LAZAROW WORLD HIKE-ABOUT
California: Death Valley, hiking along the ridge above Golden Canyon.
'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 enable 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 2019, the blog contained over 1,100 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, May 31, 2011
This is reputed to be one of the best hikes in all of Hawaii. Unfortunately, we only had plans for a day hike, completing a third of the twenty-two mile out-and-back track. It usually requires camping at least one night but usually more. It’s a busy trail, the first two miles that is, as it takes the hiker to the beach in a challenging manner. Thereafter, we only noticed four other hikers as we climbed the very narrow and often muddy trail. The mud hinders one and detracts from the occasion but not sufficient to deter one. It is, as we have mentioned ad nauseum, a superb area. It would not be difficult to live on this ‘garden island’. New Jersey, Garden State, 'interesting'.
We arrived at the trailhead and noticed another great beach. What to do? We could not ignore such a wonderful opportunity. To hike or to the beach. That was the question. What was it to be? Let’s toss a coin, we decided; we shouldn’t be biased at all. Agreed! Tails we hike, was the parameter. Our editor tossed the coin and it landed—‘heads' it was. No good, we agreed, too much wind. After another two tosses of ‘heads’, we decided this was not working fairly. Besides, we thought, perhaps we should be at the casino instead because of the streak we were having. Whoa! Now that’s a place we really enjoy. The only activity we prefer than the action in the great casinos of Las Vegas is watching paint dry. Nevertheless, we have made a booking for a big gambling session—December 2035, just after Channukah. To be honest, it is tentative at this stage.
Back to the coin toss. We felt it was important not to favor any activity, particularly as we have done much hiking. ‘Got it,’ our editor announced. If the coin lands on its side, we stay at the beach otherwise, we hike. A very fair way of doing it, we decided. Given sufficient time and thought, our logic eventually surfaces.
A nice experience was eating guavas picked from the trees as we hiked. On the very narrow trail it did not make sense to seek the fruit by searching with the eyes as the drop-off was dangerous. Full concentration was essential. Instead, our other sense, the one of smell, detected the fragrance in the air, easily. It is a real treat to eat tasty fruit within moments of it being picked.
We enjoyed the hike immensely, notwithstanding the mud. We traveled past Princeville to undertake the experience. It is not just the special hiking areas that are beautiful. The island, especially the undeveloped areas, are exquisite. The vast tracts of sugarcane land, an abundance of trees and flowers, the ocean that gives off blues that almost make one ‘weak at the knees’; all combine with mountains to portray a projected paradise. Imagine what we could write if we had better skills and worked for the tourist agency.
We'll see you in Oahu, our Shavuot destination
Jenni and Jeffrey
Monday, May 30, 2011
We are feeling a little goofy today. We don’t know why and might not even be sure what that means. After spending yesterday in the bog…no, that should be swamps, not forgetting the mud and slippery slopes, perhaps the mind needs realignment. In fact, for the first time ever, we thought of informing our editor that she should sleep on the couch. Then we had a re-think. We would be the loser. We could not bear the idea of not sharing her bed. We decided to give her another chance and trust that she will choose wisely in future. Actually, we liked the experience very much, the hike—we are only trying to build ‘some capital’ in the ‘unlikely event’ that we upset her in the future.
We enjoyed five hikes this week, each one in a completely different environment. As this is a small island, that is quite something. Today we planned to take it easy and headed for the beach with a view to taking a long walk. It ended up being somewhat of an amazing hike along the beach cliffs, joining the golf course for three holes and ending nestled in a beach cave we found. The views and atmosphere were unbelievable so it became more than just a walk.
“A real white African,” uttered black cowboy, Celluloise John Wayne Jay, also known as CJ. We got talking with this real friendly dude who called it as it is. We like that. We’re not into this nonsense of corrupting the language and ourselves as the “p.c. crowd” do. Can you say Geronimo, Mr. President? Maybe we were feeling a little funky. We don’t know what that means either but it too, sounds good.
We positioned ourselves in the cave to watch the waves pounding the cliffs. It is an awesome sight—blue shades of water fighting the rocks. After a while we thought about the struggle occurring before our eyes. We presume that when we are not there, the battle continues but we can’t be sure. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to find one day that the cliffs have had enough and begin a major fight back. We almost feel sorry for the waves.
It was good to back on the golf course. We even chatted with a golfer who happened to be from Orange County, an hour up the road from our former home. For old time sake, we decided to play the hole. We called upon our former skills to ‘hit’ a massive drive, some 320 yards into a stiff breeze, followed by a great 3-iron within a few feet of the pin and knocked in the putt for an eagle. Wow! It nice to know that a person still has it, we thought smugly. Then again, we have always played a lot better in our mind than on the links.
We returned to the beach, a lot more experienced after our Maui visit. Previously, we thought the bathers were undressed, especially the women, because of the heat. Of course, we don’t notice these women but our modestly dressed editor mentioned it. We have a different understanding now. We think it is all about the recession. It’s a shame but many families have been hard hit by economic circumstances that the women can only afford a piece of string and maybe an eye-patch sized piece of material. We feel so bad that we wanted to hand out some money. Our editor was not too pleased with the idea. She mentioned that she would give us a different perspective when we returned home. We welcome that as we realize we don’t always understand how the world functions.
There is, however, one thing of which we are certain. We are so fond of our editor that if we were not married to her, we would ask her to marry again, ask for ‘her hand’, the one without the ‘red editorial pen’.
It was a bit of a goofy day.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Each day we are counting. When we get to fifty, we know we’ll be ready. Until then we continue to count days. This last Shabbos we counted people.We never forget to count our blessings. Most days we also hike, climb and of course, think...in a fashion. We did a lot of that yesterday as we crossed the swamps. One of our thoughts was of our editor. Why did she lead us in and through the mud, into the mist across the swamps to see admittedly, an attractive place? There are questions we dare not ask. Just another of the things we are learning in our quest to understand our wonderful wife and, women in general, before we leave this earth. If Hashem wants us to gain an understanding then it would seem that we have many more years of hiking left in us. Our problem, you see, is that we are a little on the slow side.
We digress for a change. Before we continue, for the record, we admit we enjoyed the eight-mile hike that took us to unusual places in weather that alternated between sunshine and complete cloud cover every few minutes. We are fortunate that we did slip and slide but without injuring ourselves. In that situation, we are always in a state of high alert or ‘orange going on red’ in government parlance. The going was slow in places and quite tough so we spent five hours on the trail and ended exhausted. It was the busiest trail we have encountered thus far, yet not close, in our opinion, to the best hikes in Kauai, and quite dangerous because of the conditions.
Sometimes we meet very interesting and charming people and other times, not. Yesterday, we spoke to a couple and within a minute, the woman impressed us immensely. She indicated that she had the fortune to complete the hike in sunshine, thus seeing a mountain nearly always covered in cloud. To us it was clear that she is a person whose attitude causes the ‘sun to shine’ when she is around. Another fellow, Brian explained his understanding of living on the Island. We find the food costs to be twice that of the mainland. As we don’t see many opportunities for labor, besides helicopter pilots, we wonder how people manage. Apparently, the natives acquired much land in the earlier days and live off the proceeds nowadays. Whether this is a full answer, we certainly don’t know but we still find it expensive.
As always, there are many Germans and other nationals on the trail. The Germans are a nation of walkers and hikers, no doubt. What we have also determined, an opinion of course, is that Kauai, and Maui to a slightly lesser degree, has a distinctive flavor. One does not feel that one is in America in this part of the world. In fact, it is a closer feeling to the Caribbean than the mainland. Whatever it is, these islands are very nice places to live.
With all the digressions and our editor being so weary and not keeping an eye on us, we have run out of time so we’ll talk about the great mystery of whales and government another time…
Jenni and Jeffrey
Friday, May 27, 2011
We are not getting much sleep these days, exacerbated with the elation flowing through the body. Who’s complaining? We offer continual gratitude to Hashem as we witness His world. Our cousin, Basil Cohen, after viewing the pictures of the first cliff hike (14) remarked that it made him realize how small we really are, how humbling the world is for humanity. We concur but would add a comment, if we may, knowing that we are often wrong. We see in nature the manifestation of the ‘Hand of the Master’, the Creator’s works. Of course, it is humbling but we also think how fortunate we are: After all, it was created for our benefit and enjoyment.
When we revel on the cliffs we often get a reminder from ‘you know who’ to be cautious. It is good advice, which we appreciate. Sometimes, like yesterday, we think our editor went too far. You be the judge.
“I don’t want to go home on my own, so be careful,” she admonished. And how about: “Perhaps you should leave the car keys with me before you go along that cliff. Leave the water, too you won’t need it.”
Do we make a reasonable point? Until she asks for the wallet though, we can still forgive her.
We returned to the east side to hike the Sleeping Giant from a different side of the mountain with the intention of reaching the glorious peak again. We intended to slow down a bit today with this 6-miler as we prepare for a big one on Thursday. It is interesting that one side of the mountain is soaked while the other, quite dry. We meandered gently for nearly two miles when suddenly, the trail changed its nature and we went directly up. We love it that way but the muscles might have a different opinion. We’re afraid to ask.
With the wind blowing at the peak, it became a little nerve wracking crossing the 12 inches wide section to get to the top rock--the pictures don't tell the whole story. The adrenaline and challenge sure bring out some funny emotions though.
Today, our editor, bless her, has selected the swamp hike. What is she thinking? We’ll let you know next time.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
“Have you been in a more beautiful place?” We asked our dear editor, as we sat and looked out towards an ocean swimming in magical blues. The majestic cliffs, covered with greenery, stand solemnly by, seemingly watching and waiting. We do not know or understand their purpose but we are in awe of the magnificence of the components that comprise this part of Kauai.
“I agree,” she answers, “although the world is a very beautiful place. Each part of it is unique. One does not have to decide; all one has to do is respect and enjoy.”
We continued to sit and stare at the wonders confronting us. “It makes you realize the power, artistry and creation that the Master of the World has bestowed upon us. If this is what He has been able to achieve, can you imagine what Hashem could do if he had Bill Gates’ money?”
The hike is close to the exceptional one we undertook last Friday, hike 14. Yet though similar, we rate this one superior notwithstanding the shorter duration. It is an ‘abandoned trail’, meaning that it is uncared for and removed from the official trail guide. It is a pity because other than some rough spots, it provided us with a good test of endurance, the need for some climbing skills and balance and traction on the narrow ledges. It amounted to over six miles and nearly two thousand feet of descent and return. The final part, our return up the mountain, took place in light rain. It was delightful but for the slippery slopes that developed.
We often watch the helicopters flying into the crevices, giving their paying passengers wonderful views from close up. Most of the time, we observe from above while standing on the cliff edges. At $250 a flight, we calculate we have saved $ 1,500 in our three visits to this part of the island so far. At this pace, we’ll be earning a fortune in saved money. Seriously, we have seen many more helicopters than people on the trails in Hawaii.
On Friday, we were fortunate to receive a much-needed ride from the trailhead to our car. Today, we consider ourselves fortunate to have reciprocated to a charming young German couple. We ended sharing stories of the trails for half-an-hour. They have visited New Zealand and so it made our discussion even more meaningful. We look forward to crossing paths with Louisa and Tillman sometime in the future.
Jenni and Jeffrey