Historic Joshua Tree sites blighted by city’s ills
Vandals are using social media to get others to join in. Rattlesnake Canyon and Barker Dam are temporarily closed.
….For visitors who relish the unique isolation of this harsh desert terrain, hiking amid century-old Joshua trees and jagged granite outcroppings thrust through the Earth’s crust millions of years ago, the graffiti offers an unwelcome reminder of a city life they sought to escape.
“We come to this place because it’s not as touristy as surrounding national parks, and you don’t run into as many people. You kind of feel like you’re alone. In ancient times. There’s nothing like this place,” said Butch Wood, 51, a guitar builder visiting from North Aurora, Ill. “You don’t like to see the modern world intruding on history. It’s a shame.”
The graffiti in Rattlesnake Canyon, which meanders for a mile through the northern edge of Joshua Tree’s Wonderland of Rocks, started with just a few markings but quickly became rampant. Vandals bragged of their handiwork on social media sites such as Facebook, attracting their like-minded friends to the same spot, paint in hand, park service officials said….