Estimated mileage: 13.4
Estimated elevation gain: ~4700
Time: Just under 11 hours (With about 4 hours of stop time at least, waiting for people to catch up, dealing with altitude, etc.)
Trail Conditions: Good to Ice House Saddle, overgrown a bit in spots past the saddle
Trail Goodies: Beef jerky, trail mix (cranberries, almonds, golden raisins, sunflower seeds, pepitas), smokehouse almonds, wannabe Cheez-Its, Casatiello, and Peaches
Other Notes: None today!
BIA(Breads in Attendance): Raisin Bread, Ciabatta, Banana Nut, and Straun
Straun’s Hike Summary
As usual, we got a bit later of a start than intended (~10:00AM), but it wasn’t too hot yet. The parking lot at the trailhead was completely packed; we circled twice but no dice, so we headed up the road towards Baldy .2 of a mile. This time there was actually a ranger at the trailhead checking to make sure people had wilderness permits. He verified our intended destination, Ice House Saddle for sure and maybe Timber or Telegraph. After making sure we were carrying adequate water and supplies he wished us a good hike and we set out on the trail.
It wasn’t long before Ciabatta’s knee was bothering him again, so, with some deliberation we sent him back home to proof some more (baker humor). There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from everyone, but we need his knee to get better, not worse! The rest of us continued on, hoping not to share the same fate! Just as we came out of the shady creek side portion of the trail we observed a man about 30 feet off the trail urinating on a tree DIRECTLY adjacent to the creek. Way to go buster, way to go.
There seemed to be a lot more wildlife out and about this time, or at least more visible, lots of Merriam’s Chipmunks and Steller’s Jays. Was actually able to get some pictures this time, almost got video of one of the chipmunks but it darted into the bushes, so instead I got video of a bush with the chipmunk chirping.
Other than a few people cutting switchbacks a little while before the saddle (and right after the “Don’t Cut Switchbacks” sign), this was an uneventful portion of the hike. However, at the saddle our paths would diverge once more. Raisin Bread said his crust was getting burned (his feet were getting sore from too much gardening that week). Banana Nut and I wanted to keep going though, hopefully to Timber or maybe to Telegraph.
Right before the Timber spur we encountered three hikers headed back down from the Three Ts trail (we would come across only one other hiker the entire rest of the Three Ts Trail!). At the spur junction we were either brave or stupid as we decided to skip Timber and go the extra 2.2 miles to Telegraph (contrary to what some might think, even though I really wanted to go to Telegraph I didn’t push for it, Banana Nut wanted to!). As the trail descended from Timber to a small saddle, we were tending to think we’d been stupid. The masses of prickly Manzanita on the trail on either side of the saddle certainly didn’t help dissuade us of that notion.
Telegraph is really kind of a deceptive peak, as you head down from Timber through the saddle, and back up it looks like you’re heading for Telegraph itself. But then as you get closer to the top, all of the sudden the trail starts heading along the north face of this mountain you’ve been ascending and you think, “What?” When you finally come around that north face and suddenly the ACTUAL peak of Telegraph pops up like some sort of demented jack in the box you start cursing the mountain. As if that isn’t bad enough, the trail starts heading down then, and a bit more even after you get on the spur trail for Telegraph, then after the down it heads what must be straight up! Well, not really, but at that point in time it feels like it.
But then, finally, we were there! And we were happy to see a summit log since we’d been blind and missed the one on Timber last time. We took a bit of a break on the peak, ate a peach and some wannabe Cheez-Its. We couldn’t stay too long though, with our late start we needed to head down to try to make it off the trail before sunset.
Just after Ice House Saddle we were able to give a very haggard and tired looking hiker some really good news, he only had about a quarter of a mile to the saddle. I think that almost brought tears to his eyes.
It ended up getting dark with about 1.5 to 2 miles left on the trail. We had a nice little flashlight so the dark wasn’t a big deal. With only about half a mile left we did run into some guy hiking UP, he seemed well prepared though (wearing a bear bell and all).
Well, it was a long, but very rewarding day and hike. Some really amazing views on the way to and from Telegraph, a great sense of accomplishment (especially for Banana Nut whose previous longest hike was the ~11 mile loop at Echo Mountain), and we got to sign a summit log even if I put our blog address in wrong… And best of all, we had yummy cheesy and meaty “sandwich” (so named because you can make a sandwich with nothing but slices of the bread) bread to munch on!
Banana Nut Bread’s Post Hike Comments
It was totally true, Straun totally didn’t push for it but hiking to timber mountain just seemed too wuss and at the time we started, 2.2 miles didn’t seem THAT bad, but oh man, the last mile was really bad and the last 0.25 miles was ALMOST ENOUGH TO MAKE ME TURN AROUND…but we didn’t and we conquered the mountain baby! so proud!!! Was very sorry we made everyone worry though BUT THX GUSY FOR WAITING FOR US
Straun’s Post Hike Bread Recipe
Makes: 2 large
Time: Day 1: Elaborate starter. Day 2: Mix final dough, fold dough shape, proof, and bake.
- Elaborate your starter however you choose, but ending up with the same flour and water weights. (or make a commercial yeast preferment) Allow it to rise overnight.
- The next day cook the pancetta until lightly crisp, and saute the salami (chopped in chunks or slices) until it is also lightly crisp. Set both of the meats aside and reserve the rendered fat from both. When they are cool cut them into small pieces.
- Having cooked the meat (giving it time to cool before adding to the dough), cream the starter with the buttermilk for the recipe.
- Mix together the flours, sugar and salt, then mix in the creamed starter and eggs, til the dough just starts to come together as a ball. Let the dough sit covered in the bowl for 20 minutes
- At this point weigh your rendered fat and use it to substitute for an equal amount of butter. Cut the remaining butter into at least 4 pieces and stir it vigorously into the dough, the dough will get fairly soft and sticky as you do this, keep mixing until the dough is smooth.
- Either knead or mix all of the pancetta and salami pieces into the dough until fairly well incorporated.
- Grate the smoked provolone coarsely and the hard cheese finely, and then mix into the dough until evenly incorporated. I like to do the grating right before the mixing because of an incident last time I made this where the grated cheese sort of reformed into a large piece before mixing into the dough and I ended up with a giant cave of cheese in the middle of the loaf.
- Prepare oiled panettone molds or papers, or oil loaf pans. The dough will be fairly tacky and soft, so just quickly shape it into a loaf for a loaf pan or a ball for the papers/molds. I didn’t even move it to a work surface, I just did it straight out of the bowl. Cover the molds/papers/pans with oiled plastic wrap and leave the loaves to rise
- Leave the loaves, covered, to proof, for me this was about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the lower third of the oven. If you’re baking in the papers I suggest using a cookie sheet under them to make them easier to move, and to catch the oil that will likely drip out of the bottom
- Bake for 20 minutes and turn loaves 180 degrees. Continue baking for another 20-40 minutes (depending on container), the loaves should sound hollow on the bottom when complete. Remove finished loaves to a cooling rack and let sit for at least 1 hour before cutting.