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Nik & Whitney, 2008
Whitney crossing a bamboo footbridge in Pai, Thailand.

Whitney, 2016
Low tide at Vilankulos, Mozambique.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Another reason we got stuck on Koh Tao, Thailand.

Whitney, 2011
Tarantula in the Amazon rain forest.
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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.)
Sometimes the Best Race is the One I Didn't Win

Folsom International Triathlon was located a bit further away than the last few, but we still opted to drive up the morning of. My plans for being prepared and well-rested for this race were sidelined by numerous obstacles (Two hours standing in line for the rental car I'd already reserved, a late night war against an invading ant colony in the bathroom, etc) so I had to be adaptable and just hope for the best.

I compromised by settling for almost 5 hours of sleep, but intentionally arriving an hour and a half after transition opened. I knew what this meant: last pick on transition rack location and very little time to get ready.

The transition area was packed when I arrived, but race officials were carving out spaces on crowded racks for the latecomers like me. Instead of orderly, alternating bike positions, every single person had faced their bike towards the Bike Exit, creating a jammed mess of handlebars. Athletes had staked out giant transition spaces with what looked like picnic blankets and a week's worth of camping gear. I slipped my bike into the three inch gap between two campsites while the announcer on the loudspeaker interviewed the feature Elite triathlete of the day, Robin Pomeroy. I was familiar with Robin and her skills -- in particular, her swim skills. I knew I had my work cut out for me, and the bike and run were going to be all about undoing whatever damage she was about to do in the water!

My late arrival meant that my only warm up was a quick few minutes of swimming, but I was feeling good at the starting line. My biggest challenge with the swim is making it feel like a race. I can't see a pace clock or my heart rate monitor, and it's hard to gauge my speed based on the speeds of other anonymous swimmers around me. I often catch myself having too much fun out there in the middle of the lake, and not really focusing on Work.

As luck would have it, I landed right on the feet of the perfect draft. She was just slightly faster than me, but with the advantage of tucking in behind her slipstream, I was able to push just enough to hang on to her swift pace. I was laser-focused on swimming strong and keeping her bubbles in view, and before I knew it, we were rounding the final buoy towards the finish.

Already done?!

Holy crap, quickest swim ever!

And it turns out, it WAS my quickest swim ever. Open water splits are hard to compare since there are so many variables with water conditions, course measurement, and placement of the timing mats. But this was definitely my fastest 1500 meter swim in eleven years of competition, by a full minute! I like to think it has something to do with increasing my training from three to five swim days per week, but it was probably more due to tactical maneuvering this time. Hey, I'll take it!

Transition was quick and I zipped out to the bike course to see how many dudes I could catch. Robin was up ahead somewhere, but I wasn't likely to see her until the run. I passed a few guys but for the most part, it was pretty lonely out there. With so many turns I lost track of which direction I was going, but I noted with irritation that the wind seemed to be pummeling my face no matter how many turns I took. After getting beaten up in the headwind for awhile, a guy blew past me at top speed, and then promptly slowed down as he pulled in front.

Ah yes, headwind's a bitch ain't it?

I had passed him early on, just out of transition, so I figured he must have been enjoying my draft for quite awhile.

Posted by Kimberly 08/03/2015
Bankok    :-(
Chiang Mai    :-|
Pai    :-)

Chiang Mai:
Chiang Mai was fun. We stayed for four days. It is much better than Bangkok.

We travelled to Pai on the recommendation of fellow travellers, hearing only good things from people who we had reason to trust. We were not disappointed. Pai is a small town nestled in the northern hills of Thailand, very close to the borders of Burma and Laos.

The hills around Pai

Posted by nik 10/31/2008, revised 11/05/2008
Vida Dura

Wake up, eat breakfast, go to beach, find restaurant for lunch and watch game. Perhaps change location for following game. Eat dinner.

It's rough.

But actually, I sometimes get restless. It's perhaps a little too simple for me. I've been able to get out a few times for some runs to get some energy out. The other day, I went for a fantastic morning run along the beach. My host Dani and a friend of hers and I were staying on the coast north of Recife, and the beach stretches for miles with hardly anybody on it.

Posted by Whitney 06/23/2014
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