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, April 28, 2019
Hopefully, we are still somewhere in Nepal climbing and walking on their 'hills'.
Romania revisited and worth anther visit.
Reaching a peak in Bulgaria.
Lion's Head viewed from a trail up Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa.
A slippery channel in Slovenia.
Further action in Slovenia.
Tongarriro Crossing, New Zealand - an active volcano.
Around the corner from the photo above, a few miles, dawn breaks and we catch a great break as the black volcano turns orange.
La Serrata, Andorra.
Hamblin Peak, Nevada.
Turtlehead Peak, Red Rock Park, Nevada.
Guadalupe Peak, Texas.
Angels Landing peak, Utah.
Blacketts Ridge, Tuscon, Arizona.
Ice Lakes Basin, Colorado: returning from peak as storm moves in.
Mono Pass, Sierras, California.
Freezing on Mount Dana, Yosemite, California.
Upside-down peak, 3,300 feet to go: Bright Angel Trail from Plateau Point, Grand Canyon, Arizona.
From a peak looking down on a peak in Slovenia.
Mount Gingilos, Crete, Greece.
Returning from canyon floor on the Gooseberry trail, Canyonlands, Utah.
El Chalten, Loma Tumbado trail in Argentina, very special.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Mount Woodson, four early morning hikes with a great surprise on two of them: Clouds, the first and our son, Gavin on the third and the kids take to the water.
Iron Mountain from Mount Woodson, a rare sight of clouding, recently.
A favorite spot in San Diego County, Poway Lake.
On virgin territory at a hike we've done the most—made it more exciting.
Not at the peak but rising above the clouds and Iron Mountain.
It was a bit of a struggle to get down.
A change in motion.
More birds: This time Birds of Paradise.
An early morning surprise at half-way stage with our son, Gavin, joining us.
Shocked (amazed) to see such color and growth in San Diego...the rains have been good. A telephoto view from the peak.
Our favorite 'duck' returns to go fishing, Ossie the Osprey.
Reflecting in death.
Jenni and Jeffrey
This begs the question: There are 4 people on the boat. The engine, Ellie, looks anything but the powerhouse needed to propel it. Notice the firm grip on an oar, the strain as she moves one oar through the air...um...water, the strained muscles and sweaty brow—almost like child labor. Then there is Benny explaining to Jenni how autonomous automobiles work. (No exaggeration.) Jenni is listening to her 6-year old grandson explain the said concept but I strongly suspect would rather be holding him tightly. Then the fourth person, who actually took the photograph while sitting at the bow might be wondering how this odd-lot intends making it back to port.
Saturday, April 20, 2019
We're in a mini-bus after 14 days in a beautiful place and we hit the odd bit of traffic outside Kathmandu. Bear in mind on many of the bikes, children sit between dad driving and mom at the rear.
In the dining room gathering some warmth at Lobuche, getting really high. (Highest bakery in the world.) Mr. Santos, our 19-year old porter, looks on. Slightly built but could carry me with the 20-25 pounds I had on my back.
Since this was written, we have returned from fourteen days in what Jen calls the high mountains. I can't argue with that although a number of years ago I decided that every mountain is high to me. I also have a desire to 'climb every mountain' but have since realized I should rather focus on the 'song'. Unfortunately, I cannot sing so it's back to climbing. However, when we happened to look up and see peak number XV, currently known as Mount Everest, I decided to contact Rhoda Gaylis and request singing lessons. It's not easy living with myself; sometimes, it's quite a struggle. How much more so for the editor.
Our next stop is Kathmandu. On the way in, I asked the pilot at what altitude he'd fly the plane. Without wishing to either insult or hurt his feelings, I wanted to ensure he remembered that Everest is a little over 29,000 feet. Can't hurt to make sure. Kathmandu has always seemed like a name and place out of a fairy tale. Now we are finally approaching this region although a little later than we would have liked. Truth be told, I'd loved to have accomplished the great quest of Everest but actually don't have the desire for such an undertaking (both a long and short story unless someone dares me appropriately'😁). We'll remain satisfied with Mount Woodson at 4,500 feet in Poway. Next is Timbuktu. At times, life seems surreal as we move into places and amongst cultures we never thought existed. We suppose education filled with exposure will do that for a person.
After 22 hours in the air, although with 3 stops along the route, we look forward to an adventure that will differ from anything else we've undertaken. We won't be showering too often; having fresh clothes will be a rarity; we'll have to boil water to control bacteria; the air pressure will be considerably less than we are used to so breathing will become difficult; the temperatures at the higher altitudes will be cold and we won't have access to much power. Hot and cold running water won't be available on the treks. These are only some of the aspects we know of. It's what we don't know that will be tricky. All-in-all, it promises to be a whole lot of fun. Now don't you wish you were here.
Jagged and haunting at Base Camp, a personal favorite with the Khumbu ice fields and glacier, too.
Fortunately (but sadly), Israel has at least one friend. Everest in the background shielded in clouds. One stone is from the highest place in the world, the other from the lowest, the Dead Sea.
On our way to the Everest Hotel from Namche Bazaar, an acclimating day.( I thought it meant 'rest'). Steep, sharp and exhilarating...and tiring, on a sunny day.
Ama Dablam, one of our favorite peaks. We saw it from many angles and were always stunned.
"Stairway to heaven or he..". Namche Bazaar, a larger town below.
Unhindered view of the summit of Peak XV (Everest) and to the right, the staggering Lhotse. Typical Everest blowing off snow and wispy clouds.
Another rest day (acclimating) as we trudge up sharply while it's snowing with Good Luck...our accommodation below.
... so here we are in China confronting more than 1.5 billion people. While we never wish to offend anyone, we doubt whether the Chinese nation, including Taiwan, would be offended by the musings of two little people. To understand their system of writing requires much effort. Imagine looking at a menu or taking an eye test and a person has to understand a pattern of squiggles, funny shapes and lines and stripes--may we so bold to state the symbols could be construed as bar codes? We'd like to suggest they use a few more graphics that depict actionable sequences. We think the generations still to be born would be grateful.
Wherever we travel, we tend to observe and at times pick up the cultural side. As we write, we have noticed in a short duration that many Chinese spit frequently. It seems, as we have tried to master the skill, that having an excess of mucous helps. Take a deep snort, filling the mouth, wiping any drips seeping through the the lips with a sleeve and then blow it out (spit) strongly. That seems to be a popular technique. A good distance looks to be between 6 and ten feet. We're sure there are other equally good methods but we tend to avoid specializing. When we saw a young woman spitting today, we were rather disappointed. Perhaps with continued practise, she could add a few more feet to her range. It's hard to pass expert opinions when one is not well versed. Little did we know but after arriving in Nepal, we believe the locals far surpass their Chinese neighbors. The standard of spitting is very high in this part of the world--it's impressive. This habit or behavior is far more prevalent than we anticipated and so we find ourselves ducking, diving and jumping frequently to avoid the gob missiles. The dry, dusty air is not healthy in this part of the world--talk to our lungs and chests.
China, being a communist country, although there's a strong capitalist economic ethic, tends to bring out much paperwork. Many people are doing jobs that look superfluous. Clerks in hotels, airport personnel as two examples write, copy and check, so much information and do tasks that appear to be meaningless. At one airport, our passports were checked 6 times on the way to the departure gate. Our ticket was stamped a mere 3 times. Our hotel check-in took a long time because of passport checks, copying of details including the long immigration number into the hotel records. The latter occurred at 2:15am. On the way into Kunming Airport, a police officer "wanded" us. We were then stopped in the explosives area for up to 2 minutes, as the sign states. Apparently, if you have not been blown up after the waiting period, you can proceed. Alternatively, should you have exploded then I hesitate to guess.
At each security stage over 4 flights thus far, I've had young women running their hands all over my body. I'm beginning to feel I'm nothing more than a mere sex object. I think I understand how some women feel about being ogled and... I wish these people would see me for whom I am ... 'I have a mind not just a body', you know, well, sort of. The ride in the shuttle was no less surprising. The driver honked the horn constantly--it was annoying. In only one instance could I understand the reason for it. When we flew into Qingdong, we were impressed by the skyline. It looked modern, overwhelming and clean. We believe New York City would be envious although we wouldn't mention it aloud as we know the citizens of Gotham are rather touchy about their island or so we've been told.
After a day of snowing, the weather clears allowing the sun to provide for a romantic evening.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Love the protruding peak. A tough hill awaits us, Jenni (just above the 3-duffel yak at bottom) mixing it up with Sherpas/porters, yaks and trekkers. (Not quite the "Hillary Step").
Jenni looking for the gap in Kathmandu. Mind the wiring, what a nightmare.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
We've written a number of pages on different aspects of the trip in Nepal from various slants. We decided to include only one of many, at random, as an opener. Although this is far from satisfactory to provide a reader/viewer an insight into this fascinating country, it's at least, a beginning. Perhaps we'll find a more appropriate format for what we consider, an unusual and amazing experience. Between the times on tough trails, the climbs and slopes, interesting locals and the many nationals, chaos on the roads of the cities and towns, and the serenity below the biggest mountains in the world, Nepal takes one back to an earlier period of civilization. It truly is a challenging and at the same time, very special environment.
We never had much breath to begin with and then the sights took away some more...it was always worth it.
We spent thirteen nights in "tea-houses" or guesthouses, enroute to Everest Base Camp including the return to Lukla, a gateway town. After viewing the land from the air, a 7-day hike to Lukla from Kathmandu does not seem as far-fetched as originally thought. The sights from above were stupendous. There's an awful lot to do in the mountains of the land-locked country of Nepal. One needs 3 attributes: Desire, energy and health ...youth would be a great help, too. As we have stated on numerous occasions: 'Seize the day, life is passing quickly'.
As we will mention in detail later, the flight was most exciting and is considered one of the world's dangerous trips in the air. Apparently, it's not that safe on the ground either. Two hours after we departed from Tenzing/Hillary Airport, a plane crashed on takeoff from that airport killing at least 3 people--another sobering moment for us, a tragedy for many others. As an aside, I tend to become a little emotional when I come across their names (Tenzing/Hillary) and memorials in their honor. In fact, the trip thus far has been filled with emotion and struggle, the latter coping with the mountain paths and ascents, weather, altitude and attitude while the former, the witnessing of a gentle people (except for their drivers) faced with unfair challenges. (More about that later).
One of the first of many times that tears flowed.
As we approach a ridge above base camp...we sometimes refer to it is as "Boot" camp. Mount Everest (Peak XV) in the background.
Summit of Kala Pattar, a superior hike opposite Mount Everest. This is our highest altitude on foot, some 18,400 feet.
A personal highlight, amongst so many of this multi-faceted trip, was reaching the summit of Kala Patthar, a mountain to the west of Everest and its even more attractive companion peaks. After arriving at the town of Gorak Shep, we rested for a short while, ate a bowl of tomato soup which had in it more garlic than an Italian chef uses in a month and headed for the trail in a rather weary state but smelling heavily from the mouth which covered the different odor of socks and boots. At that stage, we were at an altitude of a little under 17,000 feet. (The numbers are staggering). We climbed steadily but needed frequent stops to try catch breath. The day hike is a dream. It climbs steadily at times when not inclining vertically and closes with a very sharp and quite long ascent reaching 18,400 feet. In fact, it is way above base camp. It is for us one of those hikes we like to undertake at 'home' weekly. Unfortunately, the air pressure makes it that much more difficult. How gentle are our words.
Along the way, clouds permitting, the views knock one's smelly socks off. (Now that I think of it, that's a good reason to stop frequently and replace socks, rest really--next time.) Mount Everest protrudes, Lhotse and Nuptse shine, always stirring sights that seem so close-by and a host of varying other peaks dot the countryside. Once again, the views are heavenly. Of course, should you love mountains and enjoy watching the dynamics surrounding them, then life does not get better.
One of many swing bridge crossings for Jen, not her favorite moments.
After 4,000 feet gross elevation gain, Jen stands before the large town of Namche Bazaar.The way out is over the mountain at rear. Great! The large town sits at an altitude of 11,330 feet.
Each day, we believed we'd seen the most outstanding sights and yet the day following surpassed our expectations including the previous sights. It goes without saying it took enormous effort to reach these positions, particularly as we like to maintain a reasonable pace. However, it was well worth it although at times one felt worn out, weary, frustrated but always with a glimmer of optimism that at the top of the next incline we'd reach a plateau and advance at a less demanding pace.
By the time we reached the peak of Kala Patthar, the clouds regrouped and covered most of Everest. That was okay as we'd had many opportunities to see it from a number of different positions, including half-way up the same climb. Truth be told, as much as I'm in awe of the world's greatest icon, I fell in 'love' with Ama Dablam and Lhotse and many others, too. The latter have wonderful shapes, massive in size, great positions, ideal snow covering and often reflected superbly. Nevertheless, one can only gape in wonder at Peak XV, Everest's former British name. That's the kind of thing that resonates with me. If I refer to Peak XV, know that I'm only being a little silly (that's me) but am in constant awe of the leader of peaks and the climbers who have enjoyed success, particularly, the Sherpas who make the ascents and return possible for lesser mortals.
We have calculated our gross ascent over the period at over 15,000 feet. (Subject to checking).
Together at last, sort of ruins the great background.
Strangers passing in the day, through a town.
After nearly four weeks in this exciting country, it has become clear to us that, all going well, a person probably departs from Nepal a slightly different person than the one that entered it.
Jenni and Jeffrey
We ate lunch in the town at the river below, climbed to the upper town, Kyangjuma for the night, and headed for the next town the following morning. Mount Everest on the right.