The March 2020 GoLI Member Spotlight is Eyedoc (Andrew Hans)! Great stuff. Thanks, Andrew. We knew he had to do it in 2020! You know, because he's an eye doctor and its 20 20...
March 2020 GoLI Member Spotlight Questionnaire
1. What does your cacher name mean? Eyedoc. I am a Doctor of Optometry.
2. When did you start caching and how did you find out about it? I am an old timer. I read about geocaching in a Newsday article in the fall of 2002. I created my account in October and found my first cache on November 3, 2002. I believe among active Long Island geocachers I may have been caching the longest.
3. Describe your first find. You never forget your first: RPA-8 Hoyt Farm Park by Bayonets4u. GC5D80. Back in those days you printed out maps as my GPS, a Magellan 315 had nothing more than a compass indicator and a distance indicator. It may have had a rudimentary mapping system that showed your path, I can’t recall. With the kids in tow on that Sunday (ages 7 and 6) we headed to Hoyt Farm Park, a place I had never been before and started on the trail in the general direction. The proximity alarm went off 100 feet away and I closed in the distance. The clue said it was under a natural object. Lots of those around: trees, stumps, etc. It took a few minutes of searching to check a stump that proved to be the hiding spot. We were all ecstatic we found this treasure. My log says I left a dollar bill Origami Jack in the Box, and the kids took a scorpion and a Sponge Bob toy.
4. How many finds do you have? 5836 cache finds.
a. Find count by type? Traditional 4742, Unknown 428, Event 169, Virtual 151, Multi 96, Earthcache 59, Lab 57, Whereigo 58, Letterbox Hybrid 47, Webcam 12, Mega Event 9, CITO 4, Community Celebration 1, Giga Event 1, Groundspeak HQ 1, Locationless 1.
b. Favorite find type? Puzzles, because they make you think.
c. Pick one favorite find? My first FTF. Takayama Ichiban GCG8TZ It was my 30th cache find, and I traveled 6775 miles from my home to Shiroyama Park in Takayama, Japan to do it. To illustrate how the game has changed: this cache was placed 6/5/2003, and my FTF was 8/28/2003, 84 days later. Well, there were no Iggy’s in those days. I knew I was going to Japan for an Origami convention and further I knew my itinerary would bring me to this city, about 144 miles west of Tokyo. I saw this cache and every week I kept watching it for an FTF. None. Pre iPhone days, no internet access, all I had was my GPS loaded with just this cache when I arrived. But had no way of knowing whether it was found since I started traveling. We arrive in this city for a quick shopping stop, 45 minutes. Our Japanese hosts didn’t express much interest in my stopping by this park. They let us off on a street corner and I saw I was only .25 miles away from the cache. Piece of cake I thought and I ran for it. Unfortunately as we all know crow fly distance is no guarantee. It was August and very humid and oh yeah, it was all uphill. 25 minutes later I’m not much closer on the paths. Finally get to the top of the park, as usual the GPS goes wonky and I can’t figure out which way was correct. Eventually the arrow points west and I make my way down hill and make the grab. FTF! Sign, return, race back up the hill and back on the path and Oh boy, I’m lost. Took a wrong turn I did. Figure that out, back on the path downward and slip on the wet rocks and flat on my ass. Dust off, race out of the park and down the street, 15 minutes late. Now, the Japanese are VERY punctual people. If they say meet here at such and such a time you better be there. And I wasn’t. I race up the street (that fortunately I had marked as a waypoint) and I see no one waiting or looking for me. Yikes! Stranded in Japan? As I break the corner and look there they all are, in the cars waiting for me. The Americans I was with were a bit miffed. Well, you never saw me bow so much in apologies to my Japanese hosts. To this day one of my origami friends can’t believe I did that, and we laugh about it. I still have the treasured item from that cache, a 1957 Chevy Corvette blue convertible Racing Champions diecast model car.
5. How many caches have you hidden? 17 (I’m a slacker)
a. Hide count by type: 13 Traditional, 2 Mystery, 1 Event, 1 Virtual.
b. Favorite hide type? Mystery-you gotta work for it.
c. Pick one favorite cache that you’ve hidden?I’m particularly fond of my mystery or puzzle cache called Particularly Elementary, GC44ADG There are clues everywhere. A bit tedious for part, but it all comes together nicely. It was the Geocaching Puzzle of the day on 1/6/2014.
6. Stats review -
a. How many state and country souvenirs? 38 states cached, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico. 5 Countries: Canada, Italy, Vatican City, Japan, and Switzerland.
b. Jasmer challenge? All 238 months complete. Including 16 year 2000 caches and 4 in the first month of geocaching. The best being GC31, Arikaree. A beautifully desolate landscape in NW Kansas, placed by the Kansas Stasher (of Mingo Fame).
c. Fizzy challenge? Done, but took 16 years, 7 months, 26 days to complete.
d. Calendar days? Done, and working on at least having two on every day.
e. Streak? Longest streak was 35 days. It felt like work, and I’ll never do it again. Well, maybe when I retire.
f. Slump? 305 days. 10/25/2004 to 8/25/2005. Geocaching was just not a priority back then.
g. FTFs? 42. Watch out Iggy’s.
h. Best caching week? Weekend? Best week was 172, which included 155 in a day. Best weekend was 156, that same week in October of 2017
7. Do you trade SWAG? Any signature SWAG items? I do trade swag. Sometimes I drop in a pathtag, and I am known to drop in dollar bill origami items as some lucky cachers know.
8. Like to move trackables? How many do you own? Yes I move trackables-563 so far. I own 162.
9. Cache with GPS or Phone? Both, depending on the situation.
10. Do you have any geocaching goals? I was amazed when I hit 1000, never thought I’d see that. My current goal is to break the NY state top 100 list.
11. Do you cache with anyone? I’ll cache with anyone, currently IslesPunkFan and I cache a lot.
12. Tell a memorable caching story. So many fun times like getting stopped by cops, too many times to remember…lets see. In August 2005 I was in South Dakota near Mount Rushmore close to the town of Keystone with my wife and 2 children who were at that time 10 and 9. Our first cache in SD was Keystone Cache, GCC9EA. It involved climbing a hill with an elevation change of maybe 75 feet for maybe 300 feet in distance. But it was rocky and trees down etc, and we saw barbed wire in places. So you zig zag. We got up and found the cache and signed in and I grabbed a few pictures of the kids. Fast forward 12 years later in the same month, August 2017. I was back there with my wife and kids and brother (Hansarelli) and Uncle. We were a few days away from the Great American Solar Eclipse which we saw in Casper, Wyoming. We did the same cache as Hansarelli’s first SD cache and at the find I posed the kids in the same way and took the same shot. It was cool to see how my now adult kids had changed.
13. Bucket list cache? Not really a specific cache, but I’d like to hit all 50 states, and a few new countries.
14. Besides geocaching, what else should we know about you? Some of you know my passion for origami, especially dollar bill origami. I’m an amateur magician, as well as an astronomer. I’m into genealogy as well.
15. What do you want GoLI to work on? Holding events on Wednesday’s so I can attend? Generally, thinking about how all the great stuff you do, affects me, Eyedoc. Seriously, it’s a great organization and I’m proud to be a founding member. We are off to a great start with engaged members and great contests. Keep up the good work.