|Iron Goat Trail Recon Loop, AZ|
|Iron Goat Trail Recon Loop, AZ|| |
Iron Goat Trail Recon Loop, AZ
|Hiking||3.60 Miles|| 2 Hrs 10 Mns ||1.66 mph|
|1,025 ft AEG||18 LBS Pack|
||no linked trail guides|
|It's been a week since I checked out Shawn's progress with the mini-excavator on the new Iron Goat Trail so it was about time again.|
As busy as all the parking areas were at the Usery Bulldog entrance lot, across the road, and the Usery Pass Road parking by the gravel pits, so I just picked a spot next to Usery Pass Road and set off on a cross-country trek, following a straight a track as I could while heading up to the junction of the Cactus Nectar & Iron Goat Trails.
After the fiasco a few days ago with my GoPro batteries dying, I decided to try it with my Jackery battery pack in my pack and a cord running to the GoPro. It should have worked great... but of course both of us, myself and the camera shared the issues:
It appears the battery got jostled when I inserted the card in, so the time had reset to 12 AM Jan 1, 2016!
(I realize this til I got home and checked the video)
I pushed the button on the Jackery to start it charging, put my pack on, then connected the cord to the GoPro when I put it on the chesty mount. But since whatever you want to charge must be connected to the Jackery BEFORE turning the charge on, it was not charging. So of course after only 20 minutes of filming the battery was almost dead. Ok, so I tried again with the Jackery in my pocket rather than my pack so I could turn it on AFTER connecting it to the GoPro.
All seemed to be working well with the GoPro until I had just began my return trip, when the GoPro didn't seem to want to do anything. I tipped it up enough so I could see the screen and it showed it was charging and the battery was at 75% but the screen was frozen, not counting any recording time. In fact the camera was completely locked up, and only later removing and reinserting the battery would it work again.
Back to the hike...
I must say I was really impressed with how well Shawn handled the twin deep drainages! As I followed the newest part of the trail I could see he made some very-positive changes to the previously yellow-ribboned route that I had followed last week. He was avoiding anything steeper than 10% or adding additional switchbacks than originally planned. And for the last steepest part where any switchbacks would really need to be very short and tight, instead he took the trail across another drainage and back so the switchbacks weren't cramped at all. Based on how much Shawn accomplished in a week, with the tough drainages to deal with, I really didn't expect him to have reached the saddle just south of Peak 2238, but he did!
To complete Iron Goat all that is left is the upper part of the route to the junction with Alp D' Huez and Goat Trails. Ha! All that is left, as if it's now going to be easy... hardly.
Instead of flip-flopping my route back along the trail, I headed across to the unnamed peak of about 2445' elevation (which sometime in the past I dubbed it Middle Mountain because it is halfway between 2238 and the 2639-2303 ridge. I checked out a few of the critter-haunts I'd come across in the past, then took the dive down to the bottom of the canyon before ascending back up to Iron Goat again.
But I really paid for the quick steep descent... my left hip felt like it was on fire so it it was all I could do to reach the bottom without falling. And I still have the climb up the other side, so to minimize the effort I took a moment to seek out and use the shortest route up to Iron Goat. Once back on Iron Goat the pain eased up a bit but with another descent from the saddle I took my time. On the way back to the car I took a longer but easier route.
Anyway, even with the challenges with the GoPro I ended up with plenty of video. But I'm not so sure I'll do anything with it... I did take just enough photos to give a good feel of the trail.
(Stay tuned for the next triplog... when I encounter have a DIFFERENT (and worse) challenge with the GoPro. At the rate it's going I just may make a mount to use my Lumix camera for longer videos instead of the GoPro.)