"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Kayaking, Petroglyphs & Donkeys in the Desert - Yuma & Gila Bend, AZ

Yuma, AZ
Imperial Dam LTVA

After a week in Quartzsite we headed down I95 south to Yuma.  Since we still had a week left on our BLM pass we decided to stay a few days boondocking at Imperial Dam LTVA.  Finding a good spot with Verizon is hit and miss.  As we scoped out one spot we passed some donkeys lounging.
We were pretty surprised how busy it was down here.  Many more people than in Quartzsite.  After a bit of looking and checking Verizon speeds we found a spot that would hold both of us.
Along the way we passed out a burned out trailer.  Sad to see.  Not much left of it.
You see some interesting set-ups in the desert!
Our spot was at 32 53.59N  114 30.18W

Hurley loves getting snacks from Angie.
Our main reason to stop here was to do some kayaking on Standard Wash Reservoir right where we are camped.  Boy did we luck out with a gorgeous day!
The winds were non-existent and the water glassy.  We spent a lot of time just floating.
The clouds just floated by and made beautiful reflections on the water.

Colorful rock reflections too.

Rick and Angie on their new kayaks.

We paddled all around the lake until the sun started to set.  Always great to be on the water in the desert.

We always watch the weather closely as it can change so quickly in the desert this time of year.  We cut our trip short a couple days because a huge wind storm was moving in and we didn't want to be here for 60 mph winds.  We did that here before a few years ago.  So we headed over to Gila Bend early to visit the petroglyphs.
On the way out it looked like a helicopter display was landing up ahead of us.  Funny.
We stopped in Dateland to gas up and introduce Rick and Angie to the Date Shake.  They are tasty!

Gila Bend, AZ
Painted Rock Petroglyphs BLM Campground
We pulled in to Painted Rock Petroglyphs which is on a BLM campground.  Pretty big actually and nicely kept. 
$18, no utilities. #6.
They have one of the most concentrated amounts of petroglyphs in one small area that we've seen.  They keep the small hill fenced off to protect them.  There is a small path that leads around it with some info signs too.

The O'odham people have called this area home for thousands of years.  They believe they are descended from the Hohokam people.

Jean-Baptiste "Pomp" Charbonneau

We found this very interesting as we lived in Placerville just a few miles from Sutter's Mill.  We had not known he was in that area before.

Ah, a found a heart on one of the rocks!
And of course the wind storm made its way to us.  At least it wasn't very bad.  We had a quiet indoor day before we headed to Tucson for a special Friend Reunion!  One couple will come from Hawaii and another from California.  They'll be renting RVs and joining us for some fun!


  1. Nice history.. I climbed to the top of Pompey's Pillar where one will get to know their age while catching your breath. Can see to the Rockey's and on the way up catch where Clark put his name on the rock. Good to learn what happened to the kid later in life. Pompey's Piller is alongside the Yellowstone River where there is a cliff area running alongside. The Ranger said they suspect the cliff was the beach of the inland sea at one time.

    1. We'd love to see Pompey's Pillar when we make it back to that area. Gotta love that history!

  2. Hey Steve…looks like you stole one of Dale’s shirts! 🤣 That’s a lot of petroglyphs! We’ll have to put that on our to do list.
    Safe travels!

  3. So jealous that you guys got out on the water! It will be at least 3 months before we see ourselves on water. That is crazy that it was that busy down there, and that burned out trailer....bummer!

    1. We're always happy when we can kayak in the desert!


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