Saturday, February 8, 2014

Palm Canyon – Kofa Mountains, AZ

It was such a relief to get out of Yuma & back into some green near Palm Canyon in the Kofa Mountains, east of Hwy 95, 20 miles south of Quartzsite. We got to meet & talk with Ann & Bill, volunteers at this wildlife refuge. They are previous Casita owners, & Ann makes the most amazing custom stained glass door windows for Casitas.

Although we had a quiet, peaceful, rather lush campsite, we were right next to the road (one-lane trail actually) which lead off across the desert, up into a canyon that is very popular with off-roaders, hikers, & tenters. When there was no traffic tho. . .wow, was it ever quiet. And we saw some awesome sunsets. . .while winter CONTINUES to freeze most of the US east of Arizona at least weekly. We may not want to return to MO until June at this rate!

We took an afternoon to take the main (gravel) road east up to Palm Canyon. It is a half mile hike from the parking lot to get to a location to see the only native Arizona palm trees growing down a crack in the canyon wall. I took Kira, & since she thinks she’s a sled-dog in training, she’s actually very helpful pulling me up a path. Although Jeff’s arthritis in his back & knees keeps him from making or enjoying many walks (hikes), he came with us too. A good think about hiking tho is you can just stop & rest (often finding a spot to sit down even) as often as needed. Ann had told us to visit during the afternoon between 1 & 3pm because that’s when the sun actually shines best on the canyon wall & the palm trees.

One day, Ann & Bill invited us to follow them on the road next to us to the canyon where Scull Cave was located. Oh my, Jeff sure got his 4-wheeling fix that day. The road is pretty rocky & uneven in places, but we didn’t break anything. We took Kira with us again, & followed a small dry creek bed up to see a tank (a hole in the rocks where water accumulates until is evaporates). It was pretty dry, but worth the hike to see a tank.

Another day we drove south on Hwy 95 to King Valley Road to look for Horse Tank. However, the side road getting to it was rougher than we wanted to drive on, so I decided Kira & I would just walk the road to the tank. Hmmmm, I think I made it about a mile & saw nothing in the distance that looked like it might hold water so turned around without seeing it. I found out later it was more like 4 miles to that tank, so I’m glad I gave up when I did. Kira sure is getting into these desert walks tho. And she’s good at picking the best thru a rocky or shrubby area. Thankfully she doesn’t seem interested at all in smelling any cactus, especially the cholla!

We also drove into Quartzsite several times that week. We visited the big RV tent on the last day & bought a few small items. The crowds weren’t bad at all thankfully. We also stopped by to visit our Arkansas friends, Larry & Betty Harmon (Mountainborn blog) who are spending their winter traveling around showing the new 22’ Oliver travel trailers. They had a 17’ Oliver when we first met them over 5 years ago, but once going fulltime, upsized to a 5th wheel. Obviously they’re still very big fans of the Oliver trailers. There are numerous features I really, really like about the Olivers, but just enough negatives to keep me happy with my Liberty Casita.

Another day, we drove out to the BLM area along Plumosa Road to meet up with (Cowboy) Brian Gore of the Goin’ RV Boondocking blog. He’s also a writer of several Western e-books & a genius at finding free boondocking spots & living frugally. Had a great visit, & laughed so much we didn’t realize we missed lunch.

When we left Kofa after a week, we dumped our tanks & got fresh water & propane at the Pit Stop in Q. I’d read their prices had been raised, but they were the same. We also had previously ordered those 15” wheels from Custom Tire in town, & got them & new tires put on the trailer before drifting off to Dome Rock to find a choice spot before the many fiberglass rigs come rolling in soon. One other Casita was already there — Traveling Bob from Kansas who we camped with at Chase County Kansas State Fishing Lake back in October. Whew — I love this small world.

So, now I’m caught up until we leave Dome Rock. I like to post all about each place we visit or experience, all at once so the next post will usually be from somewhere else. I know I’m slow (lazy?) keeping our travelogue up to date, so thank you for keeping up with us. We’ve almost (but not quite) felt guilty enjoying all this warmth & sunshine in the Southwest while much of the rest of the US & Canada are freezing their tails off — week after week. I’m so thankful we have this opportunity to travel, investigate, sightsee, & enjoy the beautiful places of this country. . .during the best weather for the area.


  1. Nice pictures! We enjoyed meeting you three.

  2. Loved having some chats in Q. I'm looking forward to seeing where you go this next summer.

  3. Awesome sunset photo...I'm enjoying tagging along your adventures...thanks for sharing....Horst sends


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