New Zealand: Along the Ben Lomond Trail.


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.

Friday, February 28, 2020

44.14 California/Nevada: Mesquite Flats, Death Valley. You couldn't select a more comfortable name, could you?

Late afternoon in dune country

Softly, softly.

We are fortunate to meet entertaining and good people on the mountains and in small towns along our paths. Each provides a different perspective from what one is comfortable with or to which a person is accustomed. This is a facet that adds to life. We think it's what growth is partly about. We've noticed how fixed so many of us are in our behavior. While the way we perform functions may be correct, efficient and comfortable, it is not necessarily the only avenue available. We think that's where people from different backgrounds and cultures may enhance our outlook and approach to life. Without pursuing this angle further, suffice to say, it's easy to determine how prejudices arise as we limit our perspectives and look inwards.

It's a fascinating topic, particularly as we trace our history and follow the path we have taken (not trails) and ascertain our thinking and actions along the way. Would we have acted differently had we enjoyed the perceptions and perspectives we now have? 'The meat is on that bone' and is not a topic for this missive but nevertheless, worth pondering. We remember writing in our book of the enemy of change and growth—comfort.

One of the men we met in a desert was a Chicago police officer attached to the drug-and-gang squad. He was on a mission to find, not criminals, but a better life. We could not help but ask the question, "How do you deal with people you meet socially after a 'day on the job'? After all, you often confront some of worst inhabitants of our planet?" Hence, he was seeking to improve the quality of life by attaining tranquility amongst the natural beauty of the region and the opportunity to associate with good people, or least, regular citizens.

It reminded us of a discussion we avoided when a woman, a very sweet person, made the supposition that 'all people are basically good'. We don't know where she's been for most of her life but I should have replied that people are born neither good nor bad. To be good is to make that choice and act accordingly.

Back to the dunes...

The dune lady walks the tight-rope, actually very soft.

Trying to find a firm footing.

A reflection of two clowns we came across.

The shadow of the sand smiles.

Beats city life's crowding.

Kicking up a storm. You should have seen the inside of the socks, boots and bath tub.

Smooth dude.

Return of the dune-running Dude.

'Goodnight, Dude'.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Birds have become an integral part of our lives, at least, for one of us. We have included a couple of pictures on a few of the forthcoming blogs. We spotted these herons in Morro Bay, California.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

44.07 Nevada: Henderson, Black Mountain - not to be underestimated.

Thirty minutes into the hike we notice it's more formidable than anticipated.

Climbing is tough and the descent is worse.

City of Henderson below the foothills.

The rewards always outweigh the struggles...and by a wide margin.

A view of Las Vegas from the peak (City of Henderson).

A highlight of Las Vegas from the peak of Red Mountain, at sunrise (Boulder City).

Fortification Hill in Arizona seen from the peak - a distinctive mountain. (See below)

Fortification Hill, behind the 'Big Horn' in the distance, viewed from Black Mountain, Boulder City, Nevada.

Lava Butte, outside Las Vegas, from Black Mountain, Henderson.

Sitting on Lava Butte, after determining our own trail.

A prickly pair on a rough trail.

The Frenchman (left) and Lava Butte again.

A scene from the Frenchman, Las Vegas.

Homeward bound, following a very tricky section.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Sunday, February 23, 2020

44.13: Two days, three hikes (major, minor and a 'salty'): Altitude changes affect temperatures and attitudes.

Take a look to the right and kindly click on the image to view our recently published novel, if you have a moment. The reviews are few but those received have lifted the spirits.

Back to sloping snow...not easy.

Taking the 'high' road in Death Valley.

When I say a hike is a great one, some people take it with a pinch of salt. It's called a credibility issue. I cannot help but like most of what we do. On the other hand, Jennifer is rather fussy—actually, stingy with her praise for the mountains and hikes. Thus, when she could not stop praising the hike of some 3 hours duration spent entirely along the ridges above Golden Canyon in Death Valley, I was taken aback. It also was a good lesson for me to finally understand what 'credibility' means.

The experience, like most, has two distinct facets, the hiking, climbing and scrambling while the other aspect involves the visual side. Of course, there are many other parts to being out in these exciting zones but let's stay with these two broad aspects. One is perched on the ridge, high above the canyon floor as well as above the mountains and hills that extend from that same floor. Some of the edges are narrow, most have a slippery scree surface but all provide views of magnificent scenery. Like many places all over the world, the views are at times, beyond belief. A while ago, we referred to the frustration of trying to absorb so much beauty. It sounds like a delightful problem or challenge. In fact, it is. Yet, at times one can feel overwhelmed. This area provides those feelings and quite often.

As I'm writing this text, Jenni has just returned from downstairs with two large pebbles. From time-to-time, we have a tub without a stopper (plug) or a contraption from the 'dark-ages' which no longer performs its function. In order to retain the water in the tub, we wash the pebbles or wrap them in plastic and place them over a facecloth that acts as a stopper. The weight of the pebbles and the smooth cover provides a seal of sorts. In fact, we lose very little water. As an aside, we do get tubs that don't need a stopper—the drains are blocked. Nevertheless, it helps to make a plan when confronted with certain situations. As those from the southern tip of Africa might relate—'a boer maak 'n plan, 'n jood probeer ook'.

Quite magnificent...and the scenery's not that bad either...okay, okay!

Jen heading to the peak and well beyond while her partner sits and waits. (Obviously, much tougher to sit and wait.)

Later that day, ol' pepperhead walks along the salt flats.

Back to altitude and attitude above the deserts.

Brunch is served. You'd think she would arrange a bench and maybe a table. You'd be wrong. Not a bad view though...of the canyon.

From close to the lower level of the canyon, we look toward the icon.

We finally reach a position higher than the icon we admired from ground level and continue higher on the ridge. It looks like a seaside scene beyond.

'Pretty as a picture'.

Always wanted to rise above the mountains of the valley.

And one more from the 'Valley'...

And we leave the deserts temporarily.


Jenni and Jeffrey

44.08 Arizona: 'Hot Springs' adjacent to the Colorado River as it flows through Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.

Fascinating nature.

Calm waters of the Colorado River.

Who can 'out showoff', Jen? I wonder.

Making a fuss over her easiest ladder climb. (Should you be so kind as to send her an email of congratulations, it would be nice.)

"A FASHION STATEMENT": Never professed to be a leader in fashion although I may have been 'wrong'. Two-tone long pants cut-offs rolled up in a 'French style'. Better than high-fashion jeans with holes in them, I might suggest. I think I just alienated many women...oops.

While on the subject, I remember when 'bell-bottoms' were in fashion. I hope I don't have to explain the concept to the youngsters. Anyway, it turns out just after the fashion trend reached its peak and was entering a rapid decline, I discovered bell-bottoms. I really enjoyed wearing this modern garment and in fact, I became quite distinctive--if distinctive means I stood out as no one else wore them. Thus far, I have yet to wear blue-jeans. As I don't intend to put on a pair anytime soon, it appears they should remain in fashion for at least a while longer.

Drying off having just eaten brunch. A woman came past and insisted upon taking our photograph. Strange but there you have it. She did mutter something about working on a project called 'Strange but true', whatever that means.

Truth be told, we don't know whether he's coming or going. (It seems he went right then thought about the arrow further and returned left and then went right again...not an easy day for less-intelligent types.

Is that a maze or amazing?

Trying to improve vocabulary - would subtle be a correct description of the water flow?

Believe it or not, Jen sent me up there. What's more unbelievable is that I obey her commands...and love them.

Finding her way to the ladder. Who would believe a river is just feet from such an arid region.

One more of the Colorado. We've have seen it on this trip in Yuma, Grand Canyon, Boulder City and at this position. It has a special place in our minds.

Coming over the top and finding a river in the way.

8 days later, we find the river flowing through Willow Beach.


Jenni and Jeffrey

We met a young man, Neil, from Hawaii and spent a few hours hiking together. Terrific fellow. We got on well until we ran into a (brick) wall.