Proceed to the Crocodile!

In Desert City Diva (both the book and the podcast), Rolly Waters’s investigation leads him to a late night rendezvous at a place known as Desert View Tower. Someone calls to him from the rocky boulders above – “Proceed to the Crocodile!”

You’ll have to read the book to know what happens next, but the crocodile and other animal sculptures described in the book are real. They’re part of what’s known as Boulder Park, adjacent to the Tower, with folk art carved by a man named Merle Ratcliff in the 1930s during the Great Depression.

Stone animals guarding an entrance to Boulder Park.
First you have to face the snake.
Then pass the buffalo
Lions guard another entrance
Not sure what he is, but you don’t want to mess with him.
Secret entrances and tight squeezes
Proceed to the Crocodile!

I’m always looking for interesting locales and places in San Diego County to include in the Rolly Waters mystery novels. Desert View Tower and Boulder Park made a great setting for chasing after scofflaws and escaping from villains.

Desert View Tower Entry on Wikipedia
Vacation Rentals as Desert View Tower
Desert View Tower for Sale
Desert City Diva – the Novel
Desert City Diva – the Podcast