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Whitney, 2011
Ecuador's Machalilla National Park, where one of the study sites is located.

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 local boys in Indonesia were inspired by Nik's haircut.

Ecuador, 2011
Whitney says, "Shoooot, another day in paradise."
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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.)
Oops, I Did An IM

A full Ironman. It's not a thing you do by accident. And yet there I was about 120 miles in, saying aloud, "I don't even know what I'm doing out here!" which I suppose could have been interpreted a number of different ways by the other runners within earshot.

It all started a few weeks ago, as I was swimming laps on a lovely Boulder afternoon, when an idea popped into my head. Sometimes I do my best thinking while swimming.

Since relocating, I had set my sights on the IM Boulder 70.3 as a good choice for the season's "A" race. It's in August, and it's practically down the street from where I live, so the logistics would be super simple, leaving me to focus solely on the work of racing hard.

So I was swimming, and thinking about August, and about training, and I suddenly realized -- hey, there's a full Boulder Ironman some time in June. Maybe I should use it as a big workout day. What a perfect way to prep for the 70.3! Get in a solid open water swim at the same venue. Seize the opportunity for a supported long ride, where fresh water bottles magically appear in my hand at regular intervals. And then I could just skip that stupid marathon, because who wants to do all that extra running anyway? Not me!

I was a little nervous about bringing up the idea of entering the Ironman to my coach, because we have a focused plan we're working on for the summer, and the long post IM recovery is not part of that. But he was thrilled. He said it would be a great day of quality training on the bike, and we planned to even include a few miles of run before I surrendered my timing chip and headed to brunch. Because a little brick run is the cherry on top of every great cycling workout.

I kept the plan on the down-low because I didn't want people to be disappointed when they found out I didn't finish. And I had to constantly remind myself -- it's not a race, it's a training day!

Ironman makes that hard, though, with all their pomp and fanfare.

For a training day that was supposed to be light on logistics, this ended up being a lot of running around. I managed to make three individual trips to the Ironman Expo downtown, plus the trip out to the reservoir to drop off my bike. Pros were granted the privilege of driving in with their bikes on race morning, and I assumed I'd just bike the two miles over to the reservoir, but we were told NO bike commuting to the race site (because it was too dark). Since Brad and I are a car-free household, this presented a problem, both for getting my bike to the reservoir on Saturday, and for getting myself to the race site the next day. Athletes were told to take shuttles out to the race, but I was pretty sure I could walk to the reservoir in the time it would take me to get downtown, wait in the shuttle line, and sit smooshed in that school bus for the six mile ride out to the race start.

This training day was turning into a bit of a headache!

The night before the race -- er, training day, I looked up the final version of the pro roster and saw that there were only ten women on the list, including me ... and prize money for this race goes ten deep. Basically all I had to do was finish before midnight, and I'd go home with a paycheck. But finishing was not in the plan.

Posted by Kimberly 06/16/2017
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).

Stanford Criterium
Nik, in Cal Poly green, racing in the Stanford Criterium, the final race of the RoadRace season.

Posted by Dan 04/25/2011
Crossed the border

Crossing into the beautifully distinct landscape of northern Peru

I'm in Peru! Over the past 2 days, I've been making my way from Vilcabamba, Ecuador across the border and through northern Peru. It required a lot of vehicle changes, but the whole way has been absolutely beautiful with some views that people elsewhere pay lots of money on special tours just to see. The border crossing was probably the most tranquil crossing I've ever done. It's a new crossing, only opened a few years ago, and the roads to and from are very lightly traveled. I haven't seen another gringo since Vilcabamba (aside from the Aussie muchacha I'm traveling with at the moment). I'll spend 2 days here in the town of Chachapoyas, enjoying the culture and scenery around here, and then keep heading south.

Ancient ruins of the Chachapoyas, or "Cloud People", in Kuelap

I'm heading fairly quickly to the south, where my main priority spots are. Then I can stop at secondary places on the way back according to time left. So this weekend, I bus it to Lima (22 hours!), and then shortly after (maybe one or two days), continue on to Arequipa and canyon country in the south, where I plan to do some awesome treks and hopefully meet up with a friend.

Posted by Whitney 08/18/2011, revised 09/09/2011

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