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, January 29, 2018
Sometimes the news is not good. This was such a time which inspired a tiny piece of writing (below) that encapsulates a little of our philosophy.
If there's ever a time I'd like a photograph of Jenni and me together is when we are undertaking a technical climb or coming down steep slopes on scree. With Jen hanging onto me and giving me instructions, a dime-a-dozen or, at times, me hanging onto her for support, a true love story exists. I don't find anything as moving as those occasions when we depend on each other, sometimes to avoid serious falls and worse. In our book, "A Life Experience As No Other...", we often make the point that when two people sweat together, the bonding that flows in and from such perspiration is without equal. I'd like the photographs to remind me of such occasions, particularly when I fall short in my behavior and secondly, for the period when we are too old to climb some of those treacherous parts. I'd also like such pictures because I'd just like to have them.
It would be hard to describe without pictorial aids. Not yet at the top on the Arizona side.
Jenni makes her way up toward a section a little higher requiring technical skills. (See above)
Standing high and tall in Arizona looking down into Nevada and Lake Mead in particular.
Another perspective of Lake Mead, always very good or fantastic. Las Vegas in the distance, neither very good nor fantastic. We're in Arizona.
A desert scene of both Arizona and Nevada.
That dam wall of Hoover and freeway and bridge linking Arizona and Nevada from peak of Fortification Hill.
The land jutting into Lake Mead creates a most attractive sight.
Protection from the wind at peak. (Note the volcanic nature of region).
Some volcanic rock hopping on top.
Phew! Just passed the technical section.
The 'kid' keeps going up.
Jenni and Jeffrey
There are times when one is offered a name, a title or description that is irresistible. Who would not wish to take the name of this mountain, Mollie's Nipple, it's official name, and not want to run with...write about it? Some people (guess who?) wish to show a modicum of both respect and decorum and let temptation pass by. Unfortunately, it does not happen frequently, but in this case, Mollie's nipple should be treated gently and guardedly. Other than stand on it, admire it and having pursued, we (I) decided to avoid temptation and let it be. (Yeah, right!)
A tough start and it got steeper.
We have stayed in some pretty slick places lately—something’s changing or we’ve struck it lucky. We’ve been to Hurricane a number of times, although we usually rush through on the way to other places in Utah or use it as a base. This time we were blown away when we came across the highest structure in the town, The Wyndham Wingate. It has only been erected a year. We knew it was new because we hadn’t seen it before—something one would notice in passing. Another interesting tidbit is that when we looked through our room window, we observed, some two miles away, an extraordinary mountain. Somehow we knew we had to climb it. It turned out that it was nearly 1,500 feet high but sharp. Short and steep. A person goes directly up and as they say locally, from ‘the get-go'. Anyway that’s a bit of a diversion because the point of this anecdote is about the hotel. More about this hike and its name in the future...(continued at end)
Witnessing some stunning sights from the top.
The editor makes her way through a harsh and most attractive land—the remnants of a volcanic eruption.
Feeling on top of the nipple...maybe, the world instead.
Serene and tranquil—now to get down safely.
Jenni reaches the top of a remarkable hike.
A development at the trailhead, 'military design'. An airport beyond. Notice the stroke of genius by including a curve in the road.
I can't say why but this scene resonated highly.
"You have two minutes to get down or I'm outta here, big boy". Guess who?
Watching a simultaneous landing from the top, (bi-planes?)...or maybe it's a shadow.
Illustrates how little horizontal distance covered relative to vertical gain. Notice our car close by.
Reaching a minor nip...um top.
Jenni and Jeffrey
(Continued from earlier...)
The modern structure was clean and chic. It conforms with requirements of modern day, especially the younger generations needs and it appears, some of ours, too. I think it’s what I’d term a fully charged hotel. Firstly, as in almost every establishment, one enters through the front door and pulls out a credit card and charges. We were on the 4th floor which was the top. We mentioned it’s the highest structure in the town. Upon reaching the door to the room, one places the card somewhere on the door, as if showing this piece of plastic to the door rather than inserting it in the old way which of course superseded the old-fashioned key. There’s usually a sick buzz, a green light flashes and then one enters. A red light indicates you need to revisit the receptionist and receive a re-charge, keycard not credit.
Upon entering the room, first things first. Find the electrical plug points so that the rest of your items can be charged, too. Our room had sockets all over the place including in the lamps, walls, floor although I forgot to check the ceilings and bed. In addition, at the desk were three USB ports. Let’s start charging. Computers plugged in, Jenni’s Kindle takes a spot, cameras need a socket each, iPhone required juice and if I think about it, there’s probably a few other gadgets with electrical needs, too. Talk about going green. It seems we are using so much power that the world will run out of resources, even the solar power will dry up as the sun struggles to send its rays all the way from outer space. We see many people walking around with wires going into their ears or is that coming out. Where is that power going to or coming from. Oh, yes. In the bed there are wires attached to the blankets and plugged in. Sometimes we wonder whether we should plug something into our rears to get a boost while we sleep. I’m starting to wonder if I should be a Chevy Vault or a Tesla. I used to read about the potential of suffering either heart attacks or strokes overnight. Now I fear being electrocuted. My biggest fear or perhaps future source of amusement will be when the power blinks for a while and we all freeze (figuratively) as we are so connected. It’s going to be an occasion.
In Solana Beach, we stayed at a resort type of hotel where we enjoyed a wonderful and comfortable period. It proved to us how complicated the world has become and yet in our opinion, less meaningful. Each day we began with our morning workout at the gym. Thereafter, we’d pop into reception to pick up a cup of tea or coffee, on the way to the room. One morning, we bumped into a receptionist at the urn. He looked disheveled and a little tired. He began explaining to us the various needs he had which was provided by different blends of coffee. He used terms, in our ignorance, we had never heard before, explaining what each did for his bodily functions including bowel movements. Remember, it was a coffee explanation and his ritual, only. We received far too much information, most not serving much purpose neither enlightening us nor even entertaining. Strike that—in a way it was. Nevertheless, it proved how backward we are or perhaps, we live in a different space or world from many. For that, we feel grateful.
Anyway, the hike was remarkable, the climb steep and challenging, the views outstanding and the whole experience memorable. So much so that we basked in the winter sun for much longer than usual while keeping an eye on the small planes operating below. We also met a younger woman, Sharon Baker, who walked down the scree-covered trail with us. Listening to her was like an echo of ourselves—we enjoyed the short trip down immensely.
We are fascinated by signage we see all over the world. This was no exception. They experience strong winds in 'Hurricane' and so it's vital to keep the gates closed to avoid draughts.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
We spent ten days in Utah and have posted this blog of Nevada. We keep raving about the magnificence of Southern Utah and yet, have ten unpublished hikes showing the state’s beauty and, post this blog in Nevada. What gives? Who knows? I just walk in the editor’s footsteps as we wander from place to place, mountain to mountain. This hike takes a person up to the saddle and then one can make an election to go left to Red Mountain or right to Black Mountain. Because we don’t have a color preference (we have to be careful of the thought police these days, George), we ended hiking to both. The distance was approximately 7 miles and the elevation gain, hard to estimate, perhaps 1,600 feet, provided the usual outstanding experience of Boulder City. We usually undertake this hike as a sunrise or as in this case, a sunset. Nevertheless, whatever the time of day, the views of Lake Mead are some of the finest scenes we’ve observed.
Two days before, we climbed to Fortification Hill, in Arizona, a tough and steep hike, which looks down over the lake and at Hoover Dam as well as across the water toward Black Mountain. Today’s hike provided views toward Fortification Hill (see below) in Arizona, separated by the incredible shade of blue-water-surface. The view to the west was of the city of Las Vegas. By nightfall, the sparkling lights were visible clearly from our position. Frankly, we are seeing so much beauty on this trip that at times one wonders why we go anywhere else. I suppose we do know but when one lives in the moment, one becomes consumed by the experience.
We’ll post the Utah blogs soon, which depict some of the best scenes we are privileged to have viewed.
Early evening on the shoulder between Red and Black Mountains, Boulder City, Nevada: Las Vegas gets ready for...who cares? Love the sight of it from afar only.
A favorite lake, Mead, just before sunset taken from Red Mountain.
Another perspective. The blues were beyond belief.
Two days earlier, we climbed to the top of Fortification Hill, across the way, while in Arizona.
Jenni wants to make it back before dark. Not a chance.
Darkness creates a tinted beauty but we're running late and it's way past departure deadline.
Taking the gap
Twilight on Black Mountain with gorgeous views of Lake Mead.
A different perspective.
City lights of Las Vegas, early evening from Black Mountain saddle.
"Hey, you're shooting the wrong way' (caught between a rock and a hard place) as Jenni struggles in poor light.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Jenni on Fortification Hill, Arizona. Across the lake is Black Mountain, our current blog position.
Contrasts of golden Zion.
We left Bryce Canyon, Utah for Hurricane via a second stopover in Zion National Park. The idea was to hike Observation Point trail in the park and then sleep in Hurricane for a few nights. We've always maintained that Observation is one of the finest day-hikes around. One of the reasons it's special is because it's in Zion, a place that is remarkable. With its towering walls and monoliths, the incredible canyon, the Virgin River, colors and shapes that at times look artificial and so much more, one cannot help but walk the park in awe. On the hike, much of what was described is on view, plus it's a great workout including distance of 8 miles and an elevation gain of well over 2,000 feet. We still believe the gain is understated. It does not get better than this.
When we loaded our car in Bryce at about 8am, the temperature was 23F, which is cold. Even Ron Allegretto would agree and he's probably the subtle motivating force for our sojourn in snow. Thanks to him, a gentleman and quite a guy from Vancouver, we decided to commit to a snow adventure. At the end of the hike, the temperature had reached 66 degrees.
En route, we were meandering along the 89 South thinking of Zion and the upcoming hike when we spotted a large bird on the side of the highway. We pulled off the road but only just. I got out and looked for what I thought was an eagle. It took evasive action. I grabbed a camera and trotted carefully toward the spot where I had noticed it. The bird took off and fortunately perched itself in a tree, giving me clear visibility. How ever long I spent watching, clicking and absorbing the sight, it was not long enough. Jen remained in the car. The vehicle was not parked in the best of positions and we still had to get to the summit of Observation Point. The bird moved positions three times, each occasion providing a different perspective.
When one talks of dignity and strength, it's not hard to spot it in an eagle. Suffice to say, for the rest of the day, I had a particular satisfying feeling having spent part of it in the company of a majestic creature. As for the hike, it together with Angel's Landing are two that we undertake each time we visit the location. Observation Point, in fact, overlooks the 'Angel', being at least six or seven hundred feet higher. Both provide much enjoyment while on them and a most satisfying feeling upon returning 'home' at the end of the day.
"Bald, bold and beautiful; always proud to be an American symbol. Perhaps we can learn from this
majestic creature. To make a nation great, a good start is for the people to seek and pursue dignity."
"And that goes for me, too...not the bald part though and maybe not a symbol."
"I feel so blue. There's much confusion down below."
"Enough already. Why is it when I look at you I'm thinking lunch?"
"I'm off for a flight 'on the wings of an eagle'. Little ones, take a hike!"
"Houston, we've landed. I think we have a problem. I'm at the wrong branch."
"Phew! I'm back. Tucked in my wings correctly, for a change."
"I'll show you a little color of my Utah."
Getting back to 'real birds', Jen makes her way along a narrow ledge. Looks like she's going to hit a wall
Resting at top of Observation Point with Angels Landing behind and below, plus a view down the canyon. The slab
at rear is where we climbed to the previous week.
Some things don't change. The great walls of Zion.
Reflections in the canyon.
Jenni and Jeffrey
"Cheers from me, too. I believe I made Jeffrey's day...and more."