Earlier this year, the National Council for Exams of Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) kicked off the Surveyor Trackable and #PSNoBoundaries Geocaching Contest. Geocachers were challenged to explore benchmarking by taking a selfie with a NCEES trackable at a NGS marker. The winning photographer would receive a trip for two to the 2015 Geocaching Block Party in Seattle.
As a twist of geocaching fate would have it, the winning photographer was Lieutenant Bob Cizaukas (Username: cizzors). Bob happens to be the geocacher who made Geocaching in Space possible. In 2013, 11 trackables hitched a ride to the International Space Station with Astronaut Rick Mastracchio. Bob convinced Mastracchio to take the trackables into space with him on Expedition 38. He also made this an interactive experience for elementary school students in Connecticut by giving each trackable to a school so that students could follow its adventure into space.
Thanks to NCEES, Bob will now be bringing one of the trackables that made the voyage to space to Geocaching Block Party for other geocachers to enjoy! We asked him to tell us about his experience with #PSNoBoundaries.
How long have you been geocaching?
I started geocaching with my wife, Jennifer, my daughter Karisa and my son Ethan (little cizzors) in November 2010.
Why did you start geocaching?
I geocache with my family and friends to exercise and be adventurous. My wife likes hiking, but I seemed to enjoy hiking more with the challenge of finding a cache. We also really enjoy the great places we have discovered and the friends we have made through geocaching.
I learned about geocaching through a chance conversation with a hot air balloon pilot about navigation. The pilot, while explaining how her GPS helps guide her hot air balloon, mentioned that she also uses the GPS for geocaching which intrigued me and so it began. I don’t recall her name and never saw her again after that 30 minute conversation in November 2010.
Tell us about the NCEES #PSNoBoundaries winning photo!
My family had never found a benchmark before so we were excited about finding one and taking a picture. We noticed there was one on the Thomaston, CT Police Department, not far from our home. We activated our new trackable, attached a bicycle reflector (since we have seen surveyors use reflectors) and headed out. My daughter Karisa, age 7, my son Ethan, age 10 and our dog Pluto, age 7 months, headed out in our geomobile to search for the benchmark. We found it and intended on getting Pluto in the photo but he wouldn’t stay still and didn’t make it into the final submission. We took the photo and a couple months later we found out we won!
The picture was of NCEES surveyor TB (TB726TN) at Benchmark LX0604.
What was the first thing you did when you learned you won tickets to Geocaching Block Party?
When I found out I won, I called my wife at work and told her the exciting news. I have always wanted to go to the Geocaching Block Party but have not had the opportunity.
What is the #1 thing you are excited for at Block Party?
I am most excited to be able to show everyone attending my Geocaching in Space bug (TB5JJN1) and the ISS geocache log.
What tip would you share with new players who want to start having fun with trackables?
My advice to new geocachers wanting to have fun with trackables is to do your best to log them and drop them into another cache as soon as possible. I also like to post a picture when possible. Attending geocaching events and asking questions to other cachers is how I found the best information about trackables.
We also asked Bob to take the What’s Your Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 Vehicle? quiz. His result was “Station Wagon.” (Although we’re guessing he’ll be taking an airplane to Block Party!)
The last Geocaching Block Party will be Saturday, August 15. Explore new geocaching adventures, celebrate 15 years of geocaching, and hang out with nearly 3000 of your new best friends. There will be plenty of fun events, food trucks, interactive exhibits and vendors. Plus, it’s a great way to earn the Meet Your Road Trip Crew souvenir. Mark your Will Attend here.