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Thread: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

  1. #1
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    Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    My wife and I and Xena decided to spend the weekend in the Gila Bend area to get away from it all and check out the historic aspects of the area.

    Friday morning we rolled into the Painted Rocks Petroglyph site with Freebird in tow and set up camp at the BLM campsite there.



    Xena the Warrior Princess stood watch while we set up camp.



    After a press of the out button and hooking up the generators we were done and decided to check out the petroglyphs. This hill of rocks were full of petroglyphs plus some more recent markings left by people who passed by the area.







    Freebird in the background. Definetly off the beaten path.


    This marks where the Morman Battalion Trail goes through the area.




    The Butterfield Stage trail passed through here and Juan Bautista De Anza (Founder of San Francisco) passed through here and made notes about this petroglyph site in his writings.



    "Son, you got to live life everyday to the fullest, because you're only on this earth for a short time and dead for a hell of a long time."

    I.F.M. (a.k.a. Dad, X2 Cancer Survivor)


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  2. #2
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    Looks like a neat place to get away, I will have to add that to the list of places to camp at, especially since it is not that far of a drive.

    How cold did it get at night?
    Mike

  3. #3
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    After taking in the petroglyphs we sat around camp and relaxed. That night we cooked Carna Asada on the grill and watched the sunset, then watched Hankock on the DVD in Surround Sound (really roughing it!).

    We went to bed and Xena woke us up barking so I peeked out the window and there was a fox sniffing around camp. Sorry no pics of the fox.

    The next day we decided to explore Agua Caliente. I don't have towing capabilities behind the RV for the Jeep yet so we took the Ford PSD. Right out side the camp we found this old adobe structure. Could it have been a stage coach station?



    We headed into Gila Bend and fueled up the PSD and set off on our journey. We followed Old Highway 80 up to the Gillepsie Dam and bridge across the Gila River, which is the starting point of the Agua Caliente trail.

    The dam was breached during the flood in 1993.


    This bridge was built in 1927.



    The trail is a well maintained dirt road that takes you approximately 40 miles all the way to the Agua Caliente Springs approximately 20 miles west of Gila Bend. The first part of the trail is pretty flat and you can see the south side of the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant



    Once you're out of the flats you begin to travel through the Gila Bend Mountains with lush Sonoran Desert and beautiful views. The Fourth of July Butte area apparently is a great spot for rock hounds. Plus there's some great camping spots.





    What president does this mountain look like?
    "Son, you got to live life everyday to the fullest, because you're only on this earth for a short time and dead for a hell of a long time."

    I.F.M. (a.k.a. Dad, X2 Cancer Survivor)


    Got Prostate Cancer? See me or click the links below.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    We continued on through the mountains and stopped by the ghost town of Sundad. Sundad started out as a mining town then it was a proposed site for a state sanitarium. The camp host at our camp site told us that Sundad was a camp for people with TB and while they were there with nothing to do they made these figures from the rocks and such. Throughout the years the place became vandalized and many of the figures were ruined. Not too long ago a retired couple who were artists spent some time cleaning it up and restored the figures.







    This looks like where the center of town was. Note the concrete foundations on the outside of the figures.




    The remains of an old Ford (Found On Road Dead).


    Next we headed to our destination, the Agua Caliente Springs. Down the road there's a pioneer cemetery worth viewing. Some old graves, many not even marked.





    A bit up the road is Agua Caliente. The surrounding structures are ruins but the main resort area still stands. Apparently in 1968 a farmer was drilling a well for irrigation and struck the hot springs, which cut the flow off for ever.



    "Son, you got to live life everyday to the fullest, because you're only on this earth for a short time and dead for a hell of a long time."

    I.F.M. (a.k.a. Dad, X2 Cancer Survivor)


    Got Prostate Cancer? See me or click the links below.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    After exploring Agua Caliente we searched and found Camp Hyder which was used by General Patton to train his tankers during WWII. All I could find of Camp Hyder were the two stone pillars marking the entrance. Then I tried to find Camp Horn about 15 miles down the road but couldn't find it. Supposedly there's a monument there that was erected in 2003.

    We headed back to camp, watched the sunset by the fire and ate brats and drank some Coronas. What a relaxing and interesting weekend! There's lots more to see and explore. Definitely going back!





    "Son, you got to live life everyday to the fullest, because you're only on this earth for a short time and dead for a hell of a long time."

    I.F.M. (a.k.a. Dad, X2 Cancer Survivor)


    Got Prostate Cancer? See me or click the links below.

    http://protonbob.com/proton-treatment-homepage.asp

    http://mytrailoflifeobstacle.blogspot.com/

    http://www.prostateblog.com/home/

  6. #6
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    Great pics Mike! I need to add that to my places to visit list.
    Kevin K7KMC

    R.I.P. LOWTECH
    R.I.P. Samdog3

  7. #7
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    Was just there, and followed the same trails, etc. a few weeks ago myself... Thanx for sharing the pics and the story...
    Working for a living is highly over-rated...

  8. #8
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    Nice pic's Mike, always wondered what the old dudes did on the weekends when they weren't wheeling !!

    (j/k - I've been through that area a few times as well)
    RockKrawling is not a Crime !

  9. #9
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    Re: Painted Rocks & Agua Caliente

    Quote Originally Posted by RokNRich View Post
    Nice pic's Mike, always wondered what the old dudes did on the weekends when they weren't wheeling !!

    (j/k - I've been through that area a few times as well)
    Hey I was wheeling! I put the F250 into 4 wheel drive once while crossing a sandy wash near Sundad.
    "Son, you got to live life everyday to the fullest, because you're only on this earth for a short time and dead for a hell of a long time."

    I.F.M. (a.k.a. Dad, X2 Cancer Survivor)


    Got Prostate Cancer? See me or click the links below.

    http://protonbob.com/proton-treatment-homepage.asp

    http://mytrailoflifeobstacle.blogspot.com/

    http://www.prostateblog.com/home/

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