New Zealand 2017: Tongariro Crossing and Mount Ngauruhoe.


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 often.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

29.13 and 29.14: Boulder City, NV: Red & More Black Mountain views of snowy coverings, Las Vegas and Bighorns.

You never know what surprise nature has in store...each moment.

We returned to Boulder City to hike the 'color mountains', Black and Red, because snow was falling when we arrived at the Calico Basin area hike earlier that day. We find these two irresistible because they are reasonable workouts but in addition, the sights are always fantastic and vary greatly. Standing on either peak, one has views of the city below, Las Vegas in the near distance and Lake Mead on the opposite side as well as many mountain ranges both in the state as well as in Utah and Arizona. Add sunrises, sunsets, the bighorns, snow-covered mountains and there's not much else a person needs for the recipe of life with nature.

Not often we see this background in Las Vegas; from Red Mountain. Contrast with similar picture below.

A week before above picture, early evening from the summit of Black Mountain.

On the way down Black Mountain, looking toward Arizona and Utah as sun catches a section of the snow-covered mountains
while a plane descends.

12 days previously, we climbed Turtlehead Peak in high winds but no snow.

Jenni gazes at her nemesis, the Frenchman, a previous hike.

We were turned away from this area when it began to snow and would've been on treacherous cliff edges. Nevertheless,
we enjoyed the color contrast.

The telephoto from Black Mountain shows the bridge at Hoover Dam and rugged surround.

Bighorn sheep with Lake Mead and Hoover Dam in rear, at sunset.

Biased or not, Lake Mead is an incredible body of water surrounded by mountains and desert.

Perhaps, sultry.

A wind-blown editor at sunset on Black Mountain.

Bighorn dares us to follow...for once, we were too smart or, too fearful.

Fading light in a unique position. Fortification Hill sloping in the background (part of that mountain or perhaps,
all of it, is in Arizona.)

A golden moment as sun shines on the narrow 'pedestal' only.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Friday, January 27, 2017

29.11 Las Vegas: The Frenchman and Sunset Mountains...vive la Francais. 29.12 Sunrise in the rain.

Second of three sections of inclines up the Frenchman. (One of us might be spotted on the trail...see the dot.)

We hiked the French Mountain
last year. It is very steep, the path is a 4-wheel drive road covered with loose stones. I'd like to see a car negotiate that road. The editor, for reasons that sort of make sense, hated the hike last year, particularly the downhill stretch. On the other hand, I think it is a great workout with incredible views of desert mountains, Lake Mead and Las Vegas. In fact, it is difficult to argue against the experience because of the many positive elements. Anyway, the editor decided she would not climb it on principle. I had never seen her so adamant about a hike or the fervent passion not to attempt it again.

We climbed part of Sunrise Mountain which sits opposite the Frenchman, earlier. The weather turned poor with the winds blustering at dangerous levels of velocity for mountain edges. So we headed down and I could not help noticing the impossibly steep channel of the Frenchie beckoning from across the way. The editor suggested that I take a quick 'run' up while she would wait in the car. I loved the idea wondering why I had not thought of it. Actually I had. I just did not have the courage to suggest we do it. Far be it to encourage a person to go against her principles. In a moment of brazen stupidity, I suggested she walk up to a point, a little under half-way up. I mentioned that the rough stony area was above where she would turn around, therefore, it would meet her criteria. To my surprise and glee, she agreed to break with principle and off we went. I knew I had to move fast so that I could reach the target, turn around and hopefully, catch her before she reached the car. Jen in fact did not stop at the agreed position but continued until I reached my endpoint. I signaled for her to turn and we eventually met and walked the final bit to the car together.

I loved the hike, the views were stunning and Jen did not concede that it was okay but she did her bit so who cares. Nevertheless, three days later, knowing the weather had turned for the worse, Jenni decided to invoke principles again and not join me for a sunrise hike on the Frenchman. I had the urge to do it and endure the wonderful climb to heights above the greater Las Vegas region. The weather forecasters, unfortunately, were correct. It was extremely cloudy with light rain. Luckily, as we completed the hike, it turned into a shower. It was my good fortune to meet a young man, Matt, partway up. His friend decided to return to the car and so we spent the whole time conversing on a myriad of subjects. Suffice to say, when a person meets a kindred spirit, there 'ain't' too many pauses in the conversation. It was a real pleasure, Matt.

The 'comet' the sun lights a column of mountains and the edge of another.

Another stunning view closer to the second of three tops.

Jen passes the only other hikers on trail, a family of four.

Meantime, upon leaving the Sunrise mountain, we head down to attempt the Frenchman.

Jen hangs back as she catches the sun hit the side wall and her hubby moving up relatively fast.

On a relatively dull day weather wise, the sun makes a breakthrough.

Frenchman 2: Sunrise on a dull and rainy day. Three days later, at about 6:20am, I reached this location with a partial view of the city.

More backlit mountains as we get close to ground level.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Frenchman 2 (Sunrise). On the way down with Matt, we had beautiful views and could even check on our cars below.

The 'original little Frenchman' (Benny) fights his fear and succeeds.

Monday, January 23, 2017

29.10 Nevada: Lava Butte, a 'beaut', a dangerous and strenuous climb including wilderness meandering to reach it.

A view of the 'beaut', taken after our return.

Lava Butte is one of the most attractive volcanoes/mountains in the region. What it lacks in height it compensates for in its shape, color and setting. From our approach, there was no trail from the car to the mountain, some 3 miles cross-country, no path up the steep slopes but easy views of the target. The volcano can be seen from so many places around Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City. It has always, or at least since we discovered it last year, held a special place for one of us (Jeffrey). When Jenni was sick last year, I went on my own and enjoyed an incredible experience. I would admit there is an element of fear or at least, trepidation, as one climbs the steep mountain side over rocks, some gravel and black boulders. In fact, it gets worse on the way down; the gradient is some 70%. The view from the top is stunning especially the colors of the desert. Lake Mead is in the distance and Lake Las Vegas is close and presents an attractive sight.

I was concerned before the hike especially for Jenni as it is dangerous, a sentiment expressed logically rather than emotionally. I thought we should take it one step at a time and reevaluate at each point of danger. Suffice to say, I think Jenni was less fearful and more competent than me. It was uplifting to watch her set such a fine example. It left no room for me to whine much.

We made our way toward the volcano by negotiating hills, small mountains, washes, valleys, boulder barriers and scrub. There are infinite ways to walk the 'floor' but each presents it's own challenge. Most of the time we could see our car from our positions but getting to and from it was rough. So what was enjoyable you might ask? The answer could fill a chapter of a book. In one sentence: being close to nature, determining one's own path, facing danger and meeting it head-on, straining the muscles, viewing the incredible beauty of a harsh desert and capturing some of it on film and finally, basking in the glory of a wonderful day while relaxing overworked muscles is a good beginning of an explanation.

"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" would be a nice caption. However, the lake is 5 or so miles distant.

"Huh!" After 3 miles in the backcountry, the editor wonders about the wisdom of this tricky climb.

'When the going gets tough, the tough get going'. Glib? Not on this day.

The painted desert.

Lake Las Vegas and a residential area on the edge of the park that excites the editor. Viewed from Lava Butte.

Jenni pushes on relentlessly. Approaching the base of the volcano.

Scrambling over hills and boulders to find the commencement of the climb of the butte.

For perspective: A view of the distinctive Lava Butte from Black Mountain, Henderson. Our ascent
took place on the opposite side.

More painted desert.

Wider view of Lake Las Vegas and the neighborhood.

A special place, unique position and unusual hike and climb.

Friday, January 20, 2017

29.09 Las Vegas, Nevada: Hamblin Peak, an area of color and form.

Perspective on the way down after enjoying a great 'up'.

We revisited this interesting, colorful and breathtaking area when we decided to reach Hamblin peak, in the Lake Mead National recreation region of rugged heaven. It is obvious, should anyone read some of our comments, that this part of the country is stunningly beautiful in a harsh and rugged manner. The next few hikes, and we suppose a few of the recent, portray this part of Nevada as a painted desert. We doubt whether any human artist could capture or have envisaged the form, shape, molding and shades of the deserts with its mountains, and even lakes, had they not seen it firsthand.

For the initial few miles, there is no trail. A person follows instincts and suggestions, read beforehand, as one moves in, through and out of washes. The ascent is easy to follow as a rough path exists to guide one to the summit. What a peak it is. The color of the desert in chocolate brown with various shades leading to grey, orange, red, pink and yellow are a knockout. The flow of the hills into mountains seems so natural and logical until one has to try climb them. Then the reality strikes one that these apparently smooth and undulating forms are an illusion. Upfront one come across chasms, canyons, extremely rugged and rough surfaces and scrub laced with spiked cacti. Thereafter, things really get tough. Turning outward, about 1,700 feet below, the magnificent Lake Mead stretches endlessly. The narrows are below the summit which provides definition to the water thus making it more attractive than just a large body of water. Each time we see the lake, the color appears different from the previous view. Between the weather, the sunlight, time of day and our position, no situation is ever the same.

We had the pleasure of meeting Steve at the summit, hence a picture of the 'duo'. He is another interesting and charming man who lives in Henderson but spends much time exploring the region. After a long discussion, the editor's shivers reminded us that we had to keep moving to maintain warmth. We left Steve and the summit with the thought of wonderful people we have met on the trails. As many of our readers have mentioned, people with shared interests and a love of nature's wonders tend to have instant connections. We do find, in keeping with past history, that the trails and backcountry are devoid of human activity. Other than the 'icon hikes', we come across few people.

At the summit, turning to the right to look down on the 'Narrows'.

A side view from the summit.

"Stadig oor die klippe". Exercising caution as the peak is tiny, has jagged edges and an immediate drop-off. In fact, what you see is one of a couple of separate platforms.

The prominent and haunting Charleston Mountain range.

The stunning colors and mountains.

On the saddle before moving towards the summit.

A girl's got to take a break and smell the roses, from time-to-time.

What's not to like about Lake Mead, particularly at the Narrows?


Jenni and Jeffrey

Steve obliges with our camera, Fortification Hill sloping in the background.

Upcoming blog from 'The Frenchman'. Perhaps that's why the desert views are like dessert.