12-Apr-2015 -- A plan was made to have a nice early morning coffee at the picnic area at Painted Rock Petroglyph Site on BLM land just a few miles west of Gila Bend. Of course this was to be a precursor to bagging the nearby confluence just a few miles south off Painted Rock Road. Due to our early morning departure from Phoenix (5:30 am) we were treated to a group of desert mule deer bounding through an arroyo just south of the petroglyphs. Arriving by 6:30 am to set up the stove and begin the coffee ritual, we were treated to an even better encounter – a pair of gray foxes with two very young kits. The adults rested while the kits wrestled and played for an hour or so before the mother took them back to the den.
After a quick examination of the petroglyphs themselves, we set off back south down Painted Rock Road and parked the truck on the shoulder right at 33°N. The confluence is less than a mile from the road heading due west. The confluence is an easy stroll across desert pavement dotted with palo verde trees, ironwood, creosote, and bursage. We made the confluence in about 20 minutes and took the requisite photos. Then we scrambled up a nearby hill for a view and then returned to the truck via a desert wash picking up numerous downed mylar birthday balloons along the way. They do come back to earth somewhere. Once back at the truck we decided to take a short drive through the desert enjoying the spring bloom before heading back to Phoenix.