It begins in Noyo.
Noyo is amongst the earliest sims to come online back in February 2004 and it is here, in the shadow of the swaying trees of mighty Kahruvel, that the great road east is born. Here you can rez a car* and prepare to start your journey.
Except don’t. Not yet. Look to the southern edge of the little patch of tarmac and you’ll see a sign for a ghost train ride below you. This is Sinatra Cartier’s Spook House and you should take five minutes out of your busy schedule to take a seat and pay 10L$ for a ride – it’s good, honest scary fun! The ride was built way back in 2004 by Sinatra Cartier to celebrate his childhood trips to funfairs and has been a permanent fixture of the region ever since.
Sinatra himself** is one of the early adopters who still call these old regions of the mainland home – in fact it’s rare when land this old comes up for sale and this means a strange and comforting sense of continuity can be found here, a sense of the stable in a world that is constantly making and remaking itself around you.
Across the water in front of the spook house ride, the land rises up towards Albion where the beautiful Japanese gardens can be found. To the west rests the beautiful village of Cowell and beyond that, Abbott’s Aerodrome rises high above the sea below. The waterways here are perfect for navigating a small boat or kayak around the coast or pressing deep into the river network, but that is for another time and another travel guide. Now it is high time for this Backpacking Burro to get back to the open road and start both hiss car and his journey.
Yours in Travel,
Direct SLURL to the Spook House ride
* Not something you can do on most stretches of road, instead you have to find a small patch of land next to the road and try to ‘hop’ for fly over the barriers. Actually, this is a good point to say a wee word about roads. Although they are largely empty these days (and have as long as I have known, which is from November 2006) they were at one time the best way to get around as instantaneous point-to-point teleportation as we have now simply did not exist. At first the world was small enough to walk or fly around. Then, as it grew, teleportation hubs were placed at key locations and you had to pay to beam between them before continuing your journey on foot or by vehicle. It was at this time that the road network we see now was introduced and people used to cherish roadside properties as it allowed them easy access to the main transportation network they needed to get to places and see their friends.
I think there is something wonderfully romantic about having to travel somewhere rather than just beaming in (although, curiously I feel the opposite about RL – I rather dislike travelling and would much rather just teleport in 😀 ). But free P-2-P teleportation came and the roads and rail and plane and water network died overnight. And let’s be honest, travelling by car or plane in SL is not easy – sim borders, lag, ban lines all these things go towards making any travel but teleportation the preserve of the dedicated. Or insane.
**Sinatra, aside from being the creator of the spook house ride, is also a bloody good Frank Sinatra tribute act in both RL and SL and I’m hoping to see his next in-world concert in a few weeks – I’ll let you know when it is and we can all turn up if you like?