To say this aloud is to commit an act of sacrilege, at least in the eyes of those who discourage law-breaking in national parks: I find graffiti fascinating, particularly the inscriptions at Cold Shivers Point in Colorado National Monument.
I know from my previous reporting about the monument, there's a good chance that if the law may be broken (drugs, sex, graffiti, etc.) at the monument, there's more than a slight chance it happened at Cold Shivers Point. Why? Cold Shivers Point looks over a precipitous canyon 2,000 feet above and only a few miles away from downtown Grand Junction, where it's easy access for, err, a late night rendezvous with a fantastic view. Early one morning a few years ago, some friends of mine and I found a suicide victim at Cold Shivers Point. On a morning bike ride (and 2,000 vertical-foot climb) to the high point of Rim Rock Drive, we'd stopped at Cold Shivers to catch our breath. We felt a cold shiver, indeed.
If only the rocks at Cold Shivers Point could talk. They'd have some titillating and tragic stories to tell.
And they do: Graffiti is scrawled across the rocks, first loves and evidence of passings-by literally etched into stone. Every one of those people committed an ugly crime serving only to deface the wonders of the wilderness, create an eyesore out of a magnificent natural wonder and provide curious visitors like me with at least an hour of entertainment searching for stories carved into rock.
Criminal? Yes. Endlessly interesting? Of course.