Like a few of you I bought my GPSr originally for other purposes -- mainly to use as a navigational aid while four wheeling and specifically to use while four wheeling on the ATV on the Sunrise Trail off Rt. 9.
A buddy of mine (let's call him Joe) and I were out for a day ride last June with the idea being to off load at the Rt. 9 Snack Bar in Clifton and ride to Nicatous Lodge for lunch. We packed some cans of fuel, drinks and the trusty Delorme map.
Unfortunately, the trails were not well marked and we ended up getting lost. We figured it was no big deal though since we had both the Delorme and the local ATV trail map . . . the only problem is that we began to realize that if you have no point of reference as to where you are it's impossible to know where to go (sort of a metaphor for life.) When you're in the woods, often one blue pond on a map looks the same as the five other ponds you passed not more than a mile or so away on the ride in.
We ended up riding in a big half circle and ended up on (I believe) Chick Hill. It had a great view and was nice, but it was not where we wanted to go. In addition we met up with another couple who willingly shared their packed lunch with us since we were quite hungry and in return we shared some of our gas. It was a bonding moment, but it was also one of those "well duh" moments when I knew I needed -- not wanted -- a GPSr to keep me from getting lost while ATVing.
My wife knows that I am never obsessive-compulsive except when it comes to comparision shopping . . . I always like to research products and find out what has the best deal, price, what people like/dislike, etc. And so I went to the internet and began to research GPS receivers and somewhere in that search I stumbled on to geocaching.com.
It sounded interesting and I figured it might be a nice side hobby along with four wheeling in the summer . . . plus I figured it would also be another selling point to convince my wife that I would truly utilize this $300 piece of hardware. "See Hon. I can use this for ATVing, snowmobiling, driving directions and this hobby called geocaching."
I bought my Magellan in late-June, signed on to gc.com in early-July as a member to find out more information and successfully found my first cache (The now archived Cornfield Cache) on July 17th (after one failed attempt a week earlier -- at the time I still didn't know how or that there was a "go to" point-to-point feature and instead I kept trying to "line" up the numbers on the screen to match the numbers in the posted cord.) I can still remember the excitement that I felt and thrill of finding that hidden cache . . . and immediately afterwards I went up to do Noreasta's Frye Mountain cache as the second . . . and after that I was helplessly hooked.
Ironically, while I use my GPS all the time while snowmobiling to mark trails (for the club and to figure out where I am and make maps afterwards to see where I went and how far I went), ATVing (for the same reason) and as a driving aid (to get to unknown locations) I find myself mainly using the GPSr for geocaching . . . which was originally only a minor reason/justification for buying a GPS receiver.
Oh, and the knickname . . . my real name is Jason . . . but few people call me that. In high school I was "Oliver" named after a nerdy, do-gooder, klutz of an angel on one of those ABC After School Specials. In college I was known as "Psycho" . . . we won't go there as to why. When I started working at the Bangor FD one of the Assistant Chiefs started calling me Jake. Some firefighter told me that probationary firefighters in Boston are called "Jakes" . . . which is true. This is not true in Bangor, ME however. The knickname stuck before I learned that I was knicknamed after the Assistant Chief's bassett hound, Jakob . . . and ironically enough Jakob had a "girlfriend" named Heidi (my wife's name.)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."
"Death is only one of many ways to die."