A Day in Palm Canyon
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!
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.