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.
Friday, June 28, 2019
41.08 Ketchum (north of), Idaho: Introduction to Staggering Peaks in Idaho and Reflections from Two Neighboring States.
Brunch half-way down from the top after a spectacular climb over tricky, snow-hidden trails. The views of unending peaks, a sight to behold.
From the challenging ridge of Norton Mountain, a breath-taking position.
The hike, views and feelings experienced left strong impressions.
Back in Hildale, upon entering a canyon, 'we' reflect
One of two Norton Lakes at about 9,000 feet altitude.
By the time the snow melts, it'll be snowing again in the high Idaho country.😞
Jenni and Jeffrey
Cottonwood Canyon, one warm day.
Jenni stands on Molly's Nipple (it is what it is), in Hurricane, a very steep and risky climb and much worse back down.
Squaw Peak, Provo: an incredible hike and climb with Mount Nebo behind.
Detour while seeking Molly's Nipple, in Hurricane, a tough and risky hike.
We found a lovely spot with a view over Provo and of Lake Utah while climbing past the "Y" to the tough peak. Jen rested on the rock.
Pretty as a Picture, another favorite above St. George.
See note below of this most exciting free rock climb, ascent from side in view. On the way down from "Y" Peak, we stop for some excitement.
It's hard to resist rock climbing opportunities such as this one. At first glance, it looked possible to scale quite easily. Second glance was a different matter and I struggled to find a route up. There appeared little place for purchase. Eventually, I found an opening in a rock which I could use to grip with a hand, thus aiding my feet on the climb. I made it to the top but then realized returning is always more difficult than ascending. A little late you might think. The foot and hand protrusions, if any, might prove difficult to find. The following conversation then took place while I had this dilemma.
"Jen? I don't know whether I will be able to climb down." No reply. "Why did you let me climb up here?"
"You're a big boy. It was your decision." Good answer.
"I need you to help me down, please."
"Of course. What do you want me to do?"
"I don't know." Nothing like a person with purpose and resolve. I proceeded to descend, getting my foot stuck in a narrow crevice. After clearing it, I continued searching for holds while Jen mentioned a piece of rock I should strive to reach with a stretched leg. By that stage, I felt an inch or two longer in the leg. Unbeknown to most if not all, I live with an imagination in my own little world--quite intimidating at times. After returning to ground, I told this secret of me and my imagination to Jenni.
"Surprise!. You think I don't know that?" Big surprise indeed.
Earlier, my imagination had begun conjuring its own 'Hillary Step' (The Everest Hillary) and this became my game and search for a handhold and foot purchase that would bring me back to safety. It worked and of course, between Jen and me, we'll always refer to that and other similar challenges by using the expression.
Fortunately, Jenni has softened somewhat, mentally, that is...I mean she's more relaxed these days. (Watch it, Jeffrey). In earlier periods, before going rock-climbing, she would always ask for the car keys, my wallet and when she was really acting tough, a note to the kids. Life has not been easy!
Telephoto from Squaw Peak highlights the impressive Provo Temple and its immaculate grounds.
Taking in the view below Turtlehead, on the way up, in Red Rock Park, Nevada.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Monday, June 24, 2019
41.06 Utah (southern): In the Middle of Nowhere and the Centre of Everywhere: Water Canyon, Creek and Cliffs.
Rich and distinctive canyon as Jen heads for home.
Earlier, going deeper into the canyon and up towards the cliff tops. Jen stands before the steep ascension and looks...which doesn't help any.
On a regular basis, we find ourselves in remote locations in many parts of the world. On each occasion, it never ceases to amaze that a person can be somewhere on the planet where not another soul appears to exist. At times, it can be a little eerie but on most occasions, it gives a person a feeling of upliftment, of being in an almost hallowed position. Nevertheless, we’ll try to convert these thoughts into words which is often more difficult than one anticipates.
Invariably, it can amount to a struggle to find the ideal hike or climb for the day or trek. Locating the trailhead is usually a challenge but fortunately, we are improving in this endeavor although there’s much scope for more competence. Today, we set out for what ended up a real gem of a hike and experience, a winner. En route to the trailhead, as we entered the town of Hildale, we missed the turnoff. We passed the junction by about two hundred yards and at that stage found ourselves in Arizona. See what we mean. The hike is in Utah...(continues at end... if we can find our way back to Utah soon.)
Distinctive, colorful, rich and a good challenge … not actually commenting on Jenni.
Jen catches the contrast of brightness on the walls and color on the water as I go down to the water seeking a better position. When suspected we may see 'magic' on our arrival, we rushed from the trailhead in sandals up a mound to find a good vantage point.
The reflecting walls, typical Utah...contrast with the picture below.
The same walls but as reflections off the pond below.
In order to reach the ledge, one has to do this below... Note the massive mountain top to the right.
Felt quite chuffed with this vertical climb without decent hand-, foot- grips.
and this...pardon me, boasting now complete, although it was quite tough but exciting.
Above the canyon itself and now heading higher.
When a person finds a treasure, one tries to hold onto it, even for fleeting moments.
Lapse in discipline: Contrasting coloring of Nepal and Southern Utah. (Everest at rear, looking down upon us.)
Looking up as the sun hits the spot.
Unique. Climbing in the canyon...yes, the best canyon we can recall plus cliffs to ascend.
Each moment of the day something unique is occurring.
Jen arranging the car 'for sale', relying on the background to attract customers.
Once arrived at the trailhead or carpark, it’s also possible the trail does not lead directly off from that position. When we settle these anomalies, within minutes it’s as if we are leaving the world we came from and entering another dimension—obviously, remaining Earth-bound but piercing a barrier and entering a place, usually little disturbed by mankind but for trails, where life is different, is natural. Looking around, one sees aspects of nature similar to so many other places. Of course, there will be trees, plants, flowers, grasses, lakes, rivers, mountains, streams, snow, differing textures and colors of soil, birds and animals and much more. However, what creates, we think, this aura is the manner in which it's integrated to form a place of serenity, calm, peace and almost contradictory, challenges, sometimes hostile, rough terrain, an opportunity for adventure and always, varying forms of weather. What we find staggering is the transformation that occurs, often but not always, of a spiritual feeling. Because we can't define the concept, we leave it for each person to try to relate to the idea based upon own experiences.
Most times, today would rate one of those occasions weighted toward the top of the scale in which one is overcome by the beauty, the tranquility, isolation, and overpowering sandstone mountains in hues of red, orange, gold and yellows. Because of the creek flowing between the canyon walls, the vegetation close to the water is rich in greens and healthy looking to the eye. Contrasting these colors against each other and then enhancing them in the early hours of the day, the power of the sun causes: colors to change, to burn brightly, to form shadows thus darkening too and, in the case of the pond at the beginning of the canyon, to reflect the sandstone tops off its surface. The gentle flow of water provided a calming effect to both our senses of sound and sight. Nature's humor also created slippery surfaces for our nervous feet, particularly close to edges.
When looking down the canyon, one’s eyes confront the towering walls of each side, narrowing as one enters the canyon and continues advancing. The birds chirp and remind us of an appreciation of life for it’s usually they who express their enthusiasm for the dawning of another day with such vibrancy. As we rise, and we do much of that as we head towards the top of the cliffs, the colors continue to change because of varying angles created by our movement. Of course, as much as we wish to observe the activity about us as well as the passive beauty of the towering walls, trees and plants, it behooves the walker to keep a close watch on the rising trail as it meanders in the canyon, climbing up and over boulders, rocks, tree trunks and every now-and-again, slick rock which at times, provides some tricky challenges.
While one begins to sweat and tire the further one advances, the initial enthusiasm mentioned earlier may take a backseat for a period but it never departs. The feeling remains and is reinforced every so often by a voice reminding us where we are and that at nearly every step, something new appears. Realistically, by the time one is worn down, it’s not surprising for the sights and excitement to take a lower profile. However, the soul has been touched and that feeling cannot be changed or withdrawn. Upon arriving back at the trailhead, the physical recovery begins and the mental stimulation caused by the sights and the physical feeling of accomplishment pair together to uplift one again. Nothing beats the mix of sweat through effort with beauty and stimulating sights thrown in as a bonus.
Once completed, including showering and eating, the experience, often supported by photographs but many a time not, lingers and stays with a person for a long time or at least, until superseded by the next adventure. Of course, each one remains, perhaps layered upon one another to etch into a person’s mind and soul the feelings, sights, novelty, learning, sweat, discovery and personal sense of achievement. For, each thing we do, can be made into a sense of accomplishment and growth. Each day, a life lived well, is an adventure.
Sights and atmosphere were spectacular.
...and some people 'run to Nepal' for excitement.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Friday, June 21, 2019
41.01, 41.02, 41.03 & 41.04 Nevada & Utah: Turtlehead, Mount Griffith, Yellow Knolls and other sunny desert delights - an introduction.
"Pardon me. Who is Queen of the Rocks?" The editor on the spectacular white checkerboard slab on Yellow Knolls Trail.
Turtlehead in Red Rock Canyon Park, Nevada, our destination, one fine morning at 6:05am.
A short while later, we have a daunting perspective of the peak.
We’ve always tried to keep out of the deserts in summer for obvious reasons. However, in autumn and winter and early spring, the desert is a place of beauty, tranquility, wonder and challenges. Last year, we were able to enjoy two autumns, our favorite hiking period because of good weather and coloring. The initial autumn occurred in Argentina during March and April while the latter was in Eastern Europe during October and parts of November. We haven’t been in a desert at temperatures above 80 degrees in a long while. Good planning.
All good things do end. Because of a desire to be away in autumn later this year and that we undertook too short a trip in Nepal recently, a local trip to Idaho, Northern Nevada and Utah made the most sense for this period. However, to get to those locations, one has to pass through the great Mojave Desert. And while passing through, it’s worth a pause to take in a few hikes during mid-June near Las Vegas and especially to see Gill and Clive Midgen. Surely, the temperatures are not peaking just yet. Our first hike at Red Rock Park to Turtle Peak was its usual testing self and is always a wonderful hike. In order to minimize the heat, we began the ascent soon after the gates opened—we arrived before the 6am entry period. Good plan and it succeeded.
The following day, we again woke before 5am to walk to Griffith Peak, the sister mountain of Charleston. It (the hike) was the main reason we selected Las Vegas as a destination point on the way north. Mount Charleston is an icon of Nevada. Off we went and because of weather conditions, we had to turn back after two hours of tough hiking. Too hot! Of course, that’s the obvious reason. Actually, chest-high snow blocked our progress. There you have it. Turned away in early summer because of too much snow. Nature is far too smart for simple folk. We have not been able to hike in this region during winter because of cold and snow. We avoid southern Nevada in the impossibly hot summer months which leaves a window of opportunity for this icon to November, we suppose.
The next day, we followed the same routine regarding waking and the car journey. This time we commenced in a canyon and actually felt chilly. What a glorious feeling then knowing we had 2-3 hours before the temperature would reach well in excess of 100 degrees. The adage of man planning and God laughing seemed to work quite well although it wasn’t that funny.
Jen stands on the peak of the 'Turtle', a tough and slippery hike.
There she goes again, heading high toward Griffith Peak alongside Mount Charleston.
Invariably, the most exciting hiking periods involve free rock climbing, effectively, supplementing the hikes.
You kidding? Nevada in mid-June on Mount Charleston range. We crossed the snow earlier, at the gorge. (Jen on right).
Although she may be smiling, the slope was dangerous; it's a lot worse than it looks.
Particularly taken in with this early morning scene on another Red Rock hike as the sun lights up a few spots. The backdrop reminded us of the Amphitheatre of the Drakensberg in South Africa. The mountain reaches for the sky vertically and has a certain symmetry. Love it.
Airplane routine. Makes me long for when I was nineteen. Not for youth, way past that. Rather for strong bones and muscles without the aches.
Some show off in their own way, usually less crass than others. We did climb this wall which should not be construed in the same manner as we had Mom doing (climbing walls) when we were teenagers.
The editor's on a roll as she plays on the mini-arch above the boulder-top. This is where we'd love to bring the grandkids. Imagine how they'd enjoy it. We behave like kids on these rocks or we hope we do.
A remarkable position overlooking the white checkerboard slabs just outside St. George.
Jenni and Jeffrey
"Give me a break. This slithering serpent began with a lecture about an apple and I lost it completely. Flattened the bugger with a 'Granny Smith'. Payback!"
"See! She does have a soft side."