The year started off abroad as we were visiting some areas of New Zealand that we had missed previously six years ago. These areas were primarily the northern part of South Island as well as the southern part of North Island. Some of the things we visited included Mt Cook (Aoraki), Kaikoura, Abel Tasman National Park, Karamea, and Wellington. Among the waterfall highlights of this trip included Ohau Falls, Omaru Falls, Mangatini Falls, Wainui Falls, and Waihi Falls among others.
We also made a surprise visit to our wedding site in Whitianga at Villa Toscana. We definitely noticed quite a few changes from our last trip to this trip, but it was nice to see some friendly faces once again.
Capping off our return to New Zealand, we took a quick
vacation from the vacation at the Cook Islands. Too bad the Wigmore's Waterfall on Rarotonga wasn't flowing.
The remaining Winter and Spring months brought us back to some familiar old haunts as well as some new places in the Golden State of California. We revisited favorites like Alamere Falls and McWay Falls as well as some oldies but goodies at Rose Valley Falls, San Antonio Falls, Tenaja Falls, and Paradise Falls. However, we also bagged some new
waterfalls including the Big Basin waterfalls (e.g. Berry Creek Falls), the Marin County Waterfalls (e.g. Cataract Falls), a slog to Little Falls, and even those closer to home in Fish Canyon Falls, Hermit Falls, Temescal Canyon Falls, and Holy Jim Falls among others.
The big trip for the year occurred towards the late Spring and early Summer. This time, we finally visited parts of classical Europe together. In particular, we visited Greece,
Croatia, and Switzerland. It was definitely a trip where both history and waterfalls mixed in very interesting ways.
In addition to seeing eye-candy sights in Greece like Santorini, Meteora, and the Acropolis, we also went to the country's north to see the Edessa Waterfalls. Meanwhile in Croatia, we contended with some pretty heavy rains, but that didn't deny us a trip to the Plitvice Waterfalls, which impressed us so much that it shook up our World's Top 10 List. While the waterfalls were the goal on this leg of the trip, we were pleasantly charmed by the historical centers of the towns of Split and Dubrovnik. The last leg of the trip involved plenty of hiking and sightseeing in Switzerland despite the persistent clouds and rain. There, we saw some towering monsters like Staubbach Falls as well as powerful ones like Rhein Falls. But the sky-scraping scenery of the Alps combined with charming and cute towns and cities were what really made this leg of the trip stand out.
With the cooler-than-normal Summer and wetter-than-
normal Winter/Spring this year, we actually did a later-than-normal local waterfalling trip to Big Falls. We couldn't believe how well it was still flowing in the month of August!
Not to be outdone, a planned Sierra
backpacking trip gone awry ended up being a series of day hikes to old haunts with a high school buddy of mine. We ended up seeing Rainbow Falls, Lower Falls, Twin Falls, and even Horsetail Falls with surprisingly good flow at the end of August! We even made a stop to Shadow Lake and saw a surprise cascade draining its reflective surface showing the Minarets. This trip also brought us to the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest before we returned to our wives.
The last waterfalling excursion we did this year happened to be a very last-minute trip to the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park in mid- to late-September. This was one of those places that was high on our list of places to go, and we must say that the lakes (like Peyto Lake, Moraine Lake, Maligne Lake, etc.) were every bit as advertised when the weather cooperates.
Speaking of the weather, it was still technically Summer when we experienced snow storms! Fortunately, we managed to avoid most of the worst of the storms so we still visited waterfalls like Takakkaw Falls, Wapta Falls, Helmcken Falls, and Dawson Falls among others. But when we got to the Montana side, our experience was severely hampered by the early closure of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the grizzly bear trail closures (it was berry season), and the persistently foul weather. I guess we'll have to come back here earlier in the year perhaps when they're finally done with the road construction and our life situations allow for a re-visit.
So that was our year in a nutshell. We do foresee a little bit more of a scale back in activity going forward in 2011 as life-changing events are on the horizon. So we'll just take it day-by-day and see what life brings going forward...