Leaving a Mark in America: Canadian Spray-Paints Name on Grand Canyon Rock

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Courtesy of the National Parks Service

Duck on a Rock

Not all Canadians are polite. Or at least they aren’t all smart. Lucien Lionel Chenier, of Ottawa, Ontario, tried to spray-paint his name onto a popular Grand Canyon rock, proving the point.

Not only was Chenier part of a tour group that quickly stopped the painting by yelling at him, but then he compounded the ire of those around him by chucking his can of paint—who brings paint with them on a hike, anyway?—over a cliff and into the grandest of canyons below.

Chenier told Ranger David Robinson he was so struck by the “Duck on a Rock” outcropping on the South Rim he wanted to leave his name there so his (potential) kids could see it 20 years from now.

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Using bright red paint on the highly visible attraction, Chenier got as far as “LUCI” before others started yelling at him. When Robinson approached him and asked where he had been, Chenier pointed at the rock and the painted letters. The Canadian had already tossed his can of paint into the canyon at this point.

A complaint has been filed with the U.S. District Court containing two criminal counts: one for damaging U.S. property in excess of $1,000 and the other for disposing “of refuse in other than a refuse receptacle” (read: a national treasure).

Officials say getting rid of the offensive four letters will cost about $8,000 because crews will have to use ropes and safety tactics during removal.

As part of the original East Rim Drive from 1930s-era tours, Duck on the Rock has proven popular for over 80 years. So popular, in fact, you would want your kids to know you were there. Apparently a photo just won’t do for proof.

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Tim Newcomb is a contributor for TIME. Find him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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