Hee Haw Ho and Kathy's


Taking Tom fishing.

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Life has been a little stressful recently, and I needed to get away. But I blamed it on Tom; he needed to catch a fish.

We waited for the bank to get the papers ready for my signature. And we waited. We waited some more. Then it was lunch time. Finally, I sent the guys off with instructions to look for my headlamp.

And even more finally, I got the papers signed, departing McCall at the crack of 2PM. Hauling ass on the trail to Duck Lake, the colors were stunning enough to make me pause for a photo. The high point here is Humdinger.


Another pause at Duck Lake.

In this photo, the smoke enveloping the area is more evident.


I was still hauling ass going over Loon Saddle, so pausing for a photo again was multipurpose. Duck Lake down there, and a very faint Sawtooth Peak on he left.


From the saddle, there's Hee Lake. With the zoom on my camera, I could see the boys. I hooted, they responded. And Ruby abandoned me.

South Loon on the left, and portions of Hum Ridge on the right.

If that doesn't look rugged enough, here's a zoom of Hum Ridge. Trailhead

I got to the campsite at about 4:45, a few minutes late for cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres (although the boys had graciously waited for me...... I think.). But just in time for some evening fishing. In that order, so I had a bit of trouble trying to balance on my rock while casting.

Dave Beck photo



Looking west, it was a clear morning. Humdinger was looking magnificent, earning its name.


There was frost on the lake grass still as we got on our feet.


A quick walk over the hill and there's South Loon in the smoke behind Haw Lake. Notice how the reflection is actually clearer than the 'real' mountain?


We picked up the trail to the North Fork of Lick Creek. Autumn colors were popping.

We didn't walk the trail very long before bushwacking for the saddle you see on the horizon.


From the saddle, you are looking right down a very smoky North Fork Lick Creek.

Our path started down the hillside here, then hung a hard right for Ho Lake.


Ruby at Ho.

In the tight valley we didn't notice the smoke as much as when we had more expansive views, but the camera definitely picked up the haze.

It looked a little different when we were here on almost the same date last year.

It's still a gorgeous spot. Trailhead
And... mission accomplished: Tom caught one!

He actually caught several. We're catch-and-release guys, so you only get to see one at a time.

After we had each caught a few, it was time for more explore. The boys humored me as we sought the 'trail' down to the North Fork of Lick Creek, then tried to follow that trail back up toward Hum Lake. The first part had high bushwack content, then we were able to follow the North Fork trail most of the way up to the saddle. Here's a portion where we were apparently on the trail. Trailhead

As you near the saddle, there is occasional water and even this pretty meadow. Anyone see a tread?

We eventually wound our way to the saddle, where we picked up the trail again.


From the saddle back to Hee went really well. There are a few trees down, and the last section, where you leave the trail and head for Hee, is again partially or mostly bushwacking, depending on who you walk with or talk to. Here the boys, finally back to Hee, discuss amongst themselves.

That's Lost Art Peak in the background.

It had been a good day. Tom busted out his new camo Crocs. Trailhead
Sunset at camp. We'll all be in bed in about 30 minutes. Trailhead


After about 11 hours on the ground, you have to get up regardless of how cold it is. We followed the same path to Kathy's Lake we had used in the past, getting there just as the sun was warming up the sitting log.


We did a little fishin'.

Dave Beck selfie


Then headed over to Upper Kathy's.

We tried, but no fishin' here. At least not by us, today. Well, actually there was fishin', just no catchin'. Nibble soup.


Curious after all that time looking at the beauty while we tried to catch a fish, we hiked up the ridge to the west of the lake. That's Lost Art Peak again in the haze on the left.

I had thought from the ridge top we would be looking down into the Twenty Mile drainage, but there is an intervening ridge. Oh well.


In the summer of surprise trails, this trail was about as much of a surprise as they come.

At this point it was about two o'clock. Time to go back to (ugh) civilization. We reversed our tracks to Hee, packed up, and headed home.


When we got to Loon Saddle in lengthening shadows, Ruby didn't want to leave.


See Dave's excellent photos

Map Trailhead

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