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October 2018 Member Spotlight: JL826

Highlighting Maryland's finest cachers!
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Former MGS Officer
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Abingdon, MD

October 2018 Member Spotlight: JL826

Post by FatBaldOldMan »

JL826 has been organizing a monthly geocacher's event for Baltimore and Harford Counties. He has been very instrumental in increasing the level of interest in geocaching in Harford County. Thanks, James.

Interview Date: 5/21/18 (I know, it's a bit late)

Caching Name: JL826

Real Name: James Diffenbaugh

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

When I first started my caching partner Fyregypsy at the time we only went by one singular name which was JL826 we were on a weekend getaway in the inner harbor for Valentine’s Day. We were walking around the harbor when she saw about the GPS maze exhibit and Geocaching she had previously cached in her previous relationship so she knew a little about caching, so we went in and walked around from then on I was hooked. My first actual find was on March 2nd, 2010, but I started at the Maze Exhibit which was February 20th of the same year.

2. How did you choose your caching name?

My Caching name is the first initial of my name and the initial of Fyregypsy's and the month and day of our anniversary which was 8/26 so JL826 was born.

3. How many caches have you found so far?

At the time of this write-up, I currently have 7,561

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

I'm not really a handheld GPS user I'm more of a cell phone cacher so I do not have GPS.

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

I use C:geo all the time. I also use the Groundspeak Geocaching app every once in a while but not very often. I have Gsak on my laptop and I also use Project GC

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

Typically, I go for the Traditional, but I enjoy the Virtuals for the unique places they normally take you. Recently, I found that I'm enjoying puzzles. They give my brain a workout.

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

The most challenging cache physically that I've had would probably be PUC #8. The most challenging mentally would be if you threw a Hixon puzzle and Rehoboth puzzle in a bag and took your pick it would be a very tough day for me. My eyes glaze over when I encounter one of their puzzles.

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) Do you have a favorite in a nearby state?

A favorite in Maryland? There are way too many to list, and I'm not able to choose just one or two. Now in a nearby state, my favorites would be any WVTim’s gadget caches. You really cannot go wrong with them. In Delaware, my most favorite would be "Your key to Cache" (GC3DYYT).

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

Honestly, I've never come across anything unusual in a cache. Where most cachers have found condoms and cigarettes, I've been lucky to not come across any of those things.

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

My current caching goals would be to complete my 1-year streak which I'm currently working on. As of this write-up, I'm on day 232 of 365 and to also hit 10,000 caches.

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

I've placed as of this write up 143 caches. My current goal would probably be to hide 200 by the end of the year.

12. What advice would you give someone that wants to place a cache? What steps do YOU take when placing a cache?

The advice that I would give would be to scope out the area that you're looking to hide a cache and make sure it would not draw attention from neighbors or business owners. I would also say to always get permission from a business regardless of where the cache is hidden and to also notify any neighbors close by. The steps that I take, is to look at the area and ask, “Is it worth hiding a cache here, and is it a safe place for future finders?” If both of those get checked off, then I hide the cache.

13. How often do you go caching?

Currently, I'm finding a cache once a day, but typically a major cache run is normally once every other week, weather permitting.

14. What advice would you give a beginning geocacher?

Get to know some of the people in your caching community by attending some local events or some events held by the MGS.

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

I've completed CAM 8 out of the 9 years that I've been caching. My favorite aspect would have to be traveling around the state and seeing the different parts that I may have never seen before.

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

Yes, I do collect Geocoins. Many of my favorites would have to be the ones you get from completing the Geotrails. Also, the CAM coins and MGS anniversary coins are among some of my favorites.

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

I typically keep replacement logs and containers in my bag in the event I come across a cache with a full log or broken container. I also keep TB's in my bag for trading or to drop in a cache.

18. What is your most memorable caching experience?

The most memorable experience would be probably going to my first Geowoodstock in Warren, PA. The event itself was great; to be able to interact with cachers from other states and countries was great, but the best part was being able to visit Niagara Falls for the first time. It was a wonderful experience.

19. What is your best caching story?

My best caching story would have to be our 700th find. Fyregypsy and I were on our way to Niagara Falls. We stopped to get something to eat, and we pulled up the app to see what caches were close by so we could get our first cache in New York and our 700th find. There happened to be a cache in the parking lot across the street. So, we finished up our meal and drove over. We pulled up, and since we were new to the area, we wanted to read some logs to narrow down the search area. As it turns out, it was a new cache. So our 700th find turned out to be an FTF in a new state and our first cache in the state.

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

What I enjoy about Geocaching would have to be the different areas and places that I'm taken to that I would not normally go in everyday life.

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

Other than Geocaching, I like video games and also hanging out with my dogs, but most of my time is spent working.

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

Every question asked were the ones that I expected, and there weren’t any that I did not expect.
Al Woltz (AKA: FatBaldOldMan or FBOM)
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Former MGS Officer
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Re: October 2018 Member Spotlight: JL826

Post by coupleocachers »

Great write up. Always glad we can cache together when we can. Can't wait to meet up with you guys again.
We are now Mr. And Mrs. Coupleocachers and Proud parents of AmeliaGrace
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