Got on the trail right at 6am. Started from the middle of the Bajada, where the Bajada crosses the road (by the bathrooms). Going CCW, this was an ideal starting place for this loop. First, I saw a couple of deer about 50 yards from where I parked. I'm not used to being rewarded so quickly
. Secondly, the first .5 miles is flat or even slightly downhill which is a nice way to start when you are trying to get your jogging feet under, which I always am and seems harder to do all the time.
Then I tackled "Mule Deer Hill" with its minor elevation is a nice precursor to Mesquite Trail. Happy to say I was able to make to Goat Camp jogging. That climb always takes it out of me, but I was able to jog another mile or so before the tank went empty. Got startled by hikers twice coming down the trail. When I'm jogging uphill I tend to keep my head down (so as not to become discouraged) and twice I came upon hikers without realizing they were there. Almost fell into a cactus the second time.
Really like the back section of Goat Camp, it offers some nice views to the north and west AND its relatively flat. Nice to jog on if you have any gas I left in the tank. The Goat Camp was badly eroded around mile marker 3. The last climb just before you turn to the Radio Summit was destroyed! Feet had a rough day today. I had 4 stubs, and 3 trips, but luckily no falls...but my toes
. Saw about 20 hikers all told, a little over half of them before reaching the Goat Camp. Wildlife was cool. Besides the deer, saw chipmunks, a rabbit, squirrel, a hawk of some kind and my first centipede! Though it looked as if the poor guy was on his last leg. He was inert,in the middle of the trail when I came across him.