LAZAROW WORLD HIKE-ABOUT
New Zealand 2017: Tongariro Crossing and Mount Ngauruhoe.
'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 often.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
‘We’re always trying to keep our boots dry. Now you want us to hike in a river for 4-5 hours. Is hike the correct verb to use? Are you feeling well, dear Editor?’ We asked. After some pondering of the dilemma, we asked further, “What are we supposed to wear? Do you know how cold that water is? Have you any idea of the effect on certain body parts? What happens if it rains? Do we need an umbrella? No! We are not being a baby—we think we are quite sane.’ We did not think it would be wise to turn the last question around and ask about our editor’s state of mind. We are learning, Barbara, albeit slowly.
As usual, our editor chose a wonderful place to hike, swim, wade… Anyway, it was quite an experience. The hike commences a mile from the entrance to the river, which continues for another 16 miles or so outside of the park. Fortunately, we did not have to complete the whole journey—she does have compassion. The Virgin River is a stream by comparison with the major rivers but it gets violent during and after storms. We certainly felt the power in places not to mention the cold water when we waded in at levels up to our um…waist and above. What a terrific experience. It also gave us a better understanding of why we need boats—a very smart idea. There is no doubt we are getting a glimpse and understanding of how the world works.
The river is the only way into the park from the north. It passes through very narrow slots, a little different from the slots we observed on our night in Las Vegas. It was another fascinating experience as we negotiated our way in the water trying to ensure that each step found a reasonable stone on which to tread. Between the current, the rough and uneven rocks underfoot and the cold, we were tested at times. However, after hiking in 100 degrees plus weather, this was a pleasant change or nearly pleasant.
The walls towered over us allowing in some sunlight, thereby creating pretty scenes of color and contrast. When we open our minds and eyes, we get a glimpse of such beauty, depth and meaning on this planet of ours. Sometimes we think we need to take some of the madmen of the world with us, lead them up to the staggering cliffs and…you got it.
Our destination was ‘Wall Street’, a narrow slot canyon some two hours or so from commencement. At times, the width of the canyon was 20 or so feet. Along the way, we met other ‘meshuganas’ and shared stories of our common experiences. Our ears perked up every so often. The cause—when we heard an English speaking voice.
We thought a lot about Natalie while in the river. It was exactly 30 years ago that Jenni’s water broke to reveal our angel.
Jenni and her ‘Drip’
Friday, July 29, 2011
It is not possible to hide the beauty, tranquility and splendor of this magnificent part of the world. Of course, the tourists including ourselves do a fair job in disturbing the tranquility bit. In fact, we wonder if there are any Germans left in their homeland. It seems that a large part of their population is right here. What a policy—a dirt-cheap dollar-thank you Benny. Then there are the French with a sprinkling of Italians but no Greeks. The latter are involved in the ‘strike’ business. ‘Move along,’ beckons our editor as we approach some very touchy points regarding the mismanagement occurring in this country.
Yesterday, Tuesday, still lives with us. That is the hike and climb up Angel’s landing, arguably our best experience…dare we say ever? It would seem that everything would be an anti-climax following the adventure. After undertaking much business in the morning, we had a late start again. Life can be tough, at times—who needs work? We headed up a very stiff climb, along a narrow channel on a cliff and then we began scrambling. Suddenly, the lethargy following the exhilaration of ‘The Angel’ disappeared. We hauled each other over rocks, using anything and everything to find the lost canyon. You’d think that our editor could find an ‘unlost’ canyon in which to hike, here in Zion. ‘Oh! She is pointing out that it is hidden not lost. Yes! That makes all the difference. Let’s keep looking…hey, we’ve got plenty of time.
Tomorrow we are going hiking in a river. We think our editor has got water on the brain. Oy vey!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
What does a person say after one of the most exhilarating afternoons of one’s life? Baruch Hashem, no doubt. In fact, after the danger we faced, another blessing is even more apt. We completed our 4th ascent of the magnificent Angel’s Landing climb in Zion National Park. The park is a place we would say with all humility that the Master, Himself, might feel comfortable resting within. We would suggest to anyone looking to see wonders of the world, look no further than this treasure. We now feel we have earned our annual stipend from the National Parks Board with that ‘plug’.
A Methodist Minister, in the early 1900’s, was so impressed with this monolith that he tried to figure a way of scaling it. In the end, he determined that it was impossible and that only angels would enjoy the privilege. The pioneering spirit of the settlers succeeded, perhaps showing more faith.
We set out late for the climb after slowly checking in at Hurricane near 4pm, returning to the trailhead at 9:30pm, in the dark. We hurried up the steep trail for the first two miles, which is strenuous but on a decent path. However, the next three-quarters of a mile is up two separate but vertical cliffs. When a person looks at what confronts one, a number of thoughts enter the brain: What are we doing here? Why? Those are impossible. Do we in fact have a brain? Answers we don’t have but a sense of accomplishment, the thrill of reaching the top and returning of course, transport a person into another sphere. We were also fortunate that for the most part, we had the cliffs to ourselves. It was another day of wonder and elation with our spirits soaring nearly as high as our bodies.
Enough of all that. Enjoy the pictures—the park belongs to us all—a present from the Creator.
We left San Diego rather late in the day as there were some matters that needed our attention. After two hours on the road, two large ‘coca-coffees’ and our usual struggle with the bladder, we decided to give some thought to a stopover. The beauty about not knowing where one is heading is that it does not matter where one stops. Our editor voted down sleeping in the car so it became more important to find formal accommodation. We are spoiling her so much these days.
Next town: Baker, California. We spotted three motels, all luxury style. Which to choose became the subject of intense deliberations. The “Royal Hawaii’ appeared to be closed for renovations—a rather nice way of stating that it is derelict. That narrowed the field considerably. “Big Bobs” or something to that effect had three cars in the parking lot with a sign directing guests to the grocery store for check in purposes. The clerk encouraged us to try “Wills Fargo” instead of their motel. They must have been expecting a helluva late crowd as we counted 80 rooms and three cars, of which one looked abandoned. Perhaps we are guessing but it was without wheels. This third hotel, no relation to the bank, offered luxury priced rates for 4th world accommodation. Besides, the receptionist was intimidating—we always thought that a grizzly was our worst nightmare. Not any longer.
So we are in Primm, Nevada, a gambling resort on the border with California, home to names like Whiskey Pete and Buffalo Bill. Rather than express our thoughts on the depressing atmosphere and desperation on the many faces we observed including eyes mesmerized by the enticing machines and the hope of reward, we’ll quit there. After all, it’s not our function to express an opinion on these dens of iniq..enlightenment. That would be so judgmental, which as Gary Frank pointed out to us the other night, is the key commandment in modern society. Let’s get back to the trail but before that, we need to participate in the wildest casino of all—the New York Stock Exchange.
Jenni and Black Jeff (jack)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Surfs up--extremely high today--(Click on picture & <-)
The vacation is drawing to a close so we are preparing for work, to get back on the road—maybe that should read trail or mountains. Yes. It does sound better. Fifth leg it is. ‘We may have a problem,’ we mentioned to our editor, ‘we should invite a friend to join us this time.’
‘Pray tell me why,’ she answered. We could already tell she is a little weary, days before departure. ‘Looks like we’re a leg short—we only have four between us.’
She muttered something about being a long trip ahead. Who knows what to expect when she gets into such moods.
You have to love our editor—we certainly do. Here in San Diego, the weather is pleasantly warm to hot during the daytime and cool at night. The initial part of the trip is in the desert where 95 degrees is the norm. Yes. There is no doubt we love her very much else why would we follow her to Utah and Northern Arizona. At least the trip following is to the cooler Swiss Alps and Italian Dolomites.
We had a very enjoyable stay in San Diego. During the period, we had just a few hikes and quite a few runs. We are retraining our hips. One hike was with our son , Gavin, which turned out to be a very satisfying day. Gav may not hike that often but he sure knew his way up and down Mount Woodson in the heat of the day. He did not miss a beat. Then there was another special occasion, a hike at 6 am up Iron Mountain with Sean Bradford, a young man with strong religious convictions and principles. We learned much from both young men. On the latter hike, we were amazed at the harsh beauty surrounding the county. A spectacular sight greeted us: The clouds and mist filled the valleys and at times only allowed the various peaks to protrude slightly. For locals, we would suggest taking the opportunity to daven on a peak in the early hours.
One of the reasons for our return was to participate in the wedding of Mike and Alison Sneag. On that wonderful occasion, our immediate family was together but for Ellie. Sometimes it does make sense to split the family. It was a lovely simcha with good friends and our family.
We spent our Shabboses at Kehillat Ahavat Yisrael in Carmel Valley. Our regular shul and community was out of range—we don’t have the energy for a twenty mile round trip. We enjoyed a warm and welcoming atmosphere—they treated us very well. We were ‘tickled’ one Shabbos when seated in the Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s home. We began to tell a story of our first visit to the United States in 1975/1976. Upon looking about the table of the hosts and guests, we realized that no one, including Rabbi Moskowitz, was alive at the time. We are not as young as we once were, it seems.
We fancy ourselves as a racehorse. Why? Sometimes there are no answers, particularly for dumb thoughts. After thinking about our recent history of whether, in our fantasy, we are SeaBiscuit or Secretariat, the answer stared us in the face. The following sequence put paid to any doubts.
We look forward to communicating from the trails once again.
Jenni & her 'Cart Horse'