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Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Doug, and I hiked a little over five miles in the Tom’s Thumb area. (Denise accompanied us for part of the hike too.) We hiked to Gardener’s Wall and then up to Tom’s Thumb. We continued northwest along the ridge and descended past the Lost Wall and Fort McDowell climbing areas. We then hiked the Feldspar Trail, visited the Sven Slab climbing area and returned on the Caballo Trail.

Strong winds were forecast for the afternoon. We were surprised to see how hazy it already was when we started.

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Hiking up to Gardener’s Wall…

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The path up to Gardener’s Wall goes beneath some granite boulders.

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This is an open air cave just below Gardener’s Wall. ¬†An enormous granite boulder forms the roof of this “cave”.
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After emerging from the “cave”, this large bird flew down from a location higher on the wall to the this perch. We speculated that the bird had a nest higher up and was defending its territory. Fortunately, our path took us away from this bird.

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Hiking up past Gardener’s Wall…
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Globemallow:

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Fleabane:

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We saw the rock formation known as Glass Dome after topping out at the top of Gardener’s Wall.

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Tom’s Thumb:

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Hedgehog cactus blossoms:

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This is another view of Tom’s Thumb. The Superstitions are normally visible from this location, but not today.

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Buckwheat:

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Linda has a big grin on the descent.

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New Mexico Thistle:

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We saw these small pinnacles midway along our descent.
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Prickly pear blossoms:

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Sandwash Groundsel:

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An impressive agave:
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Desert mistletoe:

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Low angle granite slabs above the Feldspar Trail.

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A young tortoise:

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Linda sent me this photo of me and Doug scrambling up one of the granite slabs above the Feldspar Trail:

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Chuparosa blossoms:
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Some kind of beetle (I think):

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A mushroom rock near the Sven Slab area:

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