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Whitney, 2011
You can't possibly be ferocious with big brown eyes like that! This guy kept Whitney company while working at the research site.

Whitney, 2016
Whitney encountered this whale shark while diving in Mozambique.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
The forest has come to reclaim its territory at Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Whitney, 2011
Huge frog in the jungle. Ecuadoran Amazonia.
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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.)
Victory at the California International Triathlon

California International Triathlon was another USA Productions race, and I'm definitely liking their style. They are the perfect west coast complement to Race Day Events in Wisconsin. With a focus on the local triathlon community, they have a festive atmosphere which comes complete with generous contests & giveaways, a race director named Ryan, and best of all, a post race burrito. Who doesn't love a burrito?!

The venue in Pleasanton was excellent and all the morning logistics were stress-free. The parking area was right near transition, the lake was available for pre-race swim warm up, and there were even real bathrooms with no lines!

Shadow Cliffs Lake was a comfortable, mild temperature and I had a great swim! The water was smooth, and the sun was already up for the day, so no sunrise glare in my eyes.

I zipped up a smoking fast T1, a transition record for the day at 41 seconds.

The bike course was reasonably flat -- at least there were no beastly climbs. It was very well marked and well staffed, which I appreciated (at 22 miles per hour it's hard to thank the volunteers in person). The course was an out and back, so I got a good look at all the guys ahead of me. We started in different waves, but I was 13 back from the lead guy, so I focused on holding that position.

About 3/4 of the way through, the international course joined the sprint course and things got a lot more congested.

The entrance to T2 was a bit crowded, but I managed to slither through the herd of Sprint racers and close the deal on another record fast T2 time, handily beating all the women. Two of the guys completed transition in less than my 27 seconds, which there is no excuse for, since I'm not aware of any physiological advantage bestowed on males when it comes to putting on shoes. I will have to try harder next time.

I must have missed the memo on the run course description because I didn't realize it was a trail run until I got out there! I enjoy trail running, so I rolled with it, even though I was definitely in the wrong shoes for the job. My race flats are paper thin, so I felt every rock and pebble underfoot, and for some reason they all wanted to impale my tender arch in the same exact spot.

I like the challenge and variety offered by a hilly rocky trail, and it certainly takes my mind off of the exertion of racing (and perhaps also the pain in my foot), but I generally prefer flat pavement for running my fastest.

... Or do I?

I felt like I was having a decent run, and without any women ahead of me, I decided to see about closing the gap on some of those men who had passed me on the bike. Volunteers and aid stations were plentiful on this two loop course, and the water was delightfully cold. My spectathlete team found places along the course to pop out of the underbrush and cheer me on.

And I got to careen down the hills at top speed. I was having fun!

Posted by Kimberly 06/30/2015
30 Day Visa

It was immediately apparent that the $25 30 day visa in Indonesia was not long enough so we made an executive decision to stay for 31 days for a mere $20 extra. While in Sumatra we took a night boat to the remote Mentawai Islands south of Padang. There we stayed with a local Mentawai family and enjoyed jungle trekking and experienced traditional Mentawai medicine man rituals. It became apparent why all the medicine men are all so thin and wiry; the rituals go through the night and involve singing, chanting and dancing until you collapse from exhaustion. Then you repeat.

Dancing away evil spirits

Mentawai medicine man dancing away evil spirits

Posted by nik 02/06/2009, revised 02/24/2009
Last week in France

This entry is going to be short too. I'm sorry, but life moves too fast for me to be able to tell you all about everything. But pictures say a thousand words right? So I have a much easier way to present 20,000 words. (See link to France photo album on my home page.)

In summary, I had an amazing, sunny, warm, relaxing week in Bordeaux. I tasted wine, went to the beach, sat in beautiful botanic gardens, and had great Couchsurfing accommodations. Then I took a train back to Paris where I stayed with an American ex-pat family in their beautiful apartment, and had a great night with them: family dinner around the table (4 kids aged 6-18, 2 parents, and me!), out to an incredible hidden-little-secret pub/cave that was very Tavern-esque, saw some really good live jazz-funk, and then caught my flight to Bangkok the next morning.

I stayed with the Schumacher family my last night in Paris. They were so friendly and fun!

So I've met up with Nik in Bangkok, and we've had an incredible first 48 hours here! But those blogs are to come later. For now, I sleep. And prepare for another great day in Thailand.

Posted by Whitney 09/05/2008

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