A new road had been built by-passing the old fort or Native American ruin (I couldn't decipher which it was at first). Unfortunately, somehow I ended up taking the old disused road that ran right along the old place. Part of that road was blocked by a piece of overhang that had once shadowed the front of the ruin and which was now standing perpendicular to the lie of the dirt road. This was simple to get by, and I went swiftly around it.
I didn't stop to examine the place or go in, and I don't know why. I am always drawn like a magnet to anything that reeks of age and abandoned civilization. Here, I only noticed as I drove past that the building materials had crusted into a darkish grey color, almost black, and that the building was essentially a rectangle.
After or just slightly before passing the fort - for so it must have been, being composed of discolored wood - I decided to carry my car in the palm of my hand to make the going easier. I trusted my two legs more on the uncertain terrain.
The scenery opened up, and the landscape was like so many desert environs I've seen. I walked through the sandy soil until I reached an impressive canyon quite abruptly. I gazed across it; I did not look down. Nevertheless, I knew a river lived and moved there at the bottom of its astounding depth; I could hear it.
There was no bridge.
There must have been at one time for the dirt track resumed on the opposite side of the canyon. Stupid old road. Why had I gotten lost? And the sight of this old place was decidedly lonely and eerie.
I spun around and quickly retreated. Not the way I had come but along the back of the fort, and suddenly I was accosted by water. So much water. It was shedding off of huge boulders to my side and rushing through a gorge that lay in front of me. I'd have to get across this water that had sprung up all around the ruin. The way home would not, could not, be the way I'd come. Still, the gorge was not too steep-sided. I could jump from boulder to boulder down through it and to the other side. I tensed my body for the leap, and then I spotted something below in the churning pool. It was gliding through, its long body a pale soothing green in color. My desperation increased at the sight of it, though; that crocodile was going to make the going more treacherous - deadly perhaps.
A few seconds inward debate helped me to conclude that this strange creature in an alien environment would indeed try to eat me if I splashed through that pool. Who knew how hungry it was, and that water had to be very cold. I felt that this fact would make it more aggressive somehow.
I went along a narrow ledge of rock behind the fort and jumped across the gorge to some higher boulders. My mind fast-forwarded this part, so I could get swiftly by that thing that I feared. And then I walked and walked. I came to a Catholic Church that was just concluding mass. People were streaming out the doors of the small church. I wondered at this a second and then turned to find the ranger's station for the ruin I had just journeyed through.
I went directly up to the woman there and said without preamble, "There's a crocodile in the waters by that old fort."
"A crocodile?" she repeated lamely. "I don't think so."
"Oh, yes, there is," I told her. "You better get rid of it before somebody gets hurt."
"Okay, well I guess..."
"Maybe it was somebody's exotic pet, and they let it loose there," I concluded for her.
Finally she seemed to accept that I spoke truth.
"Okay," she said, tossing her tightly braided hair back over her shoulder. "I'll tell someone and we'll get it out of there."
I nodded, satisfied....