Mother Road – click any image for full size
“Mother Road is a lovingly crafted Nevada-esque back country, inspired by the original Mother Road sim,” Paul Cutter (Xtreme Paule) says when introducing Mother Road – Mirage Motel 66. “Mine is 1/2 sim size but the work is an experimental showcase which could lead to being full sim size in the future. So far feedback has been positive.”
A half region in size it may be but this build, sitting 450 metres above sea level, offers a genuine feeling of being on a desert road – Route 66 or otherwise – and plenty of opportunities for photography. Visitors initially arrive at the west end of the parcel, the road stretching away to the eastern horizon. An advantage in building in the sky means there is no water on that horizon to break the illusion of a road stretching into the distance, nor does the use of a mountainous or hilly region surround to disrupt the feeling of being on a broad flat desert plain.
The titular motel sits half-way along the road on the left relative to the landing point. It offers air-conditioned rooms, free wi-fi and cable TV. It faces a gas station and garage on the far side of the road, with an iconic Harvey Davidson-type motorbike parked at the pumps. The keen-eyed visitors might notice there are bike rezzers at either end of the parcel, allowing them to experience a trip along Route 66 – but those taking a ride should keep in mind the signs also mark the region edges, even though the road appears to continue eastwards and westwards beyond them
Beyond the motel and garage, on either side of the road are cabins and smallholdings, some of which are available for rent, while rugged, sandy hills rise to the north and south. As is often the case, a railroad line runs parallel to the road, but some distance from it, telegraph poles marching alongside it from east to west.
It’s a simple, yet elegant setting, with nuanced detailing and little scenes awaiting discovery. The sun-dried wood of a billboard stands alongside the motel, throwing a shadow for part of the day over an outdoor fire pit, surrounded by makeshift seating of old sofas, a mattress on top of creates, a beanbag and two car seats. A TV and VCR sit on a little bench, the former offering an old little taste of Britain as it displays the old BBC test card. More signs of Anglophilia can be found in the garage across the highway, where the Union Flag faces the Stars and Stripes and Ziggy Stardust floats on the side of a space invaders arcade game.
The garage sits on land which may be part of a farm or ranch, a 4×4 parked alongside an aluminium sided trailer close by, while over the fence someone has chosen to camp out near to some of the rental cabins. One of these is being careful investigated by a small group of young children – or is perhaps being used as their play camp in lieu of adult occupation. They, in turn, are being observed by a scrap metal robot, perhaps built to entertain them among the roadside rocks.
This is perhaps not the most affluent of locations; rusting hulks of cars are scattered around, together with the detritus of civilisation. It does, however offer an ideal setting for photographers, and rezzing rights for props can be obtained by paying L$100 to join the parcel’s group.
Whether or not this current iteration of Mother Road leads to Paul realising a new full region version remains to be seen. In the meantime, this build stands an easy-to-explore design, and going on the numbers present during my visit, a popular hang-out.
With thanks to Shakespeare and Max (once again!) for pointing me to this parcel.
- Mother Road – Mirage Motel 66 (Ludington, rated: Moderate)