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.
Monday, March 30, 2020
This is a trail, at least the first two-thirds of it that is a nice challenge and at all times, filled with nature's offerings—beautiful, of course. It keeps one on the toes but at the same time, is awe inspiring and a reminder of how fortunate one can be should one decide to immerse oneself in the wilderness. In addition, during this awkward period as we take cover from the virus, the trail was almost without fellow hikers.
As we rested at the turnaround point, a lone hiker came tearing down the trail, arms moving his poles feverishly. Evan Walsh hails from Buffalo, New York. He's a young man of 27 who is halfway across Arizona on the trail of the same name. What a pleasure to meet this fellow of free spirit, enormous energy and a splendid outlook. It seems he learned what we have, only 25 years earlier than we did. Fortunate man. I wished to hug him or at least shake his hand but that's off the cards these days.
Finally, the only other persons we came across was when we were closer to the trailhead of this 9 mile hike. A couple, both on second marriages, with three children each added to the 'pot', waited for us to pass so as to avoid physical contact. Initially, it was difficult to fathom when they mentioned they'd only married a mere 3 years before. They looked sort of youngish but not the '3-year married young'. When they mentioned it was a second marriage without kids from the latest partnership, it all fell into place. Even I understood. She being from Brooklyn, he from Phoenix, made for an unusual combination. Perhaps, a 'cowboy and a kugel' might explain it aptly. It did not take long to realize how much she loved him: Her children are married; his are teenagers living at home.
We have been spoiled with the array of cacti on show and have also avoided their dangerous needles...thus far.
Color on the slopes, always a treat for the eyes and other senses. Roosevelt Lake behind.
Reaching this point after a stiff climb, gave us a taste of Heaven; Apache lake at rear.
We walked the trail in awe and out of breath, looking down on the lake.
Early days of the hike.
Ocotillo in bloom—attractive and dangerous.
Back to lake level. Truth be told, one can walk around this world in awe or not.
Looking away from Roosevelt toward the Salt River and Apache lake.
Everything looks better from height and distance. 'How do we look from where you stand?'
Mountains, water, flowers, fresh air, temperate weather and deserted, virus-free trails. Tough work but worth every bit of strain.
And there goes Jenni, with swaying grass.
Jenni and Jeffrey
44.20: Mostly, unpublished hikes from peaks and ridges in Pinnacles Park, California; Sedona and Williams, Arizona; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Williams, Arizona, gateway to Grand Canyon.
Commencing the ascent of Lava Butte, Las Vegas—a tough challenge without a trail.
At least and hour or more later. Lake Mead left, Lake Las Vegas right. This is a climb, during and after, a person knows he/she has been tested in many aspects.
On the way down—at times, it felt on the 'way-out'.
The way up is easier but not easy.
A view from the top.
The rocks of Sedona, Arizona heading to the 'submarine' but off-trail, for a change.
Pinnacles: On the way to Chalone Peak, water from nowhere.
A visit to the cathedral 'in Sedona, quite apt.
Some fun at the cathedral extension.
Distraction on the way to Chalone, the best kinds.
...and more distraction...excuse all the fun.
A 'pope or rabbi' bird.
Jen on a ridge in the Pinnacles
Shots on the Chalone trail with an 'alligator' surfacing.
May the calm of the deserts descend upon and touch us all (and the symmetry, too).
Jenni and Jeffrey
Friday, March 27, 2020
An introduction to an incredible hike in a magnificent forest--another treasure within the country.
Steep climb, cross the shoulder, confront a garden of cacti above the Salt River.
Perfection? We'd agree.
Roosevelt Lake from part-way up the trail.
Color surrounded by protective custody.
Sun cooperates (perhaps the clouds) and highlights the ideal spot.
Close to the trailhead on our return.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Monday, March 23, 2020
45.02 Arizona: A brief (very) introduction to Tonto National Forest including Sonoran Desert, Superstition Mountains and a little of massive Phoenix.
Saguaro and Jenni—a complete coincidence, if you can believe that. Sonoran Desert near Apache Junction.
Canyon Lake, Tonto National Forest.
Who knows from where the next threat will emanate? Who could anticipate the latest virus that has created panic and may I add, a touch of hysteria, fueled by the media and anyone trying to seek fame, perhaps even for just a few moments. I digress but it seems that the human condition is such that we’ll do anything to have our names in lights. While not wishing to downplay the threat and after all, we are over the magic age of 65 and apparently it makes us high risk candidates for death should the corona catch us. Definitely not funny and accordingly, we do not treat this lightly. Then again, how should we react? How to behave? We’ve heard so many different versions of the etiquette in this new era. Frankly, we’ve tended to call a ‘spade a…whoops, it’s so difficult to know what to say these days—fortunately, I’m writing which might make a difference. (continues at end)
Canyon Lake as we commence a hike, keeping our heads above water.
Camelback Mountain, Phoenix—a great city challenge. (To clarify, that is not a camel's hump.)
The trail we took toward Superstition Mountain although it was not our destination on the day. Perhaps superfluous: The deserts are delightful places outside of the summer months. This scene was impregnated in my brain...in a manner of speaking.
Jenni returning on a difficult and strenuous climb. Strenuous ascent, difficult descent.
Iguazu Falls it's not. Everything in perspective; suddenly a waterfall in the desert takes on a new meaning.
Returning from Massacre Falls, the Sonoran Desert, which is in a word: Gorgeous.
Sometimes, pictures cannot capture the moment.
Do we lock ourselves inside our house? This presents two distinct problems. The first is that we don’t think we could survive for too long in isolation. There’s far too much to do, see and experience. We know, we know…there is a pandemic all about. Therefore, does one become serious and somber. Are jokes no longer permitted? Who knows the correct decorum in times of a virus. Must we now disregard truth? While we learned that the virus emanated in China, which country decided to withhold vital information about it, thus endangering the world, this has been updated to in fact praise China and blame the United States. It can only be a matter of time before the 'real culprits' are identified—the Israelis, of course. The Italians, who are suffering severely, unfortunately, have a mayor in Florence who feels so bad for the Chinese that he encourages everyone to hug a Chinese person. How sensitive. I’m thinking of doing this myself as a show of solidarity but am waiting for a curvaceous Chinese woman to pass by while Jenni is somewhere else. A man has to do his bit. With well over a billion Chinese in the world, hugging could become a dominant pastime. Although this may not be in the spirit of the mayor’s wishes, our hearts go out to the Italian people who are suffering and in fact, everyone else. In addition, the suffering is not just due to this virus—so many people suffer each day. It’s hidden and mostly ignored because after all, the media don’t get much of a bang from those type of stories.
At midnight, a couple of kids were making a noise in the parking lot where we were staying in Mesa, Arizona. Seemed unusual. The following morning I took a look around and noticed a family of four—homeless—two kids of 3 and 6. You want heartbreak…
Before forgetting the second problem mentioned in the earlier paragraph, we do have a serious issue about being housebound. We don’t have a house. In fact, we don’t have a structure within which we can live. If martial law is declared, will our tent suffice as a place in which we can confine ourselves within the law. I doubt whether Jennifer realized the risks when she agreed to marry me. When we departed from San Diego recently, we threw into the trunk (boot) our tent, sleeping bags and surprisingly, a few rolls of toilet paper. I’ve actually been using the term bathroom tissue in the last few years because I believe the former description may be considered harsh and insensitive, even the super-soft high quality stuff. To whom, I wonder. But(t) surely not to cheeks.
We recently cancelled our booked trip to Nepal because our plane trip envisaged stopping in two Chinese airports en route and for the return journey, too. Imagine how much hugging a person could perform. In fact, the Chinese airline was quick to refund us the fare without argument which might indicate some culpability for the virus. However, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, there are a number of Westerners who live outside China but think everything about the communists and their system is superior. I would not wish to mention how many people the communists have murdered over the years; instead, I’ll ask a rather simple question in keeping in sync with my brain. Why do so many more people, and by a huge margin, wish to enter the United States rather than depart from it? Just asking.
We decided to re-visit New Zealand, a country we find attractive, its inhabitants, too. We also understand their language and they understand ours which makes life a little easier. Okay, you’re correct. It’s all about the beautiful land and lakes. As the virus ‘went viral’, things became unhinged. Even before New Zealand imposed a 14 day quarantine period for visitors, we decided for a number of reasons to cancel. By the way, no refund was forthcoming. Then again, we weren’t flying a Chinese airplane, just an old Boeing.
Following Hike-about 44, a 7-week trip in the deserts of the Western United States, we returned to see the ‘kiddies’ and take a rest before the next sojourn. After cancellation of the second trip, we decided to wander in the west again. A person can spend one’s whole life in this region and still experience only a fraction of what’s on offer. Before our planned stay in San Diego had elapsed, (we did not have a more permanent form of residence booked as we were supposed to be in Nepal), the motel we were ‘enjoying’, decided for the benefit of guests and employees, to withdraw a number of services. This proved to be uncomfortable. With the grandchildren in a state of semi-isolation and things becoming and feeling weird, we took to the road a week earlier than planned. Within a day of arrival at our destination and after enjoying a great experience on a mountain in Phoenix, we felt for the first time in ten days that we were living again.
We have undertaken five glorious hikes at time of writing, four with very steep climbs. The problem we have experienced thus far is that trails are extremely busy. Many young people, mostly students, are no longer in class and so they have taken to the slopes. Generally, other than a few well-known trails, we don’t see many people. Now it’s quite the opposite. It’s a good problem to have but we’ll seek more isolated regions as we move.
We wish you all good health and hope that we all keep ahead of this scourge.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Saturday, March 21, 2020
This is the beginning of another segment of Hike-about following cancellation of trips to Nepal and New Zealand. The text may follow later.
Quite a bit of that going on during this climb.
Feeling a little edgy but enjoying great views after much, if not all the way up, boulder hopping.
A view from the top of sprawling Phoenix.
The last push to the peak.
The popular peak, about to be covered in virus-fleeing students.
A view from the peak to a ledge below.
The true peak across the way.
Let's go home.
Jenni and Jeffrey