Estimated mileage: 9.5 (a bit more for Banana Nut and Raisin Bread!)
Estimated elevation gain: ~3400
Time: Just over 7 hours (With a bit less than 3 hours of stop time)
Trail Conditions: Good to Ice House Saddle, use trail to Timber Mountain is ok (if steep! average grade of 30%) and only goes halfway, not hard to find your way to Timber though
Trail Goodies: Beef jerky, smokehouse almonds, Cheez-Its Duoz Monterey Jack (Banana Nut’s favorite cheese!) and Smoked Cheddar, Wasa multigrain crisps, Panmarino, and Peaches
Camel Factor: Straun: 5 liters, Banana Nut: 3 liters, Raisin Bread: 2.5 liters, Total: 10.5 liters (way more than we needed this time, but after coming close because someone didn’t bring enough last time…)
BIA(Breads in Attendance): Raisin Bread, Banana Nut, and Straun
Straun’s Hike Summary
Well, it should come as no surprise that we didn’t get started til around 10 a.m. Parking was really full today; we had to park even further up the road towards Mt. Baldy, around a fifth of a mile from the parking lot, which added a fun little uphill jaunt to the end of the hike… There was a car parked in the Ranger’s parking space this time, but no ranger checking wilderness permits. The trail was just as busy as the completely packed parking lot would indicate it should be. We were making pretty good time towards the wilderness boundary, so for fun we decided to greet people we met with as many different languages as we could. We got some odd looks, and also some people who responded in the same language but with a look on their face that said they weren’t really sure why they’d just done so. We’d had our fun, and had reached the wilderness border, so snack time!
Right before the border there was a particularly noisy chipmunk I got some video of:
I really loved the way this guy flipped his tail with every chirp.
The Cheez-Its Duoz received thumbs up from all! With those, some beef jerky, some panmarino and a bit of rest we were on our way! Somewhere on the way up to Ice House saddle, probably about half way? I found a nice little wild rasp/blackberry bush (haven’t identified exactly what kind yet) and tried a yellow one, it was tart but seemed ripe, yummy either way! Relatively quiet except for the occasional chipmunk on the way to the saddle. The saddle itself was VERY windy, actually requiring jackets. The wind was coming from the north west over the saddle to the south east. We stopped for more snack time and then decided we’d just head up to Timber and turn around today.
I’d seen a little trail heading from the saddle to Timber that wasn’t part of the Three Ts trail, and also noticed what I thought was a use trail at the corners of some of the switchbacks last time so I decided to try exploring it this time. It seems to cut about fourth tenths to half a mile off the distance, at the cost of being much steeper! There is a fairly well defined trail until a bit after it hooks into the main trail the second time, trail seems to just stop there. I checked my map and GPS and looked at what I could see ahead of me, all of which suggested I was headed in exactly the right direction for the top of Timber. The rest of the terrain looked easy enough to navigate even without a trail so I kept going, and made it to the top fairly quickly, just over 20 minutes (~.5 miles and up 650-700 feet). So, nice little shortcut if you can handle the slope! I didn’t really need to use my hands, but I was glad I had a hiking staff.
We had more snack time and took some pictures at the top of Timber when Banana Nut and Raisin Bread made it there, and then it was time to head down. I didn’t feel like going down something that steep so we all took the normal trail down. We found a really brave chipmunk that didn’t budge even when I got really close on the way down, this one seemed to want to pose for pictures! A bit before we came back to the wilderness border we found a few more wild rasp/blackberry bushes. These ones had some pink and one deep red berry, the deep red one had such an intense flavor it was almost like raspberry jam! When we hit the parking lot it was very sad seeing how empty it was, considering we still needed to climb up the road to get to our car! But I think it was just there to make sure we were worthy, and we were! It was a great hike overall and I had a lot of fun with my little alternate approach to Timber. Maybe next time if we get an earlier start we can hit Telegraph or one of the other mountains reachable from Ice House Saddle, we can hope anyway!
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. Now would also be a great time to cook and mash your taters so they’re cool the next day! I like to leave the skins on and leave a about 25% of the taters as actual chunks, nice little surprises when eating the loaf!
- The next day add the rosemary to the olive oil and warm it very gently on the stove, you’re just trying to infuse the olive oil with rosemary here. Allow the olive oil to cool.
- Now, cream the starter with the water and and rosemary olive oil for the recipe.
- Mix together the flours(feel free to use all whole wheat here, that is my eventual plan with this recipe) and salt (and some black pepper if you’re feeling spicy), then mix in the creamed starter 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 mix your mashed taters into the dough, shape the dough into a ball and set it aside to rise in a lightly oiled bowl.
- When the dough has nearly doubled it is time to start your oven preheating to 500 degrees with a stone and a steam pan, then prepare bannetons, or a couche on a tray, or however you like to hold your loaves while they rise! Gently divide the dough, quickly shape it and transfer it to whatever you’ve prepared.
- Leave the loaves, covered, to proof. My dough had probably somewhat over risen in the first step, so for me this was only 30 minutes. Even without extra rising time on the first rise, they will probably be fine and ready to go in at 30 minutes as this is a wet dough.
- Boil about a cup of water in preparation for baking the loaves. Prepare a peel, or parchment paper for the loaves and gently move them from your chosen proofing device to the peel or parchment. Just before you put the loaves in the oven turn the temperature down to 400 degrees.
- Put the loaves in, add water to your steam pan, and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes turn 180 degrees and continue baking for another 20-40 minutes (depending on your oven), 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.