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Nik & Whitney, 2008
Eager to get in some real climbing in Laos.

Tahiti, 2012
Tahitian sunset, with the island of Moorea in the distance.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Bicycles and other forms of transportation. Whitney in Thailand.

Whitney, 2011
Night hike through a jungle swamp near the Tiputini research outpost in the Amazon rain forest.


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.)

The little things I realize I miss

When I first arrived in this new country, there were the things that I missed right away: family, friends, group dinners at the Corvallis house, Sienna/Simon/Lago (and even Mogli a little), free phone calls to people in the States... these were all things that were quite obvious and I could see coming before I left. Now that I've been here for several weeks, I have found a multitude of little things that I have only recently realized I miss (notice how much of it is food related!). Much of it is specific to Corvallis/Oregon, so I apologize to those of you who are not familiar with these many little treasures.
  • PG Tips tea and Pomogranate Green Tea
  • Grandma's cookies (that's my Grandma, not a brand called 'Grandma's')
  • Marie Sharp's hot sauces that Dave brought back from Belize (thanks again Dave!)
  • really any good hot sauce or salsa
  • Tillamook mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • Tillamook cheese
  • Oregon tap water
  • home-brewed beer
  • any good darker beers (not many ambers, porters, or nut browns here)
  • always having Springhill wine or Dave's wine on hand
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Taylor Street Ovens' Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies
  • Annie's Shells & Cheddar
  • Amy's beans (again, roommate Amy, not a brand)
  • Santa Cruz (brand) raspberry lemonade sodas
  • The co-op in general and everything delicious held within its walls; buying local and sustainable groceries
  • having 4 or 5 didjeridoos lying around the living room (ironic, no?)
However, I am already building a list of 'the little things' that I would miss about Australia... let me tell you, you're all missing out on Tim Tams!

Posted by Whitney 03/18/2008

Cambodia to Malaysia, Via Thailand

Well, I was gonna write all about the rest of Laos and Cambodia but I've fallen dreadfully behind so let's take up from our reentry into Thailand.

This time through Thailand began with a 24 hour trip from Siem Reap, in Cambodia, all the way to Krabi, with a brief stopover in Bangkok long enough to arrange the next leg. Krabi is well known for its world class climbing. The small beaches in Krabi are isolated from the mainland by towering Limestone cliffs.

Rock climbers paradise

The main beaches are Aow Nang, the busy primary stop accessible from the mainland, Railey East and Railey West, two beaches on the peninsula and accessible by boat, and Ton Sai, a tiny cove that can be accessed by boat or from Railey at low tide. Aow Nang is used as a jumping off point for the islands in the area or to catch boats to the other beaches. Railey's beaches have excellent climbing but are dominated by expensive family resorts and the families that go with them. Ton Sai is wonderfully removed from the resort beaches and far cheaper. The result: Ton Sai abounds with rock climbers from around the world; it is to rock climbing what Koh Tao is to diving.

The first day we were able to rent gear and enjoy some of Krabi's epic climbing at Ton Sai, a short walk from our bungalow. By the end of the day we could feel the effects through our unconditioned arms and opted to make the next day a day of rest.

Posted by nik 12/03/2008, revised 02/06/2009

December in the Desert: HITS Palm Springs 70.3

This was my second year at HITS Palm Springs, returning to defend my 2015 title. Since I didn't write about last year, and last year was kind of a long time ago, just a single, emphatic word summed up my memory of that winter desert race:


So this year I did a fair amount of preparation to brace myself for the 55 degree water and the prospect of emerging soaking wet into 55 degree air to go bike in the wind:

Posted by Kimberly 12/07/2016