Friday, January 30, 2015

HIKING OUT IN THE DESERT

Thursday, January 29 - We spent the day with friends Pam and John, Oh, The Places They Go,  hiking in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

Kofa NWR

It was a pretty long drive back toward Quartzsite, AZ, to the area we wanted to hike. Pam and John wanted to check out some boondocking spots. They are headed that way on Saturday.

The road back to where we wanted to hike is very rough. Only high-clearance vehicles can travel this road. There are tons of very rocky washes. John’s Jeep was a rockin’ and a rollin’.

Kofa

The landscape is beautiful as is most of the desert. In this area, there aren’t any trails that are marked. We just made our own. We had some very steep climbs. There were even a few arches along the way.

Kofa NWR

Kofa NWR

Paul and John didn’t always hike. They had some serious topics to discuss along the way.
Kofa NWR

Sections of the trail were covered with brush.Kofa NWR

John doing some rock scrambling.Kofa NWR

We saw many caves.
Kofa NWR

We spent a couple hours looking at some pretty neat water tanks. These natural water areas have been built-up with stone dams to hold the natural waters used by wildlife.

If you can’t pick out the three walls of the tanks in the photo below, just  click on the photo to enlarge it.
Kofa NWR

There was even a camera on this water tank to watch the animals as they drink.Kofa NWR

Unfortunately, while taking a lunch break, we killed our camera. We had it setup on a mini-tripod for some group shots, and we think it got blown over by the wind. The retractable lens closed half way and froze. Won't open or close. Afraid it's toast!

We got the group photo before our camera went plunk!
Kofa NWR

Pam and Marsha enjoying the view.Kofa

We then drove further up the road to the Palm Canyon Trail. Perhaps the only native palm trees in Arizona are tucked away in a narrow rugged canyon on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. These Palm trees have become a major visitor attraction to the refuge.

You have to drive a dirt road about seven miles off the paved AZ-95 to get to the trailhead. The road is a little rough but passable in a passenger car. Once you reach the trail head, you hike only about a half mile to the palm viewing area. The trail is easy to follow, but is a rough most of the way due to large rocks and a couple steep sections. Allow about an hour to make the round trip.


Kofa NWR

Thanks Pam for supplying the next photo. Marsha’s iPhone didn’t take a clear enough photo to actually see the palms.

Kofa NWR

On the way back we stopped to see a Medicine Wheel someone built in the desert. It looks perfect. Pretty neat!

Medicine Wheel

After returning to AZ Highway 95, we stopped at a roadside stand for a couple Date Shakes. Dates grow on palm trees, and Paul describes them as a huge, sweet raisin. Add some vanilla ice cream and some milk and you end up with a pretty tasty treat. Yummy!

Thanks for a great day, Pam and John. We enjoyed our hike - hope we didn't hold you back too much. We'll see you in about a month in Phoenix.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

14 comments:

  1. Another fun day and wonderful hike.

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  2. Well at least you got the group photo before the camera fell over! I like the shot of the cactus with the cave.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  3. Looks like a pretty cool place to go for a hike.

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  4. Too bad about the camera. We can relate! Kofa is a rugged, rocky place to hike.

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  5. Great pics of a pretty interesting hike. Sorry about the camera but now you get to look for an ever better one!

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  6. Sorry to hear about the camera. It seems I'm always replacing a camera as I've discovered dropping them on rocks isn't a good thing to do.

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  7. I am so glad we finally got to spend a day together after so long:) Thanks for joining us on this mission. Safe travels to Anza Borrego!

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  8. It was fun reading John's post and now yours. Looks like a fun time was had by all and those Palm trees are a unique sight to see. BTW - my little camera died two months ago and after 2 purchases followed by 2 returns I finally purchased the same Sony Pam and John use and am very happy with it. If you can't remember what they have, I have it featured on my "camera" page (tab). Happy camera shopping :-)

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  9. Bummer about the camera. Was that first hike in the Castle Dome area?

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  10. Hold the phone (ah camera!) put it in a container and cover it with rice.

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  11. I had an almost new camera last year. Dropped it causing the lens not to move. I can sympathize. What a neat hike. Heard often about date snakes. Going to have to try one.

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  12. Fun times with great friends on the road. Losing or breaking a camera sometimes is good, for that means getting a new upgraded one :) I dropped three cams already so having a new one is always a good thing.
    I envy your hikes, for we have not hiked in several months now.
    Kofa will be on our list in two years.

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  13. So glad you got to experience Kofa with Pam and John. It looks like a very interesting place to explore. We are adding it to our list after this post and the one John wrote. Sorry to hear about your camera. Although I didn't drop mine, recently I had the same experience where the camera died with the zoom extended. Time for an upgrade!

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