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Corvallis Oregon, 2005
Whitney played NCAA Division-I soccer for Oregon State University.

Moorea, 2012
Overlooking the thatched huts of the Sofitel Resort on Moorea. You can clearly see the coral reef separating the deep blue ocean and the shallow, aqua lagoon.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
The colorful busses of Padang, Sumatra.

Whitney, 2011
Look at the transparent wings! Spotted on a hike outside 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.)
HITS Napa Half, 5 (Plus) Hours of Fun

It was a rough week leading into this race, culminating with the theft of my training/commuter bike less than two days before the race. Saturday morning the alarm went off way too early, but fortunately my dad is really good at being (still) awake at 3am, so we left the driving to him. With so many interferences throughout the week, I decided to call this one a "Training Day," and just focus on a smart, well-paced effort. This made for a more relaxing pre-race routine than usual, despite an early morning flat tire (the 5th one this week). I was looking forward to cruising easy on the bike, and then actually enjoying the half marathon. I love running strong and fast, so it's a shame that I make a habit of wearing myself out first with all that swimming and biking, invariably turning a run of any distance into an exhausting shuffle.

HITS is my kind of race! Efficient and professional, but low-key and not too crowded. They let us drive all the way up to transition for athlete drop off, and then packet pickup was a breeze, with short lines and no waiting.

The transition area was awesome; spacious, organized and more functional than a bunch of flimsy racks. I hope more races adopt this set-up (Minus the gravel underfoot -- ouch!)

I was worried about the lake temperature, quoted as being 54-59 degrees. Even though I enjoy cold water swimming more than most humans, I refer to anything below 58 degrees as "freeze-your-face-off cold," because it gives you brain-freeze from the outside. But it was a great swim -- at least the water was warmer than the air!

I took a pass on the wetsuit strippers, even though it's tons of fun, because I figured it was a good opportunity to practice my transition skills. Sharp as ever, at 1 minute 6 seconds, my T1 was the fastest of the day, with only five other athletes coming in under 2 minutes. While this is largely irrelevant in a 5+ hour race, it is still a matter of great pride for me. Transition Queen!!

... On the other hand, I found myself tragically under-dressed for the 3 hours of cycling that followed, so a jacket (or perhaps a snowsuit) might have been worth the extra 42 seconds. Or maybe I should've just left the wetsuit on?

The bike ride didn't go as smoothly as expected. Within the first 10 miles, I discovered that my bottle cage had come loose, and was flopping dangerously from side to side. If it came fully detached and jumped ship, I would be responsible for going back to retrieve it, or risk breaking the rule of Abandoning Gear on the Course. My first course of action was to reduce the weight of the water bottle, by emptying it. I quickly discovered that the pathetic, frozen claw that was once my hand had no strength with which to squeeze the water bottle. I pulled over and attempted to tighten the bolts on the cage, but the tiny allen wrench was no good in my lifeless, shaking fingers. (I got rid of the water bottle at the first aid station, and the cage rattled noisily for the remainder of the ride, but at least it stayed with me).

Posted by Kimberly 04/17/2015
It Begins

Bangkok is one of those cities that makes an impression the second you get there. However after you get over the smell and the traffic there actually is some wonderful wonders to be found. We were fortunate enough to be staying with a couchsurfer and he acted as our tour guide while we were in the city. Our first day we made our way by train, boat and taxi to Canchanaburi where there is a train bridge.

Jen got over the wonderful wonders quick.

Posted by nik 09/14/2008, revised 09/21/2008
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

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