LAZAROW WORLD HIKE-ABOUT
New Zealand: Along the Ben Lomond Trail.
'LAZAROW WORLD HIKE-ABOUT: 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 the end of 2022, the blog contained over 1,470 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."
"A Life Experience As No Other: Dare to Seize the Day Together", published by Fulton Books, depicts our life on the road and mountains until the beginning of 2017. It has developed 'exponentially' since then.
Jenni and Jeffrey Lazarow
Whereas we continue to update the blog regularly, we no longer circulate email notifications.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
(If you click on the thumbnails in the collage, they will enlarge).
Wow! We thought only the southern part of Utah was beautiful. Small thinkers. The whole state is gorgeous. We take off our hats to the Mormon people. They sure know how to choose a beautiful place to live. We have nothing to teach them…although we might suggest that fewer wives per male might have some merit.
We climbed towards three lakes and then up to one of the many pinnacles of the mountain range. The distance was 6.5 miles with an elevation gain of a little over 2,000 feet. We overlooked the ski basin in what could be one of the most stunning areas we have visited. We do make that proclamation quite often so don’t hold us to it. Nevertheless, this is a magnificent place. We walked up some steep slopes, played on the rocks, walked alongside streams, crossed flower covered meadows and always had stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We noticed a variety of birds and even managed to come between a partridge type bird and its young. Our knowledge is lacking in ornithology. The mother was not happy with us and displayed a nasty little temper. It is often difficult reasoning with a fellow human so how much more complicated is it to placate a bird or animal.
We had a view from the summit that looked ideal for a golf course as there was a gentle slope filled with trees and rolling hills. Imagine, we thought, if Tiger Woods had seen this a few years ago. He could have designed a course within this beautiful locale. Think of the spinoff. He would have married those ten or so girlfriends in this state and spared himself much pain and embarrassment.
We met a most interesting man on the slopes. Joel arranged his life a little differently from most. His parents died young and so with the money he inherited, he decided to enjoy the best of America without going into an office daily, the ultimate ‘free spirit’. The issue he faces today is that although he is experienced in matters of the world, he has no formal work skills. The market crashes of 2000 and 2008 make his current lifestyle extremely difficult. We need to learn a lesson from his experience—it is important that our editor gets a real job and brings in income before she gets too old. We want to continue appreciating Hashem’s beautiful world. If nothing else, we learn quickly. We enjoyed the couple of hours spent in discussion with Joel. We wish him well. In fact, we wish only good things on all decent people.
We have developed a gripe. It might be that the ‘grapes are sour’ on our travels. When pondering at the crest today, we thought about the skiers as we looked down on the slopes. We want to know why we climb up the high mountains while they ride the lift. We sweat in the heat and they are cozy in their cute, colorful outfits. Then they stand on two planks of wood and let gravity and the slopes bring them down. We, of course, have to trudge back the way we came. They bask in the glory of the run while we enjoy the mosquitoes, gnats and other cute critters. The more we think about it, the more our ‘grapes turn to wrath’**. The skiers only ‘do their business’ when bears hibernate and snakes are buried under the snow. Tough guys! Are we getting a fair shake, we want to know?
We are looking forward to Shabbos, especially as our editor located a Mormon Chabad and a hotel within walking distance. We are going to practice our directions this afternoon because we cannot carry and use the new GPS system on Shabbos. (Baruch Hashem).
** Thank you, Mr. Steinbeck
‘We ought to get going or we will miss our plane in Seattle,’ we said to each other. Although the departure is late August, there is much to do and we want to see the sights of the northern states. We did more business than usual, which does not necessarily mean that we made more money. It does mean that we spent much of yesterday traveling through Utah with another business stop along the way and less hiking. We also felt a little sick from all the Coke we have been drinking. Inside information is that we are slowing our consumption of the brown liquid and might think of going ‘short’ on Coke shares. This does sound a little arrogant, we suppose, but we like to make full disclosure especially to our treasured reader. Bless you!
We were able to get in a short hike south of Salt Lake City. The trail was fairly steep but nice. Things took an interesting turn when we gave each other a warning, as we approached a narrow path, to keep an eye out for snakes. Lo and behold, as we mentioned the word ‘snakes’, a 4.5 feet rattler crossed our path. A photograph, attached, only shows part of the tail as the ‘frightened snake’ took cover.
We watched for another minute. We wondered who was more afraid, the snake or ourselves. We are sure it did not take our photograph, so maybe that round goes to us.
The irony of it all was that our editor had made some strategic purchases for the trip. Mace for the bears and snake guards to place around the legs. We are pleased to let you know that the trunk of the car was perfectly safe from snakebites. Guess where the guards were. However, it’s not correct to say anything. After all, we know who is still on probation about behavioral issues.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Our journey was pleasant from San Diego towards St. George, Utah. We passed through a beautiful mountainous area of Arizona and then entered Utah. One of the sparkling features of the state is the abundance of natural beauty, whether traveling along the freeway or country roads.
We are learning that a person has to avoid developing bad habits—this leads to difficulties and problems. In a moment of catharsis, we have the need to share a problem with you. We would ask that you not mention this to our children as it is embarrassing and has occurred more often than we would like to admit. However, if nothing else, we ought to be forthright with anyone making the effort to read about our journey.
Each state has its own character. For instance, in Arizona we come across the ‘Thirst Buster’, it’s the ‘Big Gulp’ in 7-11’s in California and so on. For those who are not well informed, we are referring to the soda fountains at gas stations and convenience stores. On Sunday, we walked up to the fountain and looked at the array of sizes—12, 16, 24, 32, 44 and 54 ounces. Can you imagine so much Diet Coke? When facing such a situation, we feel a knocking at the knees and the Yetzer Horah cheering us to go for it. Our editor always acts with decorum and suggests that if we are very thirsty we should select the sixteen ounces container. Great disappointment. It now means a negotiation. Pleading and begging follows and we decide that we should not be greedy. After all, we are already grandparents and must set a fine example for Ellie and still maintain a decent standard for our children. We forego the fifty-four ounces and select the forty-four ounces only, instead. We feel we are making a great sacrifice that is fitting—only forty-four ounces of Diet Coke. (No ice inside either as we like to drink it straight.)
We struggle out of the store trying to balance the heavy weight. We hope that we are not going to strain the car with this additional burden. After an hour, we begin to get the feeling that much of the Diet Coke wants to be somewhere else. We think it’s bored and wants to leave the bladder. However, we are in the middle of the desert in Nevada. It is totally barren but for thousands of slot machines. We can’t stop on the freeway as there is a traffic problem on the other side of the road. The cars are backed-up for miles, meaning we would be unfavorably ‘exposed’ to spectators. We put the foot flat on the accelerator and begin our search for relief. We are sure you know the feeling. Although it is embarrassing, we think everyone has had this experience. We begin to move from discomfort to a little pain with wriggling and then jumping, all the time racing ahead and looking for the magic ‘potty’. Finally, we see a ‘Gas Station’ advertising the great ‘Thirst Quencher’ and restrooms. We fly in, jump out the car and immediately feel burned by the very hot air. Later, we find that the temperature was 115%. Wow! We are now feeling the pain from both ends.
A half-sprint gets us to the door of the store and behold - it happens! We look down and… nothing. It is a phenomenon of Nevada during July. The extreme heat has evaporated all surplus body liquids.
We are obviously not learning the lessons of life because notwithstanding the discomfort, we cannot forgo the ‘thirst buster’ and its fellow drinks.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Here we go,
The stock market is riding high again. The bulls are happy but what of the bears. The bears are always on our mind because we traverse between them in the wild and back in the ‘wilderness’. We sometimes refer to the stock market as a circus or a wild place. So we continue to sell things to the bulls. However, we are running out of stocks to sell—we are not thinking of selling our editor, no never…well, at a good price…
We left San Diego and reached Hurricane, Utah at 7pm on Sunday night. The radio announcer said the time was 8pm. We were concerned because our editor’s watch seemed to be running an hour slow. However, she’s a quick one. ‘We are east of San Diego,’ she announces and so for some reason they move the clock forward. ‘But I thought they did that in March,’ I reply. We spent part of the night searching for a ‘lost hour’. We had no idea what time to wake this morning to the opening of the market, so we set shifts to be sure. It is not easy being from Africa, the brain is not always fully functional.
We decided that for this trip, we would only pass through Utah as we have visited this great state three times previously, in the past year. We made the deal. What do you think? Today, we hiked in Kanerraville, on the north-west border of Zion—Kolob Canyon. What can we say? We love Utah. We might be in this state for another week before we reach Idaho.
Today’s hike provided much enjoyment. It reminded us of the days when our mother would shout, “Jeffrey, get out of the mud with your new shoes. Just you wait until your father gets home.” Have a look at the pictures. Two grownups walking in a stream and up the falls. We thought how is it possible to have so much fun, and on a Monday, too. Our editor does us proud. She walks directly into the creek, over the cobble stones, through the rapids, climbs the rocks and scampers up and down the rope ladders. She never looks back. She shows much courage. Then again, I suppose she has to be brave. Look who she married!
We met an eighty-six year old man who said he arrived in this town in 1962. He pulled up next to us in an off-road vehicle as we prepared to hike. We wanted to ask him if he was a hippie at that time but our editor, suspecting the question, was quick to end further discussions. If he was, he clearly isn’t now. We were bowled over when a youngster of about ten or eleven came up to us and asked whether he could help us with directions. In some parts of the world that could be a dangerous encounter, but not in Kanerraville.
We were in the stream/creek at least 4 hours, passing through the various slot canyons. It was a wonderful experience, especially for our boots. They have the very modern ‘wet look’. We surprise ourselves these days. What with our stylish hats, the new-look boots and the designer sunglasses, we are very ‘with-it’. Our editor posed a very good question. She wants to know when we are in ‘dry-hike’ mode and we come to a stream, why do we do everything possible to avoid touching the water? However, when we are on the ‘wet-hike’, we traipse through the water the whole way enjoying the feel of it. We tell her we’ll get back to her on that one. We have far more important questions to answer. For instance, we’re still trying to work out the time in this state.
Catch up with you soon,
Damp Jenni and her ‘Drip’
Monday, July 26, 2010
We are ready to begin the second leg of World-Hike-About. Our editor has filled her pen with red ink and we have settled all differences arising from words used poorly or to be rather harsh, sarcastic behavior. We will expound on the forgiveness process later—when the healing is complete.
We said goodbye to our little family of Natalie, Anthony and Ellie. It was sad but people have to part in order to chase their dreams. Our Natalie is sweet, lovely and sensitive and so she takes it a little hard. However, we are comforted because Anthony is strong and loving, the best type of husband to have. Nevertheless, it was not easy for any us. Maybe Ellie showed the most fortitude. We think she was focused on her next meal but who can be sure.
This leg is a little different from the previous adventures. We will combine local hikes and climbs with those in the Swiss Alps and then continue exploring in the North and the Negev of the Promised Land. The period in Israel includes the Yom Tavim in Netanya and Jerusalem so we are extra excited about that. We read a tip about hiking in the Negev that wasn’t too exciting, though. The writer of the article suggested that when we park our car in desert areas we should not lock the doors. Our editor jumped to the conclusion of the honesty of people in Israel. We know of this so it seemed to reinforce our thinking. Unfortunately, she read further. Sometimes a person must know when to stop. Apparently, the nomads in the desert are not quite as honest as the rest. This means that a person has the dilemma of locking the doors and perhaps having the car windows smashed and the contents stolen or, not locking and making it easy to steal the contents. Decisions, decisions—always decisions. We are now studying the insurance business or more specifically, passing the risk onto somebody else.
The trip begins in San Diego, the city where we find ourselves. We spent three weeks here, a place in which we have resided as permanent residents for the last twenty years. We mention the three weeks, not because we are worried about INS agents reading our words, but because we lived here as sojourners over this period. It changes one’s perspective. At the hotel, people asked us where we were from and why we chose the particular location as a base for our visit. ‘We are from University City’ we said. ‘But that is just a few miles away,’ they would reply with a funny look on their faces. Apparently, we have an accent that does not make us sound like native San Diegans either. Go figure. It can all be very confusing and takes a long time to explain our situation. We now say we are fugitives from ‘hostile landlords’. This seems to cause more frowning but a lot less questioning.
We also found we have to carry a large pile of cash notes wherever we go. When we lived in a house or even an apartment, the credit was unlimited. Some days we would arrive home and see piles of credit just waiting for us. Now in the spirit of change, things are different. No matter how responsible a person is, and our editor is very responsible, the credit companies want to know where we live and how long we have lived there. After telling them we live in the Motel 6 with a history of at least three days, we are finding it does not impress them. There is no doubt they have raised their standards. But we are not likely to give up easily. We are thinking of moving to the Red Roof Inn. It has a nice ring to it. We are hoping our credit manager has a little imagination. Besides, we could run out of credit without his help.
We think we got a little side tracked. We may have mentioned this before but our editor pays us by the word so we tend to add in a few extra, even when she is looking. We intend to leave from San Diego and head north towards Bellevue in Washington. In case you missed it, notice that we avoided mentioning the big neighboring city of Seattle. It is our way of saying, in a very casual way, how experienced we are in matters of geography and travel. We like the subtle way we do it—shows a nice touch and our oft- mentioned humility. Our destination in Bellevue is our son, Gavin—we look forward to seeing him, of course.
The real destination is the journey. This includes travel in and through Idaho followed by the equally great states of Wyoming and maybe Montana if there is sufficient time. We are excited to experience the lakes, mountains, glaciers and geysers of that interesting territory. We believe they throw in bears, both black and grizzlies, wolves, mountain lions, bison , moose and elk. Our editor wants to know if the list of animals is multiple-choice. One selects those that we want to see and the rest are locked in cages until we leave the area. We don’t know how to explain to our editor that the animals are in their natural habitat. It’s we who may be a little out of place. Sometimes, after a few weeks on the road, our editor does hint that my scent is similar to that of the four-legged beasts.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Today, our last day on the trail, until our next day on the trail, ended up being a wonderful experience. Aren’t they all? It is not easy keeping up with our editor. Eight miles of wondering up and back a rugged set of granite mountains in Prescott is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, I suppose. Then I wonder why not? The views were gorgeous and climbing on the rocks, a favorite pastime for us, was exciting. We probably did miss something in our childhood. We’re glad. In some ways, we wish we had missed other things too so we can pursue them now as new activities. Mom, did we have a sandpit and swing?
We enjoyed Prescott. It seems to be a well-established small city, maintained in pristine condition. It is also the home of our favorite radio station, KALM. It is nestled in…guess what…mountain ranges. After a good eight-miler at a fast pace, we arrived at our car later than expected because the hike was longer than indicated by the ‘experts’. Then we made the dash to Yuma, AZ, a very hot town--it was about 100 degrees at 10pm. But as they say it is a dry heat, whatever that means.
A good night’s sleep followed by a three-hour drive to San Diego and the first leg of Hike-a-Bout was over. We’re back and excited to see our children, grandchild and friends. However, we are already missing the…. Will be back on the trails towards the end of July. This time California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Switzerland, Israel and more.... Thanks to all of you for reading the blog and for your comments and e-mails. They are very much appreciated.