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.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
We continue sitting and thinking. Every now and again, we change our position and we sit and ponder. We only change our position figuratively speaking—we are much too tired to move around after walking the length and breadth of Northern California. Our editor surely has a cruel streak as she finds the highest mountain trails and the longest daily hikes. Maybe that’s why we love her so much. Excuse us. We interrupt our thought pattern. In our ‘usual humble manner’, we use our ‘intellect’ to wonder about a phenomenon we have noticed on this leg of hike-about.
We understand that the width of the United States is a little under 3,000 miles while the length is, say 1200 or so miles. We also estimate that the gauge of a railroad track at about 4 feet, give or take a few inches. Here is our question. If the country is so vast and railroad tracks are miniscule in comparison, why are many motels positioned alongside rail tracks? In Shasta, we were so frightened one night, we jumped into our editor’s arms and slept cuddled up all night. The next night, we were hoping that the train might scare us again. However, we would prefer it if the tracks at least, went around our bathroom rather than through it.
What happened to the trip planned for Oregon? Postponed. Insufficient time. Yosemite? Postponed for the same reason. It seems that time management was inversely correlated to level of exhilaration—a great way to get things wrong.
We left Red Bluff on Sunday morning after one of the first Shabbos days that we did not go strolling. It speaks volumes for the four-weeks of hiking. We admit that we have pushed our bodies considerably. In fact, never mind pushing, our editor has had to pull and drag us at times. After completing a number of chores, we set off for Oroville. The attraction in that city or some thirty miles east of it, is Feather Falls. After a mid-afternoon 9.5 miles hike to a spectacular waterfall, the sixth highest in the United States at 640 feet, we were very tired. We think that’s putting it mildly although, after little sleep the night before, it made sense to be exhausted. The exertion caught up with our editor because she was quite rebellious towards the end of the hike. She even refused to offer us a drink from her water bottle. For Jenni, that is as bad as it can get (if it could be true).
The authorities closed part of the trail so we took the alternative route, which is usually the return leg. This meant that we would have to add another 1.2 miles to the already long 9.5 miles. We gambled on taking the shorter leg back. It turned out that a tree had fallen and destroyed a bridge. We were sufficiently motivated to perform a hop, skip and jump thus saving 1.2 miles. Normally that would not be a big deal but as we mentioned: “You haven’t seen our editor in a rebellious mood”.
It was a tough afternoon concluding with a big elevation gain into the finish but we had witnessed a wonderful set of falls and a river that cuts through a canyon surrounded by overpowering tree-covered mountains. The view as shown in the pictures mesmerized us. We don’t believe many people have the opportunity to witness Feather Falls as the only access is per foot. That’s a pity as the falls in spring must be quite a sight—‘it ain’t half-bad in summer’.
We turned the car to face southwards and decided to revisit Morro Bay on the way to San Diego, take in a last hike and enjoy the quaint fishing port. We are blessed to have experienced an incredible journey once again. After another glimpse at the Master of the Universe’s ‘backyard’, we are, as always, in awe. In approaching the ‘Days of Awe’ next week, our prayers will be, inter alia, filled with gratitude as well as wishes of blessings for our family and friends.
Thank you to those who kept in touch and made us feel close to ‘home’ as well as to anyone that did us the honor of reading or viewing our experiences.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The day commenced with some disappointment. The financial markets—sure. However, we are referring to the news that Mt Lassen is closed for repairs, a puzzling development. Why do you close off a volcanic mountain? This got us thinking and pondering again. There are, as in all things, two answers. The obvious one, which we are unable to accept, is that the trail is under repair. On the surface, that sounds feasible especially as the surface was rough. We remember some three years ago when we hiked to the peak. However, this is a five-year project. What are they doing?
Our theory goes something like this. The economy is fizzling and needs a big ‘boom’ to get it going again. In its great wisdom, we think the government is setting up for a spectacular explosion at Lassen on a 4th of July. Think about it. Imagine predicting a volcano eruption and then selling seats and television broadcasting rights. In the aftermarket, the lava rock could bring a few bucks, too. This would be a big boost for America.
Of course, you want proof and so you should. We see many trucks driving up and down covered in tarpaulins. We believe they are in fact ‘Roto-rooter' service vans working on the problem. There is an obvious blockage in the tubes and pipes of that mountain. It must be. It hasn’t erupted since 1915. You want to talk constipation—this is it, big time. Give the mountain relief by sticking those twisting, metal snake devices down her innards. We think it could clear her once and for all allowing her to resort to doing what volcanoes should: Erupt. The more we think about it, the more logical it seems. We don’t want anyone to go whispering anything about ‘conspiracy theories’, particularly when we are around.
Today, although we could not climb this 'secret project mountain', we were fortunate to enjoy a delightful hike through meadows, along lakes and in a forest that had a mystical feel to it. We meandered up, around and through, gaining 1700 feet over a seven miles walk. As we commenced, some two miles ahead of us, a hailstorm was occurring. By the time we arrived in that part of the meadows, the sun broke through the clouds and the area looked like ‘winter wonderland’ but in summer. As we frequently note and mention, the various landscapes and scenes are incredible—it is a privilege to experience such beauty. Once again, we think we received a taste of paradise on earth, here in Lassen.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Just when we thought Lassen couldn’t get any better, it did. The thought of a drive across the entire park to reach the trailhead did not get us excited. However, after completing the journey, we were embarrassed that we had felt that way. Perhaps we were still smarting from the closure of the Lassen Peak Trail. The park has a serenity and beauty that is indescribable—it is a place of magnificent contrasts, too. In parts, one feels one is visiting paradise as a certain mystique presents itself.
Brokeoff Trail is some seven miles long with an elevation gain of 2600 feet, in half that distance. The climb is in fact 600 feet greater than Lassen Peak rising into the 9,000’s. The trail begins in the forest, winds around and heads towards the rear of the mountain, crossing streams and passing through meadows, always on an incline, mostly steep. After about two miles, one leaves the forest and is exposed to the valleys, distant mountains and lakes from the edge of the mountain. The climb is relentless. A ‘butt-kicker’, they rate it. We think it more of a ‘full frontal assault’ but then again, what do we know. Whatever the rating, it is a great hike and we loved every moment of it. They don’t get any better than this one.
We made it to the top in an hour and three quarters as we kept our eyes on the exquisite surroundings and the darkening clouds. The weather pattern is erratic in these parts, understandably so, of course, at altitudes of nine to ten thousand feet. Our editor had a good whine today, which is unusual. Far be it for us to criticize the quality of her whine. Normally, she doesn’t say much but tends to be quiet and instead, ‘stares daggers’ at us. Apparently, we were going too fast and this made her more vocal. Nevertheless, she proved she’s got what it takes. We have had two weeks of tough and rewarding hikes. We can’t even remember what we did the previous two weeks.
The views at the peak were breathtakingly spectacular. We viewed Lassen just a few miles away with painted dunes separating the two ‘beauties’, in the valleys. Once again we were rewarded in seeing our ‘old friend’ Mt. Shasta, over one hundred miles distant. It was reciprocal. Last week when we were on Shasta and Black Butte, we were able to see Mt. Lassen. It’s fascinating and exhilarating climbing these peaks and looking out at ‘the rest of the world’. Other views of hazy, blue mountains, lakes and an abundance of trees with sharp drop-offs along the edges, made for a stimulating day.
At the peak, we were fortunate to befriend Tricia and Theo. We joined them or they joined us or we joined each other and walked down the mountain like old friends. We thank them for a fascinating near two hours in which we swopped stories and learned much about other peoples’ experiences in the wilderness. Talking of coincidences, last week we were fortunate to be able to help a young woman with some medical supplies for a severe blister. At the peak, we recognized her and she was jolted by our accents. Seven people on the trail and of those, four were together at Shasta ‘Horse Camp’ five days earlier. It seems that the odds of something like that happening are almost impossible.
We left Lassen knowing that like General MacArthur: ‘We’ll return’ (in much easier circumstances). We arrived at Red Bluff (not kidding) in good time to set up early for the Sabbath. We enjoyed another fantastic week, B’H.
Jenni and Jeffrey