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Whitney, 2008
Queensland, Australia. Our group of friends, hanging out on the rope swing tree ...Mom, I know you're squinting your eyes, thinking, "Which one's my daughter?" I'm the one at the very top.

Whitney, 2016
View overlooking savannah. Paia-do-Tofo, Mozambique.

Whitney, 2004
Sunset during Whit's high school graduation trip to Hawaii.

Whitney, 2011
Colorful crab at night-time low tides on the coast of Ecuador.
(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Here now, are some highlights from past posts.)

ODP cancels European tour

Whitney was named as one of the 18 players scheduled to tour with the Region-IV ODP team to Europe in April 2003. With passports in hand, the trip was cancelled just two weeks before their scheduled departure due to the impending invasion in the Middle East.

Posted by Dan 04/11/2003

Un lugar para mi

"Why do you travel? What do you personally get out of it?"

For me, there is an endless, ever-growing list of answers to this question. One of them is, "To see what's out there. To learn what I want out of my life." If I'm fortunate enough, I may find along my travels a place that feels like "a place for me." This may not mean that it is a place in which I imagine living for the rest of my life. It may not even be a place that I will ever see again. But it is a place where, upon arriving, or after spending a bit of time there, I feel comfortable. I feel happy with life, I feel I am where I should be at that moment in time, and I feel that my trust in the universe has once again fortified itself.

I have only been in Huaraz, Peru for about 4 hours, but I feel that I have arrived at such a place as I have just described. Huaraz is a moderate-sized town of a little less than 50,000 and a healthy lot of outdoor enthusiast extranjeros, located at 3090 meters (about 10,200 ft) of elevation in the Peruvian Andes. The streets feel safe and friendly, and people smile openly when I wish them buenos dias. While there is a fair amount of adventure-seeking tourism, the town does not feel jaded and over-run by it. Maybe this is simply in contrast to the overwhelmingly touristed city of Cuzco, jump-off point for Machu Picchu visitors, where I just came from. However, I truly feel that Huaraz still has a genuine, gentle charm.

In any case, in my half-day thus far, I have found a number of little things that make this place great:

  • a very nice family-run hostel for a very nice price (equivalent of about $5), complete with a delightful breakfast
  • an excellent cappuccino, roasted en casa
  • a very comfortable, funky, well-managed cafe that is probably my favorite I have found in all of South America
  • legitimately spicy aji (hot sauce) packed with flavor (not just in one location, but as a general characteristic of Huaraz)
  • delicious food at delicious prices ($1-3 for lunch)
  • friendly strangers to have a good chat with
  • and... I hear there are a couple good artisan beers in the area!
And I haven't even made it out to the numerous mountain hikes yet!

So let's see... good prices, good food, good coffee, good accommodation, good people, and good naturaleza. Perfecto!

Brekky included with my $5 accommodation in Huaraz

Posted by Whitney 09/09/2011

In Indonesia In December

After only two days in Indonesia I am in love.

Shanks ponies into the jungle

Indonesia was apparently a very popular destination for tourists before Thailand took over and began drawing people to Southeast Asia. Because of this the tourist infrastructure is there but the islands are blissfully devoid of other tourists. From Malaysia we took a local ferry and made our way overnight by bus to Bukittinggi. For whatever reason it was decided that everyone on the bus should feel like it would be a white Christmas after all and the AC was on full blast all night. Quite ironically we crossed the equator on this stretch making the equator officially the coldest part of my trip. At one point Bukittinggi may have been overrun with tourists using it as a jump off for various treks and tours or just visiting the scenic town, but these days it has settled back into its own quiet existence.

Posted by nik 12/27/2008, revised 02/08/2009

Lake Tahoe Marathon Weekend

Taking advantage of gorgeous views and challenging terrain, the Lake Tahoe Marathon Weekend has a little something for everyone.

The weekend features not just a marathon, but your choice of three marathons (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), or for endurance junkies, the option to do all 3 (The Tahoe Triple). Same goes for the half marathon (The Trifecta) and the ultra (The Triple Dare): 72 miles all the way around Lake Tahoe!

...And yes, someone did run the full 216.6 miles in three days (46 hours 27 minutes).

For the rest of us with more modest goals, the menu of events included duathlon, 10k, 5k, kids superhero run, and a number of aquatic events. There were kayak and paddle board races, and open water swim races.

I felt a little greedy looking at all the events to register for, but in the end I opted for the 2 mile swim as one of the more unique choices.

Posted by Kimberly 09/16/2014