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.
Monday, February 24, 2014
16.24 & 16.26 Koko Head on Oahu, two hikes six days apart. 16.27 Kuli'ou'ou Trail 16.28 Aihualama Trail
This blog covers the last four hikes although it focuses on two 'Koko Heads'. We did not change outfits
for different shots on the hike, Maude, but in fact, hiked it twice. It is an amazing place, an unusual challenge.
Koko Head from a mountain to the north. Behind the peak exists a very attractive crater and rim.
Koko Head Hike 2, the beginning of sunrise on Sunday morning, from peak.
On the way back to the top only to go down again having just passed the best aspect of the hike,
time on the rim.
One cannot visit the Island of Oahu without attempting this hike. It is a local gathering that is
usually crowded with both fit and out-of-shape people competing against one another and the clock.
After the Japanese attacked the island, a railway line was constructed so that soldiers and supplies
could be transported to the summit of Koko Head. That is the trail.
We find it a particularly beautiful spot as well as an incredible work-out. To reach the top, some
1,200 feet above ground level, one needs to walk up 1,048 steps which are railway sleepers or ties set
at an awkward distance apart, unless one has a long stride. The first section is steep, the next steeper
and then even steeper until it is bloody steep. One section has a bridge of sleepers with a fall of
at least 20 feet below. Our editor had nightmares about this but agreed to do the hike again as a sunrise
sojourn. As they say in classical circles, we owe her 'big time' for this concession.
A wonderful shot of Jenni, above Maunalua Bay, by a 'slightly biased' husband.
'Bandit' spotted in dive at 8 0'clock. We shout for editor to use her wicked 'red pen' but no—she saves
that for us. In background, mountains of Molokai. As an aside, we would think it's a good time
to keep the rotor going.
On Monday, we opened with this hike and then extended it to the rim, a favorite place of ours.
We cannot go on record and over-sing the praises of the rim and its breathtaking views, so we won't.
Instead we'll let you know that we took twenty-six minutes to reach the peak last Monday and only twenty
this Sunday. It obviously proves that we are better on weekends than on weekdays. An interesting statistic
is that this latter time equates to rising a foot a second over the twenty minutes period. We are trying
to remain ever so humble so we won't state for the record we think this was quite a good time. We might
also point out that no one was able to overtake us as we raced up—those that tried found themselves tripped
off the trail—we play rough.
Nice to see you, thanks for coming around. Admittedly, you look a little tired, sweaty and dirty.
We don't know whether she is summoning train driver to stop, declaring victory or stretching.
We considered it too dangerous to ask. (1,048 steps to peak but who's counting).
Apprehension caused by the rising winds—we are not too fond of high winds at height, we tend to 'wobble'.
We have time to think of the issues of the world as we wind and wend along the mountains.
We have arrived at the conclusion that regretfully, we have nothing to add to the world, at least
not more of a contribution to make than say an ant but for one thing. Government finds us useful
because it taxes us. At the time of writing, ants are still exempt although we would not bank on this
tax haven status indefinitely. Why this pondering, you might ask? We were thinking of Hawaii and the
world of lies, sorry, we mean diplomacy. We don't believe the Japanese will try for Pearl Harbor again.
We are allies these days and besides, they sell us far too many Toyotas. However, we would be a little
concerned about China—they are a different kettle of sushi.
Diamond Head Volcano stands before Honolulu. Real island living in foreground...'forewater'?
Jenni takes a breather on the rim post sunrise, an incredible spot. In the area surrounding and
including the crater, there is a connection between man and nature, certainly some of the best aspects
of the natural elements, from our perspective.
Bear with us. We are beginning to think beyond all comprehension that Oahu is our favorite island.
There was a time when we would never have entertained such thoughts, even during a nightmare. After all,
there is no Mauna Loa or Kea, where is Haleakala and Waimea Canyon. No sir, it seems like sacrilege.
Yet, we feel that way but for one smallish problem. The irritation is Honolulu. It reminds us too much
of Los Angeles, a negative for us and we believe, Oahu itself. But...we might have a solution.
What's the problem? It's downhill all the way. Jenni well into the sloping journey.
It's all about location... location. Volcanoes produce splendid real estate hundreds of years hence.
Moving to the right of picture, a neighborhood in the valley.
Onto the solution: We suggest we dig a moat around Honolulu, separating it from Oahu and selling
it for a few trillion dollars to the Chinese. 'Float' it as they used to say in financial parlance. While we
still have the advantage, let's deal from a position of strength. This will help with the national debt even
if for only a year or two but will make Oahu the most beautiful island in the world. We realize there are a
few things still to iron out but we hope to do much more hiking and provide the finishing touches while
in deep contemplation then.
A splendid view of a ...road...move to the right.
Maunalua Bay, another of many wonderful views from the crater rim at Koko.
With those very wise words, we'll say goodbye and offer humble appreciation to a core of very supportive
people who encourage, tease and most of the time, make life a more pleasant experience for us. We are indeed
very grateful. We are about to go on vacation in San Diego where we intend to contemplate a new approach
(to/about/instead of) the blog. We'll be in touch.
Thank you all and until we meet again, G-d Bless.
Jenni and Jeffrey
A few more pictures as we take a leave of absence.
White-rumped-shama with a beautifully colored breast, can't tell much about the rump.
Whales 'blowing smoke' adhering to strict beach 'no-smoking' restrictions.
Sunrise above the skyline of Honolulu.
On Aihualama Trail, we discover an 'environmentally friendly', green, airport metal...um wood detector.
'Good morning sunshine, we actually beat you up this morning.' Looks a little grumpy.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
The third peak, beyond and below our target, see next picture down.
The target, Olomana, far left corner and beyond.
Half-way down, Jenni pauses in a terrific frame, on the edge of a cliff.
Using ropes, feet and other parts of the body to ascend...safely.
Looking down at the third peak, an incredible place, a fascinating visual, perhaps majestic.
This conversation took place immediately before the hike, although it would be more accurate to call
it a mountain climb. The trailhead is positioned inside the grounds of the Royal Hawaiian Country Club, a
rather exclusive place. Although by the end of the hike we were covered in mud, sweaty, boots only resembling
footwear because they were on our feet, the editor suggested we take a shower at the country club. We do like
her spirit. Back to the conversation with the gate-guard:
“You do know this hike is extremely dangerous when the trail is dry. When wet, it is treacherous. You should
know it has been raining for the past weeks.”
‘Yes, sir,’ we answered because he paused to take a breath.
“Last month a fireman fell to his death and two others were seriously injured.”
‘We read about that and we’re very sorry,’ we said. We already had a serious debate with the editor on the subject.
Our plan was unravelling quickly thanks to the guard.
“This climb causes many casualties,” he passed for effect. We know people take one look at the editor and
underestimate her just because she is young and pretty…well, old and pretty...definitely not pretty old.
We nodded our heads again. We thought of raising a hand and asking whether we could take a bathroom break.
“There are a number of areas where the use of ropes is necessary. However, some of them are not in serviceable
condition. Recently, one snapped and a climber fell and was seriously injured, another was less fortunate,” he
looked us directly in the eyes.
We were now very worried that he had alienated the editor and we were not excited either. Nevertheless, we
assured him that we would not get up to any mischief, which was disappointing. He, of course, didn’t understand
what we meant by ‘mischief’. We don’t think the editor knew what was on our mind either.
Descending with some caution. Oh! Ruined another pair of pants.
An ocean view towards Rabbit Island.
Anyway, there we were, full of confidence having being prepped for the hike which was more akin to
an adventure. We picked up our bags, hoisted a crying editor over our shoulder, quite a pathetic sight
actually, and headed for the trailhead which was another half-mile further inside the club’s boundaries.
Of course, they don’t allow hikers’ vehicles onto the premises, thus not making anything easy for us.
You'd think they might 'blow-dry' the trail as they seem so concerned about our health.
At the peak of Olomana, a breathtaking climb with outstanding views, third peak at rear.
The surrounding mountains, most with a little cloud cover, are outstanding and overpowering.
The city of Kailua below, a particularly lovely spot. Outside of Honolulu, this is a delightful island.
The climb is rated difficult, (we won’t argue); in a few places the ascent/descent takes place
over vertical walls and is exciting but dangerous. It is rated as a technical climb. The second last
section is a nice challenge but the final ascent to the peak is extremely narrow, drop offs on both sides
and in places, slopes the wrong way, that is, to the open side. The elevation gain is 1,700 feet but of
course, the key is the obstacle-filled path and rate of ascent. Fortunately, on only one occasion did real
fear arise, occurring during the last few steps before peaking. One stares it (fear) in the face and thinks
of either turning around or continuing. Truth be told, usually when one reaches that point, the fear does not
recede just because of a thought or changed strategy—it's too late by then.
Here comes the editor, with a flimsy looking rope as an 'incentive'.
Couldn't help thinking of the song, "You keep me hanging on."
Nearing the peak, the section out of view, near the top, got the adrenaline pumping.
We focused on three things during the tricky stages: Make every toehold count, don’t think of the
return journey down (we felt it would be intimidating) and worry about one’s partner. The ropes are helpful
but knowing they might not be in good condition, creates a level of uncertainty. Often, one relied on other
means of support but there were times all risk depended on the strength and 'health' of the roping.
It is an amazing place with an abundance of incredible views, unfortunately muddy but that’s
Hawaii, and surprisingly, a relatively busy trail.
Wispy clouds, as they constantly do, move over the peak briefly.
Jen deals with the 'mud-flats' during the three-quarter mile route to/from trailhead.
On our safe return to the gate-guard, we stopped in to say 'hello' and confirm that his warnings
were apt. We cemented our relationship with the air force veteran and exchanged pleasantries. We did
confirm with him that we are in the winter season as the temperature has reached the nineties on Oahu.
One can only wonder about mid-summer.
After the early stage, the trail leaves the forest and provides beautiful views.
Both literally and figuratively, not the fellow's best angle. We 'probably' need to do laundry
on our return to the apartment-hotel. Great thinking!
Being within days of the completion of Hike-about 16, it was most appropriate that we close with
an adventure (couple still to go) of this caliber.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Jenni calls for a raft: 'Let me show you some real white water rafting, Big Deal," she exclaimed.
This is the weir that drains the river just before the 'real' cliff.
Position is indicative of the beauty of this region (editor not excluded).
For the duration of the hike, the rain held off and we had the privilege of viewing some fine sights within
the Waimea Canyon. It is a wonderful place which elicits opportunities to see nature providing a continuous display
of outstanding mountain faces, deep colors, flowing water, some animal life, a remarkable canyon, thundering waterfalls
and an all round experience difficult to match. It is one of those places that does no need the sun to set off its
beauty although it helps. In fact, we don't think we've seen much of a sunrise or sunset while in Kauai. Perhaps it's
our position on the island or the season. On our return from the hike, it began to rain followed by winds that we thought
might be a cyclone. On the positive, the foul weather almost blew the fowl off the island. We are not sorry to admit
that our sympathy was not quite with these birds. (See earlier blog should you believe we are cruel and heartless.)
Took our breath away...still does. It's hard to believe the coloring notwithstanding a dull day.
Meantime, between the upper falls and the main falls, the raft supervisor prepares for the editor's
challenge. (Actually, walks on the 'raft' to the edge to gauge the editor's leap, about 1,500 feet).
Editor quits the raft idea and, a little out of character, thinks of joining the circus as a...clown.
Probably needs longer arms.
For one of us, the walk down to the waterfall, crossing a couple of streams and then climbing down a short
cliff wall was clearly a highlight, one of the 'highs' of this trip. To stand on the waterfall edge and gaze
into and around the canyon with half-an-eye focusing on the 1,500 feet or more drop below is adrenaline inducing
and spectacular. Unfortunately, the underfoot is naturally wet in the area and with continuous rains this winter,
the dampness is exacerbated which of course affects traction, an important concept in these environs. Nevertheless,
caution and exploration in balanced measures provides interesting and stimulating opportunities. That's all very
nice, but in plain English, it's bloody exciting.
The mist enters the scene. One can stand by and salute and emote, Gloria S.
Something a little different, continues to overwhelm us.
A very neat way to leave the canyon in a hurry.
The rain and wind continued the whole of Friday night, eased a little on Saturday and came back with vengeance
on Saturday night, not slowing into Sunday morning at dawn. So much so that we thought our flight would be
cancelled. After some deliberation, we realized we're not in San Diego—these islanders know how to deal with
rain. Reminds us of our transport on Kauai. We hired a two-seat Ford truck, rifle-rack included (just kidding)
because the car we had booked had brake failure. The point of this story is that anything besides Jenni and her
spouse had to be thrown onto the open bed of the truck. In rainy weather, can you see the problem?
The editor showing farsightedness, purchased black garbage bags in case of inclement weather. Sure enough, on
Sunday morning, we double-covered each of the luggage bags for the trip to the airport to keep them dry.
Smart lady! We hope she has no intention of using said bags on her whet.
As expected, the plane sailed into the dark and wet sky...uncovered.
Standing on the waterfall's edge looking to the side vertical wall, sobering.
A personal 'high' for the pictured-hiker on this trip, a great boots wash, too.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Recent Oahu sunset along Pearl Harbor—Positioned in this missive before we forget about the concept of sunshine.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Hawaiian action: 16.18 Paradise, Kona 16.19 Sleeping Giant, Kauai 16.22 Makaleha Bamboo Forest, Kauai and others...
A stroll in Paradise, south of Kona; a struggle in Makaleha Forest, Kauai.
One of the few tame scenes in Hawaii.
Jen trudges up an exceptionally steep road for a mile while we take photos from the car. As much as we
wanted to join her, someone had to struggle taking pictures.
A gentle scene before entering one of the densest forests ever. Talking of dense...(Makaleha)
Some cliff walking up, over and down Koko Head, Oahu.
Hiking along the cliffs we found this charming spot south of Kona.
Our first day in Kauai, we head for Nounou; yes, yes and visited the sleeping giant. As protection, he
keeps the trail muddy, making it difficult to approach him.
The Sleeping Giant. Apparently his head and feet prominent as he sleeps in the rain. See below for foot tickle.
After reaching the peak in rain and fog, we exclaim, "Touchdown, Chargers". Okay, okay, it's only a joke (Seahawks?)
We found a hike, adventure may be a far better word, which takes one through a bamboo forest and to a group of waterfalls.
Along the way there are river crossings which are a challenge but invigorating. A big benefit is the boots gets nicely washed
if only for a short-while. Unfortunately, it rained hard and we made the decision to return before the river flooded.
Theoretically, we should not have begun this hike (no trail, 'no clue') but it proved to be a most exciting adventure. We cannot
remember being in a more dense environment.
Approaching the deeper and faster flowing section after a nasty fall. The water reached Jenni's chest.
The bamboo girl in a most unusual setting, quite amazing and a little 'spooky'. Order amongst chaos.
Some quick and furious action in dense, wet forest—fast flowing streams and rivers.
Jenni climbing after coming through the river. Is she well one might ask?
A new event at the Winter Olympics, the pole vault over streams.
A stroll along the cliffs near Poipu.
A stroll along somewhat different cliffs on Koko Head.
Jenni and Jeffrey