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.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A favorite—I think it tells a story
Shadows, even in the desert
Backdrop at Mesquite Flats
Editor takes five
After leaving the charming town of Bishop…charming? The charm is perhaps, hidden. However, what’s clearly visible are the most wonderful surrounding mountains. The town offers access to some of the most overpowering ranges we have visited, outstanding hikes, a myriad of lakes, snow in winter and views from wherever one stands or even sits. Hiking trails are terrific with many not too far from the town. It is in the heart of the Eastern Sierras.
“Where to now?” We asked our charming editor. ‘The valley,’ she answered.
We remember in Johannesburg the boys from the valley, Bez Valley. You did not want to get into a brawl
with those guys—brawling was their Saturday night treat. We were old fashioned even in our youth. We
preferred to go on a date with a girl. In California, the other valley we know of is the one in
Los Angeles County. People always answer to the question of where they live: “In the valley”. We don’t
know what type of people live in that valley but then again, we have not spent much time thinking of it.
We have a lot to ponder with our limited brain capacity as it is. Just this minute, our editor/chef
wants to know whether it’s to be cereal or a bagel for breakfast today. Life is full of these important
decisions which we confront daily.
The Dude...Dune Runner running the dunes
Peeking protruding peaks
He thinks he's T.E. Lawrence
“Death Valley,” she said. Wow! We were frightened. ‘Should we really be visiting a place with such a name?’
We asked our editor. Is there not enough misery in the world?’ We became a little philosophical. We tend to
do that when we are confused. Rather than show cowardice in front of our editor, we drove meekly, heading
east to Death Valley. We were most impressed to find the desert, covered in mountains, a very attractive
place. We love some of the names, too. Badlands, bad water…. It’s like being in an old western movie. We
could almost hear the strains of the theme from the ‘Good, the bad and the ugly’ in the distance. Our editor,
of course, quick of wit and sharp of tongue mentioned that we had two of the attributes mentioned in the
music title. We let the conversation dangle. We have become a passive person, no longer seeking vigorous
debate or argument—certainly not today.
Another story in here, too
Big deal, already, so it's the highest, so what
This vast area is most attractive, more about that next time. When we came across the Mesquite Flats, we
stopped the car, put on the desert boots which were climbing-and-snow boots the day before and set out
in 90 degrees heat. (By the way, just last week, we hiked in less than 30 degrees weather.) Of course,
we remembered the famous saying that it is a ‘dry heat’. We also remembered that we undertook to ‘bop’
the next person who says that to us. We were like two children running up and down those dunes and soon
became weary children. We think we did a little over three miles, maybe four, of hiking/running which
felt like ten because of the soft, very soft sand. However, it was a terrific experience walking over
the dunes and observing spectacular views. Hell, if it’s not in California, it doesn’t exist.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Can you hear the strains from 'Chariots of Fire'? Just an idea
Mystery in the desert
'Been thru' the desert on a horse with no name'
She'll be coming round the dune when...
Monday, October 29, 2012
Take a winter wonderland walk with us as we watch the sun settle, shadows cast, reflections off lakes, mountains at twilight—all close to Mono Pass and Rock Creek Canyon:
(Click on a picture to enlarge, it's worthwhile)
We hope you enjoyed the tranquility, mystery and isolation as much as we.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Saturday, October 27, 2012
On Wednesday morning, our first day back in Bishop for our second stay, we were perhaps a little under-prepared for the weather. In two days, the landscape changed from that of typical summer to almost winter. The change is dramatic. It looks incredible from the warmth of the car or fireside of a cozy room. At the trailhead, we had to make a decision. Do we do what we know we should or rather head for the cozy room? The temperature was 29 degrees Fahrenheit or about minus 2 Celsius. Bear in mind, as one gets closer to the sun, say nearly another 2,000 feet closer, it gets even colder. You figure that out, we have a lot more on our minds. The temperature at lake altitude would be lower, the wind would cool things down somewhat and the water would probably join in the act and take us down a few degrees, just for spite. Finally, snow covered the trail completely, adding to the difficulty and risks.
The result of today’s hike is that we set off on virgin snow, sinking up to half-calf length at times. Weather and all issues set aside, it was invigorating, exciting with visuals that were overwhelming. We’d do it again in a heartbeat. Surrounded by mountains of monstrous proportions and varying form, a valley below covered in snow, lakes not yet frozen over while watching the wind blow snow off the peaks, counts as personal highlights for us. Weather be damned. In fact, at times it got quite pleasant relatively speaking. Each day seems to be a unique, uplifting and filled with memorable experiences. B’H.
We continue to learn much on hike-about. We have always wondered about frozen fish. At the markets, we pass the fishmongers and struggle to avoid the awful smell. ‘Yes, Mom, we know it’s food and should respect it. And we remember all the starving people in Africa. But it still stinks.” Well, today early on in the hike, we met two fishermen who were going to the lower lake. As we passed them in the beginning, we got it. They stood at the water edge and reeled in frozen fish with their rods. Could the fish be anything but frozen in that cold water? It’s a wonderful system. No smell and until they deliver the fish, they can use the frozen fellas to keep the beers on ice.
We had a warm-hearted laugh when we noticed deer standing at the side of the road as we drove to the trail. Last week, our hunter friend spent the day searching the hills for his prey while these little animals were standing at the side of the road. We know people have to eat but we felt good seeing the survivors. Had they moved a foot to the left, we would have hit them with the car. I suppose then we would be hunters, too.
We don’t have experience in snow from our days as youths as we only saw it fall twice during our lives in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, our editor tells us we don’t have our youth any longer either. However, now we have snow and plenty of it. We will say, if we might be immodest for a moment, we were on top form. When it comes to directions, inter alia, our editor says and we quote, “ You are directionally dumb”—that’s on a good day. Unfortunately, we concur. Today, in the snow, she said we were nothing short of brilliant. Once again, we must concur. By the way, when we don’t get lost more than three times in any two-hour period, that’s her definition of ‘brilliant’. Ours, too.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Laiken’s suggested that we try this hike, one of the many they undertook some years ago. It lies between Lee Vining, our new base and Bishop, our previous one. As we might of mentioned, perhaps fifty times before, this area was designed for hikers and lovers of nature and everyone else except shopping mall lovers. We stopped into the photographic gallery founded by the late Galen Rowell, world renowned mountain climber and photographer. Two things, amongst many we read, are: He chose to live in Bishop and explore much of Owens Valley; the other is that after traveling the world, he decided that he never needed to have left the Sierras. It’s all here.
We had limited time today as we traveled between towns. We set aside a little over 4 hours for the hike and pushed it to the maximum when we weren’t taking pictures. We commenced before the lake, passed along the eastern side and climbed until we reached the waterfall below Mildred Lake. For the first time in a week, the temperature dropped while the winds picked up strongly. The forecast is for snow on Monday—something we have been hoping against. We thought about it and realized it’s a losing proposition. All those hoping (praying) for sunny hiking weather have given up and gone back to their regular routines. On the other hand, with skiing season imminent, the rest are hoping (praying) for snow. So unless we have been saintly, we don’t have a chance, do we? And both you and we know we have been anything but. We are thinking of skiing.
Getting back on track, granite mountains surrounded us as we climbed steadily upwards, crossing the dangerous creeks without flowing water, fortunately—that’s coming. The sights were incredible. Sometimes we think there is too much beauty in one place. Pointed, rounded, flat, overwhelming in size, chocolate, vanilla and grey in color, you name it, they stood proud, tall and if we may add, a trifle arrogant. Who could blame them. Immovable, vast and impenetrable, they are mighty structures that will remain long after we have all disappeared. The fall colors, combined with the blue and emerald water of Convict Lake, softened the harshness of the monoliths. In eight miles on the trail, we don’t know the elevation gain, we walked with eyes taking in the magnificent sights but never failing to watch the loose stones that are not that pleasant underfoot. Enough from us—the pictures tell the full story.
We have to refute the rumor circulating that the Inyo Forest Administration will honor Jacob Zuma, the South African President. Instead of Convict Lake, it will in future be Zuma Lake. When we looked at the lake closely, we noticed that it forms the shape of the African continent. This may be one reason for the proposed change. However, there has been an outcry from prisoners in Central California about the name change. Their opponents, a lobby group, can’t see the problem. After all, isn’t Zuma a synonym for convict, they ask? This is not our fight but we like to remain abreast of changes in hiking trails. Besides, Jake seems quite capable of swimming through any controversy.
Jenni and Jeffrey