LAZAROW WORLD HIKE-ABOUT
Moving toward Tozal de Mallo, Ordessa y Monte Perdido National Park, Spain.
'WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HIKE-ABOUT?'
Hike-about is an adventure that commenced June 2010. After storing our household movables, ridding ourselves of a house but retaining our 'home' together, we set off with the purpose
of hiking in different parts of the world, not forgetting the home country, the USA. Our primary focus is hiking to mountain peaks but any challenging hike will do just fine. Extended stays
allow us to enjoy and experience living in various places amongst differing cultures. Hike-about has evolved into a way of life. It's also a process of discovery, both the world and ourselves.
We work and live 'on the road' but return to the city in which our grandchildren reside, every couple of months. This provides us the wonderful opportunity to be with them as well as a
child or two, even three and of course, friends.
By December 2018, the blog contained over 1,000 hikes, each a set of pictures with stories and anecdotes from the trails. An index to the right allows the viewer to identify earlier experiences.
Finally, we are often asked about the journey's end.
Our reply, as accurate as we can state, is: "When we are either forced to cease through health issues or the enjoyment level no longer reaches our aspirations, we will hang up the boots."
Whereas we continue to update the blog regularly, we no longer circulate email notifications each time, VIP's excepted and special occasions.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
A memory and strong impression of a desert scene that will remain with us...we hope. The blessing of rain brings out the colors, growth and washing of rocks and boulders.
A long view from a peak in the Mojave desert of Laughlin, Nevada, perhaps 20 miles. Across the Colorado River, a tiny part of the water protruding mid-left, is Bullhead City, Arizona.
A person can gamble in the casinos of Nevada, such as in Laughlin below. The buildings in the photograph are essentially casinos. However, no casinos are allowed in Arizona or California as it is an illegal activity. Nevertheless, on Indian reservations situate in both Arizona and California, casinos are permitted which makes gambling legal. Therefore, you can gamble in casinos in Arizona and California. "Have you got that?"
We suppose we could go on publishing many fresh photographs from the last trip but it's time to move on to the next one, which promises to be a little different from anything we've undertaken thus far. Although we were hiking in the middle of winter and experienced some cold and snowy weather, it was superb. Utilizing crampons when appropriate and following the sun when things got rough in places like Flagstaff bore fruit, and some ripe and sweet ones at that. To put things in perspective, we were still in some of the warmest places in the Northern Hemisphere—'tough guys'. I shudder to think of living outdoors in the northern part of the country and of course, in Canada during winter. The Canadians are terrific people—we wonder if it's the cold that molds them into a desirable state. Whatever the case, South African, San Diegan and some western states' winters, linked with traveling in the lower hemisphere during spring and autumn at times, has spoiled us...spoiled us rotten...but we like it.
During 2018, we enjoyed two autumns, the first in Argentina during March and April while in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia during September and October. It's delightful because of the foliage, cool weather, fewer visitors and just because... We're trying figure how to have 3 autumns in a year. Stay tuned!
A cheer for- or cheers from- the Great Canyon. Perhaps, a favorite of the Grand Canyon...besides all the other favorites from this incredible place.
Thrilling return from the top of the little rock behind. Notice people walking along a trail at ground-level. We are at the half-way mark, not a long hike, but steep and slippery.
The San Francisco Mountain Range, includes Mount Humphreys, Arizona's highest, a reason to return in more hospitable weather.
Difficult to imagine such formations: Death Valley, California. Jen comes up a steep section.
Golden Canyon. We'd come from the floor of the canyon to reach one of the peaks.
We met Carl somewhere in the Mojave desert on a really cold Sunday morning. We were partaking of breakfast, sheltered behind some boulders, when he spotted us and halted. Earlier, we'd commenced hiking shortly before him but had walked in the opposite direction of the loop—for some reason we tend to find ourselves traveling in the counter direction quite often. People say it's because of the jeans (genes) but I for one, have never taken to denim so it's puzzling.
Anyway, Carl appeared to be lonely and wanted to talk. He's a civil engineer with the National Parks Department, based at Lake Mead. We ended up hearing a bit about office politics. We don't know many, if any, government employees so it was a good opportunity. Besides, he seemed to love hiking but more by the way of long treks in the wilderness so he could remove himself from modern living from time-to-time. Did we mention he struck as a loner?
We asked him about the recent government shutdown and the implications for him and his co-workers. In the end, it sounded consistent with government and political policy. Close operations and don't pay employees. Productivity, is that an oxymoron? is then lost to the country. It would make economic sense (not nice though) if salaries were also withheld. As Carl mentioned, he had a paper to write whether now or later. It would have to be written sometime. Because the government employees were going to be reimbursed for lost salaries and wages, the loss was then limited to productivity only. So who were/are the losers and what was gained? As taxpayers, we're not smart enough to understand it.
We left Carl wondering whether there were any openings in government for people like ourselves. Our ideal would be to continue exploring the world through hiking, writing and taking photographs. Now, if someone was willing to pay us to do that,... perhaps we should approach the government. Nice thought.
Rovey's Window or Needle: Crossing from back of the mountain to the front through the window. Not good manners but effective.
Never fails to amaze when we come across a massive body of water in the desert. A corner of Davis Dam, Laughlin, Nevada.
The 'long and winding road' near the northern part of 'Painted Desert'.
This particular hike gave us a completely different perspective of the glorious Sara Park in Arizona.
'Storm brewing, let's go home,' she said. "Sure. As long as we define home as that peak," he answered. Guess who had egg on his face. ("At least it's protein," he added lamely.)
Jen (red top) waits on the shoulder, suspecting rain is imminent. I did not think it would rain until we got back to the car. Very convenient. It wasn't that bad sitting in the car after the hike, only a little soaked, but cleaner.
Coloring, formations and texture are a knockout in Golden Canyon, Death Valley.
Jenni surfacing from another canyon.
The two light intensities, sharply separated, create an interesting effect, somewhere in the Mojave.
Nevada's Big Dune. Commencing with a small one, moving on and up. What you can't see is 3 people chasing Jenni (see below).
What we found fascinating is the similarity in stride of Ellie with her Mom's. (If we did not know, we could have mistaken this photograph for Natalie as a child.) Benny stumbles and then recovers smartly. The big guy on the end came in third but was commended for effort by the kids.
Jenni and Jeffrey
On our return to Lake Poway, Mount Woodson, our favorite 'duck', Ossy, the Osprey, makes a long-awaited appearance and gives us the 'eye'. Where've you been, fella? Gone fishing? There's something fascinating about the raptors, which occupy the top or close to the top, of the food chain.
PS To Doug Morton with much appreciation for his incredible comments posted on the previous blog.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
39.11 "Touched by the Great Colorado River—a tribute to it and its tributaries as well as Joanne and Ron."
At sunrise, a flock flying south reflect off the rising sun alongside Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam, Page, AZ.
A very special couple, Joanne and Ron Allegretto from Vancouver, whom we met in Palm Desert 6-7 years ago, made a comment that we thought both interesting and perceptive. Following their observation and the fact that we spent much time pursuing the Colorado River on this trip and on many other hikes over the years, decided to publish some pictures which we term, "Touched by the Great Colorado River—a tribute to it and its tributaries."
Far be it for us to profess to have teachable knowledge about the River and other topics; nevertheless, it's nice to share experiences that might inform and at the same time, entertain. Over the years we've developed an affinity for places, those in the wilds in particular. Why has it occurred: Who knows? We do realize that whether it be the Colorado River, The Sentinel in South Africa, Vihren Peak in Bulgaria and many, many others, one develops a sense of affection for those inanimate objects and places. They might occupy a part of one's soul although we're not even sure what the means—it sounds interesting though. Sharing a personal feeling, as a less than fully integrated transplant from South Africa, there's a certain satisfaction in discovering aspects of the new country (30 years already) that's perhaps more intimate and meaningful than that understood by many people, born and who have lived their whole lives, in this country. Perhaps a meaningless observation; nevertheless, it creates a sense of attachment, we believe.
More importantly, some of the people we've met have touched us deeply. Strange as it may seem, we can't think of anything more beautiful than witnessing and/or experiencing the kindness and care of strangers and of course, friends and acquaintances. Nothing is quite as both humbling and uplifting. To complete the thought, we began with Joanne and Ron (there are others, too) and so we'll conclude with them. After receiving an email from this couple, no matter what our moods may be at the time, life will suddenly appear much better than prior to reading their words. Thank you, indeed!
With that in mind, let's follow the great Colorado as it meanders through 4 states and appreciate both its beauty and the effect it has upon that which it touches.
This is our 1,000th publication on Hike-About. We conclude with a paragraph at the end which we believe needs expression although uttered (written) with heavy hearts.
The walls above the Colorado at Horseshoe Bend, at sunset, Page, AZ.
Trying to keep Lake Mead filled, Boulder City.
Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam, Page, further up the 'stream', at sunset.
Davis Dam, Nevada, another place it 'visits'.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, a fancy twist.
Why would you face Las Vegas at sunset and turn your back on Lake Mead? Beats me.
That's more like it. Jen on Fortification Peak in Arizona looking into Nevada with Hoover Dam below on the left. (Opposite side from above photo.)
The River flows while Jen stands at peak of Hamlin in Nevada.
Below the River, Jen climbs the ladder to reach the surface.
A different view of the River as it flows close to the Nevada/Arizona border.
Do you come here often? Unfortunately, I left my bathing suit in the car. Give me a minute...I need to get rid of an editor.
Sun, mountains and River. Who needs anything more? Well, after the caption above, peace in the home.
A scene at Parker Dam, Arizona, perhaps a dwindling River after much draining.
Lake Havasu enjoys the River, too. The desert is quite beautiful.
Returning from peak of Fortification, we spot the gap to Lake Mead filled by the River.
Brunch at Plateau Point, Grand Canyon, above the River.
It's no surprise that Lake Mead is one of our favorite bodies of water.
A 'drive-through' at Lake Powell, AZ, close to Utah.
Jenni and Jeffrey
If the statement below is understood as a political utterance than it is misunderstood completely.
We hate the acrimony pervading the country; we abhor attacks on people rather than arguing against their views; we're exasperated by trivializing historic periods and events in comparing them with current shallow opinions; we are disappointed when conclusions are based upon the narrative rather than facts; we hate the hatred, nastiness, bitterness, crudity and perhaps most importantly, the hypocrisy ... filling the country. We do see light, though. The light shines above the beautiful land and highlights it, revealing its magnificence. There's another source of illumination we witness, even more pronounced. It emanates from the many, but dwindling number, of decent people that abound. To those we've known for many years and the many we've met in the latter period, we salute you and are humbled and in awe of your generous and kind spirits.
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Our usual format is to group pictures taken on a hike in an exclusive blog. In this publication, including the previous two, we created mixes in which anywhere from 1-3 photographs are shown from each of a number of outings. We believe there are advantages in displaying it in this manner. However, one loses perspective of each hike and respective environment but gains variety. We hope you enjoy it.
Thorny and colorful in the Mojave Desert. It was one of the coldest days experienced, at least initially. Our faces, partly covered, were numb. Fortunately, the temperature nearly returned to positive numbers. It's a bit tough when freezing point is the high for the day.
So many opportunities for free rock climbing in the desert...at no extra charge but the 'charge' one derives. Perhaps we were a little over-ambitious in getting away from the 'freezing' San Diego winters. I can't remember commencing a hike on this trip without a jacket.
Dramatic scene on the Cedar Ridge trail, Grand Canyon.
Enjoyed this scene somewhere in the Mojave as we 'froze'.
Another hike in the Painted Desert outside Holbrook, AZ.
Nevada: Where to now? Each grain looks the same as another. Is that the mark of a 'sandist'?
Through the gap. 'Hole in the Wall', Mojave Desert.
A great egret in Sara Park, Lake Havasu. It's hard to call it great as we knew so little about the bird.
We commenced slowly in light snow and were rewarded; the weather improved in the Grand Canyon as we went deeper into the grandest of all. Jenni on a terrific stepped-trail section, returning.
A profile of Lizard Peak, in a fashion, as we move up to meet the two on the peak. The ascent on the right, from the saddle, has the technical hurdles and some steep and slippery parts. There's an alternate, safer route to the left. The object between the two figures is a table with attached benches. ('Dominoes Pizza' might deliver although we're not sure.)
A weary Jen, a few minutes from completion in a wash, after losing the 'well-disguised' trail on 3 occasions. Actually, it's not a trail, it's a treasure hunt. The wet period has been a blessing for the deserts. (Trailhead: Twenty-two miles on Highway 95, south of Havasu City.)
Slightly lower extended Lizard peak with Lake Havasu behind.
Eavesdropping on a scene from the old 'Wild West' as the cowboys refuse Jen through passage. Resting the mules or as we mentioned to one guy, perhaps the cowboys need the rest.
Big Dune, Nevada. We found the scenes delightful as we sneaked in a hike before heavy rain. We experienced light rain for a while.
My bias shows again as I love this shot of the old lizard ... I mean, of Lizard Peak.
I felt confident as Jenni assured me she'd checked the rope and that the rocks below were a lot softer than they appeared—the beauty of trust in a marriage.
We have a wonderful view of the Colorado River from Rovey's window, a rough but great hike in Arizona.
The approach to Lizard Peak from the left side; we try the 'easy way' up for a change.
Love this scene, too. The serenity of the place was fabulous. Jen looks like she's about to take on the dune...A Woman and a Dune.
The flora and their colors in Sara Park, Lake Havasu gave us pause for thought; meantime, the Colorado flows onwards.
Jenni and Jeffrey