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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

50.13 Utah: Albion Basin: Tuscarora Peak in difficult conditions: Color our world and then add in some white, too. A treat for the soul.

Jenni stands on peak of Tuscarora. Below is Mary Lake as the weather surprises us.
A different mountain, Sunset Peak, a change of weather but still looking down on Mary Lake and Martha and Catherine, too (two).
A different mountain, Clayton Peak, a different day, but still looking across and down on Mary Lake. Tuscarora above Mary in the distance and Patsy Marley Peak to the right (last week's blog).
We don't believe we've seen fall colors as those in this region, including the spectacular sights in Bulgaria.
A view from the first false peak. Don't you just love the way nature kids around?
A couple of weeks ago we visited Sunset Peak across the way. Enjoyed that peak and love the contrast with the more colorful pictures.
Fall colors and general scenery not too bad...ho hum.
Bleak and colorful. We are located in paradise, but it's also, tough and testing.
Jenni has yet to choose a hike/climb where I don't finish up crying my eyes out. We all thought she was so gentle. (Snow on hat reveals the weather at the time).
Jen stands and admires the surroundings thinking it's so beautiful we should remain there instead of hiking. She got part of it correct.

Lately, our hikes have become of a more religious bent. It has nothing to do with the nature of Utah’s founders and the general beliefs of a sizeable portion of the population toward religion. It has a different religious connotation. As is with politics, it seems people are awfully sensitive should one disagree with their views. We’ve noticed humans become resentful should one person not perceive life’s issues as does the other. I think we’ve experienced this over the years, and it has become quite prevalent in recent times. There seems to be, almost by edict, that corporations, institutions and individuals are coerced to toe the line on what one vociferous group considers correct behavior. This is our opinion based upon observations rather than any particular outlook on life. 

 I remember growing up and reading about communist rule in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Basically, the only expression or opinion a person could voice to ensure a reasonable amount of safety was that of the party’s. The party dictated what people should (forced to) believe. Hmm! Strange. I thought even the Russians abandoned the system. "The Land of the Free..."? Shows you! 

  Finally, that brings me to the religious nature of hiking the mountains, particularly, climbing the tougher ones. Religious organizations, say churches, synagogues, mosques and others encourage people to partake in the various services whether it be daily or on special occasions such as holy days and other periods. Congregants should walk into a building and pray both individually and as a congregation at specific times. Perhaps for many, organized prayer and usually reading from prayer books just does not cut it. Not everyone can get into the right frame of mind, find the spiritual realm to recite words of prayers, of hope or appreciation to the God of their belief. It is understandable especially as so much is by rote. 

  Here's where hiking comes into the equation and makes one’s spiritual fervor more intense and perhaps, more meaningful. Should you have a wife (I’m blessed) as I do, and for some reason she finds herself selecting some of the toughest and dangerous mountain trails in the Wasatch, Twin Peaks and other regions of Utah, you will find that at different points on the scrambles, impossibly steep slopes, narrow paths perched high on cliff edges, one’s prayers become far more meaningful. They take on a very emotional but deep and serious tone. And if not desperate, the prayers are delivered with a sincerity far different from that of sitting/standing in a pew. We would say that even the most ardent atheist is likely to seek God in some of the positions my dear wife has taken us. 

  It is my wish, or perhaps prayer, that she will continue to select difficult and tough hikes provided they do not require additional beseeching of God to intervene. I find I’m burning through the few, if any, credits I may still possess.

Ongoing miracles.
There's probably a decent descent, Jen promised to find it for me.
Catherine Lake looking bleak but still attractive. (We had to say that--feminine rivalry with Mary and Martha.) 
To reach lake level, one ascends about 950 feet, then a further 850 feet to the ridge and up to the peak (1,800 feet). The snow added some hardship. Clayton Peak in the background (right).

Jenni and Jeffrey

In case we led you to believe the fall foliage was limited to only one place, here a couple from earlier in the week.

 Perhaps the favorite.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sitting at a matriculation dance at an altitude of 5,721 feet in Johannesburg; 52 years later sitting on a peak edge at 10,721 feet. (Talk about social climbing).

It's good form to remember dates, meetings, anniversaries, birthdays and all kinds of occurrences of the past. Women expect that and of course, they are correct. With this in mind, exactly 52 years ago, September 26th, 1969, I had invited Jennifer Benjamin to accompany me to the Highlands North High School matriculation dance, otherwise referred to in this country as the prom. Recently, I wrote in some text about the colonial streak in one of us which of course just surfaced some 31 words earlier. Hey, who's counting. 

  I counted myself extremely fortunate that the young woman accepted my invitation. We were both 17 years old at the time so we were unable to drive ourselves to the school hall. A friend of mine, Geoff van Lear, currently residing in Cape Town, arranged for his dad to drive the four of us in a VW Beetle. I cannot remember how we returned home--probably the same way. Obviously, I must have drunk much Diet Coke that night. To say that was a turning point in my life (and hopefully, young Jennifer's) is probably an understatement. We watched each other grow and develop which is, I suppose, a little unusual. Basically, as my Mom might say, we were still babies. Therefore, a great deal of our life experiences including education, maturity (nearly there), evolving from the diaper stage has been together. 

  Well, things have changed somewhat. Whereas we used to spend much time together, we now spend nearly every waking moment together. I remember one fellow asking us how we did it. How can you stand each other? Good question. Maybe, we just like each other and frankly, she is one special woman. Enough with that. From 17 to 70 (2 months away), Jenni announced today while sitting on Clayton Peak, another tough hike especially when missing a turn and having to climb the rock-face. Who knows the future? Things can change suddenly. All I would add is that it's been an exciting journey and the last, nearly twelve, on Hike-About are beyond belief. 

God Bless you, my Girl.

 School Dance, September 26th, 1969. (For obvious reasons, the photographer wishes to remain anonymous.)

Clayton Peak, 52 years later to the day from our first date.

From 17-70, the 'youngster' sits on Clayton Peak, Utah after what her husband considers a tough experience.
Jenni has provided a lot of color in our lives.
...and caused me tremendous stress and anxiety in such positions.

Jenni and Jeffrey

50.12 Utah: Snowbird Ski Resort to Hidden Peak via Cirque Trail. You want to go higher?

Because it's the season, the photographs have a bent toward our favorite time in the mountains.

On a stiff climb, we look toward the other side of the canyon...not surprising.

We undertook this hike twice, once via the Peruvian Gulch Trail, and the second by way of the cirque. A hiker experiences some of the best hikes, trails and scenery possible in a relatively compact region. There's an abundance of beauty, further enhanced because of the season changes. Should there be a consistency in the greater Salt Lake City, it might be that the mountains are high, the trails steep, challenging, and always requiring a degree of alertness to the dangers that exist. As for the beauty of the surroundings, it goes without saying to which the photographs may attest. There's a third and fourth way to the peak, also from the same side, which we intend to investigate. The summit's altitude is 11,000 feet, making the elevation gain one of over 3,200 feet. That's tough. 

The commencement of the proverbial slippery slope back down.
After a very stiff climb and time spent at the top of the station, it's time to return. Down we go. Monte Christo across the way. We have viewed this beaut. from all 16 hikes thus far.
Furthermore, from the peak we were able to view a number of peaks we've reached in the past three or so weeks. From the top of our heads, we remember seeing Baldy, Sugarloaf, Clayton Peak, Devil's Castle, Peak 10420 (if you can believe Utah ran out of letters, something to do with the inefficiency of the postal service), and others. One of these days, we'd like to put together a blog showing the various peaks we've reached as viewed from other peaks reached. The same for lakes might be a nice idea. We think that's another advantage of the region. From height, one gets a great appreciation of this vast and yet, almost contradictory, compact area. 

That's a view from twenty minutes into the hike. An hour later, it looked even higher and further away. A strenuous hike indeed.
Cowboy Bob comes over the crest.
We have a dilemma. In keeping with the current softer approach to life, what do we do? Should they want to make life really easy, the sign might be better positioned in the beginning. Huh! Perhaps if we walked up backwards it might seem that we were descending.
The last part of the hike. He looks like he's questioning it. Go for it, son.
Jen heads into the sunset...maybe 4-5 hours early.
A great position as he searches in his bag for a lollipop. Who can remember?
What do they say? Location, location, location.
This social distancing is getting out of hand. Even the bees are worried.

We prefer the quieter trails and mountain summits. However, at times, it's nice to arrive at the top of a mountain and find an established mini-town. While this is common in Europe, it is less so in the USA. Should one be looking for a place to dine, to have a different experience, then a ride up the cableway to the restaurant at the summit is a nice treat. Many of these places have trails at the top allowing walkers an opportunity to enjoy alpine thrills. We prefer the hike up as that's what we do. We know, wherever we are in the world, some of the great hikes are at ski resorts. And as we only hike in those regions outside the season, they are invariably quiet. What a deal. 

The long and winding road.

Jenni and Jeffrey

Thursday, September 23, 2021

50.10 Brighton, Utah: Patsy Marley Peak via Twin Lakes, stunning visuals, challenging and strenuous in places.

Apparently, it's amusing to be below the peak of Patsy Marley. Twin Lakes below.
We’re fortunate to receive many delightful notes commenting on something that interests a person after reading a blog. Some, we are sure, are from people who want to be nice while others have distinct points, observations or comments to make. There are those who have enjoyed similar experiences and like to share them with us. Whatever the case, we are the beneficiaries and are grateful. 

While the blogs are posted every three or so days, we seldom send out a distribution list these days informing of a posting. We believe, other than when we have a special situation (the ‘Dirty Dozen’ excluded), people who wish to view the spectacular world we all enjoy, can self-direct to the blog. After all, the internet has millions of attention seekers soliciting a multitude of offers and besides, we dislike clogging your email boxes.  ...continues below: 

That's probably a better position from an achievement perspective.
Appears to be caught off-guard as she rounds the bend. Guess what caught my eye.
After an hour, we've reached the lake and risen above it. We find ourselves along a wonderful edge with a view of the target peak in the distance.
You never want to fall on the trail; nevertheless, we love fall on the trail.
A harsh view below, from the peak, and Clayton Peak in the distance.
 We do
wish to acknowledge and pay tribute to two men who recently sent us some wonderful comments (they often do). Barry Jahn of Salem, Oregon and Doug Morton of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa are the gentlemen. As an aside, that’s another advantage of the internet. The four of us are from 1,000 to 12,000 miles apart and yet the communication is instantaneous. (Huh! You knew that?)

 Barry is an avid hiker, slightly older than us and yet stronger, more powerful, someone who sets the bar very high. We know when we write of the struggles, fears, accomplishments and post-hike feelings, Barry will comprehend exactly what we mean. He’s been there. Barry’s note dealt along those lines. 

 Doug is someone whom we met in South Africa about 7 years ago at Elsa and Derryl’s home, their B&B. It was a wonderful occasion and we have revisited since. Anyway, Doug has a number of attributes and whatever he does, you can be sure the outcome of his efforts will be superb. Whether it be architecture, photography or my favorite aspect, his ability to commit his thoughts to paper (or screen) eloquently, succinctly with humor and tremendous insight. When we receive something from him to read, we know we’re in for a treat. 

  We can never leave off Ron Allegretto of Vancouver, Canada, just because of the person he is and what he stands for. 

 Thank you, gentlemen—we are indeed fortunate to have met you. Perhaps equally important, that we remain in touch. 

Much earlier, we reach the lake after climbing close to 900 feet and glimpse at Patsy Marley Peak on the right.
It was a stunning day, a hike with most features and a good challenge.
Jen begins the tricky descent.
We decided that moment was not apt to discuss avalanches.
...or any other subject for that matter.
Jen preens. She thinks she's a big deal, so do I.
I am considerate and take a shot of Jen; she takes a shot of the dam(n) lake.
A mix of seasons above the water.
Moments before he attempts a high-wire performance.
Perspective of the surroundings from the peak.
More perspective as Jen approaches the summit, nearly but not quite yet.
At the day's highpoint of 10,525 feet altitude.

Jenni and Jeffrey 

Twin Lakes in the distance viewed from Clayton Peak, provides perspective.