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Remembering Jan. 8

Giffords hikes the Gabe Zimmerman trail

'She looked beautiful'

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords surprised hikers at the Davidson Canyon Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Trailhead on Saturday when she showed up to do a bit of hiking herself.

Giffords greeted supporters and walked about 300 yards and back, said Tucson Asst. Chief of Police John Leavitt, who was at the trail with his son, John, during a scheduled hike, part of the BEYOND remembrance of Jan. 8.

"She looked great," Leavitt said.

Leavitt said a group of horseback riders on the trail stopped to wave and cheer Giffords on.

"She looked beautiful and she was very talkative," Leavitt said.

Giffords' hike was not a scheduled event for the congresswoman, who was shot on Jan. 8 and is in town to participate in a memorial event Sunday at the University of Arizona.

"She decided to go out on her own. She was out there about 45 minutes," said Mark Kimble, Giffords' spokesman. The congresswoman was at the trailhead around 11 a.m.

The trailhead was named in honor of Giffords' aide Gabe Zimmerman, who was fatally shot in the Jan. 8 attack in Tucson.

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courtesy John Leavitt

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords greets supporters Saturday morning during a hike on the Davidson Canyon Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Trailhead.