Day 8 – Gila Bend to Casa Grande, AZ

Painted Rocks Petroglyph

Today was another short travel day, going from Gila Bend to Casa Grande.

Actually, we travelled backwards at the start of the day to Painted Rocks Petroglyphs. Seeing the sign yesterday while we were driving we decided to go back and check it out.

Driving 14 miles back towards Yuma and then another 14 miles to the site, we didn’t realize it would be so many miles back.

But well worth it.

The first thing after turning off the main highway was 1.4 miles of solar panels (we clocked it) and it went back for at least 3 miles. Huge solar power station. The panels moved with the sun as they were in a different position driving in than driving back.

Next, we came across a kettle of turkey vultures flying low with a few of them on the ground further on. Turning the car around they flew up into a tree and as you can see there was one that was a juvenile with lighter feather colour.

turkey vultures

turkey vulture

Getting to the parking lot the petroglyphs were amazing. There was so many of them on a hill. This hill stuck out in the middle of the desert and the majority of the glyphs were on one side.

Some of the rocks were literally covered with them.

Painted Rocks Petroglyphs

Painted Rocks Petroglyph

You look at the land around and all you see is desert and yet people use to live, farm and survive here quite easily because there was actually a river that ran close by. The Gila River which is no more, at least in this area.

The same thing happened in Yuma. The Colorado River no longer flows through Yuma or to the ocean. It is now just a streams.

Both of these rivers have been diverted, dammed and used for agriculture further upstream and created a barren landscape below.

I wonder what the scenery would look like if the rivers had been allowed to flow.

In the parking lot was a little rock wren playing and eating some sort of winged bug and darting in amongst the cars.

rock wren

Driving further down the road there were huge irrigated fields growing alfalfa hay. They pump the water up from somewhere and then there were huge canals along the edges of the fields.

Two red-tailed hawks graced the horizon and say’s phoebes are on the fence posts looking for bugs.

One of the hawks had a red tail on the top and underneath was white as you can see in the picture when it took off.

red-tailed hawk

red-tailed hawk flying

Coming into Casa Grande there are miles and miles of cotton fields and they bale them up either in these cylinders or in large rectangles like bales.

cotton bale

Rob went and picked one and amongst the fluffy white cotton are the seeds embedded in it. There was a truck working in the field, so tonight I wanted to see how they processed it and found a great video which if you are interested I’ll post below.

Then on to find a hotel. Always an interesting experience.

Today we found one but they kept rejecting a prepaid credit card. Rob phoned the credit card company and they couldn’t figure out why it was being declined so they said to try again.

So after about an hour of the card being rejected multiple times a new girl at the desk and the fellow from the cc company finally figured out that the first girls had put in the expiration date wrong and that messed everything up.

New expiration date and here we are.

Had a lovely afternoon swimming and relaxing by the pool and hot tub and went out to our favourite restaurant for dinner and another dip in the pool with mourning doves watching from the walls.

mourning dove

Life is good.

P.S. When we stopped for gas I saw this on an ATV on a trailer and it made me laugh.

I gotta P


  1. It took me two days but I’ve finally travelled with you to date. It sounds like your having a lovely time and although we have travelled the same route, you seem to have the knack for seeking out far more interesting sights than we have
    I think it is the difference in a car and a motor home and the fact that we are always looking for large parking areas and we don’t ever seem to stop in small towns and walk around. The park passed sound like a wonderful deal.
    I’m looking for your next post.
    The Vermillion flycatcher was amazing/
    Good night for now


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