Sunday, 11 August 2013


Last week, I got a volunteer call out to do a project way back in the back country. As I wrote here, some doofus had painted a rock with graffiti. The weather has been too rainy to get in since the call, but Saturday looked like it was going to be a good day, so off we headed.

We got to the site about 11:30. As we came along the trail, you could see the rock.
Trail intersection. Painted rock in the background
KC next to the mess
It took until just after 1 PM to do the cleaning. After trying several techniques, the technique that worked best was to use large quantities of the Goof Off Graffiti Remover...
Goof Off goes on
...and blot up the paint as it dribbled off. We should have had a wire brush. The graffiti remover chemicals dissolved the scrub pads and some of our cloths. It didn't, however, get everything off the rock, and something we were using seemed to react with the rock and turn it green.
After the Goof Off
We used virtually the whole can of Goof Off on the rock, then headed to lunch with the plan of letting it dry and covering it with the textured rock spray paint we had -- fighting graffiti with graffiti, I guess.

Just as we were heading to lunch, we discovered there were 2 painted rocks, not one, about 30 m apart. One faced each direction.
Rock #2. Someone put up rocks trying to hide the paint
Next to the trail
We did not have enough Goof Off to clean the 2nd rock, so opted to just over-paint it with our fake rock paint. We hope the rock paint sticks. It is an indoor paint, and has a 5-6 hr dry time. It rained a bit an hour after we were finished.

Rock 1 came out very well, though with some green tinges. Painting it with rock paint made it so you could barely tell it had graffiti in the first place, even up close.
Up close 
As seen from the trail
Rock 2 is not as good, but the rock paint (assuming it stays) plus some "decorations" we added make it fade to nothing.
Up close 
Facing the trail
At lunch and after finishing, we took the time to wander around waiting for stuff to dry. This is the same area I was at a few weeks ago, and wrote about here when it was still closed. We saw some cool stuff, not just at lunch but on our way driving in and out:
A deer on the road on the way in 
A way too friendly chipmunk 
Looking back across the still lake 
A butterfly of some type 
Lower Kananaskis Falls 
The bridge across the Kananaskis River is unchanged
A herd of bighorn sheep on the road on the way home
Because there were 2 rocks, we took longer than expected and were later than we hoped getting back to the car. When we do this type of work, we have to tell the emergency rescue guys what time we'll be done. If we are even 1 minute late, they initiate a process to find us. The check out time I gave them was 1600, and I was at the car with lots of time to spare at 1540. But I had trouble checking out because communication back here sucks. There's no cell service. The phone at Upper Lakes Day Use about 2 km from where we parked was not working when I finally found it at 1550. I got to the Boulton Creek Trading Post at 1600 (8 km down the road), but the pay phone was in use by a gentleman on the phone with the AMA on a LONG call about his broken down RV. Finally, at 1615 I gave up waiting and asked and the Trading Post folks let me use their phone to call the emergency guys -- who had already called a Conservation Officer to come look for us.

I was not thanked for getting the graffiti off. I was scolded for being late.

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