Lately, I've been in the desert a lot. The boy has a place out there and we can't seem to stay away too long. And in a couple of weeks I will head out to another part where my family goes every Thanksgiving. I love it. The silence you can feel out in the desert is unlike anything - well, at least it's unlike anything you find in the suburbs of Southern California.
The last two times we went out there, we went to Giant Rock. It is the world's largest free standing boulder and it is hard to explain or even take pictures of. You think, "yeah, ok, a boulder, that's cool." But then you drive up to it, you see this giant round boulder just sitting on it's own in the sand, yeah there is a hill covered in rock next to it, but it is out there on it's own and it's so massive and all you can think is..."how?"
The huge piece you see in the foreground and in the picture below is a massive part of the boulder that fell off at some point. There are stories all over the internet of a man who lived underneath it at some point and the government having to bomb the shelter he built underneath the rock because people kept going in it. There is still an area under it you could crawl into but just looking in, there is mostly trash and twisted rebar.
The thing about Giant Rock (and any major rock formation near a road or recreational area) is the graffiti. I don't get it. I do not understand how people can go out into nature and think to themselves "HEY! I should deface this natural wonder because I am so much more important than everyone else and everyone needs to know I was here!" I know there is this mentality of thinking it's just rock but that's so sad. The fact that people can look at things like Giant Rock (or any rock formation) and just see a place to cover in meaningless spray paint is so depressing. They can't see the millions of years it took to get that rock just as it is. Climb, explore, hike, crawl, Instagram it like it's going out of style, but don't deface it.
A hundred years from now, no one is going to look that rock and think "Oh wow, Sally and Tim were here. How AMAZING." Well, unless of course you are someone like William Clark...you know, from the Lewis and Clark Expedition. But unless you are traveling to space at the moment - you are not doing anything nearly as world changing as Lewis or Clark. None of us are Lewis or Clark and this is not the Corps of Discovery. Stop painting and carving things on rocks guys, just stop.