On the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park approximately 10 miles east of Grand Canyon Village is an interesting viewpoint. You won’t find it on the park maps, yet it has a large parking-lot. More importantly it offers the visitor view to the east, compared to most South Rim viewpoints which look north. This wonderful view to the east looking into the rising sun is anchored by a formation known as the ‘Duck on a Rock’.
Every year I spend countless days and weeks in Grand Canyon National Park , as a photographer and as a photography workshop instructor and guide. In the past year I have noticed an overwhelming increase in the amount of graffiti in the park, especially on the park’s busy South Rim. The graffiti ranges in size from a small scribble most likely done with a felt-tipped marker, the larger abuses created with spray-paint.
Unfortunately this view of Duck on a Rock has recently been marred by a vandal and his can of spray-paint. The National Parks Traveler reports that Lucien Lionel Chenier, of Ottawa, Ontario, has been charged with vandalizing the popular formation. He was spotted by a group of visitors on a tour lead by a National Geographic guide while he was in the process of painting his name on the formation. He had managed to mark the formation with the first four letters of his name ‘LUCI’, but according to bystanders, he stopped defacing the rock when the tour guide and other visitors began to yell at him. Chenier reportedly said he did it because “it was so special a place, that if he left his name his kids would be able to see it 20 years from now.”
All I can say is “why”? I don’t understand the need to deface anything, but especially a natural treasure, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, such as the Grand Canyon.
June 5, 2013 – Update: This viewpoint was restored last year and most of the graffiti seen in the image is now gone.