Wednesday December 20 – Today’s temperature: 39/72. Clear and breezy
Plans are made to go early to Palm Canyon in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, about 15 miles from where we are camped. We (Clifford, Rollie, Bill, Sally, and I) head out in a couple of vehicles, driving about seven miles south on 95 to the turnoff, a dirt road that takes us several scenic miles across the Kofa Refuge to the parking area at Palm Canyon.
Now the problem with leaving early is that it is cool in the morning and the mostly south-facing canyon is still deep in shadows.
The wind is chilly, but we are all eager for the hike and head up the trail.
The canyon is lush with desert plants, the trail a bit rugged, but not difficult.
At the end of the trail is a viewing spot and a sign. We look across the canyon to the deep ravines on the opposite side to see the palms growing there.
These California Fan Palms are possibly the only native palms in Arizona in a natural location. They may be remnants of an earlier cooler climate or perhaps seeds were carried to the deep ravines by wildlife. Either way, these palms flourish in the coolness of the shadows where the ravine collects moisture from scant rainfall. It is possible to go beyond the trail and make one’s way across the canyon and up to the palms, but we are not doing that today.
After taking photos, we head back down the trail.
Because of the chilly wind, we decide to take our picnic back to camp. Bill has made a great ham and chopped egg sandwich mix for us, which we enjoy around a little campfire, protected from the breeze of the day.