Hershey Point

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The end of the road, Hershey Point offers lookout-worthy views.

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Dave was limping. Ruby was limping. I was simply tired. But it promised to be a nice day ahead, so we had to collectively get off our butts and head out. I suggested Hershey Point, since none of us had ever visited the lookout there.

So after a loooonnngg drive (long enough that Dave had to drive real fast to avoid breaking the windshield rule), we were on our feet. Now, there are several ways you could to this. One would be to hike the Lava Butte Trail, which Dave and I had partially done in 2018 on one of our first hikes together. But that would mean about a 12 mile round trip. Too far. So instead we drove to the end of the road, knowing that meant some bushwacking. But the bushes are so pretty this time of year!

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It had rained some last night, so the air was heavy with humidity, yet contained some smoke. Hard to balance the effect when shooting up into the sky.

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Looking across the valley, the photography works a little better. But still obscures the views we were enjoying.

But about here we noticed some flagging.... then some cut logs... a trail! Up we went, beaming at our good luck, making much better progress on the trail than we had while doing the hiker's steeplechase.

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Those hikers and their trenching tools really mess up the trail.

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It seemed slow going, but we were actually gaining altitude quite quickly. There's the lookout now! Just a couple hundred more feet of gain to go. And you will notice that the air is clearing.....

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Dave and I both noticed that this open sagebrush hillsides sort of feels like the Pioneers. But without the people.

 
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The last bit of trail does about a 180 around the summit.

When we got to the top, the lookout was occupied. Her dog barked from inside the building, she knew we were there. But she did not emerge to greet us. Oh well.

Out of respect for her privacy, I didn't take any close-up shots of the building, and we definitely did not walk up the stairs to the catwalk.

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There was still good views all around. That's Patrick Butte. Trailhead
Looking north into the Salmon River (and over the heliport). The haze interfered a bit, but we thought we could see Berg Mountain. Trailhead
And to the south, that's definitely Sam's Throne with Lava Butte behind. Trailhead

That's a bird. A bird enjoying the thermals.

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That's looking across Elk Meadow and into the heart of the Lick Creek peaks.

We sat and enjoyed a leisurely lunch, which naturally included a Hershey bar, thanks to Dave's ever-thoughtful trip preparation. But the wind was blowing enough to chill us. Time to get these old bones moving....

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For the most part, the quakies were still pretty green. But here and there the fall colors were exploding. Trailhead

More fall colors. And a ton of trailwork.

As we made out way down, we were able to follow our newly-discovered trail all the way to the road.

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The trail eventually dumps out about 1/3 mile from where we had parked at the end of the road. There is no obvious marker there, but just past our trail is one of the rare places to pull off the road.

The trail has some rock work right at the road, but if you weren't looking right at it, you might not recognize it as such. Higher up, there is flagging and many, many cut logs.

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Ruby had a great time. Trailhead

Map

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For more photos and story, read Dave's blog


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