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.
Friday, November 28, 2014
We returned to Mono Lake after Mammoth as we headed west to see Robbie on the west coast.
Another favorite from the region, sunset in the Sierra.
Jen crests a secondary peak only to feel the summit seems no closer. Mammoth Lakes city below.
The scenes from the top are breathtaking.
We left Yosemite National Park on Friday with the intention of hiking to the peak of Mammoth Mountain
and then cutting west to see our youngest, Robbie. The editor had time to rest and recover as the local mountain,
covered in ski lifts, surrounded by many mountain ranges and lakes, is quite a tough one, too. With the lower
temperatures and always-active winds, the going becomes a little rough in places.
“Let’s see it as a climb to reach the peak where we can partake of tea and coffee and enjoy the sights,”
we suggested to the editor. There are closer coffee shops but then why make life easier, we thought. The elevation
gain is 3,100 feet over four miles with parts, especially the exposed area at the summit and below, quite vicious
in the wind. It is an incline the whole way, with a stop at Drakensrug (Afrikaans) otherwise known as Dragon’s Back.
A pause at Seven Lakes followed and then wonderful views towards Yosemite, Bishop, Mono Lake and mountain ranges we
cannot even enumerate; there are far too many including a dozen or more lakes on view. It’s no wonder the city is
known as Mammoth Lakes. The trail had five distinct sections making it an interesting hike, both up and down.
Jenni leaving Dragon's Back, Twin Lakes below.
After brunch, he thought he was at the beach. (Dangerous situation when editor has a camera.)
As we moved up, the thought of hot beverages at the top with brunch prepared by Jenni became enticing.
Only a little more to go as the howling wind attacked us, particularly our exposed faces. When we passed the
tree line and could see the ski-station at the mountaintop, things looked quiet. By that time, icicles were
falling from trees and blowing in from somewhere. The exposure at the summit made us feel naked, in a manner
of speaking. Piping hot coffee was looking like a great reward for the effort expended.
Looking east from a little below peak.
Another false peak below Mammoth summit.
Unfortunately, although we read that the ski-lifts run all year round, it appeared that our day was
the exception. There wasn’t a soul about leaving us to find shelter where we could drink imaginary hot beverages.
On our return, part-way down, we met the first and only person we came across on the trail. He was a man of at
least 70-odd wearing shorts who mentioned that it was wonderful weather. He was either a local used to cold winters
or did not know what was awaiting him further above. We made it down quickly, stopped to admire the birds swimming
on a lake surface and realized we needed to remove superfluous clothing, as there was no wind at ground level—it was
quite warm. It was a wonderful experience despite the high winds at the summit.
After moving away from Mammoth, we arrived at a lodge to view the scenes below, a pond: The pictures are taken
a day apart.
Sunset with the temperature a little above freezing.
Same place but a snow-morning with the thermometer at 14 degrees F.
We try to follow the sun but changes occur quickly.
It's about to disappear and then what?
Jenni and Jeffrey
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
20.25, 20.26, 20:27, 20:28 Utah, Oh Utah (southern): If I forget your rugged beauty, cover my eyes with dust ( which you do anyway, at times.)
and surround, between Kanab and Page, Arizona.
Rising before sunrise is 'for the birds'. (We waited months to capture this scene. The editor was not charmed.)
Fires in the cities, peace in the wilds.
We've hiked quite a bit in Utah, the southern region, a land that has fascinated us from our first visit.
As the heading pronounces, the rugged beauty is a knock-out. The state has at least five national parks that
we have visited frequently. We have a soft spot for Zion with the others trailing not far behind as we have
mentioned, from time to time. However, the Grand Staircase Escalante is another gem, rough but vast and gorgeous
in many places. The colors, shapes, sizes and positioning of the mountains provide the viewer with constant
amazement. So much is exposed to the national and local roads; however, the views from there only provide a
hint or tease one. What lies beyond the periphery is tantalizing as some of our pictures, we think, illustrate.
By limiting visits to national parks only, one limits oneself—there are unbelievable experiences outside these
preserves. Unfortunately, a hiker has to venture into the wilds with the appropriate vehicle as the terrain is
very rough—roads that exist are a challenge even for four-wheel drives, in many cases. Who said the gems should be
easily viewable? It's the way of the world and we think it's how it should be—the greater the effort, the
Double arch alcove along Taylor Creek, Kolob Canyon, Zion.
Tame graffiti of the back-country. The colors are stunning.
Rock climbing in the middle of nowhere
We spent a few days in Kanab while we tried to win a lottery opening for an opportunity to hike to 'The Wave'.
In the interim, we had a couple of local hikes and two visits to Pink Coral State Park, mentioned previously.
The locals were Squaw and Bunting hikes. The latter proved to be a great test because of the way we attempted it.
We set off to reach the vermilion cliffs, which tower over the town. The views are splendid. The trail is
reasonable but faint in places. After reaching the peak, a climb that was a good challenge, particularly the last
part which we found a little precarious, we returned to a junction a little way down from the top. That's when
things got really interesting.
A view into the canyon on Bunting hike from vermilion cliffs.
Gives an idea of the toadstool effect tucked away in this corner of Utah.
Deep in the interior are gems like this; early morning light helps, too.
What was interesting? We could see our car some miles from where we stood and many feet below. However, we did
not know how to get back to it. We went down to the rim and could not find a path so we returned to near the top
again and but did not bisect a trail. The 'boy hero' was sure we had to go further over the next mountain to regain
the path and then head down. Our editor was sure we had only crossed one mountain and therefore had traversed too
far already. As always, time was moving on, the weather was cooling after having begun cold. We scrambled across
very dangerous terrain trying to regain perspective but mostly hoping to find the trail. However, no path revealed
itself. Of course, the longer one wonders about, the less stable one feels especially while standing on unfamiliar
ground and in precarious positions.
Nothing subtle about the separation of brown and white.
Back to Kolob and the flora under the bottom arch.
We tried identifying familiar ground as we peered down from above. Although neither of us was completely convinced
of our positions regarding the way down, we decided the editor made more sense. We are most fortunate that we had
the wisdom to follow her advice. After crossing some rather tough slopes with loose footing, we finally reached
a path. Thereafter, familiarity returned and we heaped the editor with much praise, blessings and bequeathed her
our favorite pair of boots. Getting lost or losing the trail is not an attractive proposition; it's something we
can do without although one must expect it every so often.
Down into the canyon, a hint of a classy interior decorator using chocolate browns.
Taking in the exquisite views into a deep canyon.
On our way to Arizona, the northern part which is effectively the same as the southern part of Utah (that's what
happens when you make artificial political boundaries), we stopped at a trailhead that appeared to be, for a change,
in the middle of nowhere—we do a lot of those, lately. We read about it earlier but from the road we noticed chocolate
and white colored mountains of unusual shapes. Upon stopping for a view, we tied the bootlaces and headed into see
what was on offer. Quite spectacular. The features are toadstool hoodoos but there's far more than that. We found
ourselves, after climbing a while, above a valley that took the breath away, besides the climb. Perhaps our favorite
pastime is climbing and playing on the slick rocks while taking in the myriad views. There were many of those. It's
amazing to keep finding so many outstanding regions spread all over the state but just out of reach should one not
wish to walk a little. Once again, the photographs provide a better explanation than we could ever hope to achieve.
To paint those straight lines one needs a rule.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Slipped this past the editor, one from Antelope Canyon, coming up next week.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
This blog, a favorite for the record, has four options for the viewer.
1. Close immediately, realizing you hit the wrong button; return to watching football; or
2. Ignore the text and photographs and proceed to the end to watch a musical video; or
3. Read text and view photographs but ignore video; or
4. View everything after deciding to show misplaced loyalty to Lawrence and his Camel(ia).
Tracks in the sand or perhaps a 'line in the sand before a desert storm'.
After leaving Zion National Park, we headed for Bryce Canyon to slow down a little. One does not need
much time in Bryce or to the contrary, one can spend a lifetime there. There are thousands of different shapes
of eroding sandstones, each in a form identifiable with a little imagination. The hikes are good, too,
particularly those that lead down into the canyon and allow one to wonder about the amphitheater and gain
interesting perspectives. The hoodoos are more attractive at level viewing or from below. As always but more so
in this region, light is a critical factor in optimizing views. (Bryce pictures are a little lower down as we
have been a little besotted with dunes. The video shows much more.)
Pink coral...we get it as light plays with sand and dust.
Golden grass below the dunes.
"Which way now, Lawrence?" 'I'm looking for Camelia.'
We love the great state of Utah, particularly the southern region. It's another beautiful and unique
part of the United States. A funny thing happens as we cross the border on each occasion though. We think of the
Mormons, people for which we have much respect and in the case of some men, admiration. In fact, we were
thinking of adopting one of their customs but making a minor modification. The idea of having ten or so wives
is an intriguing concept and we would like to explore it further. After a while, we realized the responsibilities
that some Mormon assume are too much for us—we recognize our many shortcomings. Not to be waylaid so to speak,
we decided to pursue the concept further. Would it not be a better thinking should we give up the idea of ten wives
but...and here's the point: Have ten girlfriends instead. That, we think is a smart idea. We probably should
run it past the editor first. Now that's really smart thinking!
'What is she doing?' "She's having something to eat because of all the 'sandwiches' that are there."
Sunset on another occasion.
Our own interpretation of molars. Perhaps, too late for flossing.
My Camelia shows her stuff as she prepares for a dune roll.
You win some, you lose some. Anyway, there's always next time
The weather hit us in Bryce after we completed the Peekaboo hike. We needed the rest on Saturday
but it was extended through Sunday. When we awoke, our editor's wish had come true. The area was blanketed
in snow. She forgot that the beauty of fresh snow brings with it icy conditions. We had our crampons with us
and headed to a trail. By the way, the temperature at the trailhead was 14 degrees F. We stood at the commencement,
felt our hands, which were wrapped in gloves, freezing as well as faces frozen and so returned to the room to thaw.
The plan was to go out again at 2pm when the temperature was due to rise to 30 degrees. We tried but the weather did
not cooperate and for a second time, returned to the lodge. We don't ever remember being in weather that cold while
the sun shone brightly.
Thor, the Hammer hangs out along Navajo trail, an adjunct of peekaboo.
We went back to the dunes, a favorite pastime these days, for a sunset.
Camelia, making her way slowly at first before accelerating. Having the dunes to ourselves made
all the difference...we didn't have to wipe away our footprints either.
Onwards to Kanab, a small town in Utah which is the gateway to the world-renowned Coyote Butte's
hike or 'The Wave'. The number of admissions is limited to twenty persons per day, a hike that has world
attraction. Of the applications, ten are taken from 'walk-ins' on the day in the form of a lottery. Suffice to say,
we were the seventh in line but with forty-five people in the draw, our chances weren't good. Unfortunately,
we missed it but will try again on the morrow. The luck of the draw is a terrible system to rely upon.
We tried again the following day and alas, the result was negative again. Time to move from Kanab.
A close knit group awaits the incoming snow.
Lawrence makes his way towards the top.
Sun provides a golden tint to a lucky few.
Just to give you a heads up on her progress.
We returned to another set of dunes, this time the Pink Coral ones of Utah. Once again, it proved to
be a wonderful opportunity to explore and 'let the hair down'. The editor is very fond of the desert,
particularly dunes and so we were able to de-mature and have an awful lot of fun while exercising the muscles
as we traipsed and trotted in the soft and very soft sand. We had the area to ourselves so upon arrival, apart
from a few tracks left by buggies, the dunes had a virgin covering of sand. All tracks left at the park were ours.
So streamlined, it could almost fly. Actually, it does and especially as a dust storm.
The changing light, the varying colors on our second visit, late afternoon.
The video below highlights some of the features of Bryce Amphitheater and the dunes at Pink Coral State Park in Utah.
To break the pattern, we threw some blue water between the hoodoos and sand. Should you still have the energy, click
Click arrow to watch video, listen to Brian Murray sing with Neville Stanger on bass. They're
better than the pictures.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Gorgeous, a captivating scene from Ralston peak.
Pyramid Peak, we climbed it a little over two years ago. It must be one of the most deceptive peaks and
surfaces we have been upon.
The editor was quick to inform us that the Mount Ralston is known as a butt-kicker. We are not fond of
the term but it certainly makes the point. She also informed us that according to her source, the
Desolation Wilderness is one of the most popular, if not the premier, hiking areas in the country.
Should we wish to encourage people to visit a region, we could think of a better name than 'desolation'.
Shows you how wrong our thinking is. Anyway, we set off from home which is currently Pollock Pines,
somewhere along Highway 50. The area is so attractive, exacerbated by the beauty of the fall colors.
We expected to have to fight our way through the crowds to get to the peak of Mount Ralston. The climb
is 2,800 feet over eight miles return. There are few switchbacks, making it very steep, hence
an anatomy-marking experience.
There's nothing wrong with my hat. What do you mean I have a funny face?
Looking down at the snow covered mountain next to us.
Twin Lakes a long way down as sun shines through clouds briefly.
We returned to the trailhead after five hours on the mountain but not before enjoying a tasty brunch.
Our editor sure can prepare a mean cereal and yoghurt. At that stage, unless our eyes and ears are failing,
we neither saw nor heard another human. So much for a popular destination. The next day we hiked somewhere else
and lo and behold, we were the lone hikers, too. We'd hate to see what happens on the trails in the quiet season.
Another part of the peak, while smoke from east Tahoe rises
Feels like the top of the world. From Mount Ralston wondering if that's fresh snow. Who cares?
Our editor makes us smile when she gets a little intimidated after reading about a forthcoming hike.
She epitomizes the saying, "If you think you can't do it, you're correct. If you think you can do the same
thing, you're also correct." Thus far, she has always succeeded. But there's another point to this story.
A couple of years ago, we did hike to the peak of Ralston. Now here's the kicker, not butt but brain.
We term it wisdom versus experience. A person with experience knows that it can be done because she did it
before. A person with wisdom learned that after climbing it before it's a good idea not to do it again.
We are experienced, not always wise, though.
The last part of the ascent after a steep but 'whine-less' climb throughout.
Lake Aloha with Pyramid Peak towering above in the beautiful Desolation Wilderness. Like a very rough
A view of Lake Tahoe, the southern side with Fallen Leaf Lake at fore.
We used a similar picture from Mount Tallac as weather was dull on Ralston 'day'
So busy doing what? At the peak, Lake Tahoe below, on a cloudy, dull day.
The weather was mostly fine, although cold at the outset. As always, the peaks are exposed and the winds
are always strong. It makes it a bit uncomfortable spending too much time in those spectacular positions.
The views were outstanding, especially of the lakes below, mountains in the near-distance and always,
the pockets of fall colors. A new addition for the season was the snow covered mountains all around.
It makes everything look serene and beautiful but a hazard under the feet.
Jenni and Jeffrey
And you thought we were joking when we mentioned 'traveling with the kitchen sink'. I draw
the line with a fridge and stove, though. A man has to have principles.