Southern Historic Trail

January 27, 2012

We’re still parked in the campground at the Painted Rocks Historic Park, northwest of Gila bend, AZ. It’s a unique and pretty place, so we decided to stay over an additional day so that we could do some exploring. See my Blog entry of yesterday by clicking this link… http://wp.me/pDCku-3pW

A portion of a sign here identifies it as the Southern Historic Trail…but it is also known by several different names such as the de Anza, Butterfield Overland Mail Route, the Mormon Battalion Trail and the California 1849 Emigrant Trail because all of these people in addition to many others used this very trail going westward. The trail leads westward to Yuma, Arizona where it was the only place to cross the then mighty Colorado River for 1,200 miles. Many etched their information upon these two piles of rocks as they passed through the area. See yesterday’s blog entry.

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Our campsite is about a mere 250 feet from the trail. As all of these folks were heading west…which means they had to come through Painted Pocks Pass about 2.5 miles to the east. The following photo is a pre-sunrise looking right at Painted Rocks Pass…

The below Google Earth image shows the path that Mary and I took yesterday. “X” marks the petroglyphs and our camp site. We were gone 2.5 hours and I guess-timate the distance as 2.5 miles one way…

In three different areas we were sure we could detect wagon trail wheel indentations…remembering that it has been a long time singe a wagon passed this way. But we know for certain that they came over the pass and on a direct sight-line from the petroglyph rocks to the pass…the wheel indentations were right where they should be. The following three photos show these indentations…

We saw evidence of several encampments…broken glass bottles and tin cans…

To see all the other photos I took during our walk, click this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/SouthernHistoricTrailDay1

To read about the de Anza Trail, click this link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Bautista_de_Anza_National_Historic_Trail

To read about the Butterfield Overland Mail route, click this link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfield_Overland_Mail

To read about the Mormon Battalion Trail, click this link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Battalion

Mary and I both thoroughly enjoyed our walk over this very famous trail.

Shortly before sunset, out of the corner of her eye, Mary noticed some movement across the road from our camp site less than 50 feet away. A young fox had crawled out of its hole and was sunning itself. A little later, two more emerged and all three ran off into the bushes in search of supper. Here’s the photo…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
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http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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