At the southern border of Stillman, Frank & I crossed into Natoma and to a very welcome sight indeed, another of Sinatra Cartier’s wonderful Spook House rides. For a moment I was whisked away across half-a-dozen sims and nine moths to the start of my road trip back in Noyo.
Behind the spook house and away to the south, Natoma opened out into a patchwork of sandboxes, private houses, strange builds and the odd historical monument.
The historical monument in question is The Man, a remnant of the earliest days of The Grid. Before Linden Lab opened up the grid to public beta, the sim now know as Natoma hosted a city used by the LL bods to see if what they wanted to do (i.e. Second Life) was possible. The man was a piece of civic art in the city but once they deleted the city to make way for what was to become Natoma, it turned out that The Man survived. Once the public entered (or re-entered) he/it soon became a favourite feature for people to visit and even leave offerings with. Leaving Frank down below I climbed to the top with my old friend TR only to find a strangely lonely looking figure.
He seems a largely forgotten relic of a vanishing world and no one seems to visit him anymore, let alone leave offerings. More than anything else I’ve seen on my road trip, The Man seems to sum up how the world that was created has all but gone, buried beneath flood after flood of new residents and new land – an explosion from this centre leaving behind echoes and memories.
Moving off with a heavy heart, Natoma did nothing to improve my mood. A wonderful robot build was blocked from exploration by ban lines…
…the last remaining private houses seemed stranded and cut off by the endless, untidy sandbox regions that surrounded them, such as Tcoz Bach’s place on Mount Natoma…
…or Luke Lorentz’s place…
…or Delerium Digeridoo’s empty Delirium Castle.
In fact, by the time Frank and I had trotted through the bleak, flat sandboxes to the real reason people come to Natoma these day, the Ivory Tower of Primitives, I was actually contemplating stopping my road trip althogether.
But then I got to the tower and all (well, almost) was forgiven. Built by Lumiere Noir it is a shining example of what residents can achieve in this world, not just for themselves but for the good of all people. There it stands (actually the second tower – the first one originally stood in Noyo) open to all so anyone – ANYONE – can freely learn how to build. This is a skill I do not have and am in awe of in others so to find a place dedicated to providing this knowledge did my travel weary soul good. Natoma is a place of many contradicting styles and builds, but it has a good heart and that makes it, in my mind at least, just what Second Life is all about. I can’t recommend it as a place to visit, but I can urge you to go and learn how to make this world a more beautiful place.
Yours in Travel,
To be continued…