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, February 26, 2019

39.09 Arizona, Eastern California and Nevada: Glorious hiking in an always exciting part of the country and world: part 2.

The spires, Cathedral Rock, taken from a unique position, Sedona, close to sunset.

Jenni dwarfed by canyon walls, Fall Canyon, Death Valley.

Jen approaches the first climb, Big Dune, Nevada.

We set out from our motel in Bullhead City, Arizona heading toward Nevada which happens to be across the Colorado River, a mere few minutes yonder. What a fascinating river it is. We’ve observed it in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and probably elsewhere but certainly in multi-places within the states mentioned. A few days ago, we overlooked it at the Grand Canyon—this river sure gets around. At times, we feel sorry for it as humans are forever damming it and ‘stealing’ its water. We’ve seen it at our favorite, Lake Mead, at Hoover Dam, Davis, Lakes Powell and Havasu, Imperial, Parker and Glen Canyon dams. The river pauses at many other places, too. We have to drink to survive, of course, nevertheless, we do feel a tinge of embarrassment for these appropriations.

We chose to wander across the desert, a few miles over the border into Nevada. Having parked at the side of a road leading to Davis Dam, we went cross country toward the mountains some 4 or so miles distant. As we have realized over the years, no mountain is ever lower than it appears or terrain as level as it seems—quite the contrary. We spent the day dropping down into depressions, dry washes, and canyons and of course, rising from each one. Eventually, we reached the mountain range and selected to ascend the peak of the one identified at our commencement. It was a delightful experience. We both concurred that there’s something honest or refreshing about doing it the natural way—what appears to be virgin territory. Don’t get us wrong. We love trails but it’s special tackling nature on its own terms and hopefully, succeeding. We joked, not funny though, that our hike was tantamount to designing a trail. Jen wants to give it a name—maybe, Amateurs-R-Us. (continued below...)

Stiff ascending after diverting from the end of the Golden Canyon hike, Death Valley, California.

Particularly steep and soft to the right, Big Dune, Nevada.

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, negotiating the gulley.

Golden Canyon, Death Valley.

From the saddle between Black and Red Mountains, a view of a "solitary hiker" at peak of the latter.

This is a rather long preamble to something which I have felt strongly about for an extended period. Over the years, as we have trudged up, over and down mountains as well along rough terrain, it’s a constant reminder of our predecessors. In earlier times, the land was without roads, trails or paths. Imagine what it was like for pioneers to advance into the interior and cross countries with only primitive tools and equipment, wagons and carts powered by animals. The land was filled with wild beasts, many predators of man, hazards unknown, a hostile, rough and unforgiving land, disease, inhospitable conditions and perhaps mostly, the great unknown. Whereas I have tremendous admiration and awe for man’s technological accomplishments, I believe I relate more to the challenges met in conquering the land and opening it up to future generations. I also believe we, the future generations, have not and continue not to understand and appreciate what sacrifices were made by these pioneers. Place yourself into the lives of those who accomplished success on these torturous journeys including even a greater number who probably did not make the full stretch or even short distances.

Why do we not understand or appreciate it? Think of your travel experiences; I certainly do and am embarrassed. It was a hardship to sit in an automobile with temperature control, food and liquid available, and now, televisions, phones, computers and other gadgets and think nothing of complaining of boredom and any other inconvenience. En route, there are places to stop, stretch, dine, shower or sleep for the night. A person does not even have to go out for food. You order in, drive-through or even have so-called fast-food delivered. Heck, we are soft generations. We certainly can’t hold a torch to these earlier generations. Yes, I know. Man has traveled to the moon, linked continents by air and sea, even rail and has invented miraculous technology. It is amazing, incredible, unbelievable—select your description. However, this does not affect or shape or build a person as does the sweat, hardship, suffering and discovery as those who opened-up new frontiers here on the raw and inhospitable land and environment. I walk around in awe of these pioneers.

I’m now ready to face, preferably duck, an expected verbal and 'physical' onslaught.

Plateau Point, Grand Canyon, watching the flow of another grand river, The Colorado. Our position is some 3,300 feet below the rim.

Golden Canyon, Death Valley, California...still amazed by the beauty of this section.

Big Dune again. Jen makes first prints since last wind sweep.

Jen coming out of another canyon, using rings to gain purchase, in the Mojave Desert, California.

A somewhat different approach to Cathedral Rock, Sedona. The perspective from there is overwhelming although the sun had just gone a bit too low to capture brighter coloring.

Jen on Lizard peak, Lake Havasu City. We liked it so much we climbed it on 3 occasions, incorporating it in other hikes.

Lake Mead National Preserve: Crossing the desert on our 'own trail' toward distant mountains with Davis Dam in background.

As the storm clouds create vast shadows over Lake Havasu, we head down from Lizard Peak.

A view as we make our way down into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail.


Jenni and Jeffrey

A remnant in the Petrified Forest...formerly part of a tree trunk, now colored rock.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

39.08: A Taste of the Western United States: Unpublished Hikes (introduction) of this trip.

An introduction (a taste) of hikes not yet published in respect of Hike-about 39.

We believe the visuals, these and those published over the last 1,000 blogs, help to illustrate why the United States, so vast and diversified, offers a universal, natural experience to those who seek such opportunities. While each country has its unique features and all are filled with much rugged beauty, this country and particularly the western states, have been blessed with an abundance of everything. It was Galen Rowell who remarked that he did not need to leave the Sierra Nevada's to see the best sights in the world. We would not wish to argue the point although we have a slightly different view. However, we understand completely his opinion and salute it.

Fall Canyon, Death Valley, California.

Mojave Desert, California.

Big Dune, Nevada. Perhaps, the favorite, as we approach after a mile or so walk.

From dunes to canyons. Jen in the Mojave desert at 'Hole in the Wall' as she exits from a canyon.

Jen reaches the peak of the 'Lizard' in Sara Park, Lake Havasu City.

Blown away at sunset in Needles, California.

More Big Dune as Jen rises to the top of the nearest dune. My footprints ruin the effect.

We all have quirks of some sort or another although that may be presumptuous on our part, more particularly, one of us. Just because I may be odd doesn’t mean that everyone else is although I could produce a short list at a moment’s notice of some strange behavior noticed over the years. Take Barry Jahn…on second thoughts, leave him right where he is—he’s very happy in Salem. People from Oregon can’t help they way they are. I began with Oregon because it’s a good smokescreen for the state below it, which is really peculiar in many ways. California, of course. So much so that we have been hiking in eastern California lately and sleeping in Nevada and Arizona. We believe less time in the Big Bear state will help us minimize our quirks. Why all this nonsense?

Years ago, in fact during our early period in the United States, when the crowded cities, roadways and general 'chaos' were affecting me, Jenni would ask where else would you like to live. My standard answer was South Dakota. Have you ever been there, do you know anything about the state were her obvious follow up questions. Of course, I had to answer in the negative as we had never visited the Dakotas, still haven't. However, in a strange fashion, it helped me hold on to my sanity...well, Barry, what’s left of it. Just by the way, we met Barry Jahn at Tunnel Falls in Oregon in 2013. Jen and I hiked to the falls, returned a little way and I decided to revisit them. It meant walking an additional 100 yards or so of an eleven-mile hike. When we continued conversing with Barry back in the parking lot after the somewhat long hike, (for us, not Barry), he asked this question.

“Seeing that you went back to view the cascading water, are you going to count this as a double hike?” Mathematician and humor will do that: logical comedian. (I wish I'd have thought and said that.)

Back to South Dakota. When we reached the peak of Lizard Mountain (fascinating and enjoyable), a short but steep hike with a few technical aspects, four people were awaiting us. It’s a loop hike and they had come from the other side, intending to return the same way. We entered into discussion on a number of subjects including the weather, snowbirds and hiking. We found the family of three, together with a friend, delightful and charming. It’s another positive aspect emanating from opportunities provided through Hike-about. They were also the first people we have met on the trails from...wait for it, South Dakota. We half-joked should people from the state be like them, we're embarrassed not having visited. We understand the state experiences ‘slight’ chills during winter: 40-degrees below. Maybe we’ll see you there, Sonya and Bob. In fact we already owe them. They suggested a hike in the real wilds outside Lake Havasu which proved to be rugged and most enjoyable as we made our way over boulders, on rocks and stones, cross country, through washes, discovering hidden treasures far from the beaten track.

Rings loop and Barber Peak, Mojave, as we hold in the guts and take the gap.

Jenni fights a 'devil' of a cold at the Bridge of the same name, Sedona.

A second 'dip' off trail into Grand Canyon via Cedar Ridge.

The 'Hole in the Wall' behind Jenni. Gives its name to the Visitors Center. We think the park has termites...what do we know?

After negotiating a technical climb just below, this part was easier and equally invigorating.

Part of the technical climb, two-days later, a repeat. (No. We weren't stuck there for the period.)

From Cathedral Rock, Sedona: A favorite near sunset as we return from the top.

The Devil's Bridge in Sedona, Arizona...a delicate maneuver.

Cedar Ridge, Grand Canyon produces a prism.

A corner view of Lake Mead, the attractive desert to the fore, from Black Mountain.

Rovey's Window hike, outside Lake Havasu, Arizona. At this stage we are off 'trail' (what trail?) and lost after climbing the gulley to the left in vain. What's new?

Courthouse Butte at sunset, Sedona, Arizona.

We've spent a month climbing, jumping across and negotiating boulders and rocks. A great slot canyon in Lake Havasu.

Mount Charleston after a good snowfall, Las Vegas, in the early morning hours, viewed from Red Mountain.

The Eye at Rovey's, after recovering. By crawling up and through the hole, one moves from front/rear of the mountain. Smart!


Jenni and Jeffrey

Saturday, February 16, 2019

39.06: Death Valley, California: An introduction to the dunes of Mesquite Flats. 'Hey Dune'.

The editor strides it out telling me how much she loves the sand.

Meantime, the 'dune runner' is fascinated by the background which the photographer captures. Take out the runner and you have the perfect picture.

One of many things we’ve learned over the ages and particularly during the latter years, through Hike-about mainly, is that each day reveals a certain refreshing newness for want of a better term. Whether it’s challenges, beauty, trying to understand the world but not mankind, or a variation of other wondrous sights, the opportunity of meeting different people from many backgrounds and interests or even animals, mosquitoes excluded, is most enlightening, fulfilling and meaningful. We could add a number of adverbs but will rein in on them.

We have mentioned coincidences from time-to-time and we seem to experience a number of them, too. The other day, while hiking along the Golden Canyon in Death Valley, we met a couple from San Diego—a very interesting twosome. After conversing a while, we separated but met twice more on the trail. The following morning, we hiked somewhere else and then for the afternoon, went to Mesquite Flats to walk/play on the dunes. This is part of our quest to keep the child in us alive, something we consider valuable. After returning from the dunes, we met Pam and Hasan (the same couple) who were at the carpark for a photo-session. Death Valley National Park happens to be the largest in the contiguous United States. In addition, it’s a rather large car park and it so happens their automobile was parked next to ours. We’ve made plans to meet at one of our favorite spots in San Diego, Lake Poway.

Once again,
we were most fortunate on the dunes with regard to weather. While the wind had been gusting feverishly over the previous days, we had an extremely calm day. Wind, sand and humans don't mix too well.

Love the tranquility and scene in general.

'Awful lot of running ruining the smooth dunes, Dude.'

Walking on the edge as the change of position affects coloring.

Now here's a proper dune-runner. Downhill all the way.

The tops are knife-edges especially when newly 'swept'. At another set of dunes (see later) we walked on virgin sand, making the experience... unique...which, we suppose, is what the word connotes.

There go those arms again.

Heading out to a far point: we had the dunes to ourselves.

Two for the road:


Jenni and Jeffrey

This set of dunes is in another state. It was a stunning experience. Compare with photograph 2 above.