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.)
The Inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon
Wisconsin is known for having some pretty extreme weather conditions. I remember one summer night without air conditioning, when I tried to sleep snuggling a 7 pound bag of ice. Within 2 hours, there was nothing left but a hot puddle. The Polar Vortex of 2014 ushered in days so cold, you could throw a pot of boiling water into the air and it would instantly turn to snow.
But when I arrived in Madison a few days before the Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon, I was greeted by the very best the city has to offer. In the mid 70's, with low humidity, it was the postcard version of the city, flowers blooming, lush green trees and breezy, sunny perfection.
I visited with friends, swam in the lake, biked through the Arboretum, lounged on the Union Terrace, and I realized how much I missed this fantastic town.
When Sunday race morning arrived, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for just being there on this most gorgeous of summer weekends, enjoying the fresh air and uncluttered roads. I felt lucky to participate in this inaugural race. Four years ago it was a dream that the Race Day Events team talked excitedly about, and now here it was, a dream come true. Finally, a 70.3 in Madison!
Race Day Events had assembled an army of volunteer support, and the course was peppered with familiar faces, old friends and former clients.
The race felt more like a celebration than a competition ... but it was still a competition. I was determined to prove (to myself mostly) that I could dig deeper than ever before. The line from Fitzgerald's book (How Bad Do You Want It?) that resonated the most with me was:
"There is no experience quite like that of driving yourself to the point of wanting to give up and then not giving up."
He went on to describe that this experience brings you to a unique place " ... revealing a part of you that is not seen except in moments of crisis. And when your answer is to keep pushing, you come away from the trial with the kind of self-knowledge and self-respect that can't be bought."
In addition to this mission of self-inflicted crisis (and hopefully, eventual triumph), there was also prize money on the line and a solid line-up of elite athletes. I had everything to be excited about.
Posted by Kimberly 07/04/2016
Nik's Final RoadRace Weekend
Went to watch Nik in his final road race with the Cal Poly team.
Since he'll graduate in the Fall, he'll be able to race the Fall Mountain Bike season but
won't be around for next year's Spring RoadRace season.
This one was a criterium
--a fast, multi-lap race around a short, flat course on paved city streets. Although hosted by Stanford University, the course was a five-cornered, half-mile loop
in Morgan Hill, adjacent to the headquarters of Specialized Bicycle Components
(who just happen to be one of the most popular makers of racing bicycles in the world).
Nik, in Cal Poly green, racing in the Stanford Criterium, the final race of the RoadRace season.
Posted by Dan 04/25/2011
Ugh. I'm exhausted.
I'm wearing down. I've got a decent head cold going, and I just find myself exhausted and ready for bed by 8pm every night. The quick-paced, short-flame travel lifestyle is not the way I want to travel in the future. I'm beat after one week, and I feel like I'd much rather spend longer in a place, take my time, and not feel like every day has to be a "big day."
I've down about 8 cups of tea on the day. My head is still clogged and my body is tired.
BUT! I had a great morning. I did the Canyon Swing in Queenstown this morning. It's 109 meters above the canyon floor, 60 meter freefall, and a big fat arcing swing through gorgeous rock walls and water below. It's much smoother than bungy jumping, there is no jolting or jarring. It's reeeally really cool, and you can go off the ledge any number of ways. And I did! I went 3 times, because extra jumps are only $10 each for the month of May (rather than the normal $50!). So I went 3 times, and did their 3 scariest-rated "dismounts": falling backwards, hanging upside-down and being cut away, and "Staff Choice"... they put a big plastic bucket over my head and pushed me off. Haha. That was a riot. Anyway, a great time, and a great adrenaline rush.
Then I got a Fergburger for lunch - the infamous buger joint in town that truly is AMAZING. After that, I was back on the roadside, hitching the 7 hours back to Christchurch. I found a straight ride pretty quickly, so that was awesome. Easy commute, saved $50 (and several hours) on a bus.
Gah! I'm running out of internet time. I really dislike paying for internet by the minute/hour. It's so frustrating.
Anyway, I'm in Christchurch for the next day and a half, taking it easy. I'm excited to get back to warm Townsville!
Posted by Whitney 05/02/2008