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.)
Oops, I Did An IM
A full Ironman. It's not a thing you do by accident. And yet there I was about 120 miles in, saying aloud, "I don't even know what I'm doing out here!" which I suppose could have been interpreted a number of different ways by the other runners within earshot.
It all started a few weeks ago, as I was swimming laps on a lovely Boulder afternoon, when an idea popped into my head. Sometimes I do my best thinking while swimming.
Since relocating, I had set my sights on the IM Boulder 70.3 as a good choice for the season's "A" race. It's in August, and it's practically down the street from where I live, so the logistics would be super simple, leaving me to focus solely on the work of racing hard.
So I was swimming, and thinking about August, and about training, and I suddenly realized -- hey, there's a full Boulder Ironman some time in June. Maybe I should use it as a big workout day. What a perfect way to prep for the 70.3! Get in a solid open water swim at the same venue. Seize the opportunity for a supported long ride, where fresh water bottles magically appear in my hand at regular intervals. And then I could just skip that stupid marathon, because who wants to do all that extra running anyway? Not me!
I was a little nervous about bringing up the idea of entering the Ironman to my coach, because we have a focused plan we're working on for the summer, and the long post IM recovery is not part of that. But he was thrilled. He said it would be a great day of quality training on the bike, and we planned to even include a few miles of run before I surrendered my timing chip and headed to brunch. Because a little brick run is the cherry on top of every great cycling workout.
I kept the plan on the down-low because I didn't want people to be disappointed when they found out I didn't finish. And I had to constantly remind myself -- it's not a race, it's a training day!
Ironman makes that hard, though, with all their pomp and fanfare.
For a training day that was supposed to be light on logistics, this ended up being a lot of running around. I managed to make three individual trips to the Ironman Expo downtown, plus the trip out to the reservoir to drop off my bike. Pros were granted the privilege of driving in with their bikes on race morning, and I assumed I'd just bike the two miles over to the reservoir, but we were told NO bike commuting to the race site (because it was too dark). Since Brad and I are a car-free household, this presented a problem, both for getting my bike to the reservoir on Saturday, and for getting myself to the race site the next day. Athletes were told to take shuttles out to the race, but I was pretty sure I could walk to the reservoir in the time it would take me to get downtown, wait in the shuttle line, and sit smooshed in that school bus for the six mile ride out to the race start.
This training day was turning into a bit of a headache!
The night before the race -- er, training day, I looked up the final version of the pro roster and saw that there were only ten women on the list, including me ... and prize money for this race goes ten deep. Basically all I had to do was finish before midnight, and I'd go home with a paycheck. But finishing was not in the plan.
Posted by Kimberly 06/16/2017
My Blog Now!!!
Yup, I'm taking over my page now! Since 2003 i haven't done anything except a trip on my bike last summer. Well, I guess that about brings us up to date. Moving on.
My summer was spent in the wonderful little village of San Luis Obispo, nestled against the California coastal range, where i participated in an internship at the 'we're too good for Nik' Cal Poly University. Let me just say, SLO rocks! As do all the wonderful people i met there this summer, and I can't wait to return next year.
We'll cut into this little reminiscion with a recount of my last mini-backpacking trip near Sequoia National Park, so i can put in some cool pictures.
A friend from the internship and I headed out after work on friday for a weekend backpacking trip in the Sierra's. We got in late and stayed at a little walk in camp that was tucked waaay up a small winding backroad near the trailhead. This was also the only bear sighting on our trip. We awoke early to find a black bear not more than 50 yards off in the camp area. He wasn't interested in our food though, just beating up the trees around there.
Posted by nik 08/22/2008, revised 08/22/2008
Backpacking in the High Sierras
So many new animals!
Almost everyday, I see an animal I've never seen before. I carry my camera almost everywhere with me in the event that I can catch one of these guys in digital format to share with all of you, but it's usually pretty hard to make them stay in one place while I dig through my bag to get my camera out.
The animals are so different and exotic looking to me that every time I see a new one, I feel like I'm seeing something that's near-extinct, something that nobody's seen in the wild for the last two decades, something that hasn't been caught on camera in over 45 years! I get so excited and start scrambling for my camera, because WHAT IF THIS IS THE LAST ONE OF THESE STRANGE-LOOKING THINGS THAT EXISTS??
And then passers-by smirk and tell me it's a common brushtail possum. Not just a brushtail possum, but a common brushtail possum... I looked it up - the "common" wasn't just to spite me, it's actually in the name. I did not find the last living wild Kirwaddledoopinger. Just a common brushtail possum that was trying to steal chocolate from a lunch bag at the base of a tree on campus.
Common brushtail possum on campus
Posted by Whitney 03/08/2008, revised 03/10/2008