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Nik & Whitney, 2008
Koh Phangan, Thailand.
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New Zealand, 2012
View from inside our room looking out at the private deck and forest. Woodlands Motel, Kerikeri, New Zealand.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Nik kayaking near Krabi, Thailand.

Whitney, 2011
Scorpion 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.)
This Seems Like a lot of Work for a Free Banana



It's been awhile since I've done an ocean swim, and I'm gearing up for IM Santa Cruz 70.3 in September, so Tri Santa Cruz International seemed like a good warmup.

The swim start was located just to the right of the boardwalk and the pier, and though many people had commented that the water was unusually warm and calm (relatively speaking), it was a bit of an adjustment from the comfortable pools and lakes I've been in all summer. Water temp was in the low 60s but I was immediately struck by how cold it was on my face. Eeee! How do the surfers stand it? I needed a little extra time in the water to warm up, which turned out to be fine since the race start was delayed.

This race had an interesting approach to the wave start times. There were just three waves and participants seeded themselves. Wave 1 was for those who would swim 1500 meters in under 24 minutes. Wave 2 was for 24-30 minute swimmers. And Wave 3 was for the over 30 minute swimmers. This would make for a much cleaner start with people being matched by pace, but since the course was two loops, it was still likely to get crowded on Loop #2. When I registered online, I hadn't yet achieved my 23 minute swim PR, and so I figured I was right on the cusp of Waves 1 and 2. I thought about some of my previous ocean swims, many of which didn't go so well, and decided Wave 2 would be most realistic for this race.

As we lined up on the beach, I realized that without all the sub-24 swimmers in my wave, I was likely to be in the unfamiliar position of leading the swim. On the one hand this is great since it means a clear and unobstructed path, but I've become so accustomed to following feet in the water, it was a little disconcerting to have three of the front four guys fall away within the first few minutes of the swim. Wave 1 had a five minute head start on us, so they were no longer in view, and soon there was only a single set of splashing feet a half a dozen yards ahead of me, and no one else to be seen. The course had just two turns, but for some reason, I had trouble keeping count. Alone out there in the morning grayness, I began to second guess myself. Had I turned around two buoys already or just one? Did I miss one? I couldn't remember. Meanwhile the gently rocking ocean water and the aggressively salty flavor in my mouth were starting to make me feel just slightly nauseous. After what seemed like an eternity, I emerged on the beach to run around the beach buoy and return to the water for Lap #2. I glanced at my watch as I ran, and between blurry droplets, I made out what appeared to say 16:30. WHAT?! I was certain I had held a good line out there. And I was certain no one had passed me. Somehow I was headed for a 30+ swim, yet I was at the front of my 24-30 wave? None of us would even come close to the 30 minute mark, I was leading our entire wave to failure! I tried, but couldn't persuade myself to believe that perhaps the second lap would somehow be shorter than the first, so I resolved the issue by convincing myself that I must have just read my watch wrong. But sure enough, when I emerged from Lap #2 and headed toward transition, my watch definitely said 33 minutes. Argh! Why do I suck so bad at ocean swimming?!

(Post race I found out that the reason for the horrendously slow swim times was a mismeasure of the course. The race officials later claimed it was 1800 meters instead of 1500, but I also heard rumors it ended up being 1.3 miles, which is nearly 2100 meters! Oops)

Well, fortunately the swim was over and I had nowhere to go but up, starting with the long run to transition. I had stashed a pair of shoes (legit running shoes, with speed laces, none of this flip flop business for me) near the beach and leveraged my run speed on that T1 run to pass a lot of Wave 1 folks.




Posted by Kimberly 09/01/2015
Final race for Cal Poly

Nik completed his final race for the Cal Poly cycling team, the Wheelmen. The Western Collegiate Cycling Conference's final race of the 2011 Mountain Bike season was hosted by Cal-Berkeley at the Bailey Bike Park course.


Nik racing down the slalom course at Bailey Bike Park


Posted by Dan 11/14/2011
Snippets of Life: Part 1 - Fútbol en Argentina

Old problems rise again. What is it this time? It's the beloved old challenge of taking in all the beauty, adventure, and fun that life offers, and turning it back out in written form in order to share it with all of you. Often, the silence that transpires on this page is a good sign - an indication that my days are filled with life and the living of it.

So I must apologize for the brevity of the following posts, but I can no longer stay hung up on trying to write of my adventures in detail. I will instead simply have to catch you up with a few smatterings of thought and rely on photos to do most of the talking.

So let's rewind to 5 weeks ago, when I embarked on a 9-day stint in Argentina with the USFQ fútbol team. One tournament, 13 girls, 8 games. The tournament was in the city of Córdoba, and as this was not a sight-seeing trip, this was essentially the extent of what I saw of Argentina. But I can tell you that this was all I needed to know that I will someday return to Argentina to get to know it properly. There was something about the land, the people, the life... something that planted a seed in my heart that makes me want to know this country enough to be able to say "I love Argentina!"


Posted by Whitney 03/27/2011, revised 04/07/2011
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