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.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
36.25 Slovakia: Skalnate Pleso, a quick 3,000 feet 'elevation stroll' :'What is chutzpah?' and A selection of highlights from Eastern/Central Europe (One).
Sighted from Skalnate Lake some 3,000 feet up, sun hits one small section of the fields.
From this side of the fields, we spot the Skalnate station, a hike of 3,000 feet elevation gain. The endpoint sits
at the right-angle of the triangle cut into the mountain. A wonderful outing, with sweet mountain tea, at the top.
On a single span cable, car returning from the highest station in Slovakia. 'One wonders how it finds its way in the clouds.'
We have been asked the meaning of ‘chutzpah’ nearly a million times—maybe only a few hundred or less—not wishing to exaggerate. The trail was quiet but when we were approaching the base of the peak of Turtlehead, Red Rock Canyon, we heard a couple of guys whooping and shouting. Obviously, it’s not good etiquette to be rowdy as well as disturbing to the tranquil atmosphere. Soon thereafter, we reached the peak, took a look about, snapped some pictures and prepared for the editor's usual lovingly prepared cuisine. That's how good she is that one can rate cereal, yoghurt and fruit so highly. It was glorious sitting atop this mountain and gazing for miles at nature’s offerings and man's high structures in the distance.
Once the two fellows arrived, both young, topless and clearly not frequent visitors to the gym, we greeted them and they were in turn friendly. Jenni and I continued to chat. They sat near us although the mountaintop was at least 100 yards long. Fine with us we like to engage in conversation with others although their earlier disturbances caused some doubts in our minds. Soon after the pleasantries, a voice popped up from the edge rather impertinently, “Could you be quiet; I’m trying to meditate.” As blunt as that.
“Pardon me,” I exclaimed, “What did you say?” We turned to see the semi-nude form beckoning the sun, a vortex or some other source with which to purify his soul.
“Keep quiet for the next five minutes while I meditate,” he instructed us. In a movie, it would probably be the time to mention to the editor that the dude on the edge obviously doesn't know I have a black belt...I suppose, a smart brown leather one, too although the buckle is damaged.
We looked at each other and wondered to whom the mountain belonged. Could he not meditate in a number of other spots and should he not have explained his request and asked with a little respect or courtesy? Later he mentioned his very holy…no, we think he is into holistic healing, yoga and something else which we missed…apparently there was a new-age program being run down below between the blackjack tables and slot machines. Anyway, we thought it explained chutzpah quite succinctly.
To rebalance perspectives, on our way down, we met two men ascending. We began chatting and we ended up nearly selling the one fellow the Brooklyn Bridge. He offered 200 dollars but we thought against undertaking the transaction-it seemed too high a price for such a nice fellow.
On the 'soft' trail, it levels off for a few feet before making a sharp right turn upwards.
An overwhelming mountain, Lomnický štít, a little intimidating, as the clouds dissipate. Note the car coming from the left and the station on the peak.
Within seconds, the clouds close in.
Vertical overpowering wall.
Closing the Central/Eastern Europe trip (1) with a few highlights before returning for part 2.
Austria: Barenschutzklamm, Mixnitz.
Croatia: Plitvika Lakes
Slovakia: Ascending Kaprovsky Peak, the final push.
Jenni's tears of fright or…joy. Austria: Barenschutzklamm, Mixnitz
Sedlo Pod Ostrvau, High Tatras on a dull day.
Croatia: Goofing off on a tough peak.
Fooling around in the High Tatras above Green Lake.
Enjoying (loving) an extended childhood in Hungary, north of Budapest.
Croatia: Lake Plitvika.
Sedlo Pod Ostrvau, High Tatras as rain lets up for moments.
Is that peeking or peaking at Crni Vrh, Paklenica, Croatia? A long day.
Hungary: A strenuous hike outside Budapest or 'Where to from here?'
Serenity at Plitvika Lakes, Croatia.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Monday, August 20, 2018
36.23 Slovakia, High Tatras: Dom Sliezsky and 36.24 Chata Zamkovskella, both in rain and some special scenes at the end.
A surprise when we reach the end of the hike. The mountains are "covered" in hotels. Access by car in special
Covered in lakes, too—which we obviously prefer—except on a rainy night.
Over the recent years, at least the last ten or so, we have been fortunate and at times, yes, privileged to witness some of the world's magnificence. It's indeed a world of miracles, beauty, tension and struggle and unfortunately, hardships, too. The struggles are necessary, the hardships not. Clearly, reward derives meaning and value when it is commensurate with the effort and exertion expended to achieve it. To us, it seems obvious, logical and the way of the world. In a simplistic form, one may understand it as the other side of 'easy come, easy go'.
Today, while traveling by the university in La Jolla, San Diego, we saw a sight that may have surpassed all others. Jenni believes whenever I view something which I consider outstanding, I tend to forget earlier memories. She's probably correct but I enjoy it and for a change, contrary to my nature, say, 'why sweat it?' Hopefully, that's in context and easily understood. So what could be more beautiful, exciting and stimulating than the wonders of the world or at least, the few of many we have come across on the mountains, in the valleys and in-between? To tone it down somewhat, perhaps I should write 'at least equal to' rather than 'surpassing'. It's a good question and that you asked certainly deserves an answer. However, at the outset, Jenni disagrees with me, even strongly, I might add. In fairness, she's not always right—(living dangerously again).
When I peered out the window of the car, traveling at 30 miles per hour, approximately, I saw a line of students waiting at the bus stop. At a guess, there were not less than 25 young people, both sitting and standing, but surprisingly, calm and patient. Approaching the stop, not a bus, but another group of young people, matched those at the stop in all aspects but for their mobility.
That's when I noticed it. I appreciated the unique features, even beauty, as I saw one person walking upright with a backpack positioned appropriately, head held high and pace, brisk. I took my eyes off the road for a second more, wishing to savor the sight and moment.
You see, the comparison was quite different. Everyone of the other students and/or young people were hunched over, whether seated, standing or in motion. Not one communicated with another orally or visually. Each person focused intensely on a little hand-held gadget, some with wires, protruding from or growing in, their ears. It was truly a wonderful sight to see that lone person, standing out from the crowd. I felt transported back to an earlier century—I liked it. And people say miracles don't occur...
(I do offer a proviso. While I made the bold statement that the students did not communicate with one another, it's possible they in fact did, through the gadgets.)
Flowers to the fore, editor takes cover under her rain covers.
Rich growth and color.
Editor ascends in light rain.
We spent most, if not all, the ascent in a light rain. By the time we reached our destination, we were freezing. We remind ourselves continually it's mid-summer. To our surprise, an upmarket hotel confronted us. We walked inside, nervous about wetting the foyer, (dripping clothes rather than bladder issues), but it seemed a typical day in the mountains with the lobby filled with wet guests and perhaps, other whets. We seated ourselves at a bar and ordered hot tea. "Big or small?" The barman asked. We chose the larger size and were most surprised. Europeans tend to provide petite size drinkware. Our cups, porcelain of course, would make a Texan proud. So we sat in a bar, inside a hotel some two thousand feet or so into the mountains observing life in an unusual setting. Man, it felt good, especially the hot beverage on a cold, wet, summer's day.
Can't keep a good hunchback down...or upright.
Oh dear! Not another storm.
Bridge crossing where Jenni and I lost each other on the way to Chata Zamkovskella. It was like two ships passing in the day. I had stopped to take this photograph when Jenni was a little behind me. While I waited for her, apparently she had already passed me. (The trail was crowded.) I then headed back to find out what happened to her. Disappeared. I turned around again, facing a thunderstorm ahead that appeared imminent. I found the young woman at the Chata, waiting for me. With so many people taking shelter, we had to shelter from the rain and storm in … the rain.
Jenni and Jeffrey
A repeat from Hungary. Placed here so Jen and I have easy access to color and beauty of nature.
A bonus for Jeffrey.
'Row, row row your boat.' (Picture by Benny, 6 years and 5 days old).
When your granddaughter sidles up to you and puts her arm around the ample hips (unasked), you feel the world just changed,
if only for a short while.
A special salute to Barry Jahn and his grandson, Keaton, of Oregon who set a fine example of what tough hikers are all about. In addition, the relationship of grandfather and grandson hiking in Europe for close to a month together is the envy, we would think, of most, certainly ourselves. Inspirational!
We met Barry in Oregon on a waterfalls hike during mid-2013 in his state.
Friday, August 10, 2018
Volcanoes, a few of so many:
Myvatn camp, Iceland. Jenni returns to our red-and-grey home below, walking toward a volcano.
Kiluawea Crater, Big Island, Hawaii.
Lava Butte, Nevada.
Mount Ngauruhoe, Tongariro, New Zealand at dawn.
Mauna Kea summit, Big Island, Hawaii.
Mount Rainier, Washington.
A view from Challhuaco outside of San Carlos Bariloche, Argentina.
A view from Mount Humphreys, Arizona, the state's 'big one'.
Peering across at Mount Shasta, California (north).
Sliding Sands, Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii.
Mount Hood, Oregon.
South Sister (Charity), Oregon.
Somewhere on Mount Shasta, California, at sunrise.
Cinder Cone, Lassen, California.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Another, always steep, ascent to the lake on a wonderful and chilly summer's day in the High Tatras. A few pictures follow toward the end from Croatia, showing a different side of life in the region.
Depending on the sun and the clouds, the water color was ever changing.
Otis Redding reputed to have sung 'R(d)ock of the Bay' right here, not accompanied by the editor.
...after running through the forest and up this mountain carrying his guitar, (not accompanied by the editor, either.)
On a hot day, the water would be tempting. Unfortunately, summer is not hot in the Tatras, it seems.
Otis Redding used another voice...guess who? ( Strange but true although he was heard to comment at the time..."Lose the hat").
The last yard.
One for the show...
Back to Croatia.
Merely days young in Old Europe.
On track to find the trail in Paklenica Park heading to the hut of the same name.
A room with a beautiful view close to the big mountains (behind the house).
Jenni and Jeffrey
My 'Biker Babe', oh no, my goodness! She's out of control.