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March 2020 COTM Winner- Parentsof4Ks

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Join the IGO in congratulating the COs of the

March COTM winning geocache.

The theme was:

March Madness

The winning cache was:

Parentsof4Ks with Hillfolk

Terry and Mary Balek

Geocaching Name Parentsof4ks

12 Questions Later...

1. Tell us about the COTM winning geocache. Was there an inspiration?

Our little free library is in our front yard. I had wanted to do a letterbox hybrid for some time and also make it a TB hotel. I wanted it to be secure as there are so many caches I have been to and it says there are ten TB’s in it and you go there because of that and there are none. It is a disappointing cache, at least for me, when it is not what you expect. I liked the idea of a Little Free Library but I lack the woodworking skills required to build something. I used to work for the local newspaper so that’s when the idea came for repurposing a news rack as a LFL and expand on that to turn it into a geocache as well. Quite a few have asked where I got the news rack and I jokingly tell them I got it as a retirement gift instead of the usual watch. The library has been an evolving venture as it is not the same now as it was when it was first published. I have been adding a thing or two every year, so if you have been here when it was first published it is not quite the same. When it was Buddy Holly weekend I even had a special newspaper in the window. If we are home when someone visits the Library we often come out to visit and say hi. I always ask if they mind if we visit while they are searching and if they would rather not have us watching go back inside, but most love to visit. That is one of the things I enjoy about geocaching. We have made so many friends geocaching it is unbelievable, from near and far.

2. How many geocaches have you found?

We are very close to 7,600, we should get to 8,000 sometime this year.

3. How many geocaches have you hidden?

Just over 200, they include traditional, mysteries, letterbox, multi, earth cache along with some events.

4. How many countries have you geocached in?

Two, United States and Canada

5. Why did you start geocaching?

I am not sure that that is the right question to ask. I think it should be how we started geocaching. Our kids introduced us to geocaching in 2008 when I got one cache that year. Our four daughters all cache and they set up our account and gave us our name. We would geocache with them on occasion but did not know how to log our finds unless they helped. We would get home and the big question, now what do we do? Well, we finally figured out what to do about the middle of 2016 and have been doing it ever since.

6. What is your favorite hide?

Some think our favorite should be the Mr. Toot series, but hands down, it has always been the Little Free Library in our front yard. It was fun to set up and I hope when cachers come to visit they will find it fun as well. Geocaching should be fun, not just about the numbers, and I wanted to make this a fun cache and a cache that they may remember. It makes a cache owner proud for instance when someone makes a trip to your cache and makes it a milestone cache for them. I am also very proud of the fact that our Little Free Library was included in the second edition of Gary Slinkard’s book, 201 Geocaches to Find Before You Die. That indeed is an honor and a bit humbling at the same time.

7. Which was your favorite find or most memorable?

My favorite was a multi cache that we found while caching with one of our daughters, kimberteacher, in Decatur, IL. It was called Plumbers Tribute – Ram62 ( GC4D56C). When I went to look up the name of the cache I found that unfortunely it has been archived. But it was very fun and we do have a video which is hilarious.

8. Which is your favorite type of geocache?

I like earth caches because of what can be learned and where they can take you. Example: I never would have visited the Capulin Volcano in New Mexico if it had not been for geocaching. I also like most virtuals I have been to, for the same reason, what you can learn. Lincoln’s Land for instance here in Iowa is one that comes to mind. I never would have known about this, or visited that spot had it not been for geocaching.

9. Which Iowa County are most of your geocaches hidden in?

Most of our caches are in Cerro Gordo County, a few in adjoining counties with one of my earth caches in southern Missouri.

10. What is your current geocaching goal?

I have been hosting an event either the 31st of December or on January 1st where everyone writes down a goal. They put their goal in a hat and we then draw out of the hat our goal for the year. The goal I drew out of the hat was to cache in a state I had not cached in before and to get 200 caches. A trip to Montana is planned for later this year with two of our daughters, gnome_goddess and kimberteacher. A route has already been planned and that goal will soon be history. I would also like to finish up the Santa Fe geo-trail, we have eight caches left to get. One cache is in eastern Kansas and the rest are all in Missouri.

11. Which achieved goal are you most proud of?

In 2017 our goal was to find 3,000 caches. From 2008 through 2016 we had a total of 476 so it was a hefty goal. In 2017 we found 3,182 caches. We were very busy, put on a ton of miles and I would never do anything like that again. On a side note, never tell me I can’t do something.

12. Please add or include any information or stories you would also like to share.

Many people think the 4k portion of our caching name stands for 4 kids; it is true that we have 4 kids, but the k actually stands for their names. Kimberly, aka kimberteacher (St. Louis, MO) Kerrill, aka kerrillbs (Paddock Lake, WI) Kathryn, aka gnome_goddess (Rochester, MN) and Krista, aka krittab (Cedar Falls, IA). Kerrill is married to Craig Schmidt, aka Chargeman so as you can see we are one big caching family. Because we all enjoy caching it has reconnected us with our children (and ourselves) and is something that we can do together. Another plus is that because they live in different directions we get to cache more. Our taste in music might be different. We all do not enjoy the same TV shows or are up on the latest gossip from Hollywood but the one thing that we all agree on is geocaching.

Post created by-Bob Koranda, a1bob66

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