Live a simple life:
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Stephen Bowen: "(In Guyana) I lived in a hut with grass roof without a road. Anywhere I went, I walked. I probably never got more than three miles from my hut. There wasn't anywhere to go. I loved it. I really wanted to live back in the Dark Ages or something, where you had to actually work to live. This was kinda close. I liked having the chance to live that way.
Jerry Bowen: "They flew him into the bush. No electricity."
Stephen Bowen: "I taught math at a little, tiny high school. I had 14 kids in my class. There were two classrooms. They had industrial training, mechanical training in, like, small engine repair. Solar panels — they learned how to set them up and (troubleshoot them). How else are you going to get energy out there?"
Be careful, but don't worry too much:
Jerry Bowen: "Once, in a cave, we had a flash flood. It was like you were in a leaky submarine. You were walking along, and all of a sudden, you heard a noise, and, ‘Where is it coming from?' then you heard a crash, and all of a sudden, a stream of water as big around as this (cup) came squirting out of the ceiling."
Stephen Bowen: "They're always, 'Are you sure (the ceiling) is not going to come down?' It didn't come down yesterday. It didn't come down the day before. It hasn't come down in the last 300 years. I think we're OK.'"
Getting started in caving:
Stephen Bowen: "I did some recreational caving (during college). Someone said, 'Hey, we've got this cave. We know where it's at.' I had boots that I always wore anyway. (We used) handheld flashlights, no gloves, no kneepads. Nothing to protect you from anything. (I became more professional) when I got back to Maryland from Utah."
Stay in shape:
Jerry Bowen: "I'm kind of laid back now. I'm 60. I'm not looking for these really challenging caves, either. There're some caves that are hard. I mean, really, really hard. When you're in a cave, the floor is a lot like that boulder field (at the bottom of Black Rock along the Appalachian Trail). It's not smooth like a mall floor.
"And you've got to carry all your gear in. If you're going to do rope work, you have to carry all your ropes in and your hardware. It takes a long time to set up ropes. That's a lot of work. It's very strenuous."
Do things as a couple:
Jerry Bowen: "When the kids left the house, we were lookiing for something to do. The kids weren't around anymore. Mary and I had empty-nest syndrome. She went caving with me all the time."
Love your spouse:
Jerry Bowen: "When people ask me how long I've been married to Mary, I'll tell them, 'Not long enough. Not long enough.' I'm still enjoying (being with her).
"I remember the church I used to go to, there was an old pastor. He said the best thing a man can do for his (kids) is love their mother."
Enjoy doing things with your family:
Jerry Bowen: "We lived in Montgomery County (Md.) while the kids grew up. We'd walk through a train tunnel in Mount Airy. We'd go walk up Sugarloaf Mountain in Frederick County. We'd go for walks along the C&O Canal down (near) Poolesville. Go to the Smithsonian Institution, the zoo.
"Everybody wants to go to King's Dominion. Well, we did that too. More than once. Well, King's Dominion — what's so special about that? But it is special when you're there with your family."