New Zealand: Along the Ben Lomond Trail.


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.
ur 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.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great Scott--no need to be blue

Putting blues behind one

Hello One More Time,

This set was omitted previously. It has the distinction of being the last one.

Wednesday 20th

We left Mount Shasta and slept south of Redding, in the town of Williams. We have experienced many small towns and motels, enjoying them all without exception. Our editor has an eye for the soft, warm bed and a sense of the right room atmosphere. Our days, filled with activity, leave little time or energy for sightseeing at night. Our ‘nightclubbing times’ are also very slow, B’H. Anyway, should we need an interesting sight to view; there is always the bathroom mirror at 6 am each day.
Surrounding walls and slopes

Wednesday was a big travel day in the ‘long state’ of California. After eight hours in the car, we finally made a dent in the journey back to San Diego. However, the weather turned wet. It is a sad day when one has to consider leaving Southern and Central California for Oregon because of a need for sunshine. What do they say: “It never rains in Southern California.” We are now in Morro Bay, a quaint town with a massive rock (morro) positioned on the beach. We hiked in this area last year and found it very attractive.
Returning from Fire-Watch Duty
After spending four nights in this town or city, we are on our way to visit Robbie and will then rush to see Ellie and her Mom—we have missed them enormously, Skype notwithstanding. We cannot wait for Ellie to begin hiking—we hope she learns to climb before perfecting her walk. We also need to be back in San Diego before Granny Ruth arrives to visit from South Africa. We can’t have her hiking from the airport to the house—we don’t find it a particular interesting route.
Happy to be Here

Attached are photographs of Crater Lake, all taken from the top of Mount Scott, last Monday afternoon. This set differs from the last, snapped at lake level or a little above. The elevation at the peak is 1,400 feet so the perspective is quite different.
Crossing the saddle

We have enjoyed an experience that we consider a highlight in our lives. We do not make the statement lightly. This has been a period encompassing many facets of life. It is not within the scope of the email to expand upon such a bold statement. Nevertheless, although we had our share of life’s daily challenges, we experienced joy and elation that at times, made it difficult to sleep.

To those who have shared their thoughts, anecdotes and other experiences with us, thank you indeed. We have some extraordinary friends in and outside our community, some just as meshugana as ourselves. This is reassuring and even comforting. Your words enhanced our adventure. To those, (we would love to mention names, but won’t), who accompanied us on the journey, including the strenuous climbs, you made the trip even more spectacular. Thank you for keeping us in mind and giving the extra little push when we needed to match our editor’s pace.
It has been said on many occasions because we feel it so strongly: We have been blessed to have undertaken the adventure. B’H

One more and farewell from Mt. Scott
G-d willing, we’ll see you soon.

Cheers and thank you again,

Jenni and Jeffrey

Rocking in Morro Bay, CA

Commencing Bouldering, after climb

Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd

We set out on a seemingly innocuous hike this afternoon in cloudy weather. The morning, spent working and doing washing, was slow while we waited for the weather to clear. Our expectations were low and our spirits, only slightly higher about the hike. However, we discovered a path that lead via a dry mountain wash to the peak of what is termed, a morro. Not coincidentally, we are in Morro Bay, which has seven of these formations—the most famous of them, positioned on the beach. The hike through the state forest, followed by a climb up the steep mountain of about 1,000 feet, got the ‘juices’ flowing. It was one of the most sheer we have encountered. Close to the peak, we ended up ‘bouldering’ upwards, a favorite pastime of ours. It was exhilarating climbing these large boulders and rocks, planning each step, until reaching the top.
On top of the World & loving it

Hawk eyeing kosher lunch on mountain top
Not everything went as we wished, though. A while back, we mentioned to our editor that we are quite a scout. Having had a year in the military, we thought it enhanced our tracking ability. Of course, our pride got in the way and we had to accept the challenge when called on it. Isn’t that how it always works.
Lazy taking a break
Before commencing the hike, our editor read the warnings about cougars in the park. We were hoping that after the bear debacles, mountain lions would be a ‘breeze’. Can’t they keep all the carnivores in the zoo? We guess not. Whenever we see droppings on the trail, our editor calls out, “Hey, Scout.” What that means is that said scout should check the temperature of the droppings. Of course, hot or warm ‘parcels’ indicate the animal passed by recently. “No, you cannot wear gloves, Scout,” she explains. “You don’t get an accurate feel that way. Are you being a wuss again?” Clearly, there is a lesson for us—if we are going to boast, be careful what we choose to express—not that we have a much of a repertoire.
Victory declared...sort of
We arrived at the car having enjoyed a wonderful afternoon. The surprise for us was the last comment from our dear editor. “You can’t get in the car with those filthy hands. See you at the motel, sweet heart.”
Perched for view of San Luis Obispo

SL Obispo from the Peak

We wish you a great Shabbos and good weekend.


Jenni and Jeffrey

PS We enjoyed another hike south of Morro Bay on Friday which is appended. Distance of 4-5 miles with an elevation gain 1200 feet.

Valley of My Doll

Pre Shabbos greeting with Gavin

Thursday, October 21, 2010

California's Mt. Shasta 14 150'

Tuesday 19th

After Crater Lake, we stopped for the night in Klammath Falls. We were in no hurry to cross back into California—Oregon is very much alive within us. We wanted to hold on a little longer. Okay, enough with the nonsense. By the way, the lake in this part of the world is immense. One could be mistaken in thinking of it as a sea.

After a slow start struggling with the stock market forces and other business activities, we tied our boots firmly for our assault on Mount Shasta. Could you envision Shasta shaking in ‘its boots’? Neither could we. We have read about the dangers encountered on this magnificent mountain, so we were cautious.

Actually a lot of fun!

We also realized that we were unprepared for a full climb in both equipment and time, not to mention mindset. Nevertheless, it was extremely disappointing for the editor’s spouse to turn back at 2:30pm, our agreed cut-off time. By the deadline, we had hiked/climbed 3.5 miles and 2,600 feet. We did it quickly.

"Easier" than it looks!

The last mile included 1,000 feet elevation gain. Our muscles, bones and other odd bits of body proved to be strong and agile, notwithstanding the strenuous climb. It has created a taste for the future.

Our turn around point 1/2 way up Shasta

We met two-teams of climbers on their ascent, some with seventy pounds on their backs. We spent a little time talking. One fellow offered us money to help him with his burden. We had to refuse as our editor was fully loaded—what with her carrying both our backpacks, it just did not seem fair. If nothing else, we never like to take advantage. Call us a ‘softy’, if you would.

Lunch on the slopes!

The second group was actually a sole climber. He identified our accents as Scottish when we passed him, offering salutations. He wanted to discuss South African wines with us. What value could we add to a conversation? Yikes, we only know about reds and whites—nothing about all the other colors. Then he got specific about a particular smoky, red wine—ideal with beef—he mentioned, expecting an intelligent reply. Got us again as we ‘don’t do red meat’. Before he asked us about our…we took off and may have reached the first summit in record time. He in fact took our photograph—cost us ‘fifty bucks’.

Today’s hike was an incredible experience. We have been out of the state for the last three months and a further month in June. We forgot just how beautiful it really is, especially in the north and central parts. Okay, okay and in San Diego, too. We wish you weren’t so sensitive. Anyway, the mountain ranges in the area, stretching all the way to Redding, are fabulous. If one lived to be 120 years, one could not see an iota of the depth of natural beauty the world has to offer. Maybe, that’s why the soul lives on—it takes over from the physical receptacle.

Shasta summit from 'our' summit

We’ll say goodnight before we appear to be ‘over the top’.


Jenni and ‘Delirious Jeffrey’, still on a high.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Looking blue - feeling anything but....

The magnificence of Crater Lake, Oregon

Hello Friends,

Monday 18th - Morning Hike

Up early, ostensibly to do some business. However, the real reason was to see whether the sun was shining. It wasn’t. It was still below the horizon—it’s a little lazy this time of the year, further exacerbated by pushing the clock back and forth each season. How does a person build some stability into life? We ask you? Nu…
For the eighth day in a row, the sun shone over the great state of Oregon, although the mornings begin with a chill—reminds one that snow is not far off.

We will be long gone before then, although it could easily have happened by now, the experts say. We have been most fortunate thus far. Today particularly, we were hoping for sunshine so that we could see the best of Crater Lake, arguably one of the most beautiful spots we have visited.

From our perspective, it could be a wonder of the world—who cares about ratings anyway, we think it is. We would suggest to anyone wishing to witness sheer beauty and wonderment, take a trip to south-central Oregon. It’s worth it


We decided to walk down to the water surface followed by hiking back and then to the peak of Mount Scott, the highest point in the park. We did this and were rewarded more than amply with great pictures, especially those that remain impregnated in the mind.

The climb from the lake surface is over a mile with 750 feet elevation gain and a further 2.5 miles to the peak. However, one is exposed to a glass-like surface of water in colors of azure, navy and other shades of blue, nearly each step of the way.
The reflections are so true that one feels one should stand upside down to regain one’s bearing.

Clouds on the water
In addition, the views of the cliffs, surrounding mountains (many) including Shasta, provide an extra treat. The slopes towards the lake are breathtaking and provide a contrast to caldera and water. Most of the way, one is on an exposed trail so there are sights to absorb at close intervals. Rather let the pictures tell part of the story—they do a far better job.

Mt. Scott in the background.

Jenni and Jeffrey

PS The colors are not enhanced by the camera.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lakes and Lava.

Hello again,

Sunday 17th Oct.
We had a restful Shabbos while continuing to learn much from Rav Samson Hirsch, an amazing scholar and sage. His commentaries are timeless; he could have lived in the current era and would not have needed to adapt a word. Such is the power of Torah.
We met an elderly gentleman at Flathead Lake in August who suggested that we visit Newberry Crater. A hiker we spoke with the other day, endorsed the idea and so, here we are. Something about Oregon gets into one’s soul. Not, of course, the militia outlook but rather, the magnificence of the natural wonders that Hashem provided in this state.

On the Edge!

We left Bend and arrived soon thereafter at the Newberry National Monument. The hike was incredible although on the short side. It was an embarrassing four miles but we gained 1,700 feet in the two miles climb. We also had the opportunity to scramble on the jagged rocks. We certainly prefer the slicks ones but we are not fussy—a rock is a rock. The views were spectacular. We rated this as one of our top ten notwithstanding the lesser distance.

“You have twenty hikes in your ‘top ten’,” our editor announced.
Adrenaline Rush.

“Really,” we answered. “It just shows how good the hikes have been.”
“It’s absurd logically, can’t you see that?” she explained. “You need to remove ten from the list or make it a top twenty.”
“Removing ten is out of the question,” we answered, “and calling it ‘top twenty’ loses the impact. Can’t we have twenty hikes in our top ten?”

We followed our editor up the steep trail, calves aching, but feeling the adrenaline kick in, especially as we moved along the cliff edge. We could sense her rolling eyes again although we could not see them. The views of the crater or more correctly, the caldera, the Paulina and East Lakes and of course, in the distance from a different angle were our old friends, The Sisters, Mt. Washington and Mt. Bachelor. A 360-degree view allowed us to gaze at the blue-mountains, in the far distance, too.

Lakes and lava!

An interesting coincidence occurred when we arrived at the peak. A couple, having driven their car to the top via a four-mile surface road, stopped to talk with us. We recognized the young woman, a national park ranger, who we met two years ago when we visited Crater Lake. The coincidence was remarkable. She confirmed that she had begun work that summer in the park. She probably did not recognize us because we were wearing our stylish hats and of course, we are much younger now.

A little overwhelmed for a change!

The trail itself was quiet, surprising us that on a Sunday so few were out witnessing such a stunning place. However, we suppose there’s football, baseball and hunting to keep people occupied. In the town of Chemult, where we have set up camp—in a motel room—we hear that there is a mushroom chasing convention. Clearly, people have much to do...mushroom hunting, we ask you?

"The world is a very narrow bridge...."

Jenni and Jeffrey

Saturday, October 16, 2010

'Crater of Color' or Black Crater

Like a picture...oops, it is a picture

Overlooking Crater

Dear Friends, (those remaining)

Thursday 14th
We have enjoyed the town of Sisters and loved the wilderness surrounding it. We extended our stay by a day and then decided: Why not stay for the two days over Shabbos. During three days at the motel, we noticed never more than a handful of cars on the property. We were thus surprised to hear that the establishment was booked for the weekend, excluding us from this Western town. Therefore, it’s off to Bend tomorrow for Shabbos, unless we head closer to Crater Lake, our next destination. Our editor says it will be weather dependent. As we don’t have a convertible, we’re not sure what she means but we’re not about to ‘rock the boat’. So that’s what we’ll do. It transpires that the weekend is devoted to Oktoberfest activities in the town—we’ll have to miss the beer—tough break.
Here she comes again...
Our hike to Black Crater was an 8-miler roundtrip. It was a climb of 2,500 feet without leveling off on the way to the top. Funnily enough, the climbs are strenuous but often more pleasant than the return journey. We’re sure you found that a most interesting tidbit. Once again, it was a fantastic hike—our editor is selecting only the best these days. She’s on a roll though it means we have completed five in a row totaling 39 miles. If Shabbos isn’t due to arrive early tomorrow, we’ll run into the fields to bring it in sooner. We rose through the forest, which was less dense than on previous hikes. At the summit, the sight of the crater, the colored lava rock covering the surrounding land, views of the North Sister, valleys of trees, Mt. Jefferson and most of the local crew (mountains) gave us much pleasure. It was another beautiful experience. The hazy, blue mountain ranges set in the distance are striking a wonderful chord within us.
Viewing the crater & Surround
On the way up, we stopped to chat with an energetic couple who have retired, moving from Portland to Sisters. What a wonderful concept, we think. Diane and Doug, a charming pair, swopped hiking experiences with us. Times like that are interesting and even uplifting, we find. Sharing exchanges with strangers is satisfying. Why? We have no idea. However, we would say that when people acknowledge each other and show some respect, it recognizes that we are all made in the image of Hashem—we begin to work towards that difficult concept of ‘loving our neighbors’.
Lava Rocks--where's the braai?
We continued upwards until confronted with the colored, lava-covered land, overlooking the crater. There we met another couple of fellows. Our discussion featured some of our favorite topics: guns, knives, cars, hunting and with relief, hiking…it is very interesting to converse with ‘friendly’ strangers and receive different perspectives. They mentioned the hunting season had commenced. First out of the stalls are the guys with bows and arrows followed by the gun crowd who ‘clean up the mess’. We find hunting distasteful, especially when termed a ‘sport’, but that is only an opinion. Then we wonder about slaughtering animals. Is that any better? We don’t know but it sure makes eating salad and pasta easier. Anyway, we asked about our safety while out in the wild with all the ‘gunslingers’ around. This is, after all, Oregun. Could we be the target of an errant hunter, we considered?
Pretty and desolate
‘Best to stay low,’ the guy suggested. Does that mean we should be crawling instead of walking? We pondered. We’ll take our chances. Between the wildlife, both man and beast, we sure have our work cut out for us. Still, beats staying at home doing the dishes.

One more peek


Jenni and Jeffrey

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dedicated to Wendy

Hello All,

Wednesday 13th

On the American trails, there is no doubt that the people are friendly, unlike in a certain neutral, unnamed country. Over the last two days, we have come across fellow hikers on the mountains, for a change. Of late, we have sometimes felt that we were the only two people in the state.

Where is everyone?

It is, at times, somewhat eerie but always enjoyable. The puzzling thing is, after living in San Diego for twenty years, people just cannot place our accents when we stop to chat. It puzzles us. Perhaps we should carry a surfboard with us and say ‘Hey, Dude’. Will more time in the city help? That may be problem; we would like to live in Oregon, Northern Arizona, Utah, Montana and Colorado—and that’s just for starters.

Hazy Blue Ranges

Our hike today brought forth strong emotions. Firstly, it was another outstanding experience. We viewed the Three Sisters Mountains from our peak as we reached ‘Broken Hand’.

Man on the (snow) moon!
In 9 miles, we witnessed lakes, snowfields, Mt. Hood (120 miles away by road), Mt. Jefferson and the tip of Adams. We stood at the edge of cliffs, viewed many mountain ranges, valleys below and because this is Oregon, trees. Our view encompassed a full circle. In the distance, we gazed at hazy, blue hills and mountains.

For a second time this week, we were overwhelmed. One takes in a collection of varying, extraordinary scenes that stuns the brain. Arguably, one of the most enjoyable hikes we have had—certainly in the last 24 hours.

The constant view of the beautiful Three Sisters kept the memory of our long departed sister, Wendy (of blessed memory) in our minds. Therein lays a mystery of the world. Some have to leave early. Perhaps their task is complete and they need to move along to meet the next challenge. Who knows? Our minds are much too small to comprehend it all.

Oregons Three Sisters

The Three Sisters are wonderful but in the end, they are only rocks and matter. Wendy, like most of us, had a soul. That matters.

Jenni and Jeffrey