LAZAROW WORLD HIKE-ABOUT
Tonto National Forest, Arizona. Climbing 'very junior' Weaver's Needle (also known as baby-steps).
'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.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
As we wander about the world, a process of discovery occurs daily, even more often. So much is happening about us, most of which we are not aware of, unfortunately. Nevertheless, for the few things we do notice and observe and at times participate within, we are extremely grateful. What a magnificent world surrounds us. While we understand there are many unfortunate people barely surviving in the world, we wonder why many others who have the opportunity to be forces for good choose instead to encourage chaos and misery. Despite these negative distractions, we seek to pursue our passions and find our purpose, hopefully, without hurting anyone.
Stand-off at Dodge or is that Little Big Horn?
More tranquility, as the animals cover the plains in late afternoon.
Less tranquility. The mountain in the background is 'Platberg'. We ascended it from the other side in Harrismith, the following week.
Words fail us as the sun makes a bold statement at sunset.
Even less tranquility as Jen returns...a magnificent edifice behind.
When a person lives among scenes like this, one realizes how insignificant one is...and fortunate.
This is a time one wishes for more tranquility, less excitement.
Is Jen thinking of taking the gap?
They've seen us, smelled us and within seconds will bolt...I suppose, who can blame them?
"Hey Jen, you wanna lend me a hand, getting to the top is one thing..."
Jenni and Jeffrey
She paid us a visit, her head appearing through the open window. Behind the head was a big, black feather-duster which proved useful for a cleaning session.
Then it got very personal...I asked Jen to deal 'female-to-female'.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
The scenes in this section are viewed from two hikes undertaken when we stayed at the fabulous Drakensberg Retreat, close to Bergville. Sitting on the patio, a person is able to view the magnificent range of the same name from the Free State in the north to Champagne Castle in the south.
Jen walks along the edge.
Quite beautiful at sunset.
Eland comes thundering past us...we nearly jumped to a record high as it sounded like the hoofbeats at the finishing post of a racecourse.
A different sort of sunset during a threatening storm.
The academic studying future ideas for Hike-about or, was it the form for the Wednesday races?
Serene but there's action under the surface or in fact, from above. Note the buttress protruding on the range, the Sentinel.
She's out the starting blocks in near on 100 degree weather and nothing can catch her.
Obviously, that's why they have a big cooling pool down there.
On Razor Edge trail, looking down and across at Oliviers Hoek Pass. The Boer trekkers used this route to reach Natal.
The tricky section to reach the valley.
Finding respite on a ledge.
Trying to remain upright in gusting winds.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Throw in a 'duck' for Jen which will not amuse her, of course.
And just to show no hard feelings about 'my ducks', a majestic 'All American' wonder...
Saturday, December 22, 2018
Mount Horeb viewed from the previous day's hike up another mountain. Our approach was from the extreme left.
Mount Horeb in Clarens, Free State, South Africa. What a treat. Who could resist the challenge. We researched the hike/climb and found it sketchy. Nevertheless, Dawn, a kindred spirit and owner of the apartment we booked, gave us a few tips on how to reach the trailhead.
We arrived at a gated community and were allowed to enter after some discussion. Wrong place. We left after twenty minutes and headed to the adjoining gated property. Unfortunately, we were denied entry. After a friendly chat with the guards, the office manager and a communication from the head office, we departed, unhappy but set off for a local nature reserve, our backup plan. It turned out a terrific hike with good views of surrounding mountains and the town.
Meantime, Dawn called around and found a farmer who would let us make the ascent from his property. She decided not to fight with the community management even though she told them ‘they don’t own the mountain’. In fact, not even Moses claimed ownership. Thank you, Dawn—a strong and adventurous woman who operates an efficient business. It’s wonderful when people are so helpful. In retrospect, it might have been a better idea to have played tiddlywinks instead.
The next morning, after contacting Meneer van Schalkwyk, a very helpful, active, elderly gentleman, we set off on a fifteen minutes journey to his farm where the mountain bordered his boundary. He explained the route: past the cows, through the dongas and kraal, up the gorge, along the fence, across to the signboard, over the overgrown veld and up a little (just a couple of kilometers more) and you should peak.
“I’ve never done it myself but it should be fairly straightforward.”
Sounds wonderful as we stared at this fascinating edifice, one of the highest in the Free State. As an aside, he also mentioned that cattle rustlers had stolen two-hundred and fifty pregnant sheep from the farm. He suggested we should be careful on the mountain but as I didn’t think Jen was pregnant, we did not worry much. He recovered the ewes but all aborted. What a terrible shame.
We followed the instructions and soon realized that there was no trail, no signs, only thick veld (bush-whacking is much easier), steep climbs and declines at acute angles on unstable surfaces and strong winds, making it a challenging and difficult hike; it was up there with some of the toughies we’ve undertaken over the last ten years. The steepness and distance were and are no problem for us; rather, the lack of a trail, the difficult and extremely precarious terrain made it a tough day. Much of the time we had to strain to find reasonable footing, so much so, that this heavily inhabited snake region became only a minor potential hazard. And while we were told of a short-cut down, we elected to return the longer way for fear of being misled further. Six hours on the slopes made for quite a day. Perhaps the low point was when we were at the high point of the hike and faced a decision of which route to follow to return. The thought of reversing our footsteps was unpleasant but we decided it was the only one of which we were certain. We put negativity aside and struggled down and across the steep slope, making our own switchbacks at every opportunity.
The downside, beside the sharp declines, was we were unable to find a way to the peak when we were less than 200 feet below it. Although it turned out to be a day of great satisfaction, a second day where we hiked through the bush and tested those skills not often used because of the existence of formal trails, we did not breakfast on the peak. Not a good feeling but close, not close enough.
There's always a humorous side to everything. While I slipped a number of times, suffering only a few minor abrasions, Jen remained sure-footed. Truth be told, she was outstanding. At one time, I checked whether she had lost her voice—not a whine all day. So in a situation in which she could have sustained serious injuries (me too, of course), she returned to our room without a scratch. That night, she went to the bathroom and stubbed her toe, causing pain and bleeding. Go figure!
We spotted this beauty, Jackal-buzzard, as we neared the ridge. However, we were standing
in a precarious position and it was only when Jen asked, "How long do we have to remain balancing
on one foot on an edge before the photographic session is over?" did I realize it was enough.
Spotting and viewing this creature added so much to the day. When it flew off, we were in motion
but gazed at its extended red, white and black wings.
The coloring and scenes below were most attractive as we ascended along the fence.
Horeb is just behind and left of what appears to be the highest peak.
Typical Eastern Free State scene, leading into the Drakensberg.
Horeb to the left, time for breakfast; we are stumped as to the final ascent after trying an approach from the right.
A profile of the range as we approach from the left side and the long way around. The farmer wanted us to get an idea of the extent of his land...and we 'bought' it
On the way home, an amazing white rock formation. The fence gives an idea of the slope.
Strutting in Golden Gate National Park, close-by.
A typical Golden Gate/Clarens scene complemented with aloes. (Basalt and Clarens sandstone dominate the region.)
Careful footing as we approach the gap on the smooth, white rock.
After a long day, closing in on the farmstead after fooling around on a distraction.
We met an expert birder, David Weaver, who identified 'our' birds. This is an African harrier hawk (We've become 'smart').
"Hey, you won't believe what I have down under," exclaimed the Egyptian goose. "Not another pimple," answered her mate looking a little embarrassed, we thought.
A 'little bit' of reality at a vulture hide.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Kenmo Lake, Himeville, South Africa, (salute to Elsa and Derryl)
How can Death Valley, California be so attractive?
Climbing at Otter Trail.
In clouds, Machu Picchu, Peru.
'Birthday Girl' in Tucson, Arizona.
Sierra Nevada, California, at sunset.
Sani Pass, Lesotho.
Good light at Bryce Canyon, Utah.
No ice in Iceland.
Dune running, Kelso, California.
Sunset at Lake Mead ... no wonder we love the place.
Approaching peak of Mount Woodson, Poway, California.
Jen en route to Andorra's highest, Pic Comapedrosa.
A view into Arizona from Black Mountain, Nevada, at sunrise.
Peaking in New Zealand.
The distant ruins of Choquirero, Peru, as we approach from above.
'It ain't heavy, it's my backpack' on Tongariro Circuit.
'Drives me wild', Patagonia, Argentina, at sunrise.
One autumn in Western Colorado.
More of Kenmo Lake, Himewille; why not? We met Doug Morton in this area: most fortunate for us.
A slippery slope on Island of Crete, Greece.
An artist colony some years ago at Raj's place, San Diego...the advantage of 'home ownership'.
I drive Jen nuts with, as she calls it, 'my ducks'. Here is a sequence of one of my ducks I call 'Osprey', going out for dinner:
The warm-up: Align and aim.
Dinner is served to be followed by pole-dancing.
And for a big finish: Casamanya, Andorra after being caught in a thunderstorm on the peak.
Jenni and Jeffrey