LAZAROW WORLD HIKE-ABOUT
Argentina: Iguazu Falls after heavy rain.
'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 2018, the blog contained over 1,000 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 29, 2018
36.03 Austria: Barenschutzklamm, Mixnitz (Mixed nuts, how we remember the name), 2,500 steps toward Heaven.
This is the third of four hikes undertaken in Austria. Truth be told, each one has been tough; alternatively, we're less strong than we think.
An unhappy editor is forced to 'walk the plank'.
Sometimes the pressure is just too great...a need to let it out or through.
We're most grateful for crazy people in the world. They create excitement, challenges, amusement, danger and keep one on the toes (or in peril). Why would anyone wish to build a type of ladder extending through a gorge accumulating over twelve hundred feet of elevation gain following an earlier walk of fourteen hundred (2,600 total) to reach the beginning of the gorge? Beats us but it sure provided a wonderful experience. The power of the waterflow was stunning, the sights and colors extravagant, the surprises terrific and the exertion level, sweat breaking. And typical of much of Europe's alpine experiences, there's usually a restaurant or refugio to provide a bunk or refreshments or both to the weary hiker. In certain ways, The Europeans sure know how to live...then again, they've been doing this for a long time...between wars. We mention the latter as we have come across memorials all over the mountains. In addition, it's clear to a viewer to realize the religious fervor of the old Europe—the mountains and other places contain many religious symbols and relics. Modern Europe is all about the Euro and hand-held gadgets.
Some perspective: More than halfway up and looking in and toward the top of the gorge.
Standing within 15 feet of the flow, we felt the raw power.
Tears from all angles.
In our second visit to Austria, the first to Seefeld, now Graz and the surrounding towns, one can't help notice and enjoy the beauty of the mountains and land. Frequent rain keeps everything so green and lush. The freeways and roads are in good condition, the suburbs neat and tidy and the flowers, nicely cultivated, give off color, beauty and fragrances. The birds are forever chirping but with such thick foliage, who can ever spot them. One final point: When walking along bridges, over precarious edges and holding onto support rails, it makes a difference knowing Germanic engineering is supporting one.
In the first stage of climbing some 2,500 steps, the editor goes above a waterfall, holding on to slippery supports.
Upon reaching the top, we think we're back in Africa as we spot an Ibex or two. Nice bonus. It's a glorious feeling sharing the environment with the wild animals compared with being in a vehicle or at a zoo. Helps when they're not hungry predators.
'Smell that Spring air. Gotta love it.' If I can just rid the air of human odor, life could not be better. Alternatively, he might be reaching to scratch his back.
Had to be a young male showing off.
She continues to rise...still no happier.
Let the flow, flow.
Let's put the waterflows to bed now.
'Tea for two'. After a more than 2 hours steep climb, to find a restaurant at the top of the mountain is a wonderful thing. Tea never tastes as good. Particularly in Europe and often in South America, the refugios are a delight to find on mountain tops. Another thing we find terrific, in fact, it tickles us in a manner of speaking, is walking into different countries after cresting mountains. It's a feeling hard to explain; nevertheless, wonderful.
Jenni and Jeffrey
We remember, in fact, we won't forget cousin Basil who passed from this world recently. A vibrant and dynamic man, he suffered terribly this last decade. We cannot believe he is no longer with us but hope he is in a better place. May his soul be elevated.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
We published very few pictures of this trip at the time, so here is a supplemental set of fresh photographs. The beauty and wonder of the desert, something we hardly understood years back, continues to inspire and fill us with awe. Nevertheless, summer is a season during which we tend to have less awe, or seek cooler climes. With the aforementioned negative-implied judgment of deserts in mind, the following thought struck us: "We may be wiser because we know so much less and are unsure of so much more." ..."A Life Experience As No Other: Dare to Seize The Day..."
We completed our blogs from Argentina last week and head for Central Europe next week.
A view into Arizona and Lake Mead from Black Mountain, Boulder City, Nevada. (Fortification Hill, climbed from rear
a few days later.)
A view from above a balcony part-way up Angels landing, Zion National Park. The Virgin River flows below.
Color in the Mojave Desert.
Kelso Dunes, California, close to sunset.
Garnett Peak in Cleveland National forest, a particularly wonderful place.
Jenni reaches summit of Angels Landing, Zion National Park.
Sunset in Arizona viewed from Nevada.
Calico Canyon, Red Rock Park, Nevada...where to from here?
Lake Mead from Fortification Hill side, Arizona.
Golden sands at Kelso Dunes, California at sunset.
Amboy Crater, Mojave Desert, California.
Cuyumaca State Park, San Diego County.
Hamblin Peak, Nevada: A different view of Lake Mead.
Very formal and serious at the summit of Observation Point, Zion National Park, Utah.
Less formal and serious in Cleveland National Forest, San Diego County.
Back to the spectacular Lake Mead, Nevada.
Utah: Thirty minutes from Bryce Canyon.
Jenni and Jeffrey
These photographs were taken at Poway Lake over four visits. Because the editor is not charmed by Jeffrey's ducks, on at least two occasions, I was alone with the birds. The editor either shows confidence in my behavior or worse, she doesn't care any longer. Over the years, since we became more interested in bird life, we realize how much we can learn from these winged creatures. One of the lessons, we remember writing about some years ago, when we stood at dawn along a marsh in Himeville, South Africa was the level of enthusiasm they exuded as they chirped vigorously, welcoming a new day. On mornings when a person feels a bit down, recall the simple approach to life embraced by these busy little bodies (who don't even have cellphones) and chirp our blessings.
"Some days, when it's all too much for me, I tend to put my head in the sand."
'I understand but don't you mean water.'
"No dummy. Sand! My head's stuck in the mud."
Tip-toe through the muddy waters.
We call this a two-faced goose.
"Okay class, altogether now. Starting with wings back..."
Now let's have them to the front and...S-T-R-E-T-C-H.
And back to the sides. Could we have a little more effort, Girls and Boys. Okay...once more with enthusiasm.
Shaking a leg to rid itself of debris.
In our culture, we call this 'island hopping'.
If horse racing is possible, why not a racecourse for ducks.
Another shot. The graceful nature of the bird is wonderful to observe.
'What did the Osprey say to the trout below?'
'I'm gonna love eating you this much.'
"Let me just put on my coat. Okay. Here I come."
Wasn't kidding about the fish. (Carrying a spare fuel tank).
One for the road or perhaps...air.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Friday, May 11, 2018
35.21 El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina: A long walk to Laguna Torre, below Cerro Torre and its glaciers and a little of (big) Buenos Aires.
This blog closes our visit to Argentina...and hopefully, opens a visit to somewhere else.
A lovely photograph of Jenni as we make our way to the glacier and background.
Cerro Torre, a distinctive look, one of many versions.
We make no apologies for the fact we are no longer fond of cities and big towns. Yes, we have had to give up the ballet, symphonies, museums and cultural events which we suppose makes us peasants in the eyes of some or many, who knows. We’ve also given up, unfortunately not for long enough periods, traffic congestion, poor air quality, noise, crowding, daily routine and many other negative aspects of living in large cities. (Of course, we acknowledge this to be our opinion, probably a small minority view.) Instead, we’ve lived amongst people of different nations, cultures, backgrounds, most who have modest or little material wealth. Besides the adventure and excitement of our lifestyle, the relative freedom and challenges we enjoy and face respectively, pushing boundaries, occasionally a little too far, we have found people, ordinary souls, have contributed much to enriching our lives. We used the word ‘ordinary’ for effect rather than that which we believe; it’s truly amazing how many extraordinary and decent humans fill the planet. While we are not naïve, we recognize and are often depressed about the ‘inhumanity of humans’. We tend to focus on positive aspects, sometimes failing, in order to enjoy the goodness of those who make such choice of behavior.
We mentioned in various writings over the years and recently in Argentina, the contrasts we experience between city and rural life. The latter country is large with some sprawling cities and some of the most beautiful outlying regions imaginable, Patagonia being very high on the list. Our impression of the country in a nutshell or the little we saw in six weeks is that it still suffers from the political upheaval of prior years and poor economic policies and management but has much beauty and many generous people. The latter comment we make because we were on the receiving end of much kindness from many strangers. While we will not cry for Argentina, (promised not to use that line…but succumbed), we certainly have fond memories of the land and the people we met.
Many kilometers to go before we get close—stopped at a viewpoint to absorb the sight of a glacier.
Cerro Fitzroy at dawn with only marginal lighting (another favorite photo), Cerro Torre on extreme left, at dawn, too...surprise! We stood in the dark, after walking a couple of miles and then froze. When first light arrived, we got even colder, especially when adjusting the cameras, without gloves. Then we observed a daily miracle, two little people, watched in awe.
Dynamic group of mountains, nicely covered.
Not so dynamic fellow contemplating the 'long and winding road' home on a 23km day; or thinking about rock falls and avalanches; or, alas not pondering at all.
By way of contrast, a similar scene from a few miles back and of course, at sunrise the following day. It might be apparent by now how fascinated we are/were with Cerro Torre.
A couple of shots of the 'kids', well we are someone's kids. The only 'dirty' water we noticed in Patagonia.
Jenni and Jeffrey
On the way back, we catch a glimpse of the South American 'drug scene'—it's not pretty but is colorful.
More color, this time from our 'home', after a major hike.
Buenos Aires, a large, sprawling city. Nice to see, great to leave. (Congressional Plaza)
Obelisk on a public holiday, very quiet roads.
Some perspective, Jenni stands in front of the edifice.