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.)
The DNF Strikes Back
Last month I was supposed to drop out of the Ironman. But I thumbed my nose at the plan to DNF and then guess what happened at my next race?
The DNF gods went ahead and took the sacrifice I owed them.
July 9th was the Boulder Peak Olympic, a race with a long history of big time pro champions, and famous for its brutal climb up Olde Stage Road.
And I didn't finish it.
While perhaps an unremarkable turn of events in the world of competitive racing, this was unique for me, in that it was my first time.
I've completed more than 80 triathlons. If you add to that total all the 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, trail races, bike races, aquathons, etc - I've cruised through that glorious finish arch (or over that chalk line on the pavement) well over 200 times.
If you add to that total all the times I've climbed up on the starting blocks at a swim meet and reliably completed the 50, 100, 200, 1500 yard race ... OK maybe swim meets don't really count, because who DNFs a race that's only a minute long? (I mean, besides Mateo, the hero of the Ygnacio Valley High School swim team, who, on the historic day the phrase "WTF?!" was invented, swam 75 yards of a 100 yard race, and just got out at the other end of the pool. Something I've never seen happen before or since).
My point is, for over two decades, I've had a 100% success rate when it comes to finishing races. I'm obsessed with the irresistible pull of the finish line, perhaps to a fault.
I had observed a long time ago, with some bewilderment, that pros had an unusually high rate of DNF, despite their obviously superior level of capability. Was it vanity? "If I'm not the winner, I don't want to play!" Was it decadence? "Races? I've got a million of them, who cares?" Or were they perhaps going so insanely hard that they reached that point where limbs start flying off their bodies and they lay broken on the side of the road while age groupers trotted past?
I simply couldn't conceive of what possible reason there would be for surrender.
(I'm sure there's a lot to unpack there, because this mentality doesn't stop at racing for me ... )
It seemed I was incapable of separating the concepts of "unfinished" and "failure."
In light of this, Sunday's race was a major breakthrough for me.
I was well prepared and appropriately pumped for the Boulder Peak. Even with half the population of Boulder badasses out on pregnancy leave, the roster had still filled out with some top names. Kaisa Sali had gone 5th at Kona last year. Paula Findlay was a 2012 Olympian. Alicia Kaye was a name I remember from the magazines back when I was still racing on an aluminum commuter bike. I wasn't going to be able to fight them for the podium, but I hoped that in the presence of greatness, I could perform to the best of my abilities and show some definite improvements in my own racing.
As the sun rose over the Boulder Reservoir, we lined up on the beach: eleven strong, confident women. There was some sort of glitch with the playing of the National Anthem, and while we waited in the awkward silence, Paula filled in with her national anthem, "O, Canadaaa! ... " Haha, nice cover. She seems fun, I'd totally hang out with her. (But I guess I'd have to catch her first).
Posted by Kimberly 07/11/2017
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
Failed Cape Melville
Alright, so I have been adventuring and boy do I have a story for you guys! This will be my longest, most epic story thus far. She's gonna be a long one! But if you have the time and the will, I highly suggest sticking around for this tale, because it is quite amusing. Pull up a comfy chair, fix yourself a cuppa tea, sit back and enjoy this one. 'Cause I sure did! Mom, find a relaxed state...
Ok. So, a few weeks ago, my roommate Scott and our friend Peter started making plans for a fantastical road trip through northeast Australia, up along the coast to Cape Melville, one of the northern-most points of the continent. Peter had just bought a Toyota Hilux and wanted to make the most of it. You all must first understand that roadways in Australia are not like those in the U.S. There isn't a ribbon of tarmac everywhere you want to go. The highways between main cities along the coast are paved, but once you get up north, out of the bigger towns and into rainforest/bush/desert, all you have is a bumpy, bouncy, rough dirt road, 4WD-only tracks. Multiple river crossings through croc waters are necessary, and the corrugations in the road are enough to make a breakfast scramble of your brains. We were excited, to say the least.
Posted by Whitney 07/13/2008, revised 07/13/2008
Peter, me, and Scott - ready for our big road trip!