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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wondering through the recent past in the Wild West after a foggy hike.

We continued hiking this week but the weather, and time of day, did not provide suitable moments to capture on film. Instead, we have placed photographs from one of our memorable trips to the West on the blog. During October, we intend heading in that direction with an emphasis on the Sierras, weather permitting (and of course, always health). In the meantime, our editor struggles with her knee although I’m beginning to think that it’s her way of missing the delightful 4 and 5 o’clock morning hikes. Fortunately, when not hiking alone, Sean Bradford has joined me. He is a refreshing young man, a real delight.

Last Friday, we woke at 4am and commenced the hike at five. The weather was promising as the clouds covered vast areas of the county. Normally this provides a wonderful screen on which the sun’s beams shine, creating a palette of colors that places a person in another dimension. More than just colors, the clouds cover the surrounding mountains, often retaining the shape of those on which they rest. As light dawns upon the sleeping land, it’s not unusual to feel the stirring of a breeze. This movement seems to wake the clouds from their slumber and encourage them to move along, sometimes with a dolphin-like effect as they ride over the mountains. The system is so intricate and yet robust.

It wasn’t to be as the fog blocked visibility for much of our hike. Interestingly enough, a break in the clouding did provide a view of the valley which looked so different from anything seen before from vantage points visited multiple times. Sean and I then left the summit for our usual run down Iron Mountain. Sean is a learned man of G-d and scripture besides being half my age. The scene is set as we begin while the young man commences a dissertation on important issues. Off we go, heading for the trailhead at our usual pace. Lately, I have not brought a backpack, choosing to carry a flashlight in a pocket, small camera in the same place, bottle of water in the hand, car keys in the opposite pocket while the free hand keeps the weighted down shorts from falling to the knees and further.

Hopefully, you get the picture. It might be termed a multi-task hike with me listening to a wonderful talk, holding my shorts up, bottle in hand, eyes on the trail watching for protruding rocks and any other hazards.

As I began the tumble, my eyes caught sight of the rock that I had stubbed. While in ‘flight’, my brain did what it usually thinks about in such situations—protect the right hip. The amazing thing is that I seemed to have much time to prepare. I then went into a roll and came out of the tumble successfully. It also felt good to provide Sean with some entertainment, a break from his talk, if you will. Back on the feet again, we headed down not pausing to dust off. Within four minutes, not wishing to be known as one-trick pony, I found myself on the ground again. This time there seemed to be less time to think about it while stumbling.

One always seeks excuses. After all, it could not be my fault. Then I remembered. The night before, we had dinner with Celia and Nate Levy. Nate plied us with cokes. Obviously, our drinks were laced with something stronger than aspartame. Hopefully, Sean will give me another chance to show that I can remain on my feet for reasonable periods. I also look forward to the return of our dear editor and higher clouds. The sad thing is that Jenni injured herself while taking a running tumble on Mount Woodson three weeks before. You could say we have done the twin peaks or perhaps more accurately, they have done us.

People are always asking, “How was the West won?” People can be so inquisitive. We remember seeing the movie when we probably were no older than ten years. Does this make us an expert on the subject? We’ll leave that for someone else to decide. However, we have the answer to a better question: “Why was the West won?” We think the answer may lie in the pictures we have published below. Some have been seen before, many not. We hope you agree with the choice and sentiment.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Mounts St. Helens and Rainier (Washington) in the distance, above the clouds from Saddle Mountain in Oregon.
Look carefully in the background.

Oops! Should have looked at the photograph before sipping.

Jen above clouds on Mount Williamson in Southern California.

On Mount Rainier, one of our favorite pictures.

Cape Lookout, Oregon Coast.

"Hey Dune". Mesquite Flats, Death Valley, California.

After the experience near Suicide Rock, we ordered crampons to be sent to our next port of call.

Beyond Mono Pass, in the Sierras, California. (Would beautiful be superfluous?)

Mount Lukens, a toughie outside Pasadena.

Mount Shasta, California.

Atop Angels Landing, Zion, peering over the edge.

Saddle Mountain, Oregon just another hop-and-skip to reach a 'colleague'.

A different perspective from Bryce Canyon.

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona, above the Colorado River.

Near Mammoth Peak, California.

Gavin and father, one of us looking a little uncertain or maybe both, at Rattlesnake Ledge outside Seattle.

Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona at sunset. "Thars gold in dem slabs."

From Mount Tallac, Lake Tahoe below.

San Joquim Ridge near Mammoth, California.

Another favorite, our son Robbie with us on Mount Shasta at dawn.

Top of Table Mountain in the Sierras, California.

Sunset at the 'Angel', just hanging out...over.

A view at Sabrine Lake, the Sierras, California.

'Charity', South Sister facing 'Faith' and 'Hope', in Oregon with plenty of humility.

Capitol Reefs, Utah. Hoping those boulders are buddies and have bonded.

The 'famous' Delicate Arch, Moab, Utah, a view from the other side.

A 'bummer' for Jen on Mount Rainier in the middle of summer.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In the Company of Giants.

I would like to ask that you read this piece, not for Jen and me but rather, for some exceptional people.

I headed out early for Mount Woodson, ahead of the traffic, that is, hiking traffic, heat and unfortunately,
before clouds formed. Lately, we’ve have been in the company or near-company of giants. No. Not the redwoods,
sequoias, football players, boxers, clergy and many others but rather, true heroes. There’s a song with a nice
beat called ‘Looking for love in all the wrong places’ or in fact, it may only be a line of the lyrics. Whatever
the case, it is a very useful thought. Perhaps if we changed the subject and made it ‘looking for a hero or role
model’ in all the wrong places it would resonate well in the modern world. For a reason I have never been able
to fathom, people look to sportsmen, actors and actresses (huh?), politicians, you name it, as heroes. Why?
There are obviously reasons for this but that’s not the purpose of this short essay. I have only had one hero
and he died in 1991. He was my Dad.

A 'crocodile' in Inyo National Forest'

"Over the edge'. At times like this, the husband closes his eyes and wonders about life and responsibility.

I’ve also looked in all the wrong places. I realized that when in the company of our cousin Basil Cohen,
Paul S, Ivan S, Lionel G, Neil R, Debbie G and others, we were with true heroes, role models. Unfortunately,
these friends and family are suffering various hardships, all related to illness. Yet, when in their company
or in communication with them, one feels humbled, in awe even insignificant and helpless. In addition, their
spouses set standards that too make one feel quite small. Yes. I have found role models but unfortunately,
they are paying an enormous price.

I set off on this hike on my own as Jenni is again suffering knee problems. Fortunately, she is in the care
of Dr. Norman K. who in my humble but biased opinion, is the best hip surgeon west of the Mississippi. What goes
through the mind when hiking the fairly tough Woodson climb of about 2,400 feet and nearly 8 miles return?
One thing occurred today, which usually drives our editor a little crazy. She calls it being competitive—it’s
an opinion, I suppose. I had in mind my heroes listed above. I undertook that no one, young or not so young,
was going to pass me as I moved up that mountain at a fast pace. For the record, I took sixty-five minutes
in hot conditions.

In earlier years, this was considered showing off. Modern thinking is that he is working
on his self-esteem'.

One of the few pictures at Woodson without clouds this hiking period. (Sep. 14th)

After passing a couple, I noticed two males were closing the gap between us. I kept the pace while thinking
of one of my favorite movies, ‘Chariots of Fire’. Besides the inspiring story and music, I’ve never forgotten
the words of the coach to his protégé, something to the order of, “It is good to win from behind but a real winner,
wins from the front”. I had that thought in mind as the two younger men approached and then sat ‘on my tail’.
I moved across to show them courtesy but that was all. There was no way they were going to pass me. You see what
they did not know was that I undertook unilaterally that for Basil, Paul, Ivan, Neil and Debbie, no one was going
to pass me. No one! And so I pushed and increased the pace and wore them down. I also did not allow them to see
the odd tear that rolled down my cheek while thinking of the ‘gang'.

Without Jenni, I searched for a new 'bird' at 6am Sunday morning at Woodson.

Coming down through the channel at Cathedral Rock, Sedona.

Lake Poway, the base of Woodson, one of its hills.

When I reached the summit, I took in the sights and thought about my heroes. It is at this stage I would like
to appeal to one and all to think about them and all others of goodwill. Perhaps with the energy, a miracle
from above or from some other force, the tide will turn for people who are suffering. We all need help but
they deserve at least, a break. I strongly believe that the G-d above looks into all human hearts and heads,
caring little about the various religions. May He shine His light on all good people everywhere—it seems to
have dimmed a little, recently.

Returning from the end, above the Tugela Falls, the world's second highest.

Head in the clouds on Mont-aux-Sources.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Some Highlights, most not previously published, including many from New Zealand.

We've begun planning our hiking adventures for the coming year although much is still to come in
the next few months. In order to avoid winter weather, particularly the harsh climes, it usually means traveling
south from December through April. When one party has a desire to visit a favorite country, how does one sell
the idea to the other. How about showing a few pictures from past experiences and undertaking that the best
is yet to come. It's an approach. We were in New Zealand three years ago and it's time for a revisit:

Dewar Peak, on the way to Devil's Creek, Queenstown, NZ.

Sawyer Burn, sharp, steep and tough. (Please get rid of the hat!)

Tongariro Crossing, the picture tells the story of the day. It reminds one of the title of a well-known
book published years ago: 'The loneliness of the Long Distance Runner'.

A beach at Lake Poway, below Mount Woodson. A hike in the heat of the day (Sep 3rd).

The mountains surrounding Queenstown, NZ.

Haleakala Crater, viewing Mauna Kea, Hawaii (Big Island)

What a fine pair...on the Milford Trek, South Island, New Zealand.

Observation Point, Zion. Fall colors observed from the top without falling.

Jenni admiring the valley while resting near the peak, NZ.

Sunrise above the clouds on Mauna Kea, Hawaii at about 10,500 feet.

Mount Cook covered in clouds with glacier covered in ash (NZ).

Sun highlights the Eiger Peak, Switzerland.

Mesquite Flats, Death Valley, California. What's in a name!

Every 10 minutes or so, Jenni turns him over so he gets an even tan on the legs.

Lake Poway, a beautiful spot in the county (San Diego), a refreshing moment after a tough (hot) hike.

Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand.

Somewhere along the Milford trek (NZ).

'Piqued' at Ben Lomond, Queenstown (NZ).

Mauna Loa at sunrise, 11,000 feet, Hawaii.

Roy's Peak, Wanaka, (NZ).

The last few steps to the pool below the upper-falls, Orokaway Bay, New Zealand.

I'd like to think of it as perspiration but instead, slipped and fell into the upper-pool.

Parker Lake in the Sierras, California.

"We've got the sun in the morning and the moon at the morning"—Shoshone, California.

Bryce adds a new 'hoodoo'. Fall in Utah.

Rancho Mirage at sunset in California.

Caption: Speaks for itself.