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, February 28, 2016
25.17 White Rock trail to Colorado River and Hot Springs loop. 25.18 Arizona Hot Springs Trail, Arizona/Nevada border.
The Colorado flows, as we have noticed, all over the place. On its travels, man keeps withdrawing, diverting and detaining its water. From the 'tops of our heads', we've seen Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in Arizona harness the water; Lake Mead and Hoover Dam have their effect, while the flow in, through and around the Grand Canyon is very attractive including the horseshoe it forms in Page, Arizona. An early morning sunrise along its banks in Bullhead City comes to mind as another attractive occasion. It's hard to imagine what could trump this magnificent river...Uh! oh!
The pictures below, were captured on a seven-mile hike with cumulative elevation gain of some 1,200 feet or so with both dry and wet feet.
At a temperature of 112 degrees, still too cold for the editor, hence, the winter swimsuit.
Tranquility along the Colorado River, a few miles past Hoover Dam.
Closed in by towering cliff as we walk long distances in the slot canyons.
On golden pond...the Colorado River in Arizona, just across the border.
The editor reads to a lame...lone duck
A rock with a view.
The editor climbs out the pit as she heads to the pools above.
Approaching the pools without a bathing suit but safe from snakes. Carrying a ladder around
with us is proving most useful.
A time of reflection on the Colorado River.
"My wife? No! That's my editor."...'I have a sinking feeling or else I'm really in hot water now', as I
do my best to cope with the wildlife.
Taking the gap. One should never attempt this after a big meal.
"There's gold in dem rocks.
Jenni and Jeffrey
A couple of shots in a memorable region:
A rich view of Lake Mead from one of the surrounding peaks.
Captured as sunset approached, also from a peak (Red).
Taken only a short-while before the picture above, two-tone blue.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
25.16 Hamblin Peak, tucked away in a mountainous region overlooking everything..., plus an excerpt of a day on the road...
Jenni heads down from the peak after declaring she might have been in the most attractive place of all time.
The shades of color make one take a second look and third...
Many of us are fortunate to lead lives of relative comfort although at times, we forget this. It is a fact of the human condition that we need constant reminders, most of us, as to how fortunate we really are. Nevertheless, it usually takes an experience of meeting a person without feet to realize that not having shoes is not as bad as we thought. Although we see much confusion in the world today, we also realize this is not some new phenomenon. It does appear that darkness is descending upon us or to be less harsh, the light is dimming somewhat. There are many reasons for our comment: One being that not only is the level of violence, both on and by individuals and governments escalating but perhaps even worse in a rather perverse way, such behavior is no longer shocking and is in fact understood and accepted by so many. As truth fades and disappears, alternative value systems provide understanding and condone all sorts of shocking behavior. Of course, this is an opinion and is stated simply rather than purporting to be a ‘scholarly work’. The question to be asked: What brought this on and why in this forum? (Continued at the end...)
A speedboat races on the lake. By road, this is about 30 miles from Boulder City.
Standing on a somewhat small peak, a little shaky in the legs.
Color our world.
A lake of varying shades of blue each moment.
Formations and shades that had us focused for most of the hike.
We loved this hike without trails through washes and up the mountain, with incredible views.
A river? No a lake, Mead by name.
The editor takes a break while having access to 360-degree views.
Little islands in the sky...lake.
Continued from above...
Before the Valentine’s weekend in mid-February, we decided to move from Boulder City to Henderson, Nevada, the region in which the hiking, views and experiences were extraordinary. After thirteen nights in one motel, as comfortable as it was, we were ready (almost) for change. Unfortunately, there was not much accommodation available over the period because it appeared many sweethearts would be enjoying a romantic weekend in the greater Las Vegas area. However, we finally found an extended stay apartment for the week. We had no idea of its location or quality but for a few comments about some rowdy experiences following our research on the internet. Otherwise, it seemed fine. We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and it seemed pleasant until we heard screaming in the parking lot followed by the arrival of a police patrol car.
We made our way up the steps and swiped the electronic key over the lock. It did not open. We tried again and this time the door did move. A large man, in shorts and a ‘wife-beater’, stood in the partially opened doorway and wondered why we were trying to enter his room. With the room exposed, the internal gasses and odors wafted their way through and hit us in the faces. Whereas we are not familiar with drugs, smoking devices and assorted plants, we do understand cigarettes. The odors did not emanate from regular cigarettes. I realized that perhaps the receptionist had written down the wrong room number—it was not our intention to evict this big dude, not unless the editor was willing to change places with me. It turns out that the ‘6’ looked like a ‘4’ on the paper receipt and so we would not have to evict or share the apartment but would be neighbors instead. A nice start.
The apartment was comfortable and included a living/dining room and full kitchen. It had a bedroom and bathroom, too. It was ideal for a weekly stay. We settled down and I went exploring. The mix of people was interesting. It included a wide range of nationalities, colors, always sizes as well as ages. Because it is an extended stay concept, many people are permanent residents. So there were families living within the complex including young kids as well as teenagers. The latter, we have noticed over the years, can be quite dangerous and often pose a threat to their neighbors. We watched as kids alighted from the school bus and returned home to the complex or the trailer park next door. Although we had paid our rent upfront, we had the option of course to quit and find another place. However, like so much of Hike-about, the process of discovery is exciting. It wasn’t even a consideration—this was an interesting place and as long as the threat-level was manageable, we would stay.
On the second night, I was heading to the reception to exchange linen, the units are serviced once per week (but they will provide daily fresh linen), when I came across a youngish woman with a cute 5-year old daughter. The daughter was very sweet and I thought of our granddaughter Ellie—someone we think of often. The woman greeted me in a most friendly manner which I generally find unusual although it’s our aim to be friendly with everyone we cross paths. I realized she was a ’solicitor’ not a lawyer, who offered me various services, one being weed up in her room. When I looked at the little girl whose mother performed various illicit services, probably in her company and supposedly while being her mother and protector, I felt torn. What chance in life do children brought up in those circumstances have?
The next evening, I felt another woman staring at me. The editor tells me I’m getting old and scrawny so obviously these women had other motives. I looked back and greeted her. She had a strange expression on her attractive face. She ignored me. I mentioned to Jen that the woman, who looked well-kept, seemed odd but in a very subtle way. It struck me that she appeared to be waiting for the arrival of someone, someone who had disappeared a long time ago. On the day we were departing, she approached the driver’s car window. I asked whether I could help her. She wanted us to take some cartons to California for her. She gave no address, no revelation of contents, no indication of who they were for...California is quite a big state with some forty-million people inhabiting it. It left us with an unusual feeling.
Periodically, a couple of dudes would stand next to one another and hurl insults that should a white person speak in such a way, he might be hanged at the gallows. The one afternoon, after returning from another of the incredible hikes in the area, we heard one guy shouting across the parking lot to the other. It went something like this, “Hey, John. Did you hear Fred’s back in jail?” One could be forgiven for thinking that old Fred was off on vacation from the tone of the conversation.
There was the proverbial little old lady who was unkempt, without teeth but seemed to have much spirit for what she lacked in other aspects. Each day, although we only saw it a couple of times, she would arrive in her pajamas at the reception and greet the personnel and share a joke. Obviously she has lived there a while and is part of the furniture. Then there were the young teenage girls hiding behind a pillar, lighting up cigarettes from time-to-time. Only on one occasion did I get riled a little when a guy rode his motorbike around the carpark at 2am. Before I decided to try and do something about it, he either ran out of gas, steam or crashed into the wall. Who knows?
We could not help but peek into the odd room when we passed. The establishment allows pets to occupy certain rooms. I don’t think we’ll ever forget the sight of one of these living areas which can best be described in the words of my Mom: “You couldn’t get a dog to live in that.”
At no time did we feel uncomfortable but most times, we walked about with eyes wide open observing our fellow humans from different socio-economic strata of society. It was fascinating and always sobering. It was also in the United States of America, not some third-world country. As a conclusion, in many of the regions inhabited by Native-Americans, and Nevada is one of them, the poverty level is extraordinary and the misery factor of the conditions to uninformed observers such as ourselves is horrific. When we met George recently, a delightful elderly man from Utah now living in Nevada, he gave us some fascinating insights into many issues of life including 19th century American history. We also had a discussion, which I always find interesting, about polygamy—he being from Utah. Anyway, George suggested that the ruling class, tucked comfortably away in the District of Columbia, are oblivious to so much going on in the rest of the country.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Balancing on a very narrow peak in a stunning region.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
We moved from Boulder City a week ago, stopping for a further week in Henderson, some twelve miles north. After hiking almost without a break for three weeks, we decided to leave 'home' at 5am one morning to watch the sun rise over both Lake Mead and Las Vegas. Above the city, the light-show was spectacular but rather low-key over the water. Sadly, both of us have had bad falls while running down Red and Black Mountains, one each. The poor editor split her lip open and received a few bumps and bruises. These trips were a little different from previous as there was no opportunity to 'pull oneself out of the fall'—it just happened and on each occasion we found ourselves grounded and sliding—losing skin, getting additional holes in the body and on one occasion, torn pants. However, the hike, including the run, is really superb. There's a lot we'll do for some action and fun...it seems.
After picking Jenni up and talking with her, she remarked, "This is nothing. Compared with some of the places where we've pulled each other up and over cliff edges, I feel fortunate." I thought back to just the other day when we were in a precarious position and realized how apt her thoughts and utterance were.
Mount Charleston, west of Las Vegas at 6:10am.
Editor reaches peak after 3 miles at about 6:30am.
Even Las Vegas is stunning when the miracle of light and natural features come into play.
A side-view above Boulder City in the early morning.
Looking grey and gloomy...anything but.
Red Rock Canyon with Turtlehead Peak prominent 'hit' by the sun. We hiked to the peak some three weeks ago.
'The Frenchman', a past hike. This mountain can be viewed from every position in the region, probably including
from inside the casinos. (Jenni refused to hike this a second time...I think it was on principle.)
The sun goes to the casinos and misses.
The soft light, facing east, so different from the western view.
Jenni takes in the reflected light of Mount Charleston.
A little 'darker' over Las Vegas. One more for very impressed hikers.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Jenni returned for the Henderson Black Mountain trail which is a great day-hike, one to be repeated and often. When we got to the trailhead, a couple had returned from a short walk along the trail—many locals use the initial, relatively gentle beginning slope for exercise without going to the awesome and extremely steep peak. The fellow looked at us, made an internal calculation and asked, "How far up are you going?"
He took a look at Jenni's expression and added, "You going the whole way?" Smart comment, saving him the wrath of our dear editor.
I know I often say it but this is another of those hiking experiences not to be missed. It reaches an elevation gain of 2,200 feet, a sizeable portion in the last third. It has wonderful views of the valley, other mountains and of course, Las Vegas. Interesting flora on which to feast the eyes is in abundance, bighorn sheep wonder about although we missed them and best of all, some great physical challenges including rock climbing. The peak sits at an altitude of 5,100 feet, the distance is 6 miles.
The blog before this one shows a sunrise on Black Mountain in Boulder City. Both mountains provide excellent views and good hikes, the Henderson trail being much steeper and longer. However, the former provides unbeatable views at every moment of the day as it 'spies' on so many peaks, Lake Mead, Las Vegas, Boulder City and even interesting parts of Arizona. Two pictures at the end try to explain the link between them.
A little perspective of Black Mountain after walking an hour.
The big push to the peak of the volcano.
Editor fills in the 'visitors' book at the peak. (Black Mountain, Boulder City and Fortification Hill, Arizona
in the distance.)
Respect for the courageous at Iwo Jima, the scene reenacted (with humility). (The Frenchman Mountain to the right.)
Giving a salute at the peak to our adoptive country, especially the many fine people we have met.
The gambling city fills the background.
The town of Anthem below the editor.
Probably the 14th shot of Las Vegas from a different peak position this trip.
Slowly...on the way down.
Linking the two trails, very different but having the same names as well as being in different cities.
From about twenty miles by car, Red Mountain and Black Mountain (Boulder City) are visible. See white spot
which is a radar tower. Sloping mountain is Fortification Hill in Arizona (see previous blog.) Between the 'Hill'
and Black/Red Mountains lies part of Lake Mead and all of Hoover Dam.
The Frenchman Mountain, can be seen clearly from both locations. This picture was taken from Boulder City. The same
can be said for Lava Butte (not shown.)
Jenni and Jeffrey