Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Millard Falls and a Couple of Travel Journal Entries

I've finally managed to get some time to update the website with another way to view the closed Millard Falls as well as a couple of travel diaries of some excursions we went on the past couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, I don't consider our Idyllwild trip to Fuller Mill Creek Falls a success so I didn't post a waterfall entry for that particular one. Maybe we'll have time to go back there and finish the job as well as spend a little more time up there to finish the job on Dark Canyon Falls as well. We'll see how that plays out...

In the mean time, check out the latest we have to say...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waterfall of the Week

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Local Desert Oasis

Throughout the nearly 10 years that Julie and I have been waterfalling locally in the Southern California area, we admit that we've overlooked the waterfalls in the desert areas just east of the Los Angeles basin. For one reason or another (whether it's drought, scorching hot weather, other travel priorities, etc.) we've even avoided coming out here.

But that was then.

Last Sunday, Julie and I did a brief getaway together to Tahquitz Falls near Palm Springs. We were so pleasantly surprised by the experience that we do plan on going waterfalling in the deserts more often now.

To see why, check out our travel blog entry or our write-up about the falls.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Politics and Waterfalls

These past couple of weeks seemed to have more than their fair share of waterfalls and politics mixing. It seems wrong that such natural sanctuaries become contentious political footballs. But that's the world we live in, I guess...

The first one I stumbled across is about government and developers against indigenous denizens over the Agua Azul Waterfalls in Chiapas, Mexico. It seems like there are desires to build up this attraction (to make it more attractive to foreigners), but it's against the wishes (possibly at the exclusion) of the indigenous people. We hope to visit these falls one day, and hopefully they figure out a compromise for this.

The second one is about a battle for water rights on the Nile River between Ethiopia and Egypt, with other interested parties in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi involved as well. A major dam project in Ethiopia is moving forward, and here the delicate balance between meeting the needs of a people versus maintaining the Nature that sustains them has to be negotiated (complicated by the fact that multiple countries are sharing the same resource). We don't know what will happen to the Blue Nile Falls in Ethiopia (another place on our wish list) once all is said and done.

The third one is about a Kaua'i court ruling that the state is at fault for the deaths of two hikers who fell to their deaths near the Opaeka'a Falls. While we advocate a little adventure for waterfalling, we do stress that one must realize that Nature is not Disneyland and is inherently dangerous. The adventurer must understand the risks, take personal responsiblity for his/her own safety, respect the land, and take measures to minimize and/or mitigate those risks. As tempting as it was, Julie and I didn't go to the base of this waterfall and chance it when we were here shortly after the deaths of those two hikers.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Daughter's First Waterfall

It took long enough, but Julie and I finally went to a waterfall this year. In fact, we brought our newborn daughter along. But now that we were proud new parents, we finally understood why most parents are hesitant to take them out on hikes.

Basically, with a child everything takes longer. Our excursion to Solstice Canyon Falls was supposed to be a very easy and short 4- to 5-hour half-day excursion. But it ended up being an all day affair (at least 8 hours in all).

Heck, even posting our trip report took forever for it took me almost 8 days to finally get it composed and up on the website.

I guess that's life with a baby. We'll definitely have to figure out how to be flexible and roll with the punches while still pursuing our waterfalling passion.

We acknowledge it won't be easy (even for the repeats). But perhaps readers to this website who happen to be parents might take a look at our experiences and take lessons from our struggles...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Living Life

Yesterday, I attended a funeral of a friend who died young (in his mid 30s) to cancer.

While the ceremony was filled with both tears and some laughter (most notably his, which mentally could be heard by all in attendance), I came to realize that there was a lot to this person that I never really knew about, and even in his passing, I learned a few things that I thought might be worth passing along here.

I learned that in the end, it's relationships that matter most. For one can live life to its fullest, but if you can't share it with people, what good is it?

This was most apparent to me during the ceremony when I saw how well-attended it was and how people of different backgrounds (Asian, Hispanic, African American, Caucasian, etc.) came together to remember him.

From the stories told by those who knew him very well as well as from the time that I got to know him, my friend pursued his passions (whether it be fishing, basketball, construction, family, you name it) with a vigor and intensity that few people I know have dared. There was even a story about how his group saved a life on a rafting trip when none of them either rafted or swam before. There was also another about how he held on to a compadre who tried jumping across the Merced River and didn't quite make it across; nearly getting swept over Nevada Falls in Yosemite (folks, don't try this!) during his brazen younger days.

Perhaps that's what we all could take away from this - to put yourself out there (hopefully without risking your life unnececessarily) to try different things, relate to people, and find yourself. While Julie and I have chosen to make waterfalling the mechanism through which we strive to live, the hope is that we all can find it in our hearts to respect, cherish, embrace, and learn - regardless of what our passions are.