Walls of Jericho

I hiked to Walls of Jericho today.  The maps said it was a strenuous hike.  Three miles in and three miles out was the route, but it is down 1000ft to the walls then up 1000ft to the trailhead.  I got to the trailhead about 7:30am and booked it on down.  Although the way down was obviously easier, it beat up my toes which started to feel like they were blistering from repeatedly hitting the front of my shoes.  There were a lot of switchbacks and a couple times there were splits in the road which turned out to be very direct, straight up and down the mountain.  I took the switchbacks down and the straight path up.  It was quite a climb, but not too terrible bad.  If it was another 50%, it would be been very difficult.  Unfortunately, my AllTrails app did not start recording when I started the trail so it did not record my full track.  I got AllTrails started up about a mile from the walls on the way down and my total moving time was 1:30 with a total time of 2:30.  I must have been moving fast since the sign at the entrance said plan for 6 hours and other blogs I’ve read said 2:30 just for the Up.

I found some huge mushrooms.  The big one here was about 12 inches across.


A couple creek crossings (one dry and one with water) were aided by downed trees, leveled off with a single handrail.


Most of the trail was pretty boring, frankly.  This was the first piece of reward.  I sat at this spot and watched the flurry of leaves falling and the constant rotation of the leaves in the water.  There was a lot of movement.



Here was the main area of the walls.  At first, I was pretty disappointed by someone planting their tent right in the middle of the walls, but it looked pretty cool and I can’t blame them.  It was a awesome spot.  It is hard to show the size of the walls, but the tent gives you some scale.  The tent was a 6 man.


I knew going into it that the falls were down.  That stunk, but it did give me an opportunity (in the second picture) to climb down into the bottom of the falls and take a reverse picture from the normal picture-taking spot.



Tomme 03

A: Cut 8/27/2016img_3377

B: Cut 9/28/2016



Make Date: ???

Eat Date: 8/27/2016, 9/28/2016

Milk: KNB Jersey Farm

Volume: 2 gallons

Recipe: ???

Notes: Unfortunately, I have no notes from this make.  I did turn this into two 1lb wheels. and cut them a month apart.  Mold development was nice.

Result: This cheese is still too crumbly for a Tomme.  I think it is too much culture.  The flavor is good though.  I like eating this cheese, but I really want to work out Tomme to be more creamy.  I really hope to get all my cheeses to be more creamy.  The interior color is a deep, deep yellow.  This makes me happy because I know this means I am using good, grassfed milk.

Parmesan 01

img_3641img_3643 img_3656


Make Date: 8/25/2015

Eat Date: 9/24/2016

Milk: I have a note ‘Bliss and Judy’, but I don’t know what that means.  Probably a farm I got it from, but I don’t remember.

Volume: Skim milk from 2 gallons.

Recipe: Parmesan from Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses

Notes: I took two gallons of milk, let them sit in the fridge until they separated, then poked a hole in the bottom of the jugs and drained out the skim milk on the bottom.  Is this skim milk?  I think so, but I’m not 100% sure.  I occasionally would wash it with vinegar and apply olive oil to the rind when I thought the mold grew.

Result: It was hard, but not crumbly.  I couldn’t cut it.  I had to put a knife in it and point it down on the table repeatedly, rip out the knife, pound on it some more, and slowly break it apart.  This is pretty normal I think with parmesan, but it should be crumbly afterward.  This was never crumbly.  It stayed VERY hard; hard enough to break a knife.  The texture was… kind of like biting into the cartilage on the end of a chicken wing – that it to say, it was springy, but hard.  The flavor was very bland upon cutting into it.  I waited an hour after cutting and tried again.  The flavor was much better and stayed good.  I could definitely taste the parmesan flavor.  If I let it sit in my mouth to break down then eat it, the cheese tasted good.  After my knife broke, I decided it was too much work to cut pieces out so I trashed it.  The trash was 1/2 of the make.

Farmhouse Cheddar 03

img_3450 img_3452


Make Date: 6/12/2016

Eat Date: 8/30/2016

Milk: KNB Jersey Farm

Volume: 2 gallons

Recipe: Farmhouse Cheddar from Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses

Notes: This was made with milk that was two weeks old.  I once again used coconut oil as the sealant. I thdidn’t spit it outink I have realized a mistake, but I am yet to implement it.  Since my pot is 2 gallons, I cannot hold a full 2 gallons.  It is more like 1.75 gallons.  Additionally, I think fresh milk needs less culture. This could lead to my repeated result of cheese being a bit too crumbly and a bit sour or overdeveloped.  In the future, I am going to HALF (wow!) the culture I use.

Result: The first day I brought this to work, it was not very good. Once again, it was a bit sour.  One coworker spit it out (okay, he just threw away what he hadn’t eaten yet).  The next day, I convinced them to taste it again and it was much, much better, but still not what I would call good.  The mold development in my cave is getting good, I think.  Notice the coloration on the first picture.

Gillingham Bench Program – Conclusion

I was able to complete the Gillingham Bench Program with a few modifications.  Two weeks, I was on vacation and was unable to complete any workouts and so I delayed workouts for these weeks.  I completed every lift as called except for one single lift.  The heavy day after backpacking for a week, I was unable to complete the heavy single, but after that, each lift was completed.


I did very little assistance exercises other than warming up.  I did not follow the two days per week schedule.  I followed it as ‘every other workout’ or ‘alternate workouts’.

I began this workout program with a max of 205 – and it technically wasn’t even 205.

I was about to go on vacation and I completed all lifts so I decided to go to the gym and attempt my maxes two days after my last workout.  This may not have been ideal.  I also worked out at 8:30pm.  Also may not have been ideal.  No good music – also not ideal.

Anyways, here was my workout:







225×1, Fail.

220×1, Success.

225×1, Success.

230×1, Fail.

I ended this workout with yet another 225 max.  This is the third time I have ended a program with 225 as my max.  I mentioned this to the wife to which she said “why don’t you start this again instead of waiting forever for your max to go down again?”  Good advice.  I have begun the same workout program with 225 as my starting max.  I hope to finally break 225.

I will not be updating this workout to workout and will instead just write up a recap upon completion.  I think the every-workout thing was bogging down my site.


Queso Fresco 02


Make Date: 8/13/2016

Eat Date: 8/14/2016

Milk: KNB Jersey Farm

Volume: 2 gallons

Recipe: Queso Fresco

Notes:  The recipe says to use a flavor addition such as dried chipotle pepper.  This time I used crushed chipotle peppers.  I also noticed a discrepancy

Result:  This tasted very good.  The flavoring is subtle, but noticeable.  Before placing in the cheese cave for one day the cheese tasted pretty bland, but after setting in the cave the flavor really popped.  The texture is good.  I am putting this in the queue to make more often.