The Palo Verde Trail #512

[Part of a series of beyond the page info of the hkes covered in Day and Overnight Hikes in the Tonto National Forest.]

The Palo Verde Trail wanders along the shore of Bartlett Lake (though it is actually a reservoir), connecting Rattlesnake Cove with SB Cove. Both coves are fee-use recreation sites. Forest Service information here. Info on Salt River Project in general and Bartlett Dam in particular here.

This easy hike actually took two seperate attempts, where I learned two different lessons about guidebook hiking.

In my first attempt, in early November, I tried to tack this onto a family canoing expedition. But, because of a shortage of able-bodied adults to handle the canoes, I couldn’t break away to hike until I had less than two hours of daylight remaining. A got about a third of the way down the trail, before I had to retreat, following the track by flashlight.

The hike needs to be the primary focus of the trip, otherwise, you’re just costing yourself time and fun.

The second attempt, December 12th 2007, I hiked under rainy conditions, which made it hard to take notes on paper. Alas, I had lost faith in my DVR on a previous adventure, and so, at the time, prided myself that I could get by with the methods of yore.

You bring the notebook to back up the DVR. You bring the DVR to back up the notebook.

This is also why it is best to write a draft of the hike description ASAP following the hike. The DVR and the notebook both back up your brain, but as long as the brain works, you can still describe the hike.

I dubbed the giant saguaro “The Ettin”. That did not come from any published source.

An ettin is, of course, a two-headed giant from British folklore.

I also concluded that a real raincoat is so far superior to any garbage-bag “backpacking poncho” that is is – to me – absolutely worth the extra weight, especially when the skies are grey to begin with.

One last note, Palo Verde is capitalized here because it is a place name. After a few rounds with the copy editor, we concluded the the name of the tree, palo verde (Spanish for “green stick”) does not need capitalization any more than pine or oak.

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