Thursday, January 15, 2015


Big Al and his gator buddy. I would have held a bigger gator, but he was finishing his last cacher and was unavailable.

Hey folks, Big Al here coming at you from Lakeland, Florida the official event site for Geowoodstock XI. Last week I shared some stories about people I met and some of the fun we had while there. This week I'll introduce you to a lion, some gators (and other animals), and DeBaer.

Since this event took place in Florida what better things for the kids to see than snakes, dragons, a lion, gators, and DeBaer.

We started off by visiting a show run by a husband and wife team. They have been in the reptile business for about 15 years. They have rescued approximately 150 different reptiles and they do about 250 presentations per year. That is a lot of talking and squirming. Let me introduce to you Bob and Liz from LB Reptile Experience.

                           Bob Shumaker

                           Liz Shumaker

"Our adventures with reptiles started about 12 years ago when my son James wanted a snake for Christmas. We really did not know that much about reptiles and thought he looked lonely all by himself so we got another one. Then we started going to reptile shows and fell in love with all the reptiles. We started breeding boa constrictors and were very successful in that area. We joined the Jacksonville Herpetological Society and became Board Members and took over the Reptile Rescue. We then started the LB Reptile Experience to start doing educational shows to fund the Reptile Rescue. We use a lot of the rescued reptiles in the shows that we do."

After a short introduction Bob and Liz began bringing out the reptiles for us to see, feel, and hold. The kids went wild with excitement... and so did a few of the adults. Not that I was one of them; okay, so I really like reptiles and couldn't wait to hold some of them.

                         I'm the guy in the blue that the camera decided to cut in half.

This is a Yellow Boa Constrictor. He was very heavy and long. I think Kyo-Kat and Craftimom were enjoying holding him.

                        Cacheking and his little cousin in the green shirt taking their turn holding the boa.

This little guy was having fun as a reptile pirate. It's just that it was not a parrot sitting on his shoulder instead it is a Bearded Dragon.

This next picture shows you a close up of Bob. Can you guess why they call him a Reptile Man? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

                         That's just creepy

    The picture below is a Black Dragon named Kahn. Wouldn't you like to have him running around your yard?

Our last reptile in this show is Raji, an Asian Water Monitor. He was so cool looking... And BIG.

We learned lots about these reptiles and how that many people will purchase them and think they will stop growing. Well it's obvious that they stop growing once they die, but they start out little and just keep growing. If you're going to get your kids a pet get them a pet rock. They don't eat very much and you never have to change their litter box.

We then learned about alligators, they call them gators in Florida. This team of reptile folks from Jungle Adventures Nature Park had come to do presentations on snakes, gators, and lions (Florida Panther).

Most of these reptile folks don't wrestle gators anymore. They just take them around to schools and events to teach people about them who may have never seen them before in the wild.

I did find a couple of people who wrestled one and then stuck their heads in his mouth. Their real winners in my circle.

Here's a picture of what the longest gator would have measured at when alive. Notice the small gator being held by the assistant.

The longest gator was measured at about 19 feet, 2 inches. That's a BIG gator. Look out Swamp People he'll eat you for dinner.

They did bring along a Florida Panther (also known as a Mountain Lion), but the Government does not allow them to bring him out of his cage. This was the closest we could get to him. Doesn't he just look all fuzzy and cuddly?

We left the reptiles, gators, and lion and headed off to meet Da Bear.

                        No, not da bear...

                        I met this DeBaer

Cachecrazy's own Dave DeBaeremaeker was at the event and we finally were able to meet each other. Dave was there with Head HardHat and it was nice being able to catch up to him and get our picture taken. Dave, maybe sometime we'll get together when we travel through North Carolina and do some caching.

We then were introduced to some of the Reviewers who review our caches before publishing them.

Cachers were able to ask the reviewers questions and then they would give their responses. A guy in front of me told his wife to take a deep breath and not loose her temper over an answer given and that's when we decided it was time to go visit the vendors. We're out of here.

Until next week this is Big Al at signing off.


CrazyCris said...

You two look like long lost brothers! Cool get-together photo! :o)

The reptiles seem awesome! All except for the snakes... I simply can't stand snakes!!! *shiver*

I went to a gator show once in the Everglades area. Was quite impressive seeing those big animals up close and learning so much about them!

Kevin Bloodhounded said...

Someday, we are going to have a CacheCrazy.Com reunion! All admin authors, honorary authors, guest authors and friends of CacheCrazy are going to do it up and oh what a time it will be! But, for now, I love when we all meet up at events and passing by! I'm with Cris, you guys look like good ol' pals and in a way, we all are!
Gators are cool too!
Great work BigAl, you represented CacheCrazy.Com to the highest degree at GeoWoodstock! Nice job!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Great post Al - super interesting. Nice that you finally got to meet Dave too.

Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

Yep. Great to put a face to the name :) I'm happy to go out caching any time you make it to North Carolina :)

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