I have finished the road north to the mansion at last. I have been working on that since November in bursts, but now it is done. I have linked the mansion up with the rail loop via a road that covers 20km as the crow flies and probably closer to 25km in actual travel due to zig-zagging around terrain obstacles.
If you compare that to some of the earlier maps in this series, you will see that the route I took up was a very narrow path, but when building the road back I had to do quite a bit of exploring in order to find a path south that would not require too much effort to pave through.
The road itself is, much of the way, just a single thread of cobblestone, widening out when needed. That was my goal, to have a one-block wide band of cobblestone that went unbroken all the was from the front of the mansion all the way to the great rail loop I built last year.
In crossing that last couple of kilometers I faced a fairly wide gap of water. Rather than trying to find a way around, and creating yet another zig or zag to lengthen the road, I opted to just bridge the gap, using a couple of islands as anchors.
While building that long bridge meant mining a lot of cobblestone and building a base nearby (mine and base are on the northern island) the actual work wasn’t a bother. There is something relaxing about just doing essentially repetitive block placement at times. I just turn on a podcast or an audio book to keep part of my brain occupied and start placing blocks.
This has led to some odd associations, where I will ride back up the road to get something or get to a portal and will recall what I was listening to as I pass certain landmarks.
The bridge itself is pretty plain, with the road bed three blocks wide and a cobblestone lip to either side, making the whole thing five blocks across most of the way. However, it does have a couple of features.
Half way across the southern span there is an ocean monument. It is nice and close to shore, so I may go back and clean it out. There is plenty of sand close to hand to drop on it. The bridge is tall enough that if you ride a horse across it, you won’t notice the monument, but if you are walking you will get a 5 minute mining debuff that will make breaking stone very annoying while it is on you.
I also lost two horses while working on the bridge, but not in the usual way.
One nice thing about working on a bridge is that it is pretty safe to work at night, so long as you light it up as you go. So I let my horse wander, and it promptly fell off the bridge. This was a new horse, one I had tamed and road up from the south, not the obstinate old horse I have been using most of the way. (I still have that horse.)
The a thunderstorm came up and, as far as I can tell, the horse got struck by lightening and spawned a skeleton trap, a troop of mounted skeletons. This happened in the water down below where I was working, so I never saw the skeletons. But later, when passing over in daylight, I saw the remains. The skeletons fell by the wayside in daylight eventually, but their mounts are not harmed by the sun, and were bobbing in the water below the bridge.
While I didn’t see any of this happen, I remember the thunderstorms while working on the bridge, I am missing two horses, and there are two groups of skeleton horses bobbing in the water under the bridge, so logic dictates what must have happened.
Now I just have to figure out how to tame them. I read something about needing to hold a golden carrot while taming them, but it hasn’t worked yet. I can’t tell if I am doing it wrong, being in the water is a complication, or if they are just stubborn and take a long time to tame.
So that is on my list of tasks.
Also on my list is to actually ride the road from end to end, mark down the actual distance, note how many bases I have made along the way, and ensure that I did not leave any gaps in the cobblestone along the way. So I still have some tasks, but the main building aspect of the project is set for now… unless I decide I really need to run a rail line all the way north as well.
Meanwhile, the server itself has seen a bit more life of late. The original crew has worn themselves out for the time being. That happens. But a couple of members of my corp in EVE Online have been building away and my daughter suddenly had the urge to get on and play a bit over the weekend, so things are still happening.