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.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
'Floating Island' Lake after a climb of 900 feet. Above on the right is the peak, a further 2,600 feet remaining. What a day!.
Section on talus with Lake Tahoe to the left and Fallen Leaf Lake below.
The locals consider this hike/climb a rite of passage. Each to his own. No doubt, it's a tough hike of more than ten miles and 3,500 feet elevation gain. What complicates matters is the rough underfoot of rocks and stones which create the talus formation. In some ways, it is enjoyable to climb and make progress over the various surfaces. However, it does place additional stress on the feet, which spend an awful amount of our days pounding the terrain.
The views throughout the hike are incredible: One wonders through forests, followed by inclines in the wide open spaces including meadows. A major treat is looking and absorbing the view of Fallen Leaf Lake for most of the day; its changing colors are a delight. Of course, the massive Lake Tahoe is on show most of the way, more a sea than a lake. We frequently think of what we would have missed of the world had we not embarked on this adventure. Often said but always worth repeating: Each day, we will experience something new. In fact, nature reveals miracles daily. We are extremely fortunate to enjoy them.
As we climbed, we came across two other lakes, plenty of talus formations presented themselves and then we reached false peaks. These high points dash hopes because one feels one has arrived at the destination but no, not just yet. From there we noticed the mountains surrounding us. The sights are magnificent and allow 360-degree views. Across the way are Mount Ralston and Pyramid Peak, two giants which we have climbed and intend repeating. Below and between the mountains opposite are the unique set of lakes known as Aloha. Closer to us on Tallac, the vivid blue body of water, Gilmore, held our attention.
The final section, reaching the peak, requires some effort across and up a talus formation. From that point, if at all possible, the views improve. They are superb. The mountains toward San Francisco, the lakes, inlets and additional peaks on the other side of Tahoe, keep a person focused and mesmerized. We read a comment which would be difficult to dispute: 'The views on Mount Tallac', the author wrote, 'are probably the finest in North America'. It's indeed a bold statement and we would not, for a change, wish to comment upon its validity. Nevertheless, we understand why a person would be motivated to arrive at such conclusion.
Pyramid Peak to the left, an earlier success, with Aloha Lakes and Gilmore.
First view of Fallen Leaf Lake. (Reminds one of 'Mary in the Morning').
After 3 hours, a tough day, the final ascent awaits.
Leaving the peak, Fallen Leaf Lake below.
Always enjoy a nice, smooth and soft surface as we reach a false peak.
Some might consider this is an attractive scene as we look out on Lake Tahoe.
The last segment of the 360-degree views.
Could be defined as the peak.
Jen takes in a magnificent scene.
Just the color of the water was sufficient to mesmerize.
A foreign element settles on the surface.
It would be difficult to think of a better view. Subjective of course, probably because we have reached Pyramid Peak, at rear and Mount Ralston to the fore.
'Homeward bound' without a train, Simon.
After a long struggle, we discover they are false peaks.
Jenni and Jeffrey
46.03 Eastern Sierra: 6 hikes and the distinctive mountain seen from 5 different trails and many lakes.
This icon which we first noticed in 2008, attracts our attention, visible from nearly all hikes in the region we've undertaken thus far. Perhaps because most of the mountains and peaks are in colors of grey, black and white, this one stands separate and dare we say aloof. Since the first visit, it has always been the favorite to absorb visually, identify from different hikes and enjoy. One day, we might even learn its name.
In 2005 or so, Nora and Stuart Laiken of La Jolla, encouraged us to take a trip to the Eastern Sierra. They spoke with passion about the Sierras because they had first-hand experience of it—the couple had hiked there extensively. I remember mentioning to Stuart that we spent a lot of time in Arizona and found it a wonderful state. Stuart agreed but spoke of the Inyo Forest and the John Muir Wilderness. Nora kindly suggested a list of hikes to undertake. A few years later, we gave Grand Canyon, Page and Sedona a miss (temporarily). The Laiken's sure knew what they were talking about...still do.
Jen standing at 11,770 feet on Table Mountain, above 5 Tyee Lakes, the icon we enjoy brings up the rear.
Telephoto brings it up close from George Lake itself.
On the return from George Lake, with Sabrina below. 'A Taste of Heaven'.
On way back from Donkey Lake, above Sabrina. (If ever an appropriate name)
At George Lake.
A little past Grass Lake, it appears again.
Returning on Paiute Pass trail, Jen is the red speck to the right of the slope.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Thursday, June 25, 2020
A view of our favorite icon in this region, from Table Mountain.
A surreal feeling on the relatively level mountain top, covered in boulders and river sand. It was like being at the beach without water. Not another soul about but square miles of open spaces surrounded by other mountains.
Jenni was explaining a feeling she has of traveling to- and living in- the various destinations we reach. She then added, besides the hiking, climbing and scrambling on the mountains, how does one explain the feeling of sitting on a peak, or anywhere for that matter at height, and absorbing the natural world. To see the lakes, outlines providing distinctive shapes giving them style and beauty, the changing colors of the water as the clouds blow in and away, and of course, the surrounding mountains engulfing us and everything within them, is not easily interpreted. Two little people, viewing and absorbing the vastness, magnificence, sometimes feeling and seeing the danger, often exhausted but never despondent. How is it possible that when one steps onto the trail, mostly rugged, comprising stones, rock, sand, sometimes mud, scree and a host of other materials, the emotions within one change almost immediately and each time a fresh adventure begins. We cannot provide a suitable answer to the question. Whereas we often try to understand the meaning of each facet of life, analyze it, ponder over it—we have yet to understand the feeling. In the end one concludes with an answer, no matter how imprecise. Who cares. That it works is what counts. As long as we do no harm, seize the opportunities with both hands and let the trail take us into a world of mystery and perhaps, an alternative to aspects of the harsh reality of life, even temporarily, then we believe we succeed.
Perhaps the best result of all is the humility one learns. Nature is awfully humbling in many ways. Do many realize man's insignificance in the greater world? To have a level of self-esteem is vital, essential. Nevertheless, we often find when we look out toward the valleys below or the mountains above and across from us, concentrate a little on where we are and what confronts us, we've come to realize where we fit into the big picture. In earlier years, the picture was very small and we were much bigger. How perspectives change.
Gorgeous view and the lake wasn't bad either. Looking down on the upper (5th) lake. Breathless, both literally and figuratively.
Standing some 2,700 feet above the trailhead, the shape, color and location mesmerized us.
Temperature at ground level in excess of 100 degrees. The snow attests to cooler weather on the 'Table'. The mountain yonder is impressive.
On the way down, Tyee Lake 3. Each time we visit I wonder how they could have run out of names for lakes.
Tyee 1 currently, see below for contrast. Also, note the crocodile or perhaps an alligator with its 'head' resting above the surface.
Fall (autumn) colors make the Sierras even more attractive. This photograph was taken some 9 years earlier. Yet, it's hard to believe, the creature has not moved. Makes us think it's a crocodile, more like our African mentality.
The surrounding mountains look like models built to complement the table as background features.
Big mountains, small alpine lakes, part of Tyee 4, a wonderful contrast.
Tyee 2, the least attractive but with wonderful surroundings.
Jenni and Jeffrey
Sunday, June 21, 2020
46.02 Two Worlds existing as One, yet so far apart. Eastern Sierra: Lake Ruwau, reaching above, including Lakes Bull, Long and South on the way up. Alpine lake heaven.
To visit the lakes, we climbed in excess of 2,000 feet over a distance exceeding 8 miles, maybe a bit more. Our ultimate destination was a free-climb above Ruwaua, selected by Jenni, which has provided much 'ammunition' for me in determining future selections. In addition, her spotting of a path where we could have been 'hopelessly lost' (as opposed to typically lost), 20 feet in front of us, created much mirth, always useful when faced with a long trail ahead. I thought of my Dad who might have commented at the time that even a blind person could have spotted it. Bless her, she's been a tigress, and on the trails, too.
Text continues at end...
Welcome to paradise and Long Lake.
The secret of sustaining hiking is having a traveling chef. Above Ruwau Lake.
No Bull, it's the name of the lake. See text at end for an explanation.
It keeps getting better.
A favorite above Ruwau, at 11,300 feet.
Bull Lake again, a different angle.
From above Ruwau, we spot a small lake across the way
We moved up the trail at a slightly lesser pace than normal. It felt disappointing but there might be a reason. Well, reasons always abound. It is often termed rationalization. We were at altitude nearing 11,000 feet, the first time in a while. Hopefully, this was the reason or excuse for a tired feeling. Other reasons that could be offered would be disappointing so we await eagerly for the results—will this feeling abate after acclimating? We hope so.
We made a left swing along the path and ahead lay a typical, large, granite mountain, sharp points, ragged edges, mostly grey and white. Intimidating! Ahead at ground level where we expected a lake stood a pond, overflowing with water from the nearby melting snow—mostly still and partly covered in plant life. Disappointing for a lake, we thought.
We continued for a few yards and noticed massive mountains to our right. At surface level, stood the expected lake. They call it Bull, no kidding. Relatively small expanse of water but sufficient to separate it from a large pond. The mountains reflected off the lake surface, not as sharp as the original but nevertheless awfully attractive. We noticed two fly-fishermen at the water edge. Then the feeling caressed us, engulfed would be more accurate.
We were struck, ever so gently, by a feeling of calm, serenity, stillness and quiet. Other emotions were present, too. I turned to Jenni but could not speak. I wanted to offer some thoughts but felt it wrong to break the silence. It was as if a sound, unnatural to this small area, would destroy its essence. Something urged me to keep silent, to absorb rather than announce myself, to remain where I stood. Be a bystander.
To earn the right to be present, I should not disturb the karma, the ambience, perhaps a vortex...I cannot say what it was. I did perceive it to be bigger than me and, the unstated rule of the site. Quiet. To earn or deserve a right to be there, I should defer to its requirements. Keep silent; remain still; do not disturb.
It was a different form of silence from the towns and cities. For, at times there was in fact, sound. When tree branches rustled in the breeze, sound emanated, but not noise. It melded into the surroundings, almost like strings from a quartet playing the opening notes of a musical piece. The disturbance of reflections as the water moved had a destructive feel as the form of the mountains quivered and disappeared. Fortunately, we knew the picture would return soon, once the wind calmed.
An occasional tweet from a bird sitting in a tree close by and the popping of a fish breaking the surface reminded us silence was not absolute. However, the tweet and pop, followed by others, proved they were as 'Simon and Garfunkel' reminded us, "Sounds of Silence".
We returned to earth, photographed the beauty but failed to capture the silence, inhaled the fresh air tinged with natural fragrances and headed further up the mountain to witness more beauty. To be so blessed, so spoiled.
And it's available to most. It takes some effort, a little perseverance, occasionally discomfort and a fraction of imagination to break the chains, take to flight and if not the stars, to reach the clouds.
'Bye, we have a long way back.'
Jenni and Jeffrey
Thursday, June 18, 2020
We reached the endpoint of the hike after scrambling up a mountain overlooking Lake Ruwau. It was another great experience which is what the Eastern Sierra is all about. The surprise for one of us was the after-breakfast activity. It was a negative. However, the location was superb, if not better.
We've heard of separate marital beds; we've even come across separate bedrooms, but this: Our own...rocks? It could be going too far or maybe, too high.
This is called the curvy bed which fits the back shape or, some use it to mold their figures...just saying.
This is for the uptight...um...upright, straight-back, pain-in-the-rear type. Contrary to a rumor circulating in the region, the mountain has not been renamed 'Posturepedic'.
Jenni provided an alternate perspective. She calls it 'Classical Marital Distancing'. Unfortunately, we forgot our masks, Governor. Fortunately, we were the only outward hikers on the trail.
(Unfortunately, the photographer was unable to capture both sleepers in one photograph, lacking a wide-angle lense.)
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
46.01 Eastern Sierra: Sabrina Basin to Blue Lake and onto Donkey Lake. 'The Sierras, the Sierras'. The best attribute of California.
While the world is filled with natural treasures and more, it is difficult to find better places than the Eastern Sierra to explore and admire. Anyway, it's a good start. We should have returned earlier.
Always loved the backdrop, standing somewhere above Sabrina Basin.
Jenni dealing with the air pressure, at over 10,000 feet, our first time out as we head up to the alpine lakes. Lake Sabrina below.
We ate brunch above Donkey Lake, reaching 11,000 feet. It's named for those that extend the hike from Blue Lake, perhaps needing to feel they are working like a...
Advancing to Blue Lake, one of the most original names for a lake. 6 and 8 years ago respectively, we sat in that position for a photograph. This time one of us wasn't invited. Suppose that person is too old for the dashing lady.
Feeling rather dejected and rejected, he heads to face a brick...granite wall. It appears no 'tidying of the wilderness' has occurred since our last visit. Rocks and stones remain scattered. Tsk!
Cast aside, he faces a challenge to cross the fast flowing stream and waterfall. To regain the lady's grace, he offers to guide her across without wetting herself... her boots.
She dares him to vault from a lower rock to the higher one which he does in anticipation of regaining her 'affection'...maybe too optimistic. (Small steps and big jumps, Jeffrey).
He offers to take a shot of her 'flying off' a rock so she too can show-off.
A scene and feeling of peace and tranquility as the snow melts higher up on the mountains. The civilized wilderness is a shining example to other forms of civilization.
Perhaps, the favorite of the day: A nice looking back as we return to Sabrina Basin from the 2 higher lakes.
'I've got your back, too'. The other side of Blue Lake
Jenni and Jeffrey