but be careful with that "Do Not Release the Kraken" series. I heard that several unsuspecting cachers were swept down the river and never heard from again. Whoever the COs are, they must be certifiably insane.