Posts Tagged With: Butterfield Trail

Painted Rocks Petroglyphs, Arizona (GA2)

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.
I’m currently in my 22nd year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click Here

The motorhome is parked at the Paradise Casino in Yuma, Arizona. I was expecting to leave here recently, but I’ve changed my mind. I currently have reservations at Thousand Trails in Palm Desert, California, February 13th. Between now and then???? For the moment I remain in Yuma.

I just love the ability to change plans at a moments notice. As I tell everyone…All my plans are firmly etched in Jello!

Since my RVing life is changing (see above), I’m starting to re-visit previously visited places. So rather than constantly re-blogging past entries, I’ve decided to do something different.

In 2012-2013, Mary and I did a 682 day, 12,679 miles in the motorhome and 8,000 miles in the Bronco, circumnavigation of the United States, which I called The Great Adventure. I called it so because other than my oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation in June in Connecticut, I didn’t know where we would be going or when we would be there!

So, unless I do something really different and unusual warranting a new blog entry, I’ll be posting entries from that trip.

This entry was posted January 26, 2012…

Yesterday we drove to about 80 miles from Wellton, AZ to Painted Rocks Historic Park.

Along to way instead of being out on Interstate Highway 8, whenever possible I chose to drive on Old U.S. Highway 80…aka the Ocean To Ocean Highway. In this area of Arizona the old highway parallels the Gila River which in the old days was the major highway for pioneers moving westward to California. Modern man has changed that and it is now just a dribble. You can read about the Gila River by clicking this Wikipedia link…

You can read all about the Painted Rocks Petroglyphs by click this BLM link…

and this Wikipedia link…

Here’s what the petroglyph site looks like on Google Earth…

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…

From a higher elevation you can see Interstate Highway 8 about 12 miles to the south. You can also see the Gila Riverbed flowing towards the lower left…

This is my second time here. I was first here in January 1996. It’s a lot different from I remember as very remote and quiet…like it was the end of the World. We were the only people here. Not so now. There are about 12 RV’s in the campground and trucks roaring by on a nearby road. Heck, there’s even a four-bar Internet and cell phone signal.

But then, I have trouble remembering what happened yesterday! 🙂

Now that you know all about the petroglyphs, here are some of the photos I took while there…

These are the two petroglyph hills as seen from our campsite, they are maybe 50 feet high. The hill on the right has the most petroglyphs as it was closer to the Mormon Battalion Trail where all the pioneers such as Kit Carson passed…

Shortly after our arrival we met a local expert. Jerry Ahnert has been studying the trail for 42 years. He gave us about a 1/2 hour seminar about the history of the trail which also served the Butterfield Overland Mail Company.

In the above photo, he told us the white skull marked the actual trail…even though there were no signs identifying it. We presume it’s to keep it from being stolen.

Turning 180 degrees and looking west…this is what the trail looks like today…

He has written a book entitled “The Butterfield Trail And Overland Mail Company of Arizona, 1858-1861. It presents a very detailed of the history of the 400 mile portion of the trail in Arizona. Mary bought his book for $29.95. To order you can contact him at

Here are some other photos that I took…

And finally…a panorama sunset shot. The two petroglyph hills are to the right of the motorhome and above the Bronco…

And finally finally…a cloudless desert sunset with a jet plane exhaust trail, a quarter moon and the planet Venus in the background…

To see the remaining photos that I took…click this link…


 Yesterday was partly sunny and 78 degrees. Forecast for today is partly sunny and 80 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of Arizona. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2017

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


In 2009 we hiked to Fort Bowie, near Chiriacahua National Monument and caught a glimpse of the Butterfield Trail. I knew it was a stagecoach line to deliver the mail out west. We hadn’t even read the BLM information on the Painted Rock Petroglyphs when we say hello to a stranger who just happens to be an expert on the Butterfield Trail and this whole area in general. He just published a book,  The Butterfield Trail And Overland Mail Company In Arizona. Jerry Ahnert’s  book was identified by the government as the definitive historical work on the subject.

The Butterfield Trail ran from Missouri to the Pacific, 3,000 miles, a transcontinental highway, that passes near the petroglyphs. In fact, Butterfield was a New Yorker with stage lines in the East. He hired two guys, named Wells and Fargo. They all drove stages at one time, according to Jerry.

Petroglyphs have ancient origins and these are typical of two Indian Tribes, the Hohokam and Patayan who peopled this area as long ago as 4,000 years. Various indicators date them  as late as the 1600s. If I were to interpret this drawing, it appears to me to be a pregnant woman with a round fat middle. The experts call the fat drawings like this one lizard men?

An upside down figure of a man or animal is said to be dead.

A glyph from 1912 giving directions, it appears. The Old Immigrant Trail, The Morman Trail and other major expeditions traveled the same or similar routes through the West and passed near this obvious outcropping in a terrain that is distinctively flat.

A donkey or horse with a rider dates the drawing after the Spanish brought horses to North America.

A fish above a river.

Lizards, snakes, scorpions, are common themes.

To me, this resembles a child sitting down, the way children do. The experts I’m sure disagree.

The spirals are typical of Hohokam drawings.

Impossible to tell if the drawing is  a dog or a coyote. It had significance to the artist.

To me the main figure here resembles an elephant?  Could it be an older glyph of a  mammoth?

The figure near the bottom is possibly a bearded goat?

It was fun. I took way to many pictures. More tomorrow. But, the following picture is of a sign placed by the Mormon boy scouts approximately 50 years ago. They ventured forth to mark the Morman Trail. On that spot you can stand and envision Kit Carson, Big Foot Wallace and Pomp, Sacajawea’s son who grew up to be a scout.


I’ll publish an album of the “ancient graffiti”  within a few days. I have some culling to do.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at