CacheCrazy.Com: Looking Back At ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - Dave D - Only Googlebot Reads This Blog - Bears Across America: An interview with the author

Friday, January 3, 2014

Looking Back At ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - Dave D - Only Googlebot Reads This Blog - Bears Across America: An interview with the author

First and foremost Dave, I can't thank you enough for your excellent contribution to CacheCrazy.Com and allowing us to post you Bears Across America series. It was awesome and here in history forever for others to enjoy. Thank you very much and I would like to award you with an Honorary Author Membership at CacheCrazy.Com, congratulations!

I would like to extend an opportunity to introduce to you,  Dave DaBaeremaeker who is the author of the 11 week series here on CacheCrazy.Com, Bears Across America. This series featured Dave and his family, traveling from location to location and geocacheing all the way as they explore the America Wild West.  Sounds like fun, right? 
I had the good fortune to interview Dave and I think you’ll enjoy the results so let’s get right to it.

Q. Why don’t we get started by you telling us a little bit about you, your family, where you live and where you are from?

I am Canadian, born and raised, as is my lovely wife, Debbie.  We were transferred from Southern Ontario to Western North Carolina by the company I work for in October 2008. I also have a 23 month old son named Zeke, and a Britany Spaniel/Beagle mixed dog named Bailey.  I am a system administrator by trade.

Dave, we at CacheCrazy.Com really appreciated the chance to feature your Bears Across America series.
Q. Can you tell me when you started planning such a trip and why?

First of all I was thrilled when I was first contact about the possibility of having my blog entries featrures on CacheCrazy.Com, and it has been exciting to see the posts every weekend.

I started dreaming about this trip over a year ago, and actually starting to plan the specifics about 6 months prior to the trip itself.

Since before I was born my family has had a tradition of vacationing in the US, normally near Myrtle Beach SC.  Now that we live in the US I wanted to explore more of the country that I now call home.   I also wanted to see the Grand Canyon, and wild Saguaro cactus, so it quickly became obvious that a road trip was in our future.  I mapped out a route that would get us to the Grand Canyon, and as many states in between as possible in a 3 week time frame and went from there.

Q. Now that it’s over, would you have changed anything about it?

I’d have taken more time, perhaps an extra week (I would have loved to take a month more!), to give more time for exploring and caching. I would also have spent less time on the Interstates, but it is hard to guage how far you can push the patience of a toddler, and we needed to get in a certain amount of mileage each day.

Q. You seem to do a lot of traveling, what was your favorite cache found and where in the world was it?

I’d have a hard time nailing down a single cache.  The three that come to mind are:

200 years in the making This was the cactus hide in Arizona that was in one of the blog entries during my Bears Across America trip.  The creativity and quality of the hide was simply amazing.  It still makes me happy thinking about it.
La Cité du Dragon in Mons Belgium.  It was a 10 stage puzzle cache, and one of my first caches I ever did.  It took us on a really awesome tour of Mons, and shows me parts of the city I would never have noticed.  This really showed how a well thought out cache can be so much more than just a box in the woods (or in this case a micro in a tree on the grounds of a cathedral)

 Dreams Of Flight is the one I am most proud of completing, mainly due do the physical exertion required.  2.5 mile hike up a mountain, then a lot of billy goating over rocks. The cache is right by my house, but it took two attempts and 2.5 years to complete due to the difficulty of it.  When I finally made the find after a 45 minute hunt around GZ I was extremely proud of myself.

Q. So, where are you headed next Dave?

For the short term I am going to be sticking around my home state, and try to complete the NC Delorme Challenge.  I am already planning for our next Bears Across America: Northern States edition where I hope to visit the last 13 states I have not cached in yet, mostly along the Canadian border, and west of Illinois.

Q. How did you first get exposed to geocaching?

I was in Belgium with my wife on a 4.5 month work trip in the summer of 2008.  A co-worker from Atlanta came over for a few weeks and suggested we go geocaching over the weekend to kill the time.  I agreed. My first cache find was a small park in Mons.  On our second hunt of the day we unknowingly ended up in France, and climbed an old slag hill from a mining operation.  We never found that cache, but by the time we got to the top of the hill and saw the views, something I would never see if left to my own devices, I was hooked.  That has really become the theme of most of my geocaching adventures since then: seeing things I never would have seen on my own.

Q. When you were just starting out, what was your first impression of the game?

I was hooked right away.  Although that period of time was very busy for us.  We were transferring to the US the week after we arrived home from Europe so we were busy trying to buy a house in the US, make moving plans, get work visas in place, and all the normal moving tasks.  As a result I didn’t cache again until 9 months later when I finally got settled into my current location.    I also needed to get the right equipment.  My first few finds on my own where done with a Garmin Nuvi 260, which is sub-par for caching.  When I got my hands on a 60CSx my caching experiences improved dramatically.  If I could go back and change anything about my geocaching career it would have been to order a 60CSx as soon as I got back to the hotel on my first day caching.  But who knew I’d like it so much :)

Q. If there is one thing that you could change about the sport of geocaching as it is today, what would it be?

Probably the quality of the hides.  Although I will admit that some skirtlifters have been in interesting places, there is very little of interest with a skirtlifter in a Walmart parking lot.  Some people like them, and everyone plays the game a little differently, but if I was king for a day I’d insist on hides being in more interesting places.

Q. How do you explain to muggles what geocaching is?

I normally explain it as an online scavenger hunt where people hide containers in interesting places around the world and post the details online, and others download the descriptions and use GPSs to find those containers.

Q. What do you think about the direction of and the new  gaining popularity?

I was unaware was gaining popularity :)  I just checked, and the closest cache to my house on is 80 miles away, so it is really irrelevant to me.  My one fear with is that it is a sign that Garmin is becoming less friendly with Groundspeak, and I think that is a bad thing.  In the job I am in I have seen how horrible things become when companies do not work together on common goals, and how wonderful they can be when things are open, and friendly competition is allowed to thrive.  Friendly Competition is always better for the users, and hopefully Garmin and Groundspeak will maintain that friendly working relationship.

As for the direction of I think it is, in general, going in the right direction.  Some of the features (the new maps for example) are pretty sweet.  I don’t understand Challenges, and I am pretending that they don’t exist.  Groundspeak seems to be on board with not mixing caches with challenges too much, so as long as that remains true I’ll be a happy camper.

Q. I was surprised to see you on the same Geowoodstock 9 group picture with our very own Big Al from and only 5 feet away from each other! A near chance encounter. What was your thoughts of Geowoodstock ?

Geowoodstock was a very interesting experience.   I wasn’t really sure what to expect as it was only my 3rd event I have been too, and the first two were much smaller. When I arrived I figured we’d spend a few hours milling around, then leave to do some caching, but we ended up spending the entire day at the event and had a great time. I got to meet a lot of great folks, including some I’ve met while chatting online. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find my wife, who is not a cacher at heart (she likes going with me on adventures, but she would not go caching on her own) really enjoyed herself there.  We already have plans to attend Geowoodstock X in Indiana.

Q. So other than Geocaching, what else do you do for fun?

I enjoy hiking, bicycling, chasing after Zeke, reading, and on very rare occasions, playing guitar.

(In a cheesy game show announcers voice) -  Now Dave, let me tell you what you've won.
As Honorary Author you will have the opportunity to sit in the smokers lounge at  CC.Com's corporate headquarters, smoking a big Cuban cigar while perusing the posts before they are published.
Then you can have fun with pages no one else sees (we maintain some off line junk on other pages we don't publish, or I should say "I" do) and check out the stats while watching the sun set from the tower perch.
You can even drop your own post in the cue (hint, hint, wink, wink) and we'll publish it in the post schedule while you enjoy a massage by a train professional.
That's right Dave, you are a VIP at CacheCrazy.Com. And that's not all! (crowd shutters)
You'll also have your very own icon placed forever on our site (the crowd gasps and starts chanting ~Dave, Dave, Dave) Yes Dave, YOU are an Honorary Author~author~author~authhhhh DAVE, WAKE UP! It's not that big of a
Now the Army Corps Of Engineers will gladly escort you off the property.

Thanks again Dave, Debbie and Zeke for letting us come along! 
It was a wild ride!
Thank You!


BigAl said...

Great interview guys. I loved learning a little bit more about you and your family. Since I was so close to you at GWS9 and didn't know it I sure hope I get to meet you some time. I found you in the picture and we were really close. Thanks again for a great series.


What more can I say, You're The Man!

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