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Whitney, 2011
Whitney relaxing after another day at the research site on the Ecuador coast.
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Whitney, 2016
Snorkeling at Vilankulos, Mozambique.

Oregon State University, 2006
Whitney's cats enjoying college life.

Whitney, 2011
More flora. Mindo, Ecuador.

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. Here now, below, are some highlights from past posts.)

Time to dry

In the first hour(s) of returning from 5 days in the Amazon rain forest, my priorities are:
  • Wash the pile of clothes that have been not just wet, but soaked for 3 or 4 days straight. They smell as if things are growing in them... which I am certain is the case.

  • SHOWER! I haven't really technically showered in 5 days. Although I had more water dumped on me in a short week than I have in the past 3 months! It's wet in the rain forest (go figure).

  • Spread out across the floor every single other item that was with me in the Amazon, and try to dry everything from the deep moistness that has set into it all.

  • Sleeeeep. Late nights of hiking through the muddy forest, looking for glowing eyes and crazy insects, followed by pre-sunrise mornings to go sit on a tower 50m up in the canopy to watch birds and monkeys wake up with the new day... so much amazingness has produced a very deliriously tired Whitney.

But I'm just going to go ahead and say - there are some incredible photos soon to come!


Cruising into the Amazon on the first day... I was still dry at this point.

Posted by Whitney 06/24/2011, revised 06/24/2011

Traveller Beware!

Thailand is generally considered to be a safe country for travellers to visit, but if you plan a trip to Thailand it would be wise to avoid the island of Ko Tao. You wont find this in your Lonely Planet but many tourists who venture to Ko Tao never return. The island, considered to be one of the best places in Asia to get scuba certified, is packed with over 40 dive companies and the instructors and divers that go with it. All on an island small enough to walk across in an hour. Nearly everyone on the island is here to dive, and to party, and everyone does alot of both. If you're not familiar with the dive community, they are the most laid back, fun people you'll ever meet. By diving or enrolling in a course you immediatley make friends and get plugged into the local scene. The problem? The island drags you in. Countless many people have the same story; 'Yeah, I came here for a week long vacation and never left..' Within 6 hours of arriving it was plain that our original 1 week target was totally unrealistic.

Posted by nik 09/21/2008

Kim Visits Home for Wildflower Triathlon

It was a pleasure having Kim visiting for the weekend, back from Chicago to Northern California for a few days. She was here to take part in the Olympic distance Wildflower Triathlon.

The site for the Wildflower was Lake San Antonio reservoir, between King City and San Luis Obispo. With limited accomodations nearby, many of the 3000 participants and spectators camped out at the state park along the reservoir, so we joined Kim and the bustling city of tents and RVs Saturday night.

Kim ran another successful race, finishing 4th out of 300 in her age group! See here for photos.

Posted by Dan 05/16/2008