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.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Showing off once too often or Barry Jahn is anything but a 'yawn/yarn'.

One of the positives of Hike-about is meeting fine people. Many are interesting, stimulating to be with,
and in some instances, we've been on the receiving end of great kindness while experiencing difficult situations.
One realizes there are many fascinating, decent and amusing people inhabiting our world even, when at times,
the system appears to be 'upside-down'. We count our blessings for and during these opportunities.

In July, we met Barry Jahn in Oregon who struck us as someone full of energy, with considerable strength
and endurance as well as a twinkle in the eye. We were impressed, especially after viewing some of his
exploits via the internet. Unfortunately, this changed after our hike to the 'potato chip' at
Mount Woodson, last Sunday. The picture, two below, with a humorous note attached, found its way back
to us.

Editor on early morning training session

Snap, crackle and 2,300 feet above the ground.
Nearly as frightening as Barry's camera 'software'.

We did say he has a twinkle in his eye and a 'wicked' sense of humor. Thanks, Barry for a good laugh,
if not a trifle sobering.

La Jolla awakens to a near-perfect day.

Reflected sun produces an early morning softness, ever so 'gentle on my mind'.

We are now packed for Peru. That slip occurred because during the various exoduses from
South Africa (unfortunately), 'packed for Perth' seemed to be a slogan. Besides hiking locally, the
editor has us training to retain our fitness, particularly as we intend reaching some high altitudes
in South America soon. Should all go well, we might reach 16,000 feet. We don't say this too loudly
as we don't want to intimidate our lungs, just yet.

Pastel shades with mountain backdrop.

Early morning on cliffs at the Gliderport but above nudist beach. Fortunately, at that time, nudists
are still in pajamas. Phew!

We've been supplementing hikes with early morning sessions up-and-down the cliffs of La Jolla,
below the Gliderport. This set of pictures is one of few without clouds since we commenced the activity,
which at times seems, 'foolish'. We hope no one has been watching the repetitive actions. Seriously,
being in the fresh air of early morning while viewing the sun rise and, shine on the ocean, is a
privilege. Watching the editor huff and puff up the cliffs is quite enjoyable, too.

'You put your left foot in then you...what do you do with the rope?'

How dem slopes, Jen?

The advantage of the early start and thick clouds—from Mount McGinty

A good question might be: "If you're training so diligently, what's with the camera? Why are you
taking photographs?" We'll get back to you on that.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Sunday, September 22, 2013

'Clouds of Glory' near Mount Woodson

6:30am, Mount Woodson, looking towards Iron Mountain.

Sun breaks through thick clouds.

Little Iron Mountain pretending to be the Eiger under cloud.

After a sedentary three days, we were raring to get out of bed this morning, or at least one of us was.
As the gates at Lake Poway only open at 6am, we had a little sleep-in.

Sometimes we sit on a mountain peak for a while and take in the sights. On other occasions, there is
insufficient time and one touches the top and heads down within minutes. Seems silly to climb all the
way up and return so quickly. However, that's another story. Just the other day we were sitting atop
Iron Mountain, a wonderful training mountain with spectacular views when the valleys are filled with
clouds and mist at sunrise/sunset. Anyway, we perched ourselves on a rock, looked into the distance
and thought about children. We are experienced in this matter because of course, we were children long
time ago. We remember a lot from our youth; we are especially embarrassed at some of the things we did.
Sometimes, having a good memory may be a little overrated.

Could that be a fire or only an enthusiastic sun?

Back to the surface at Lake Poway.

We are blessed with three wonderful children, too. In addition, we are doubly blessed with a couple of
grandchildren. We remember when our kids had not reached double-figures in age. We wondered how we would
ever let them go. They were lovable, cute, adorable, naïve and innocent. It seemed they would be living
with us forever for we would not let them alone in this big, wide world. As they entered the teen years,
our perspective changed. Some might suggest we should have expected changes--after all we had been through
the teenage experience ourselves. However, that was different. You see, we were good teenagers if not
near-perfect and cannot ever remember giving our parents a difficult time.

Maybe a fire after all on Iron Mountain Peak

Decision time nearly 2,300 feet from the ground. (Let's settle on a 'somewhat smart chicken'.)

Upon having traveled on the rollercoaster ride through the teen years with our children, we decided to look
for spouses for them. When that did not work, we relied on college to come to the rescue. However, we learned
college is a double-edged sword; the experience has some less desirable side-effects. Fortunately, when the
kids returned from that planet teenagers visit for a while, mentally rather than physically, they were nice
people again. However, they were no longer cute, adorable and loveable. Okay, they were a little loveable.
We could get into a debate about this but we have to get down the mountain first.

Beautiful action in the sky, 'real clouds of glory'.

Playing misty just before the sun gets serious.

A morning of spectacular sunspots.

Our first born was the most gentle of teenagers so when he left home it was not that we enjoyed much respite.
His two siblings, of different natures and dispositions, remained at home which kept us on our toes.
When the two finally left, many years later in the case of the youngest, a few things had changed. In fact
in respect of the youngest, people said that we probably acted 'over the top' by having a troupe of musicians
celebrating his departure. To this day, we remember a discussion that nearly haunts us.

Editor: "Do you think that's really necessary?"
We : "You never know. One can't be too careful."
Editor: "What happens when they (children) return for a visit?"
We : "We'll be out."
Editor: "We can't be out all the time."
We : "We'll hide under the bed."
Editor: "They'll use the spare key to get in and wait."
We : "And that is why it's essential to change the locks."
Editor: "Isn't that a bit cruel? Anyway, what are you going to do when you see one of your children sitting
on the doorstep?"
We : "Maybe we should sell the house and hike around the country and other parts of the world."


Jenni and Jeffrey

The early morning sun knows how to highlight an area.

Show-off time as camera deletes a number of 'shots' on 'potato chip'. New camera?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Taste of Heaven in 'Sun Diego' County

The second sunrise as the sun pierces the upper clouds

Enjoying a superb atmosphere at the peak of Iron Mountain...yes, again.

Clouds with a hint of sun, line of light at rear.

Although we have no conception of Heaven, we do have our own thoughts and visions just like most do.
Nevertheless, should someone ask what the entrance might look like, we thought the views from the peak today
are indicative of our vision. Forgive us should this appear arrogant but we did see incredible beauty as the
whole of San Diego, covered in white clouds, both to the west and east, portrayed magnificence. With the
advantage of being relatively high up, we were sandwiched between clouds. The sun rose, peered through the
cloud gap and then continued rising while being blocked at the higher levels before eventually breaking
through for the third or fourth time. The rays pierced the dark upper clouds while coming to rest on the
lower strata, in golden pools.

Sun bathes the lower clouds in golden rays.

A scene at Lake Poway, the surface below Mount Woodson

Focusing closely on the subject as sun gets serious.

We hiked with our friend Sean Bradford, a young man who is a frequent visitor of Iron Mountain. In our
last blog, we published a picture showing the rays penetrating the upper cloud as mentioned above. Sean said that
he loved the picture and that in approximately 200 hikes on that mountain, he'd never seen that effect. Today,
his wish was realized. We don't want to say 'we told you so' to our friends who skipped last week's hike
(all of them) so we won't. Are we tempted? Of course we are but we gave our word. Let's see if we can honor it
until at least the end of the blog.

Colors of blue, yellow and white under a big sky. Smaller peak protrudes in front.

Smaller peaks below Mount Woodson (hidden yonder).

A taste of Heaven at 6.15am.

We also hiked up Mount Woodson recently. This 8-mile roundtrip is quite a workout especially when
combining it with a jog down. Sean took us through our paces as we ran down the Iron today. Our only excuse,
which may be credible, is that we are double his age, so we did not run up as is his custom. We still wonder,
at thirty years younger, whether we would attempt to run to the top. We suppose we can dream.

Bright sunshine, shaded clouds

We are trying to remain active in order to retain our fitness for the next trip commencing after September.
However, for this week, we intend to be so tired by Saturday that we don't have the energy to eat. Our only
regret is that our editor, who was 'resting' before performing community service, missed a beautiful early morning.


Jenni and Jeffrey

A bird on the foot is worth two in the bush or something like that; or, when the editor's away,
the birds come out to play.

Not the most elegant of moves...being a little cautious using hands.

Take it away 'Sunshine Sean'.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How to win friends and influence people, Mr. there a money back guarantee?

After inviting many friends and family to an early morning hike, we're pleased to report back on the results
of this endeavor to the peak of Iron Mountain, before sunrise. The editor and her mate arrived at the trailhead
car park at 5.20am. Expecting the imminent arrival of hordes of friends, we switched from sandals to boots,
did last minute preparations, checked backpacks for essentials, locked the car and waited. Time, of course,
is of the essence as the sun waits for nobody, so they tell us.

Sun makes its appearance over East County, outlining clouds.

Picture below shows the commencement position, a well-lit parking lot with the mountain behind
covered in darkness.

A smiling editor and her right is Joe, then Gary, Colin and Brian. The latter is the
fellow with the broad shoulders. Behind them is Merle, Gavin S and Nora. For the rest,
a little imagination should do the trick.

A number of fellow hikers offered the following excuses...hmm...reasons for not arriving:

1. Maude Alge apparently missed the red-eye flight from Boston. We have no doubt it was
her intention to arrive at 4am and take a taxi from the airport to the trail. Thanks for making the effort,
2. Dani was ready, willing and able although she has a nagging knee injury. It seems that the knee just nagged
and nagged and that for peace, she decided to skip it. We'd like to see how the knee does with skipping, though.
3. Harvey mentioned something about not wishing to be too sore for Rosh Hashana. We concurred as he is from the
East Coast and they are a little soft, amongst other things.
4. Many people gave an excuse about work commitments. To them we say: "Where are your priorities?"
5. Some said: "Sounds like a wonderful idea." And so...or as they say in classical schools: "NU?"
6. Many did the smart thing which works every time. They ignored us. We are very comfortable with that treatment
as we are used to it.
7. Some relied on the fact that they are either based in another city, state or country. We understand residents
of southern hemisphere countries have a reasonable excuse but for the rest, we shake our heads.

When it appeared that the rest of the hikers were delayed, we left the editor in the dark to wait. In the meantime,
we met Steve, an airline pilot who pushed his bike up the 3 mile hike and rode it down. It takes all types.
Actually, he is a gentleman and terrific company. We felt quite relieved that he did not offer us a shared ride
down, side-saddle or otherwise.

Finally, before we left, our editor mentioned perhaps the time selected is too early for most. We answered that we
don't have much influence over the sun. Then she came up with a whopper. 'Let's try again in November or December
when the sun rises later.' We laughed before answering that we don't know what the weather will bring tomorrow,
never mind three or four months, hence. We are patient and will indulge her. We wanted to suggest that we hike up
on a Sunday. With her thinking, perhaps the sun sleeps in on the weekends. Where does she get these ideas?

Anyway, we included a selection of sunrises and sets from peaks around San Diego County. We are headed for another
hike tomorrow but are too embarrassed to mention where in case someone arrives. It would ruin our record.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Sunrise as the rays penetrate the clouds above, resting on the lower strata.

A particularly memorable evening

An angry sky is how we interpreted this one evening.

Coming down the tough El Cajon mountain, we glimpsed towards Coronado.

A beautiful position in north county

Soft colors over Iron Mountain, clouds below.

The sky is alight or is that a fire?

'Here comes the sun'...splendid and glorious.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Three hikes in two, Iron Mountain (1&2) and San Miguel Mountain

San Diego is not all about beaches and an our opinion.

Editor crosses third of four peaks on San Miguel Mountain trail.

The mind works better on some occasions than on others. We look forward to the time of 'some' as we are
experiencing a lot of 'others' recently. On a beautiful day in La Jolla, clouds sheltering the city from
the summer sun, a cool breeze off the ocean and temperature not rising above 74%, we thought how different
could it be a mere twenty-miles east. The weather, unless one likes to tan on the beach or burn, is in our
opinion, near-perfect.

We are in rest mode as our editor keeps making the point. We counter that if we get any more rest, we will
be so unfit that our next trip is going to be a struggle. So we walk and hike a little and try the occasional
mountain during this short sabbatical. After a very frustrating spell at work, we set off for Iron Mountain
as a training session, mid-afternoon. Sunrise and sunset are prime times for this hike which consistently
portrays the best of nature.

Editor has developed a terrible high-slice. Her 'swing', not what it used to be, although we find her most...

Downtown San Diego on the right, Coronado and naval base to the left

We thought the thermometer in the car was faulty when it jumped into the 80's, soon thereafter into
the 90's and finally settled on a 100 degrees fahrenheit. No problem. We'd make some adjustments.
Instead of trying a jog up the 1,200 feet hill, we'd walk. That should compensate for the heat. On the
way down, a jog would be comfortable, we thought. The last of the big thinkers. In the end, it could
have been worse but there is no doubt the heat adds an additional dimension to the hike.

We thought of our son, Robbie, while moving up at a reasonable pace. Now there's a guy who knows how
to undertake instant fitness training. We were heading up the sister mountain, Woodson, with Rob a
year ago. The previous day, he mentioned he wanted to get super fit. To do this, not only would he
hike with us at a fast pace and probably leave us in the dust, but his backpack would be filled with
rocks. We love the enthusiasm of youth. Of course, we were most impressed as we normally carry rocks
but in our heads. Half-way up the mountain, he asked for some water.
"We suppose with all the rocks in your pack, there's no space for water."
We noticed he looked at us rather sheepishly. His pack was in fact empty but for some snacks. This younger
generation is really tough.

Mexico yonder.

Editor feeling quite smug as she stands above San Diego, sweating.

Today, with the editor around, we headed for one of San Diego's steepest, San Miguel Mountain. It is a
great hike and even better training ground. The views stretch to Mexico, the naval base, downtown San Diego
and Coronado as well as the mountains of the county, not forgetting a couple of lakes, too (Otay and Sweetwater).
Oh, yes. There is also that little ocean to the west, the Pacific. The mountain provides a beacon for aircraft
landing at the airport. Apparently, the signal guides pilots to the runway. We observed the planes arriving
from the north making the turn west as they crossed San Miguel and flew into Lindberg field.

Looking towards San Diego's toughest, El Cajon Mountain

The cumulative elevation gain is 2,100 feet over eight miles from the car with a mile or so of relatively
level hiking each way. Without switchbacks, the climb is stiff providing a terrific challenge. It is quite
an experience.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Editor heads for home, down to the canyon and up to peak three