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Whitney at age 10
Whitney got her own kitten for a birthday present.

Whitney, 2014
Beach at Recife, Brazil.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
The forest has come to reclaim its territory at Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Whitney, 2011
Unusual fungi 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.)

Off-Roading: My Trail Run Debut

Today's Lesson:
Not all trail runs are created equal

When I signed up for Wildflower Long Course, Karin Langer advised, "Better trail run your ass off!" So I've been doing just that.

I broke the seal on trail races last month with the Woodside King's Mountain Half. It went alright, all things considered. I was just coming down with a cold, so my energy was low and my heart rate was running 10-20 bpm higher than usual (Just don't run when you're sick. It's dumb. I promise I paid the price for my presumptuousness in the week that followed...) This meant that I had to walk more than usual just to reign in my sky-rocketing heart rate. The course was a steady, gradual climb 1,880 feet up to the 6.5 mile turnaround point. After that, I just tucked my legs up underneath me and effortlessly careened back down the mountain like a winged unicorn until mile 12, where I rolled my ankle and limped the final mile on raw adrenaline, hoping to beat the onset of swelling. I finished in a respectable 1:37, which was good enough for 4th female overall.

Today's race was the King Richard Annual Half Marathon, and I figured that now that I was in good health and had my mischievous ankle swaddled, there was no way I couldn't snag a PR!

Posted by Kimberly 04/04/2015

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

Mi primer fin de semana en Ecuador

This grand experience of mine is off to a good start.
This past weekend, I was invited to go on a trip with a group of Ecuadorians (and one German) to camp on the rim of a volcanic crater lake a few hours from Quito. So jumping in with both feet, off I went to spend a weekend hiking a great ridge trail around an incredibly blue, beautiful lake, and essentially completely immersing myself in the Spanish language.

This is the lake, high in the Andes under the beautiful sun! Our camping spot was at the highest point on the ridge, at the left of the photo.

I came to this country with barely a handful of Spanish to my name, but it's about time I learn to speak in a language other than English! The entire weekend was an opportunity for me to listen listen listen. I don't know enough yet to be able to follow what was being thrown back and forth in the fast-paced, slang-heavy conversations, but nevertheless, it was great to be surrounded by Spanish for two straight days. Most of the people in the group knew some English, so when it was necessary to communicate with one another, it was possible. But for the most part, I was a silent observer, asking "Como se dice ___?" and "Que significa ___?" in the times that I would break into conversation and attempt to practice speaking en espanol.

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2011, revised 01/18/2011