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Whitney, 2011
Whoa. Whitney spotted this monster on a hike outside Vilcabamba, Ecuador.
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Whitney, 2016
Watching the sun rise from Whitney's veranda. Sao Sebastiao Wildlife Sanctuary, Mozambique.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Really big aquarium in Indonesia. Nik and Whit did a lot of scuba diving throughout Southeast Asia.

Whitney, 2011
Pretty fungi in the Amazon rain forest.
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Eclipse!!

The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 crossed the continent, from Oregon to South Carolina, and gave millions of people the chance to witness one of the most awe-inspiring events in the natural world.


Nik's photo of the August 21 eclipse, photographed from Glendo, Wyoming. The star, Regulus, is barely visible to the lower left of the solar corona.
But you had to be within the "path of totality", a narrow band across the earth's surface several thousand miles long but only about 70 miles wide. Outside that band you would only see a partial eclipse, not a total eclipse.

And there is no such thing as a "partial total eclipse", despite the impression blogs and the news media might give. I honestly think that's why so many people misunderstand the utter beauty of the spectacle; they may have seen a partial eclipse in the past that was total somewhere else, and even though they weren't in the path the news kept gushing about it being a total eclipse, so they assume they must have seen a total eclipse and just didn't find it all that impressive.


Posted by Dan 08/29/2017, revised 09/06/2017
(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Below are some highlights from past posts.)
How About a Road Race?


Today was my first bike race!

I've always felt a little out of place with road guys – first of all because they're usually all guys (and I noticed they don't take kindly to being outpaced by a girl…) and secondly because I know how roadies feel about triathletes. In the cycling world, triathletes have a reputation for being messy, unpredictable riders, lacking the etiquette of the guys who actually know what they're doing out there. It's like bringing a hillbilly to High Tea. The triathlete's cycling pedigree is unforgivably tainted by those lowly pursuits of running and swimming.

So perhaps I am too meek and apologetic in this crowd. At any rate, I underestimated my cycling ability, and spent most of the 22.3 mile race sitting in one pace line or another, wondering, "When are these guys gonna start riding hard?"

Legal drafting is a new concept for me. Everytime a motorcycle course marshal appeared, I had the sudden panic that I was about to get caught breaking the rules, and then I would remember that in this race, drafting isn't cheating. It's strategy.

I also learned firsthand exactly what those roadies dislike about riding near unskilled cyclists...

About 7 miles in, as I was beginning to realize I should start making an effort to pass people, I came up behind a guy I should've known was trouble. I had seen him riding in the middle of a pace line down in his aerobars, which is dangerous. That should have been my cue to keep my distance.

We approached a turn, one that didn't allow room for error since there was oncoming traffic.

I know how fast I can take a corner, but apparently, Mr. Aerobars did not. He suddenly slammed on his brakes and then lost control of his bike. I was far enough behind him that I had some time to react, but it was hard to tell which direction he was going to end up going, the way he was fishtailing through the turn. I tried to stop quickly, but then MY bike fishtailed, and I was immediately alerted to the fact that I had a pace line right behind me – by the shrieks that were so close it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I did the only thing I could do to avoid front and/or back collision – I swerved left, slicing in front of oncoming traffic (a gigantic pick-up truck, no less) and ended up in a ditch on the opposite side of the road.

Needless to say, once I caught back up to the group (and there he was again, back down in his aerobars, right behind someone else's wheel), I had new incentive to pass and then speed away from them as fast as my legs could carry me.

I ended up taking home another 1st Place beer glass for my collection, but I have to say, today's bigger victory was returning home with my bike and my bones still intact!
Posted by kim 08/06/2011

It Begins

Bangkok is one of those cities that makes an impression the second you get there. However after you get over the smell and the traffic there actually is some wonderful wonders to be found. We were fortunate enough to be staying with a couchsurfer and he acted as our tour guide while we were in the city. Our first day we made our way by train, boat and taxi to Canchanaburi where there is a train bridge.


Jen got over the wonderful wonders quick.


Posted by nik 09/14/2008, revised 09/21/2008
La diferencia principal entre Ecuador y Thailand

While Ecuador and Thailand are two very different cultures in two completely different regions of the world, my previous experiences in the developing countries of Southeast Asia are often brought up in my memory, instigated by sights and experiences here in Ecuador. They are often little triggers: people standing on the roadways selling bags of edibles to you through a car/bus window, banana tree leaves blowing in a breeze, emaciated dogs digging through piles of garbage. But through the countless differences between the two regions, there lies one blatant - and tragic - difference: here in Ecuador, I cannot walk down the street and pay a little Thai woman $5 to give me a one-hour massage! And this, my friends, is a reality I struggle to come to terms with.

Yesterday, my colleague Robbie and I went rock-climbing at a great location about 30-40 minutes from our house. We don't currently have rope or other equipment for climbing, but we bouldered around low to the ground for a few hours. It was great fun, and a good workout for the arms and shoulders. But as it's been months since I've done any climbing, I woke up this morning with a million knots in my back and shoulders. All I want in the world is to be able to plop down on a mat and have a pint-sized Thai woman dig into my muscles with truck-sized strength!

But alas, I guess we just can't have everything in this world... at the same time.


Bouldering around on some cool rock in Ecuador!

Posted by Whitney 02/12/2011

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