Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

A Day in Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon is far from being a "One View Wonder". You'll find yourself with an eyeful of something awesome every time you look around.

Palm Canyon is far from being a “One View Wonder”. You’ll find yourself with an eyeful of something awesome every time you look around.

Originally posted 1/29/2013

Recently, I had a special day! Instead of dumping sewage, doing laundry at the laundromat, or wondering why some device appeared to be failing, my visiting sister and her victim husband came by to see something worthwhile in Quartzsite. In order to do that, one needs to leave Quartzsite, of course. In this case, we headed 18 miles south to see the Palm Canyon National Recreation Trail in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge. It has been been rated as “moderately easy”, so I figured it would be a cakewalk. Lemme tell ya, footing was uncertain in bits and pieces here and there, and for safety’s sake, we ditched my sister halfway up the half-mile trail. My brother-in-law walks quite a few miles every day and used to marathon run, so he glided up the thing easily. Me, I was wheezing and glad I had my walking cane to keep me more or less upright during the stumble up. I’d call it a rough hiking trail. Made it, though!

Coupla' Codgers in Kofa! This was taken at the trailhead before going in.

Coupla’ Codgers in Kofa! This was taken at the trailhead before going in.

Palm Canyon is so named because it’s the only known place where native palms grow in Arizona. Every other one throughout the state started out from plantings or transplants. These are called California Fan Palms, and depend on the specific micro-climate in this canyon for their existence. Apparently, they need more moisture and less sun than they would get out in the open desert. Time constraints kept us from going all the way to the very end, which was probably good. That last bit looked even more challenging. This is one of those places that’s worth coming back to again, because you tend to concentrate on your footing and forget to look up, so you don’t see everything in one shot.

Not too may cacti in here!

Not too may cacti in here!

 

Cheater! My brother-in-law takes a holiday snap with his iPhone, which works very well.

Cheater! My brother-in-law takes a holiday snap with his iPhone, which works very well.

 

Turn around on your way in, and you can see the vast expanse of open desert outside the Canyon's entrance. Our car and the parking area are waaaaay down there!

Turn around on your way in, and you can see the vast expanse of open desert outside the Canyon’s entrance. Our car and the parking area are waaaaay down there!

 

This little group of palms are the easiest to get to, and more are below.

This little group of palms are the easiest to get to, and more are below.

 

At this point we turned back, but more and larger palms are ahead, I suspect.

At this point we turned back, but more and larger palms are ahead, I suspect.

 

I like rock formations, myself.

I like rock formations, myself.

 

Have to wonder if this rock split wasn't helped along by someone in the past.

Have to wonder if this rock split wasn’t helped along by someone in the past.

 

Could have spent quite a while in the canyon, as the variety of views are absorbing. A "been there, seen that" checklist outlook is a shame here. Unusual place.

Could have spent quite a while in the canyon, as the variety of views are absorbing. A “been there, seen that” checklist outlook is a shame here. Unusual place.

 

My BiL can walk so much faster than me that he returned on the way out to see if I was laying in the bottom of a ravine somewhere. Snap! What a view, huh?

My BiL can walk so much faster than me that he returned on the way out to see if I was laying in the bottom of a ravine somewhere. Snap! What a view, huh?

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