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.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Highlights from Slovenia: One hike, one picture, memorable experiences: (Click caption for each full blog.)

A favorite: it took, and still takes, our breath away.

Slovenia, the land and people made a favorable impression upon us; in fact, a very favorable one. This small country with a tough history is fascinating, certainly, the parts we visited.

We kept out of the big city until we were ready to take flight (still in Ljubljana at time of writing). Until then, we spent our time on the rugged and beautiful mountains and slept in the quaint villages of the Julian Alps. The experience was memorable leaving indelible marks both in our minds and on our bodies. Over the period, we acquired elevation of some forty-thousand feet or approximately 7.5 miles. The issue in Slovenia is that distance is not commensurate with elevation gain as most hikes vary from steep to extremely steep in short stretches. We undertook what we would consider a fair number of hikes, had extraordinary experiences and effectively, saw next to nothing of this small and 'unknown' country. Of course, it's been around a long time and has endured some tough periods as it's been conquered and liberated frequently. Even in the wilds and high on the mountains exist memorials to partisans and others who made the ultimate sacrifice.

From the comments we received from people outside of Europe, there seemed to be confusion of where in fact the country is located.

We stayed in 5 different villages surrounding the Julian Alps. The proprietors of our accommodation were wonderful in each case and some treated us as family. Most spoke English and some were fluent. As we speak at least 3 or 4 words of Slovene, it proved most helpful that they are far better educated than ourselves. The more we travel, the more we wish we had learned to speak some dominant languages.

We limited this blog (new format) to one picture from each hike, a subjective and therefore difficult set of choices to make. Although our trip was a little over 5 weeks, we are probably more weary than at any other time—man, these mountains are tough and unforgiving.


The summary page below allows a viewer to identify a section of interest through a picture and the caption above the picture. Thereafter, click on the picture's (Click to reach blog) which will take you to the detailed blog. Click the 'back button' to return to the summary page. Alternatively, scroll down past the summary page to view the blogs sequentially in the usual manner. The summary page may be used as just another blog and thereafter, continue to scroll to earlier/later blogs.

'Wind beneath my wings' on peak of Krasji Vrh plus a summary of our trip to Slovenia.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment-Latest update 6/30/2017'

In the forest as we head to peak of Matajur in Italy. (Hike is mostly in Slovenia but the peak is in Italy.) Includes an essay on luxurious living on the road: My! How uncomfortable.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment-Latest update 7/2/17'

Heading up the gulley toward Mala Mojstrovka, slippery, steep and testing. 'Hey, who's complaining?'

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

A view from Mount Svinjak, Bovek after 4,000 feet elevation gain.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

A re-visit to the peak of Mala Mojstrovka is for 'the birds'

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

On the way to Crna Prst, some 3,700 feet of 'relaxed' climbing.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

Visenik Peak: a view of Mount Triglav.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

Heading toward Black Lake, one of 7 of Triglav lakes.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

Jerebikovek, a steep climb to view the surrounding mountains.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

Struggling on Mount Kanin, above Bovec, while recovering from sustained injuries.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

Lake Krnsko below Mount Krn, the largest alpine body of water in Slovenia, some 2,500 feet hike from ground-level.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment updated July 9th'

From Velika Osojnica, a view of Lake Bled.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

Under Mount Triglav, a very special but lonely day.

'Click to reach blog showing this segment'

Along the Soca River, Velika Karita Gorge.

Blog yet to be posted.

Steep as all heck, climbing to the peak of Vitranc, a ski resort, over 3,000 feet climb.

Click to reach blog showing this segment-Posted 7/6

Meantime, we struggle against the elements, toward Mount Vogel. Jenni is next to snow pack below.

Separate hike but shown earlier. (No access from this point)

I thought my feet had 'frozen off'; I suppose June is too early to swim.

Separate hike but shown earlier. (No access from this point)

Tri-country border, Slovenia, Austria and Italy, up and over Pec Tromja and into Austria.

Separate hike but shown earlier. (No access from this point)

On trail toward Slemenova špica.

Separate hike but shown earlier. (No access from this point)

On the Soca River, the stunning Kozjak Falls (slap) and gorge.

Separate hike but shown earlier. (No access from this point)

Galetovek with Lake Bled in the distance.

Separate hike but shown earlier. (No access from this point)


Jenni and Jeffrey

31.17 Matajur Mountain, a hike mostly in Slovenia with a finish at a peak in Italy. Also, trying to settle down in 'luxury'.

Because the forests are not compacted with trees, they are some of the nicest we've seen.


Jenni found a new place to live for our return from Slovenia. We popped into a hotel for a few days as the short-term lease was only due to commence 4 days after our arrival in San Diego. ‘It was obvious that we returned to soon’, I tried to convince our recovering but sturdy editor.

We met our landlady outside the house, a unit within a massive complex for those whom have reached the age of at least fifty-five. The editor just scrapes by that number but I suggested she take some form of identification in case she had to prove her age. I relied on my face to provide the necessary evidence. We entered the unit and I immediately had a panic attack. This place would not work—it was too large—perhaps three and nearly 4-times our regular size of accommodation. We were struck at first, figuratively of course, by the passage way. It stretched way into the distance so that leading off it was a lounge, dining room, kitchen, study, second bedroom and finally, a main bedroom beyond the shadows. On the other side of the passage sits another full bathroom and laundry area. Jenni, realizing my dilemma of 'drowning' in space, rubbed my neck gently, trying to restore calm within me. For this I was grateful and after a few moments, I was ready to proceed on the tour although I’d miss the massage.

Having discovered the depths, nooks and crannies and of course, the internet access code, Phyllis, our landlady took us to the community center which houses the gym, lawn bowls, swimming pool, terrific library and all the entertainment rooms that the elderly enjoy in this formal but most pleasant setting. I can see myself commencing sewing and rock-painting classes before this sojourn in San Diego ends. By means of a ‘fob’, access is controlled. We were officially registered-we had arrived. Our first impression is that Seniors know how to live—it’s all their accumulated experience. Just in case anyone reading this gets the wrong impression, it seems that we relate best of all to the generation before us. We believe they are a superior generation than the one to which we belong. Okay, youngsters, try your best shot as we once again live dangerously.

Having gained sufficient information about the development, we moved our belongings into the unit, had a little difficulty remembering where we’d placed things but soon were up-and-running, so to speak. By the way, people were most friendly and whomever we spoke to, provided us with interesting information about life in Rancho Bernardo and personal tips and other factoids about their own lives. The only downside we noticed is that between the center and our unit is a golf course. As we are not willing to trespass (hmm!), it means unlike most instances when we walk over to the gym, we now either have a big run there-and-back or should take the car. When we were golfers, it would have required a three-wood and 6-iron to reach not the green but the gym. When not on the trails, we realize we still need and want to keep fit so we undertake cross-training when resting. Of course, this is good for the body and mind but we don’t find it too interesting being in a gym. Thus, it requires extra effort. However, the reward following a successful workout, as most will attest, is wonderful.

For our first visit to the gym, Jenni suggested we get there early to beat the crowd as well as start the day off on the right foot. She can be a little bossy at times and when I’m a little rebellious I’ve been known to use my left foot first—this annoys her but it’s sort of my petty revenge. Unfortunately, the fob caused a red light to glow and did not allow entry on our first morning. Also, there wasn’t a soul about—so much for the need to beat the mob with our early morning fob. Then we noticed that the opening time was 7:30am. The Seniors in this area sleep a little later. After entering the gym at 7:31 finally, we had the pick of equipment. Big deal. Along the way we noticed a couple of signs. One warned against disturbing the bird’s nest under the eaves. Another made it clear we were not to block the rather wide passages with our bodies, about 20 feet wide (lanes rather than bodies), as they were fire lanes. There were a number of other ‘do and don’ts’ which reminded us how officious things are becoming—there are signs everywhere these days instructing people in the most basic and obvious things—we suppose we have the lawyers to thank for that—thank you, lawyers.

Unfortunately, the first session in the gym had to be cut short as we ran out of both time and energy. The reason was not for lack of desire to struggle and sweat. Rather, reading and digesting all the information, instructions and warnings tired us, leaving too little time and no strength to complete the session. It's tough being a senior.

Something new in the gym from our perspective was a sign that mentioned the location of the defibrillator. This is obviously important and of course, useful. Sometimes the editor slacks during the aerobic part of the workout and one wonders whether her heart is really in it or is even pumping. So now we have a remedy to get her going on the slow days. You've got to hand it to these senior centers—they've thought of it all.

We asked the woman in charge, a rather tough ‘old bird’ but nice, whether we could bring our grandchildren to swim in the pool. As the kids are less than 55 years old, we suspected it might be an issue. It was. However, swimmers over the age of 18 are allowed the use of the pool so the good news is that we will be able to invite our children to swim with us and the grandkids can stand outside the gate and observe. We know they’ll be understanding. We did ascertain we can have a person under the magic age stay with us but not for longer than sixty days. This is disappointing as we were hoping the maximum duration would be two days and then we could get rid of the visitor with a clear conscience. We are researching the bylaws further in the hope that we can find a loophole that reduces the term accordingly.

One of the problems with large accommodation (of course, this is a relative term because anything more than 400 square feet is ‘large’ for us), is that it presents a problem within our relationship. Well, it may be more of an issue for me. The point is that from time-to-time, Jenni will complain, perhaps make mention rather, that she spent the whole-day chasing after me on a mountain. Fair enough. (That’s why we go to the gym—to keep fit.) The real issue for me is that while she spends her day chasing me, I spend the nights chasing after her, around the bedroom and the rest of the interior. With this giant set of premises, my life has been made that much more difficult as she has so much more room within which to maneuver.

Near Kobarid, the lower altitude brings with it high moisture and hazy days. Jenni is about to reach
the chapel on the peak.

So many of the mountain scenes viewed from mountaintops 'knock' a person right between the eyes.
Kanin is at rear, a place we visited 4 days earlier.

Jenni peaks after a 2,700 feet accumulated elevation gain following some 3,200 feet two days before,
while recovering from injury. Tough girl!

It would have been nice to write 'Sitting on the Dock of the Bay'. Instead, sitting on top of the world
grabbing a breather before descending. Remind us why we climbed up for breakfast and then went down again.
Oh! Right. We forgot to bring lunch.

Jenni experiences 'a field of dreams' in the middle of nowhere. The more we experience 'nowhere', the more
we are elevated to new highs.

At the half-way mark, we find 'religion' and wonder whose idea it was to place the chapel nearly
5 miles and 2,700 feet up from the village. We are not well-informed but we can envision attendance issues
each Sunday.

While we may give the impression that we expend a lot of energy, the photo illustrates once again
that you can 'fool some of the people all of the time, all the people some of the time but not...the camera?'

It doesn't happen that often but when it does, it's a little embarrassing. When we arrived at the peak of Matajur, we were rather surprised to find that we were no longer alone. As we had not seen a soul on the way up, it was not unreasonable to expect to enjoy a period alone at the top. Instead, a group of elderly hikers had arrived moments ahead of us. While we expected they would be Italians, coming up from the other side of the mountain (Italy), they were in fact locals who had decided to commence the hike in Italy, being somewhat less strenuous. The part that was embarrassing, well a little, is that they so kindly offered us a schnapps, more like to sit down and join them in a spell of drinking. As we don't partake in alcohol at all and if we did, we doubt it would occur during a hike, we had to be insistent in declining. The best we could offer them was our own form of liquid power and that was aqua. Nevertheless, they were so nice to meet as is so often the case. There are many, many wonderful people out on the mountains.

Pushing hard in order to come in below the allotted time as we approach the peak which is in Italy.

One more from the mountains.


Jenni and Jeffrey

31.18 Slovenia: Vitranc, a mountain peak above the ski slopes in Kranjska Gora.

A rather steep and fairly tough climb of 3,000 feet along and above the ski slopes of this famous region. Apparently, world championship competitions are held on these slopes. Fortunately, no snow was encountered but it certainly was a challenge. Upon arriving at what appears to be a summit, the hiker has a further forty minutes of walking up-and-down to reach the very small and exposed peak.

En route to the top, a quick look at a village below. The mountain in the background is in Austria.

The first and only view of the surrounding mountains taken from the small peak.

The following day, Jenni walks at the lake in the town. See picture below.

Telephoto lens shows the same lake from 3,000 feet higher and a few miles distant.

A shot of the villages from above (telephoto).

A peep along the Soca River, outside town of Bovec.

A shot of the villages from above (without telephoto).

High-noon in the village of Kobarid; we enter and everyone leaves.

Kozjak Gorge


Jenni and Jeffrey

31.15 Kanin ski region, not always willing and 'Abel' to feel safe along those ridges.

'Southern Africa' lies between Slovenia and Italy, a window into Italy from Slovenia.

Early going, early days as we head up.

'Hole in the Wall', heading toward the 'Okno', the window with a view into Italy, one of those frightening occasions (see narrative below).

One of the views into Italy.

We took a cableway ride to reach high on the Kanin Mountains, some 5,500 feet elevation gain. Once we arrived, we set off on a hike. However, after a while, we changed course as there was still too much snow for our liking. Instead we headed to the 'Window', (Okno) a massive hole in the rock walls through which staggering views of Italy provide pictures that are instantly burned into the mind. (Jenni returned from injury to try out her various body parts and succeeded admirably. She completed all the sections but for the one below as she had limited use of her arms.)

The only problem with the view is the journey. The underfoot is scree with snow in places, at this time of the year. The final part of the climb, over rocks, has a section that is quite simply stated, dangerous. One has to cross a gulley which was covered in snow and slopes drastically toward the commencement position. The fall is so long and steep that it's best not to go into further detail. Suffice to say, the crossing is treacherous and required extreme caution in first finding a toehold and then placing a small part of the foot thereon. Unfortunately, the further along one scrambles the worse it gets—once committed, there's no turning back. Thereafter, the thought of the return journey builds in the mind and a level of fear resides deep in the mind. All's well that ends well and although it was an incredible experience rewarded with outstanding views, it's not something to undertake on a regular basis.

One of the sections that made me think deeply of the near-future and my foot and hand placements.

After a climb to the peak above, Jenni takes it easy...lucky girl.

Struck us as an opening to the world...

Jenni reaches a high with the town of Bovec thousands of feet below.

Finding the route, partly covered in snow.

Another view toward the neighbor.

The view from the gulley crossing, mentioned in the narrative.

Over the top, a stark and very attractive place.

Down at ground level, the Soca River provides much pleasure as it meanders through the region.

On the Soca River, the stunning Kozjak Falls (slap) and gorge.


Jenni and Jeffrey