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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:03 pm
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Location: Abingdon, MD
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Interview Date : July 18, 2018

Caching Name : zumbido
Real Name : Matt Aument

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

I first heard about geocaching in the spring of 2013. I went to a STEM night at my daughters’ elementary school, which had a presentation on caching. Part of the demonstration included giving us these big bulky yellow GPS units where we had to program in the coordinates and find boxes hidden on the school grounds that contained answers to questions. It wasn’t pretty, but we had fun and managed to find a few before we ran out of time.

A few weeks later, we were sitting around on a weekend searching for something to do and I made the recommendation that we give geocaching another try. We downloaded c:geo to my wife’s smartphone and went over to the Howard County Conservancy to see what we could find. I think we found 2 caches that day and even ran into another cacher along the way.

After that, I cached a little over the next 18 months but it was just a few caches here and there. Then, in September of 2014, I was in Pensacola, Florida for a work trip and I saw that they had a GeoTour, the Explore Pensacola GeoTrail, and if you found a certain number of caches on the tour, you could get a coin from the Pensacola Tourism Bureau. Well, being left to my own devices, I set out on the trail to see how many I could grab. After 3 days, I managed to find all but one of the caches on the Tour and I made sure I had enough time before I came home to claim my prize. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.

2. How did you choose your caching name?

It was a nickname I earned in high school. One of my friends, who was Puerto Rican, gave me the name after he discovered that I left my fly down after a basketball game. He told me that the word meant “zip”, but I’ve learned since then that it really comes from the Spanish word “zumbar” which means to buzz. As I’m often buzzing around from one thing to the next, I’ve found the name still fits and I use it as my online presence whenever I can.

3. How many caches have you found so far?

As of this writing, I’ve found 1889.

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

I am currently using a Garmin eTrex 30 Touch.

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

Out in the field, I often supplement my caching with my iPhone and the Looking4Cache app. It’s a good second opinion because I don’t always have a lot of faith in my GPS. Also, it’s great for those times where I need to text a friend or check my math on a field puzzle.

At home, I use sites like Geo Javawa (http://geo.javawa.nl/coordcalc/index_en.html) to do coordinate calculations. It’s great because it will take the curvature of the Earth into account when calculating long distances. I also use either GeocachingToolbox.com or Rumkin when it comes to solving some of the standard ciphers.

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

It depends on the situation and my mood. If I’m on vacation with my family, Virtuals are always good because they take me to some cool spots and don’t often require a lot of searching. If I’m on my own, give me a good traditional that takes me on a nice long run or walk to a scenic spot that I wouldn’t normally explore on my own.

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

I find that any cache that requires me to do any sort of field puzzle is the most mentally challenging for me. I don’t know why, but I always tend to screw something up when I have to do math or deal with additional coordinates on the fly. These days, when I’m doing a multi, I’ve resorted to taking pictures of the next set of coords on my phone so that I can refer to them later in case I end up in the wrong spot.

The most physically challenging caches I’ve done often require climbing of some sort, whether it’s just a big hill, around a bunch of rocks, or even a tree. I find these types of hides great, but they drain me for some reason.

If you really want to get a long log out of me, put together a cache that requires me to climb something and then figure out a field puzzle - the perfect storm of physical and mental challenge for me!

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?

I have to start by saying that I never realized how fortunate I was to be a Maryland cacher until recently. Between having amazing Cache Owners who publish unique, well thought-out puzzles, series, and caches, to some of the amazing scenery I would never have seen otherwise, it’s truly a blessing to be a cacher in this state.

That being said, some of my favorite caches are in the Liberty Reservoir area. There’s the G.O. Liberty Adventure series by ProgKing, which took me on several great walks. There’s a great set of Sir Scott gadget caches that require a little preparation and thought but are fun and doable. There’s a smattering of Zekester & Simon hides, which include multiple cache-idea imports that are fun and thought-provoking, and several unique and well-done containers. There’s Lightning Strike Series by Tomulus, the finales of the Legend of Zelda series by NytePyre, the Eh Cacoeg series by czar7. There’s a crazy puzzle cache battle going on between multiple cachers so there are new hides popping up in the area all the time. There are too many great caches in this area to mention, but the Liberty area is truly a breeding ground for unique and interesting cache ideas, fun puzzles, and wonderful walks.

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In neighboring states, I have to say that the abundance of virtuals in DC is amazing as it’s taken me to several memorials and monuments I never knew about or would have visited otherwise.

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


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

Current caching goals… oh, so many to choose from:

• Complete my Fizzy Grid
• Complete my Jasmer grid
• Complete a bunch of challenge caches including North 39 Degrees, West 76 Degrees, and Maryland’s Oldest 5
• Keep up with finding all the Howard County caches (minus a few challenge caches I know I’m unlikely to complete)
• Find all the Maryland caches published in 2001 (Currently, have found 13 of the 29)

One cache I can’t wait to do in Raiders of the Lost Cache… I’m a big fan of the movie and it’s just such a great idea. The amount of preparation and effort it must have taken to create the cache and place it. I have to witness it for myself someday.

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

I’ve placed 6 caches thus far. I always have ideas for other caches or series, but life often gets in the way of making them become a reality.

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

I didn’t place my first hide until I had found 1000 caches. It was really a nominal number, but it gave me a chance to figure out what kinds of hides I really do and don’t like, and that molded my hiding philosophy from there.

13. How often do you go caching?

As often as I can! I get to work pretty early, so there are days where I can leave around noon and get a few hours of caching in before I have to get my kids from school. Some months, I’ll have extra time at the end of the month, which may afford me a day or two to myself to go caching.

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14. What advice would you give a beginning geocacher?

Start with some easy caches, D1-D2’s, to get an idea of what some hides look like. Go to an event and meet some folks to learn more about caching. The Maryland geocaching community is one of the best groups of people. Everybody is friendly and always willing to help out a noob.

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

Unfortunately, I’ve never done CAM. It falls in the same stretch of the year where our family celebrates 3 birthdays, an anniversary, and Mother’s Day. Finding free weekends to explore Maryland during this window is very hard.

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

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

My geopack is pretty minimal. I have a bag that contains a few pens, a black light, a paper clip, some batteries (both AA and 9-volt), and an orange shirt, in case I end up in Liberty during hunting season.

18. What is your most memorable caching experience?

My most memorable caching experience has to be my visit to Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Museum (GCB6A8) just outside of San Antonio, Texas. I was there for work and saw this Virtual cache listing that had a few hundred favorite points. Upon looking at the description, I almost didn’t do it because it required actually calling Barney and setting up a time to come see his museum. Eventually, I got over myself, made the call, and a few hours later, I’m at the end of his driveway helping him open the doors to his steel-sided garage. Then, I spent the next 90 minutes talking to this amazing gentleman and listening to his stories about how his hobby turned into this fantastic life adventure - from appearing on Today Show and GMA to being recognized as this wonderful piece of Americana. At one point, he even showed me an article where Congress gave the Air Force base in Texas 10 million dollars for the “ongoing security” of his toilet seat museum.

Overall, I would say that this cache epitomized what caching is for me. Because of this hobby, I visited a place I normally would not have known about and had a truly amazing experience. If anyone is ever in the San Antonio area, I would highly recommend this Virtual.

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19. What is your best caching story?

Aside from Barney Smith and my two-part long for Recipe For Disaster, I think my favorite caching story has to be the day I went to find Jusef’s Cache, the oldest hide in Maryland. It was February and we had all been trapped in the house for a few days due to a recent snowstorm. We were all starting to get cabin-fever and the roads were finally clear, so I jokingly suggested that we go caching so we could get out and get some fresh air. Amazingly, everybody agreed with me and we quickly threw on our snow gear and I headed for Patapsco Valley State Park. Despite the parking lots being completely clear, we were the only ones in the park that day. We took a leisurely stroll along the trails - goofing off and throwing snow at each other along the way. We eventually got to GZ, where Candyswirl made the find and we all sat on the rocks and just admired the view for a few minutes before realizing it was cold and we should get back to the car.

It was one of those caches I was saving for a milestone or special find, but when I had the opportunity to take my family on this fun adventure and share in the find with me, that was more special to me than any big round find number ever would be.

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

There are so many things to like about geocaching. First, it’s a great way to explore this world and all it has to offer. In today’s fast-paced world, we’re always in such a hurry to get from one place to the other without taking the time to enjoy the journey. Caching gives me permission to slow down, enjoy the route I’m taking, and take it all in along the way. It’s definitely a great way to discover places you otherwise never would have taken the time to explore.

Second, it’s a great form of exercise, both physical and mental. Some of the puzzles encourage me to learn new things. I would never have known anything about airport patches, the speed of sound, or even Rush lyrics, but because of caching I’m broadening horizons. Additionally, some of the hides force me out of my comfort zone and challenge me in multiple ways. Climbing steep hills, using logs to cross streams, bounding through thorns and brush - these are all things I normally avoid doing, but again, caching gets me out of that mindset that I need to stay on the trail and it encourages me to go off-road and blaze a new trail.

Finally, it allows me to embrace my inner Pirate. I’m sure we all wanted to be pirates at one point or another and this is the closest thing to a real-life treasure hunt. Sure, we may never discover the Holy Grail or find the lost city of Atlantis, but if you can lead me to an ammo can in the woods, that’s close enough!

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

When I’m not on the trails, I can be found spending time with my family, Mrs Z, Chewbecky, and Candyswirl. Candyswirl has been to a few events with me and always loves the thrill of a good cache hunt. Additionally, I am an avid Philadelphia sports fan and I also run a small synagogue in Howard County that my wife and I started up a few years ago.

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

Bonus Questions:
What is Cache-lumbus Day?

It is one of the best holidays of the year. It’s one of those federal holidays where the public workers have the day off, but the kids and spouses in the private sector still have to go to work. Thus, it’s a day I devote to caching and breaking out my bike and cache along some of the great trails in the area. Over the past few years, I’ve celebrated Cache-lumbus Day by caching the ICC trail, the GSH Power Trail, and WNW Trail. This past year, I tried to put a team together to tackle the WNW trail as a group, but rainy weather foiled most of those plans so FatBaldOldMan and I did as much of the trail as we could in the time I had. It was a great day and I enjoyed spending the time to get to know Al along the way.

I’m in the planning phases for Cache-lumbus Day 2018. If anyone has any ideas about a good caching/biking trail we can tackle, I am open to suggestions!

_________________
Al Woltz (AKA: FatBaldOldMan or FBOM)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:43 pm 
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Wait...what? I thought his name was dumbido! :lol:

It's funny that you mentioned Liberty as I was just there today and found the perfect spot for a new hide in your honor! It's only a short climb but it has a wonderful view of the water below. Heck I can even make it a field puzzle. How about something like measuring the distance to the water's surface, then calculating the speed at which a falling body would hit said surface and using that as the distance to the cache with a bearing of the airspeed of an African swallow.

Congrats, my friend!!!


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