Winter Journey – La Paz and Palm Canyon – January 2017


Sunday January 29th – Quartzfest is over, but some ham radio operators are staying on at La Paz. However, there is hardly anyone along our side of the wash now. It is not so windy this morning, so I fix up the fire ring and build a little campfire this morning, the first one at this campsite. It feels good to have a morning where I can be outside without being wind-blown and not having to go off somewhere right away.

Last morning at La Paz BLM dispersed camping area south of Quartzsite, Arizona
Rebuild the campfire ring and first campfire of our stay at La Paz

After breakfast, I pack a picnic lunch and we head out sight-seeing, Palm Canyon being our destination. Palm Canyon is located in the KOFA National Wildlife Refuge south of Quartzsite – another 10 or 12 miles beyond La Paz and another 12 miles or so to the base of the KOFA Mountains.

Heading toward the KOFA Mountains and Palm Canyon
Nearing the KOFA Mountains

A half-mile hike takes us up into a canyon where, in a steep ravine above the canyon floor, palm trees are growing – native and wild. It is quite interesting to see palm trees growing in such a place.

The hike begins at the foot of this uplift of rock
Hiking to Palm Canyon
Hiking to Palm Canyon
Clifford on the trail to Palm Canyon
Hiking to Palm Canyon; the Castle Dome Mountains across the basin
Palm Canyon
Palm trees in the canyon

Other desert vegetation abound; the ocotillo are growing tiny leaves along their long spindly stalks and cholla cacti are flourishing.

Cholla in the KOFA Wildlife Refuge, Arizona
Ocotilla growing leaves along its long stems

In the distance, the rugged outline of mountains – Castle Dome Mountains, perhaps – reveal how “young” these mountains are.

Cholla with Castle Dome Mountains in the background
Ocotilla with Castle Dome Mountains in the background

On the way back, we stop for a picnic on the bench at the KOFA information kiosk. There is a brisk wind now and our lunch is in danger of being blown away, but at least it is not so cold as it has been. Back at camp, I do some editing for Ang (Novels of Shannon – epic fantasy series by Angela MacDonald – very exciting series!), write another blog, and talk to daughter Becka when she calls. It was a very good and interesting day.

Monday January 30th is an errand day, so no campfire this morning. We go to Ehrenberg, a small town to the west to pick up a month’s worth of mail sent from Wallace and a scientific instrument that Clifford ordered enroute. We try to avoid the busier post offices, but I ended up standing in line for at least a half hour at the Quartzsite post office, as a letter for me was sent there. That post office could certainly use more help.

Back at camp, I play cello outside for the first time in the week-and-a-half that we have been here. I feel kind of rusty having so many days go by without being able to play, but with luck we will have more warm and calm days coming up. Then more editing and blog-writing before and after dinner.

La Paz Cello

Tuesday January 31st is our last day here. Even though it is mostly clear and calm, instead of being outside, I have my nose to the grindstone taking care of email for CI and other internet business, as we might not have cell service at our next location. I clean out and organize Blazer in the later afternoon in preparation for leaving tomorrow. Then the usual editing and blog-writing in the evening.

Our home at La Paz for almost two weeks
Last sunset at La Paz

In spite of the hundreds of RVs parked all over the desert around Quartzsite, it was an enjoyable stay with the Quartzfest – people with a common interest coming together – and then a few extra days just to enjoy the desert.

3 thoughts on “Winter Journey – La Paz and Palm Canyon – January 2017”

  1. Hi Carol,

    Regarding your last photo image above, “Last sunset at La Paz” : If you don’t mind, I’ll call this image, “Sleeping Man Mountain”. [Do you see the man lying on his back? -> Look at the top-right third of the picture: the highest point on the mountain is the man’s “tip of his nose”; then, do you see the man’s bushy eye brows casting a shadow in his left eye area? ; then, notice a partial headband on the man’s high forehead and his long hair (starting above the headband) hanging down/against his left ear area; and notice his sharp/angular chin and neck area. Also, do you see the “Gray”-type Aliens on his left side/rib area?]


  2. So strange to see palm trees in the canyon. My favorite photo is Cholla with Castle Dome Mountains in the background.

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