Today, the temps were much more reasonable than the New Year's Day (34 degrees) hike we had planned. In fact, it was spectacular weather-wise. I've wanted to get to Tom's Thumb ever since we moved to an office down on Bell Rd and 98th St in 2007. Now I can impress our clients with where I was as well as my boss of course.... no pay raise or bonus involved for that accomplishment however.
I wanted to tackle Tom's Thumb from what I call the backside as the route is considerably shorter than from the Gateway TH. I knew we were in for a climb
but it was only for the first mile so that's really nothing; especially when there aren't any obstacles involved. But I have to say, it did get really steep in certain sections. I knew going up it was going to be slippery going down so I was glad we brot our poles for that part of the journey. (However, while we were tightening my pole I noticed a break in the clasp so I'll have to see if I can fix that.)
Once you get to the Valley at the top of the hill (1 mile), it opens up to this large area with all sorts of opportunities for exploring. The trail takes you further south and then swings around to the west to take you up and north to Tom's Thumb. There is another rock structure up there that is very similar in appearance to the Thumb. You continue to gradually go up some more until before you, majestically rising out of the ground, is TOM'S THUMB.
Once to Tom's Thumb, John, of course, looked around at the climbing possibilities, we had a snack, went over to where the climbers had started on the west side of the Thumb and then made our way back toward the hill.
We were lucky as the sky was just incredible with clouds jettisoning around us. It also seemed to be a pretty clear day as I got some good photos of the Supes including Weaver's Needle, the Mazatzals, Seven Springs and Spur Cross area as well as South Mountain and Estrellas. Yep, you can see just about everything from there including my office complex.
On the way back we took a couple detours and checked out some of the other rock structures, climbed through one and John topped off a cairn just before we headed down the steep slippery hill. I was glad the snakes were sleeping as it made our exploring much more enjoyable.
There were a lot of hikers out on this glorious day but not too bad to interfere with our fun. I'm just glad to see the folks outside, young and old.
We finished off this wonderful day at Greasewood Flats. The last time I was here was back in the mid 90s when I rode in on a horse. We had been out on a moonlite ride... even came across a sidewinder but fortunately my horse didn't spook. It was great to hook up the horses and enjoy a piece of pie before riding off into the moonlite. I doubt you can do that in this area anymore.
John for helping me tackle that one. I will try the long way one of these days. Here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M6MYhYrwsw
The video is as we were getting closer to Tom's Thumb, a climb thru a rock structure and John replacing a fallen topper rock to a cairn that involved, you guessed it, climbing.
(FYI The time posted is moving time.)