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Balabanova All Over

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[Whidbey Island, July 16, 2018] After a long day exploring the North Cascades, we were happy to have a very fluid itinerary. Our only imperative was to get to Port Angeles, WA, on the Olympic Peninsula. We had a ferry reservation for 4:15 pm but other than that, the day was wide open. Since we had plenty of time, we decided to try to find another Washington location for the 2002 movie The… Read More

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[San Juan Islands, WA, Sat, Jul 14, 2018] Getting up at 1 am after barely getting any sleep was not fun at all. Luckily, reuniting with van 1 for a short while helped boost our energy. The next 30+ miles were ours, and we were going to be running into the daylight hours on Saturday morning. This portion of the course took us over to the San Juan islands, where we were… Read More

[May 25, 2018] The Kilauea eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii is in its third week. The majority of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed, and many people are worried about safety if they go. In this blog post, I will share why I think it’s still safe to go, provide resources for those who need to research on their own, and share my favorite activities on the island. Should You… Read More

[Channels Islands National Park – Anacapa Island, March 29, 2018]  The five islands that make up Channel Islands national park sit just off the coast of Ventura, CA. They had been on my list for a long time, but their proximity meant that I prioritized other national parks before them. With a four-day weekend for Easter looming with no solid travel plans, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore my… Read More

[Key West, FL, Dec 26, 2017] If you read the previous blog post, you already know that this was our second attempt at getting to Dry Tortugas National Park, one of the most remote ones in the US. Unlike last year though, we headed straight for the keys. Without a detour to Miami and the lack traffic this early in the morning (we left Boynton at 5:30 am), we hit the upper keys… Read More

[Key West, FL, Dec 27, 2016] Even though our trip to the Dry Tortugas in 2016 got cancelled, we still did a day trip to Key West. B knew how much I’d looked forward to the trip and he felt bad that it fell apart. He suggested that we get up early one day, explore Miami and its environs and, if we still felt like it, head to Key West and come back… Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 12, 2016] Our Ragnar relay race was to take place on Friday, October 14th and Saturday, October 15th. We wanted to have extra time to get ready for the race and to explore a bit, so most of us decided to travel to Hawaii on Wednesday, October 12th. A lot of us were on a United flight directly to Kona, so the excitement grew as more and more people… Read More

[Los Angeles, CA, August 2017] In August 2015, we were on our way back from our Ragnar trail relay race in Lake Tahoe, California, when our friend Wendy discovered Ragnar had just announced they are planning an inaugural road relay race on the Big Island of Hawaii for October 2016. When registration opened later in 2015, a full year before the race was supposed to take place, we signed up not one,… Read More

[Kailua-Kona, HI] Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is the name of the Hawaii State Fish. To say this, break it up into syllables and note the repetitions – Humu – Humu – Nuku – Nuku – Apua’a. And, if you’ve seen the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, you may recall a scene where a desk clerk at a resort on Oahu proudly boasts being able to name over 200 Hawaiian fish, including Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. You can see the… Read More

Kailua-Kona, HI We started our Friday with a visit to the town of Pahoa. Lava from the Pu’u O’o vent of the Kilauea volcano had reached the town in October and had destroyed a house and almost reached the transfer station (a solid waste facility) in town. The lava is no longer active but visitors still flock to this area to see it firsthand. The road is blocked so you can’t touch… Read More