Cold Ash – click any image for full size
Leaf (Peyton Darmoset) and Julz (Juliette Rainfall) are among my favourite region designers. Their region designs of Erebos Harbor (read more here), Cloudbreak (read more here) and Ash Falls (read more here) is among the best natural settings to be found in Second Life. So when I received an invitation to pay a visit to their latest creation, I made sure I had the opportunity to spend a fair about of time visiting, and hopped over to take a look.
Cold Ash is the in-world home for the Cold Ash brand of menswear, and the latest iteration of the region has been fabulously designed by Leaf and Julz as both the home of the store and a photogenic place to visit and appreciate.
Visitors arrive, appropriately, at the store itself, located towards the north-east corner of the region. This sits on a large plateau that is typical of the rugged nature of the island and resembles a large, converted warehouse. A railway track runs past the front of the store, separated from it can a broad gravel road that narrows into a winding footpath. Both the path and the railway track form an integral part of the region’s design.
Running from a tunnel on the northern extreme of the island, the tracks to where a metal framed truss bridge spans a watery gulf to reach a southern island. The gravel path gently curves its way down the slope alongside the bridge to also span the water, this time via a low-sided cement bridge, before curling up the slope of the second island, passing under the railway bridge as it does so.
Both track and path lead the way to a lumber yard that takes up the larger part of the second island, the land falling gently on the north side, where the trunks of felled trees lie, already stripped of their branches. Wooden steps run down the slope as well, offering a way down to the single beach running along the coast. This arcs back to another set of steps leading back up to the gravel footpath, offering a small loop around this part of the island.
Which is not to say this is all there is to see on the island. The lumber yard includes a workshop where the logs from cut trees can be cut and worked, prior to being loaded onto rail cars outside. A car workshop sits alongside the lumber shed, looking perhaps a little incongruous given there are no open roads here, but it does actually work within the setting, lending further character to the region.
The main island also offers routes down to the coast. The first is another winding path reached via a crossing over the railway tracks close to the store.
Two more are to be found to the water’s edge, both wooden walkways. The first commences close to the rail bridge and passes under it to reach the eastern coast. The second is hidden from view up-slope from the tracks. However, while it offers a way down to the western waters and provides a view back along the channel between the two island, it also leads to a private residence. Be aware the security orb guarding the house is on a short fuse, so keeping a distance is recommended.
Walk along the eastern coast of the main island, and you’ll find a little hideaway made from a converted railcar doubling as a little warehouse, a wooden porch offering a place to sit.
Carefully married with its sim surround, with a balanced soundscape and a subtle use of wildlife – such as the gulls flying between the two islands – this is another marvellous setting, richly photogenic. With the look of a coastal headland thanks to the way it joins with the surround peaks, Cold Ash is another truly eye-catching design by Leaf and Julz, one that should be visited and appreciated, whether or not you’re looking for apparel; and for the men, it offers the perfect excuse to try out new clothes while enjoying a walk around the islands.
- Cold Ash (Cold Ash, rated, Moderate)