Hershberger Mountain - August 6, 2011
Coordinator Edwin Case, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures by Bill Riley

Hershberger Mountain really earned the title of elusive destination on Saturday, August 6, 2011 after  the previous Saturday when the Coordinator, Ed and two others including Richard had a difficult time finding the Cripple Camp trail.   On the next Saturday, Aug. 6th, Ed with fourteen other hikers over ran the turnoff to Cripple Camp because of a stubborn Rhododendron branch which covered the sign to Cripple Camp.   Good leader that he was, Ed soon turned around and found the right dirt road leading to the Cripple camp trailhead.

Continuing the weird weather pattern for this year, the morning started misty grey and cool but the clouds rolled back to reveal a bright summer day for most of the hike.  It is a beautiful trail up from the Jackson Creek drainage winding through some old growth forest with really huge Douglas firs, pines and cedars.  The meadows along the way provide areas of unlimited views and lots of greenery such as False Hellebore, Mertensia, and  Clintonia (queen’s cup).  At the top, leading to the fire watch tower, was the treat of the day, the giant blue flax which is uncommon.  No hikers reported any toads spotted or heard at Toad Marsh a former lake.  However, several sharp eyes spotted a tiny bird’s nest with one very small miniature bird beginning its existence with feathers so small they looked like hairs. Its sibling was still in its beige egg.  Hikers walked carefully past trying not to intrude on this new beginning.

All the hikers reached the lookout and enjoyed the view they had earned with sweat and feet on the ground unlike the couple in a pickup, four others on ATV’s and a motorcyclist who drove up to the base of the lookout.  It is hard not to feel a certain smug superiority in having hiked to enjoy a view as opposed to using mechanized means.  The Rabbit Ears volcanic plug formation seemed very close, further out Theilsen, the Crater Lake Rim and Mt. McLoughlin loomed in the distance. Mt. Shasta was unseen, shrouded in the clouds.

Two hikers, found the way out elusive when they continued towards the Highrocks Meadow rather than down to Cripple Camp but good hikers as Al and John are, they backtracked and found the trailhead amid some jeering from their fellow hikers waiting for them.  It was a good hike and worth all the miles of dusty roads.

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