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Nik & Whitney, 2008
Whitney hangin' with the tigers in Thailand.

Whitney, 2016
Whitney examining a crab found in the mangroves. Mozambique.

HS Sophomore year, 2002
Whitney performing a standup comedy routine during high school talent show.

Whitney, 2011
Whitney and friends at the top of Mandango, near Vilcabamba, Ecuador.
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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.)
XTERRA Real Granite Bay

A mountain bike race??!

Why on earth would I do that?

Other than just morbid curiosity, perhaps I felt compelled to kick off my 2016 season with the XTERRA Granite Bay Off Road Triathlon because I figured if my little brother can mountain bike, then probably I can too. Over the years, my younger siblings have displayed natural cycling and running athleticism and I've come to think of them basically as optimized versions of myself. My brother has won various mountain bike awards and based on his limited updates, I get the idea he and his bike pretty much spend all their time in Moab.

What's so great about mountain biking? I had to know.

I started renting a demo bike from Trailhead Cyclery, attempting to teach myself how to bunny hop and shred. Next, I checked in with my resident MTB guru to find out his secrets. What skills defined an excellent mountain biker? Little brother cited his "total disregard for personal safety," as one of his best assets.

Crap. That one is nowhere near the top of my list of personal traits. I don't think it's even on the list anymore. My youthful invincibility ended abruptly on the softball field one summer day ten years ago when an ill-conceived slide left me captive inside a plaster leg cast for 8 long weeks. NEVER AGAIN.

The popular refrain embedded in all mountain biking advice I received was, "When you go down -- and you will go down ... "


No way I could perhaps negotiate around that requirement?

I had very little familiarity with the course in Granite Bay. I read about "swoopy trails" and a variety of conditions including sand, dirt, rock, etc. It was two 8 mile loops for the bike, with less than 400′ of climbing on each, and that sounded pretty reasonable.

Honestly, I was most concerned about the swim. I had heard rumors that Folsom Lake was snow runoff, and therefore extremely cold this time of year. At just a half mile, the swim would be quick, but very unpleasant.

It turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

... At least as far as the swim was concerned.

The water temperature was just fine, almost comfortable, even. The short swim was complete in just over ten minutes, and transition was smooth, my new XTERRA wetsuit melted right off my legs like hot butter.

Posted by Kimberly 04/11/2016
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
Tierra Dura

Put boots away, it's time to rest
Close the gate, lock the barn, take a breath.
The cow has water, she seems content,
Four rows new before day was spent.

The sun slumps down behind the hill
The thought of dinner sends a thrill.
The cuyes squeak, the cock still squawks,
But now it's time to stop the clock.

The earth lodged deep beneath the nails
reminds me of what this life entails.
The land provides at day's end,
but doesn't always feel a friend.

We pull, we plow, we dig, we pick,
hard and steady, although not quick.
The back's a-hurtin', the feet are sore,
Though long the day, there's always more.

But for now, it's time to rest,
Close the gate, lock the barn, take a breath.
Eat, sleep, recharge for when
we'll rise up early and start again.

Posted by Whitney 06/26/2011

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