The ROCK, 1997


After not taking trips for many years, the Bogers jumped back into traveling with all 4 feet; 4 tires; 1 laptop; and a GPS unit. Looking at postcards from alumni taped to the edge of the Geologic Map in Janie's office put the wanderlust back in their souls. They've found themselves on the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachians, on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida; on the edge of the continental United States in Acadia, and on the edge of Lakes Champlain, Seneca, Ontario and Erie. They even spent a couple of days on the edge of insanity while snowbound in Maryland. But they haven't lost their edge for camping, hiking, trying weird foods in out-of-the-way places, and taking twice as long as anyone else to get nowhere. Here are some postcards we might have sent to alumni during our trips.

Dear Laurel,     January 22, 1996

We planned to visit you in Tallahassee, but our plans changed when the Sunny South became the Snowy South during the Blizzard of ‘96. As we visited with Janie's family in Maryland, the TV spit out warnings of a big storm coming. Pshaw, we thought, how big a storm can it be? But next morning, 24" of snow blanketed everything. Next to 24" of snow, plows in MD look like Tinker Toys. Even if we could have used Mom's broken shovel to dig out of the driveway, the roads weren't plowed. So we stayed inside, trying to entertain a niece and nephew who were "bored3". Their mother finally loaded them into her 4 wheel drive Blazer, and spent the next 2 hours negotiating the normal 45 minute trip home. Well, our new Subaru Outback has ALL wheel drive, so Bog was ready to risk driving home. But first we had to wait for Pennsylvania to open. Yep, the entire state of Pennsylvania was closed for a day. It took 11 hours to go 400 miles; partly because we got behind snowplows barreling along at 10 mph a few times. But without them in front, we would have been much farther behind. If you want us to visit, maybe you'd better move back to New Hampshire. Have you heard from JOE lately? Later, J&B

Dear Sue,     July 3, 1996

It was so good to see you again - the look on your face when we knocked on your door, unannounced and 6 months late, was priceless. Your greeting was predictable, but unprintable - something like "HOLY SCHIST !" Thanks for sharing the precious Canadian brews you have so much trouble getting in NC. Hope Eric wasn't too upset to hear a man answer your phone at 11 o'clock at night. Our trip home from Raleigh along the Blue Ridge Parkway was enjoyable and a welcome change from the insane traffic Bog coped with in Washington D.C. during meetings at AGI. He loves driving, but only on country back roads. Janie used the computer to keep us on the smallest navigable roads, including some unpaved roads and several miles of U.S. Bike Route 1, but all-wheel drive kept that from being a problem. Outback spokesman Paul Hogan would probably have gone full speed ahead at the "Cross At Your Own Risk" sign, but we drew the line at fording a river in our 8-month old car. Maybe if it had "pontoon drive"... It was too hot and humid along the coast to be outdoors, so we stayed inside the air-conditioned car until it was time to get out and sample some seafood. It was too cold and windy to be outdoors in the mountains, so we just stayed inside the heated car until it was time to get out and sample some barbecue. Now we're home, where the temperature is perfect for staying home out of the car and making ice cream (didn’t you once figure it only takes a few thousand degrees Kelvin? - yeah, right). Bog & Janie

Dear Amy & Brain,     August 18, 1996

Here we are on a tour of Vermont with Mother Boger. Sure wish Amy was along to do the driving like she did when Bog's father was ill. Sure wish Bog's dad was here, too, because Ma Boger has never been much for traveling. She hemmed and hawed and came up with lame excuses for why she shouldn’t or couldn’t go - Who will take care of the garden? Who will take care of the cat? Finally, she decided the garden and the cat could take care of themselves, climbed in the back seat, and sat there silently for the next 5 days as we did our usual thing. That is drive a whole bunch, stop when we feel like it, eat weird food at weird times in weird places and just look at the scenery. Had to stay in motels every night instead of camping, but she is almost 80 years old. We went to Ben & Jerry’s to get ice cream, but came away with something sweeter: Jerry Greenfield's philosophy of life: IF IT AIN'T FUN, WHY DO IT? Brian might not have trouble adopting such a lifestyle, but it doesn't sound like Amy, nor like us. The things we have to do are much less fun than they used to be. So WHY DO IT? To make the money we need to do the things we think are fun. Janie & Bog

Dear Rich,     September 8, 1996

You should have been with us last weekend on the second annual Geneseo Geology Department Retreat - a camping trip with all geology majors - big bonding experience! Hurricane Fran was supposed to cause torrential rains even as far north and west as Seneca Lake, but it didn’t rain until after we went to bed Friday. It quit raining Saturday while we fed breakfast to about 40 hungry students, and stayed dry while we scrambled around in two rock quarries hunting fossils. There was a downpour and gusty winds while we were in the tasting room of the Swedish Hill Winery, but the sun came out as we carried our "great finds" (of wine and fossils) back to the campsite. There were only 3 casualties: migraine, mono symptoms and an overnight soaking through a hole in the tent made for one not-so-happy camper; coming down with the flu dampened another's spirits; and a third person's eyeball swelled up so much the eyelid would not close. Wicked cool. A few hours in an emergency room, some drugs, and dinner at Wendy’s (rather than leftover chili) saved the day, and the eye. Not the same as facing death when the bus turned over, but kids today aren't as tough as we used to be. Would you rather be On the Road Again, Or On the Rocks? Cheers, J&B

Yo Tim,     October 31, 1996

It was so nice to have you alumni from the early 80’s visit us. Dinner was marvelous, as was dancing, listening to music and reliving old times here after dinner. We appreciate your "interior decorating" skills: the real leaves in our bed perfectly matched the leaf pattern on the sheets, and the towels fit beautifully inside the shower stall (it's always so hard to find space for those pesky extra towels). Is it true that buttoning the sleeve of one shirt to the front of another increases closet space? Even if it doesn't save space, it does look cute: as if each shirt were hugging its neighbor. When you buckled all my belts together, were you hinting that my waistband has expanded? Finding all of our pictures upside-down and the canned goods backwards or otherwise rearranged from the compulsively neat organization Janie insists on pushed her over the edge. But she's feeling much better, now, and should be discharged any day. If you left other surprises, tell me soon, so I can avoid another episode. You may have graduated from decorating the exterior of faculty homes with garbage, but your actions prove the old saying: "You are only young once, but you can be immature indefinitely". Bog

Hi Kurt,     January 20, 1997

While you are up there in Alaska, we thought we'd balance you out by going to Florida. Last year, we were thwarted by severe cold and excess snow. This year, it's just cold - 20o in Otter Creek Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway - could have used a torch in the tent! But the roads are clear and the scenery spectacular in the mountains. And the cold just keeps down the hordes of people and mosquitoes. We had a great time driving along the coast from Cedar Key to Port St. Joe. Had a terrible time driving along the coast in Panama City: too much traffic, too many high rise hotels, and too much sand blasting the paint off the car. Saw a Bald Eagle soaring overhead in St. Joseph Peninsula SP; lots of waterfowl at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and manatees at Manatee Springs SP (go figure). Oh, to live the life of a manatee: "Do nothing all day, then rest up afterwards." Ate heart of palm salad and smoked mullet at the Brown Pelican Restaurant in Cedar Key while watching porpoises skipping and jumping, hey, hey, all along the waterfall with you, my brown-eyed girl. Oops, got carried away by the music. When we stayed in Stephen Foster SP in Okefenokee Swamp, my Janie with the light brown hair got to shower with Froggie with the light green skin. Ah, "Fudge" and all that, Bog

Jen, Jen, Jen, Jen, Jen, Jen, Jen,     March 28, 1997

There are two reasons we couldn't come to the GSA down there in King of Prussia: 1. Bog hates driving through Pennsylvania and 2. We had $40,000 worth of Pentium Pro Computers with Windows NT to set up. What a pleasant Spring Break - moving 12 486’s to Greene 220 and setting up 14 Pentiums in Greene 217, then loading software and setting up the appropriate accounts for various users. We have to prevent GSCI 100 students from tying up the machines with e-mail or Internet surfing. I caught one group of students accessing an chat room during an igneous rocks lab. Some igneous rocks do come from "hot, intrusive bodies", but not the kind they were interested in. However, we want geology majors to be able to surf the Net and Web, so their account privileges have to be different. And we have to be able to read and write to the hard drive to keep programs and files updated. Windows NT allows that flexibility (and more!), but you gotta learn it. The campus computer guru was off this past week at an NT workshop, so he couldn’t help us. There are some annoying glitches, but so far, it’s working a LOT faster than the 486's did. But more computers = more potential problems. To err is human, but to really screw things up, you need a computer, or two or ten or fourteen. Byte me, Janie

Dear Cam and Nora,     June 29, 1997

Summer is upon us, and our vacation is more than 1/3 over. We’ve been to Washington, DC and back; then as far south as Asheville, NC and back along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The first trip was an obligation, not a holiday, at least for Bog. I spent 3 days in Vienna visiting my older sister while Bog suffered in traffic and meetings at the American Geological Institute in Alexandria, VA. The summer has been full of good news. I got a raise for next year and Bog was promoted to full professor. Now he can concentrate more on teaching and doing the computer programs (things he enjoys doing) and not worry about doing the things he has to do to impress others (like serving on boring committees and writing useless papers). During the Spring of 1998, he'll be on sabbatical and should have time to adapt GSCI 100 computer programs for transmission over the World Wide Web. I still have to teach labs, but we'll both be making more money, thanks to the promotion and the union contract. We expect to need a lot of money for a big trip: Winter Break in Arizona. Bog's Mom wants to go to visit her brother and sister-in-law in Phoenix and we want to see the American Southwest at some time other than summer. Yeah, I know, we were in Texas and New Mexico with the Geology Dept. in January, 1993, but how much could we see while racing after Hit-&-Run Over and Lead-Foot Hatheway or playing border collie to a bunch of students? Have y'all gotten used to Texas yet? Is it about time to leave there? Janie & Bogie

Happy Birthday, Merri Tensing,     July 23, 1997

Hope you have properly recovered from the Boger Crash Course in computer technology. Were you able to use his methods or programs in your summer school course at OSU-Marion? If the food I made for you was a trifle weird, blame it on the Art of Eating, which I was reading while you and Bog were working. I didn’t understand much of it, but I did like the description of the only 2 dependable aphrodisiacs:
"the presence of a desirable woman, or her absence". Unfortunately, these days it would have to be rendered politically-correct, gender-nonspecific, and therefore ineffectual: "the presence of a desirable woman/man/partner/partners and her/his/his-or-her/their absence". A few glasses of K-J Chardonnay is a pretty good aphrodiasiac, too, and an appropriate drink for celebrating your birthday! Salut, Janie

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Dear Jim,     August 10, 1997

Just returned from your new stomping grounds: Maine. Great scenery, great geology, great food. We put our latest travel book, Eat Your Way Across the USA, to the test and it passed with flying colors. Polly's Pancake Parlor and Miss Wakefield Diner are not in Maine, but they are on the way from here to there. Polly’s is near Old Man of the Mountain, Franconia Notch and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire; tourist traps we avoid, but it's a beautiful little restaurant with great pancakes and a great view, so we go out of our way to get there. Get 10% off (and avoid the morning rush) by placing your order before 8 am. One place that is in Maine, but is not in the book, is Keenan's in Tremont, near Acadia NP. It used to be a gas station, but now the only thing being fueled up there are hordes of hungry people (and mosquitoes). Lobster dinner: $8.95 if ordered before 6:30 pm; only $10.95 after. Bog loved the baby back ribs so much, he had them 2 nights in a row! He doesn't like seafood, but I do, so it was lobster dinner the first night and seafood gumbo the next. Hot Tamale, Baby! We sat at the French Quarter Table, which was festooned with a garland of Christmas lights shaped like the lampposts in New Orleans. Our second night there, we chose the Mardi Gras Table, decorated with chili pepper lights. An 11th commandment for you: Thou shalt always say grace: Our favorite is "Good bread, good meat, good god, let's eat!" Bogs and Janie

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Hey Alan,     August 15, 1997

Great minds run in the same gutters and great people vacation in the same places! We also spent time this summer in Acadia. However, we did not get engaged (in any type of activity) at the top of Pemetic Mountain, as you did. We assume she said yes, because we don't remember you being the type to admit rejection. Some people would be surprised that you were able to find a spot in Acadia secluded enough to ask a girl to marry you. Or maybe now that you are a teacher, you don't mind talking in front of a crowd. However, we found that even in the height of their season, one can avoid the crowds by staying off park roads from 10 am to about 6 pm. That's when most of the tourists are hiking, swimming, pointing and gawking. We were alone (except for the soaring peregrine falcons and migrating songbirds) on top of Cadillac Mountain from about 7-9 am. We could have been alone on Sand Beach after 6 pm, but we don't care much for beaches at any time, crowded or not, so we just drove on by and remarked at how empty it was. We spent our 22nd anniversary taking a 5 mile hike, stopping to rest at every lookout and gaze at 360o views of the ocean, sitting on granite rocks along the shore of Long Lake, listening to loons, watching gulls, napping and wishing we had more to eat. We hope you and Connie have just as much fun 22 years from now. Best Wishes or Congratulations or whatever the politically correct response is for that sort of thing these days. Janie & Bog