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.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Ode to a Vortex
Sunset, oh sunsets so great are you shining on the rocks,
Give me a minute we shout, we need to sell some stocks.
Where are we heading dear editor, we pleaded with a thrill,
To an old favorite close by, you know, the great Cathedral.
But we prayed this morning, we mentioned with a smile,
Our little joke missed as usual, the editor by a mile.
We climbed and approached the peak a different way,
Like two children, we sauntered, skipped and did play.
Recapturing moments from childhood so long ago,
Especially distant for our lovely, Jenno.
It created elation and joy that reflected off our faces,
Not dissimilar from a setting sun on boulders and other places.
As we ascended, we slid a little but climbed even more,
Until we crested and were most surprised, at what we saw.
There he stood in all his glory, or so he probably thought,
Shirtless, tattooed and crooning towards the ball of fire, he sought.
While summoning with vigor, he twisted his body and beckoned with long arms,
Of course, it must be the waves of the vortex we guessed, not the psalms.
But what do we know, we just put on the Tallit and Tefillin instead,
As we appeal to the Master directly, not to his orbs or agents, we said.
However, we do not judge; after all, it's up to each person,
To approach their Maker just as a child, both daughter and son.
Arnold: Isn't the setting beautiful with Courthouse Butte as a backdrop, Gary?
Gary : Stunning, Arnie. I love it.
Arnold: What's Jenni's chances of sinking this putt?
Gary : It is a truly wonderful setting, Arnie.
Arnold: Seriously, Gary, what do you think she's going to do with that putt?
Gary : The way she has it lined, she'll either have to duck-hook it or it might strike the mountain. Of course, the latter depends on her strength.
Arnold: What do they say about this woman, Gary?
Gary : Gill Midgen, the well known scrabble player, says that she is half mountain goat and maybe, half insane.
Arnold: Very funny, Gary. Talking of scrabble, I love the game. Is Gill the champ?
Gary : Could be but rumor has it that Linda Bernstein is the one to beat.
Arnold: I'd like to play against this Linda. Can you arrange it?
Gary : Sorry, Arnie. You don't just organize a game against Linda, you have to be invited.
Arnold: Hang on, I see Jenni struck the ball! Wow! What do you think of that, Gary?
Gary : Yes, it is indeed a beautiful butt..., er...butte..., er...putt.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Our son, Gavin, said that you now have sixty hikes in your top ten. There’s some truth in that although we would have not gone higher than forty-five. After all, we don’t wish to exaggerate. On Mother’s Day, we ascended this fabulous mountain from the north—we thought it was outstanding. Today (Friday), from the south, it was probably superior although one could make a good argument either way. Jenni voted the south access as her favorite; we couldn’t decide so we announced we ‘preferred’ both. For a day hike of less than ten miles, actually nine and elevation gain of 2,500 feet, it easily meets the top-ten criteria. Now that we have put that to rest, perhaps we should look at the photographs. Truth be told, it was a spectacular hike.
It seems at each place we visit, upon entering the town, we notice a particular mountain that appeals to us. It’s almost as if it beckons, “C’mon up and see us sometime,” to quote a madam of the past. When we looked at the saddle and peak of Wilson some three weeks ago, if not a mutual attraction, we certainly knew that we had to find our way up there. Of course, the visuals are a major attraction. However, as our editor put it so succinctly, the challenge to get to the top overrides all considerations, from our perspective.
We left early in order to avoid the heat as well as for another reason. It turned out to be the coolest day since arriving in Sedona—warmer clothes would have be more suitable. The gusting winds detracted from the experience but only slightly. The beauty from the summit is stunning. In addition, the trail has an open ledge for most of the way, allowing for magnificent views and a little exhilaration, at all times. There is no doubt, N’H, we will repeat this hike in the future. Our memories are not what they used to be. Did we mention that Sedona has a special place in our souls? Thought not.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Friday, May 25, 2012
This trip, we have managed to find new opportunities for hiking and exploration. However, we also found that approaching a previous hike in a novel way is extremely satisfying. The mountains and rock formations are so distinctive and vast that one could, for example, spend months around Cathedral Rock and still not see it all. Such is Sedona.
Today, we decided to approach the hike from the side rather than the usual frontal attack—let’s surprise the old cathedral, we thought, instead of following the climbing trail. (We are also preserving energy for a tough pre-Shabbos hike.) We scrambled up the rocks, on loose stones and sand, around cactus plants, mostly, and through some very tricky places. We had no intention of making it a tough climb but one thing led to another and before we knew it, it turned out to be one of our best scrambles to a peak we never knew existed.
It was exhilarating, liberating and provided some surprises at the top, which we shall mention another time—in fact, it was a real eye opener. Nevertheless, we arrived in a new chamber at the cathedral, which was staggering but shielded from the sun. In order not to miss the sunset, we scrambled back down, a quarter-way around and up across some really rough ‘turf’. Our editor never ceases to amaze as she ‘handles’ obstacles with aplomb.
We felt like two children as we scrambled on and over the rocks. We are not bashful to admit that it was exhilarating. It reminded us of the days when, as kids, we would play in the neighborhood until Katy called. In those days, as an eight or nine year old, we had to be ready for supper and Dad's arrival from the office. That was fine. However, when Katy would announce to the whole neighborhood "Bath time, Butch"--one could imagine the embarrassment. Fortunately, our therapy sessions are finally complete and we feel we are ready to face our old neighbors...almost.
Jenni and Jeffrey
When we look at the title, we wonder if we might have chosen better. It’s the truth and so it remains. The area is very dry, being a semi-desert without rainfall since we arrived. However, there is a nice flow of water in Oak Creek, the stream we crossed to commence a hike to Casner Mountain peak. This is one of the toughest in Sedona, in our opinion. We set out well before the trailhead, crossed the stream, and climbed 2100 feet over about two miles although the hike was seven miles. The views all the way up were spectacular, the peak wasn’t.
Sedona seems very busy, the town, but the trails except for a few, are quiet. In fact, today, we had it to ourselves. As we climbed, surrounded by mountains and red rocks close by with blue hazy ranges in the distance, we felt joy rather than strain. At one time, we could see Thunder Mountain, Tom Thumb, Chimney Rock aligned with us while Camel Rock, Snoopy and others sat on our flank. We are constantly amazed at the variation of the landscapes, the visuals from every part of the town and in particular, beauty from height. It is a most wonderful town, self-contained, neat yet not artificial. It will be tough to leave. By the way, the population is about 11,000 whereas the visitors number 4 million per annum.
We were at a trailhead last week, when a woman approached us. “You look like you know what you are doing,” she flattered us. “Do you think I’ll feel anything if I follow you?” She asked. Now how does a person answer that kind of question? We had a few ready answers but perhaps not appropriate for a stranger. Had it been a male, the atmosphere might have turned sour.
It is clear to us that people are always searching; searching for answers, the magic pill, an elixir, Godot, a quick-rich scheme or the next diet fad. Here in Sedona, folks look for the vortex. One of the problems is that the vortices are usually high up—the pink jeeps that transport and entertain tourists are not able to drive up rocks—in places they do try, though. For those that climb, one usually feels more sweat than vortex and by then would prefer a Coke or whiskey to a ‘feeling’. Who knows what it’s all about besides the tour operators and guides?
Jenni and Jeffrey
Thursday, May 24, 2012
The idea was to climb these two rocks—we did just that—and remain perched on the latter rock for sunset. What a great plan. Once the sun set though, it would mean making our way down Sugarloaf and then along a trail or path towards our car in the dark. That is when the good plan started to unravel. “Aha!” We exclaimed, to our slightly concerned editor, “and that, my dear, is why we have a moon.” Feeling rather smug at this infallible bit of logic, we remained seated on a rock as we watched the sun dip below Thunder Mountain while Chimney Rock vied for attention. In the last three or four hikes, we have viewed this mountain from many vantage points.
“I’d like to make a point if I may,” our editor said. “Go ahead,” we answered, “if nothing else we like to keep the mind open.”
“If you remember, today is Rosh Chodesh (new moon). I don’t think we’ll get much light from a tiny sliver.” Oops, don’t we feel silly. Reminds us of the quote by Bloom, in a different context of course: ‘If your mind is too open, the brain tends to fall out.’
The other day on one of the trailheads, we met two cowboys. A mountain lion was seen in the vicinity earlier in the day, they mentioned. We don’t normally take our poles or sticks with us but this time we did. We grabbed ‘Sidestick’(our walking stick) and carried it as a weapon, something we find a burden. Of course, if we were to meet up with something wild, then we would feel grateful in having a weapon. On parting, the one fellow shouted, “Remember they like to attack from the rear.” Good point, we thought. “Okay Jen, we’ll go first, you follow behind.”
Jenni and Jeffrey