Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Stand up for Giant Rock

Giant Rock & Saucer
The Hi-Desert Star's View: Stand up for Giant Rock

Hi-Desert Star

     Saturday's planned cleanup of Giant Rock and the surrounding area is a prime example of what one person can do with a plan and a little help from the community.

Dan Woodman, who doesn't even live full-time in the Morongo Basin, nevertheless spends weekends here and has fond memories of childhood adventures at Giant Rock. Dismayed at the graffiti and litter that degrade this beautiful and historically fascinating spot, Woodman has organized a cleanup of the area.

The Morongo Basin's Clean Teams will be out in full force, but we hope to see lots of other people out there, too.

This is a great opportunity to visit Giant Rock and give a little something back to a place that has given the Morongo Basin national notice and some very interesting tales.

Supposedly once a site sacred to American Indians, Giant Rock is where George Van Tassel cleared an airstrip for pilots both Earthly and extra-terrestrial, and later where he held his UFO Conventions. Several people lived in a cave beneath the monolith, including prospector Frank Critzer, who died there in an explosion after lawmen tried to raid his underground home.

Whether you believe in aliens or just enjoy a good story, Giant Rock is a captivating spot to visit. Its expanse of desert attracts campers and off-roaders, and the sky is as big and beautiful there as it is anywhere in the Morongo Basin.

Sadly, though, the rock itself is covered in an ugly blanket of graffiti. It seems some people just can't see a “blank” surface without covering it with spray paint. Visitors have burned car engines on Giant Rock - for what purpose, we can't begin to imagine.

Regardless of whether Giant Rock is a sacred spot or just an interesting one, it is demoralizing to see it covered with graffiti, chemical damage and litter. We hope everyone who has visited Giant Rock, enjoyed its history or off-roaded in the desert around it will show up for Saturday's cleanup. It's the least we can do for an intergalactic landmark!

To participate in the cleanup, meet at Giant Rock at 9 a.m. Saturday. Bring gloves and water.

To get to Giant Rock from Yucca Valley, take Old Woman Springs Road north to Reche Road. Turn east on Reche Road, then left on Belflower Road past the Integratron. Turn right and follow the grated dirt road toward the left for about two miles.

More . . .

See Also: UFO Memories and Giant Rock Dreams


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