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.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Trapped in a bowl.
A spectacular hike and position.
A person has to ask the question even though he or she may not wish to know the answer or worse, find the thought disheartening or even depressing. Obviously, these situations arise constantly throughout life as they should. Many of them important, while others are frivolous or just passing humor. Our question appears to be on the humorous side until one considers it seriously. For, should it be important, involving core aspects of one's life, then surely it's vital.
As we write this, another thought flashes across the mind. So now there are two of them—as if one was not enough of an issue. The latter thought is the old adage: 'What is the meaning of life?' Who has not asked the question? More importantly, who knows the answer and above that, does anyone live according to such understanding. The first question, which prompted these few paragraphs, now becomes a little more focused. We'll first provide the answer and then most readers will know what the question is and who answered it.
"Because they are there." (continues at end...)
The tough hike and conditions were worth it if just for this view.
Reflection allows for the display of the ridge.
Another favorite as we view the distant peaks from ours.
Winter conditions in the summer season.
"Can we stop here for brunch?"
An 'upside-down world' may be an appropriate caption.
Alpine Lake at 9,000 feet, one summer's day.
That's it for Norton Peak, Idaho.
With that, we log-off.
Mr. Mallory answered the question asked of why he climbed mountains. It seems there are no rational answers although we do have an argument which appears, at first glance, more thorough than his. We realize we struggle up mountains fairly often, most times reach the summit, turn around and find our way back to the trailhead at which juncture we feel a sense of accomplishment. What is the accomplishment? What is the personal contribution to oneself and further, the benefit to the world? If one cannot answer the questions, provide a meaningful reply, is one wasting a life? When trying to relate to the myriad activities of millions of people, without being defensive, it's a fair question to pose: Do most of us make a contribution that enhances or builds ourselves? Is performing a function, often dreary and repetitive, something worthy of considering meaningful and adding something to the world? Obviously, there are many people who do make a difference to the planet but they are few, relatively speaking. There are not an awful number of Albert Einstein's, Alexander Bell and Fleming's or dedicated teachers relative to a population of 7 billion and counting.
What's the point? Surely, the challenge is to make our sojourn on earth as productive, meaningful, enjoyable and fruitful as possible. Well then, climbing up-and-down mountains frequently, does not seem to cut it. It's not an answer but in a soon to be published novel, "Vengeance is Mine ... and mine, too", we raise a point within the book that does not answer the issue but makes one ponder. In principle, going up mountains and hopefully, returning: Is that any different from playing sport, particularly at a professional level, seem intelligent or necessary. Have you ever thought about a basketball player and team members bouncing a ball on a court and then have the opponents do the same thing the other way. The example applies to soccer, football, golf, tennis and every other sport. What gives? How different is the mountain climbing business? How different is any part of life? And if vocation, work, or a job is meaningful and our primary function—were we put on earth to attach wheels to cars, cut the grass, fill in documents, build roads and bridges, play act? You get the point. Who is to say what function is more meaningful than another? Surely life is not about a job even if one fulfills the function of a calling, although in those instances, there is a strong case for making a forceful argument. (As an aside, while we have tremendous admiration for caregivers and other dedicated medical people, we are not that naïve to wonder how many of those professionals would perform such functions if unaccompanied by large remuneration packages?) For the rest, can we honestly say the level of income is not a determinant of what we do? Just thinking aloud. And if one's life is primarily about one's job, then what is life in retirement—post career. We get back to the point of life. Maybe, Mallory's answer was more intelligent than it seems. Perhaps he was saying that he did it, climbed mountains, because the challenge presented itself daily and he enjoyed the opportunity of proving himself each day. Alternatively, each day is a fresh beginning as if commencing a new life.
In the end, perhaps he was stating that he does whatever is within the bounds of acceptable morality, that does no harm and causes him to live each and every day in a manner that pleases just one person, the only person that he can and should influence to derive satisfaction from life, himself. We all have the obligation, need and desire to fulfill a role that satisfies our time on earth, no matter what it is, within the parameters mentioned earlier. We all have a mountain to climb daily.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Talking of slopes and on scree and this is before we approach a similar part ahead but covered in snow.
Trying to get closer to 'you-know-who' but it may be easier to reach a peak with closed-eyes.
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
41.12 Ketchum (Sun Valley), Idaho: Bald Mountain ascent. 41.13 Challis: Fanny's Hole ... we climb them, not name them.
Hiding in the bushes and then flees … almost impossible not to disturb these alert birds.
There it goes.
With a close and farewell greeting, it gives us the 'wing'.
We’ve been to Idaho once before but visited different regions from our current locations on that trip. Thus far, it’s been a knockout. Of course, one’s opinion depends to a large extent on perspective and choice of activities. We remember an exchange one year while staying outside Christchurch, New Zealand. We were chatting with the cabdriver about this subject—knowing why one chooses a particular region to investigate and enjoy. We would not visit Challis and Hailey (Idaho) for the ballet, for example. (In fact, we might not visit any city for the ballet though, unless Ellie, our granddaughter was dancing). Getting back to the cabbie, he told us he was a bit stumped when a New York couple were looking for the high nightlife in his city. What was he to answer to a couple from Gotham.
Now if high mountains, jagged edge peaks, mostly covered in snow with a myriad of alpine lakes ‘turns a person on’ then head, as our friend and superior hiker, Barry Jahn of Oregon does often, for Idaho. The region between Stanley and Bellevue, just for starters is enchanting, mesmerizing, sometimes scary on the mountains but always attractive. A person could believe the state employs gardeners to ensure the fields are pristine, pole fences are oiled, mountains are erect and properly dressed, lakes stocked adequately with fish and ensure there are enough places for people to walk and absorb it all. You might glean that we really like this state. The people are a little different from those of the big cities which of course, is understandable and dare we day, a plus. Farming and outdoor life in the summer, which may only be 3-4 months, is clearly visible. Today, on our return from a top ten hike (Mount Borah), we sat on a highway as cowboys herded cattle along the 93. As an aside, early summer is the period during which the fields and wilds (apparently roads, too) are filled with the newly-born animals romping and behaving in typical childish ways—it’s terrific. We’ve missed noticing the potato farms but Jen says rumor has it that Idaho potatoes are now grown in- and imported from- China.
There’s a strong country feel to most of the places we’ve visited. We’ll be here on 4th July and look forward to observing how these people revel in the spirit of the occasion—we have no doubt there won’t be flag-burning, thankfully, but many firecrackers will explode. While we may have given the impression of the country-feel, we’ve come across some high-end exclusive parts, Ketchum is a fine example. In Sun Valley, many tourists enjoy the beauty of the town and surrounds which includes the ski resorts. Ski lifts and slopes cover Bald Mountain extensively; we hiked 3,200 feet elevation gain on Sunday (glorious). Clearly, it’s a popular region. On another hike, we began from a trailhead in a neighborhood of large, very attractive housing with a golf course filling land not utilized typically for backyards, shopping malls, gas stations and restaurants. A neighboring suburb has the Big Wood River snaking through it, sometimes abutting the front lawns of these developments. This is luxury and upper-level living. So much so, that an incident occurred on our way back from a trail the other day
It went something like this: A police officer ordered us to pull-over. “Hello Officer,” I greeted him, “Was I doing something wrong?” I asked nervously.
“No, nothing wrong; it’s who you are that’s the problem.” I’ve heard that comment before but from an officer of the law, it seemed strange—weird may be appropriate . I mean, the guy did not even know me.
“Would you care to explain?”
“Well, it’s like this,” he began. “You’re traveling through this exclusive area, very exclusive. How old is your car?” What kind of question was that, I wondered, while glancing across at Jenni.
“We bought it in 2012, so it makes it over 7 years old,” I replied. “It’s a Kia Optima. I felt like calling our grandson, Benny, to talk with the cop. Benny, nearly 7, younger than the car, knows more about cars than we do. In fact, he has undertaken to provide his Gaga with a convertible. Apparently, he’s not that keen on the Kia either.
“Okay, that’s the issue. There’s an unwritten ordinance in the town. The residents feel they need to maintain a certain standard, if you know what I mean,” he winked. “To this end, any car older than 5 years should not use the main roads. They expect a vehicle of this vintage to either drive through after sunset or take the town bypass or frankly, stay in Challis.”
“You’re not serious?” I exclaimed.
“Sorry, sir, I am. I understand your situation but this is Ketchum, you see.”
We wondered should we decide to attend the ballet whether we should take an Uber.
Starting to gain some height; attracted to the town and Big Wood River and liking them much.
Jen is on the edge; destination beyond the high point of the towers.
We go off the formal path and head up a steep, steep section (Camera can't capture gradient). Jen at bottom of the screen, above Ketchum, not such a 'happy girl'. We met up with group of 4 below this section. A woman suggested to me 'why would you take the formal path when you can take a direct route'. Why indeed! Not being able to resist the implied challenge, we changed plan. Turned out to be one my lesser ideas.
Reached the highpoint, a gain of 3,200 feet; now where's brunch?
A ski slope view at/from the top on the other side of Bald Mountain.
An Idaho sunset in the mountains of Challis.
Reaching a peak on Fanny's Hole in Idaho.
Facing another direction after a quick and steep climb.
A little negotiation above Challis … mind that slippery slope.
Same state, same season, different altitudes.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Friday, July 19, 2019
It's fascinating. In fact, it's more than that. How is it possible that each period on the trails, in the mountains, the forests or any natural place, the day differs from the previous occasion? Each moment reveals surprises, secrets, revelations of the mystique and beauty of our planet. It goes without saying that variables such as the weather, including the sun, moon and other elements assist by enhancing differences. Bearing the latter comment in mind, our point is not that these elements are the only causation of variation in nature, specifically, the sights and experiences from/on the trails. No, not at all. There are a myriad of differences throughout the natural world we witness as we proceed. To top it all, in the earlier days we always wondered whether we would see something special on our hike of that day. Now we don't have to think about it. It's a given. Each day we will see new sights. What a treat, a blessing … a miracle?
Mount Olympus, elevation gain of 4,200 feet, viewed at sunset from hotel parking lot. This one will not be forgotten. While we may have different views and opinions from other citizens, we are grateful to 'Old Glory' and the country for accepting two little people and their children. Separately, as South African author, Alan Paton wrote, and we find it fitting to adapt and apply to the natural wonders of the Western United States, "Ah But Your Land is Beautiful".
Idaho: Borah Mountain, one early morning, a tough climb. Our intention was to reach somewhere over 3,000 feet and turn around, which we did. The full hike requires proper preparation for which we were not ready. If you follow the trail lower down, (clear at the commencement of the climb), the white dot is our car.
Reaching one of many high spots on this fearsome mountain.
Utah: Lake Blanche, a solid hike and a couple of lakes.
On the way, we lost the trail and went across an avalanche area before realizing our error.
Idaho, Norton Peak: Guess who reaches a stunning peak on a rather tough final climb in snow and scree.
We 'brunched' at this view position after descending the tricky decline. No use eating before we got to a relatively safe place … indigestion?
Utah: Desolation Lake reflects.
Utah: On the peak of Gobbler's Knob, after crossing 5 false peaks. Close to 3,200 feet elevation gain.
Jen returning toward the saddle separating Gobbler's Knob and Mount Raymond. The altitude difference of the two mountains is 5 feet.
Salt Lake City (downtown and airport) from Grandeur Peak, a little under 3,000 feet elevation gain.
Looking down into the canyon and trail.
Sun brings up coloring of exposed mountain face in Salt Lake as seen from Mount Grandeur.
Interesting position at lake level as sun highlights a visitor along Lake Mary.
Jenni and Jeffrey