Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Palm Canyon/King Canyon, AZ

Our Jeep ride today takes us to Palm Canyon & King Canyon in the KOFA (King of Arizona) Wildlife Refuge.  The road into the refuge for Palm Canyon is located up US95 from the Yuma Proving Ground about 40 miles.  And the dirt/gravel road to the parking area for the trail head up to the palms is about 10 miles.  So, Miss Jeepy had a big smile on her face (even shining her teeth (sorry)) as she loves to get dirty & dusty.
 Nancy blazing the trail up to the palms, with her walking stick.
 There are a few additional palms scattered higher up in Palm Canyon. As you enter Palm Canyon, you will see some "palm like" plants that can be confusing. These plants, nolinas, grow out of cracks or on ledges, especially on the north wall of the canyon. The nolinas are much smaller than palms and do not develop a trunk.  There were many of these plants all along the canyon walls. 
 Most, if not all of the California Palms were on the north wall with more sun exposure.
 There were a few scattered palms in some of the crevices, but the biggest concentration were in the small canyon to the left (below).  It's so wierd to be in the middle of this canyon and see these large trees growing in the middle of what appears to be no soil to support their growth, and yet here they are standing tall.
 Looking back out of the canyon and the road into the trailhead. 
 The trail was not easy, as there were large boulders and loose large gravel in the trail.  But Nancy blazed the trail for me so I felt safe. :-)
 We spent a while here at this spot just taking in the cool mid day breeze and the awsome panorama of the Sonoran Desert vista and the canyon palms.
 Palo Verde trees, the AZ State tree.
 This little fella was warming up on a sun drenched boulder, enjoying the same view as us, only a little lower.
 Make my eyes and nose run plant below.
 Above & below, views while standing at the start of the trail into Palm Canyon.
 OK, above is the King of Arizona gold mine.  I just love going to old mines.  I don't know why, but they just intrigue.  Maybe I think I'm going to stumble on a large nugget one day.  :-)  Below, I am in the opening of one of the mine openings.  I think this one was used for storage, as I saw a large cache of unused dynamite sticks that had hardened into a solid state from their normal state.  I might be wrong about these sticks however.
 If someone knows what these "sticks" are, or has a better guess, let me know.  They were heavy and smelled like chemicals.  And, they were stored in a dry cool cave.
 From Wiki:  The Kofa Mountains are named for the rich King of Arizona gold mine, discovered in King Valley in 1896. The mine used to stamp its property "K of A" and is commonly known as the Kofa Mine. The old mine and its surroundings are private property. The Kofa, Arizona post office was established June 5, 1900 and was discontinued August 27, 1928.  Some of the old buildings are still in use as winter homes.
 Note the old air blower and old boot.  It is arid and dry here, it takes many years for things to decay or rot.
 Above & below is the main opening to the mine.  It has an upper & lower level that was used I assume to get to the wide vein of quartz/gold.
We walked past signs that indicated private property, but felt like if we didn't disturb anything we'd be ok.
 Below, our Jeep in the near-center of the pic, and beyond are the few buildings that remain, includeing a few old campers.
 Below, the water tanks used to flush/sluice material, and for consumption.
 Evening sun on the KofA mountains.
 Walking back to Jeep.
 An Ocotillo, large Saguaro and a small Cholla below.
 The Antares Mine Building, at 900 square feet the largest building on the refuge, was built in the early 1900's, following discovery of the King Of Arizona Mine.

So ends our trip to the KofA Mine.  The road back here to the mine, was approximately 25 miles of dirt/gravel, and very rough in some places, in the washes mainly.  So, we backtracked out to US95 and headed back to camp to watch the Daytona 500.  Till the next blog, RVing Beach Bums.