In looking through my Exploring Second Life archives, I was surprised to note that it’s getting on for two years since my last visit to Sharon Hinterland’s Otter Lake, a place which has relocated since my last visit in February 2020, so I took a quick TP to renew my acquaintance.
The last time I dropped in, the region offered a rural location, rich in a layer of realism (as with the first time I visited in 2019) which made it instantly attractive and memorable. The rural element has been retained with this iteration, but mixed with certain waterfront small town feel. For those already finding locations in SL a little cold from the northern winter setting many are already hosting, Otter Lake retains (for now at least!) a feeling of summer and warmer days.
A tranquil place to hang out with friends, listen to ambient music, or to walk about and explore. If you’re a photographer come by and take some amassing photos. This is not a rental sim, so come explore the , town, take a walk or ride around the sim.
– Otter Lake About Land
The “real” sensibilities folded in the region commence at the landing point. Located on the north side of the region, it takes the form of vehicular ferry drawn up to a wharf, giving the sense that visitors have just cross the waters separating the region from the surrounding hills. The ferry perhaps came via the river winding into the waters from the north and a ferry terminus that might lie somewhere along its length.
Those arriving are offered a note card to introduce the setting, noting that it is not residential, and entirely open to exploration and photography.
This card also points out the setting has, as far as possible, been built along a natural scale, meaning that avatars with an average height in excess of 2 metres might suffer from headaches when trying to pass through doorways, and camera positions (especially those offered as a default on the official viewer and those TPVs using the official viewer’s defaults) may require adjustment to avoid being stuck behind intervening walls and ceilings. To help with this, those using the official camera defaults might want to read the following: Tutorial: Viewer Camera Presets in this blog.
A paved road runs south from the ferry wharf. Follow it, and it will lead you all the way to the southern coast of the region before turning east and then back north to reach the the waterfront town. Here the road passes between the water’s edge and squat apartment blocks with shops and places of business on their street-level floors. A second road runs behind these buildings, separating them from the woodland at the heart of the region and the places they in turn hide from view.
Two routes branch from the main road as it runs south from the the ferry wharf. The first offers a shorter route to the town, looping past the local garage along the way. The second is where a junction in the paved road gives way to the rutted track running to the west through the woods and forking to offer access to the west side of the setting, and a very rural mix the is rich in its composition.
Here can be found wooden buildings both set back from the water and braced against it. From the fishing lodge through the stores and bait shop, one half of these waterfront areas seems to be from a bygone era, with vehicles dating from the 1930s through 1950s. Touring it, I gained a slight Bayou vibe to the place, added to by the the more tumbledown waterfront huts to the north.
However, given the surrounding mountains, the stone-built houses and the modern floatplane moored at the fishing lodge, this vibe quickly faded to give way to one more fitting: that of a remote place deep in the wilderness somewhere in the America or Canada, accessible as something of a place far removed from the rest of civilisation, surviving by its own merits as both a place to visit and a remote spot open to fishing vacations, with patrons flying in via the floatplane, if they so wish.
All of the cabins, houses, ground-level stores, the places of business, the shops and garages are furnished and open to visitors to explore and / or use for photography. Rezzing of props is open to Otter Lake group members (with the group free to join) – but as always, please make sure you pick things up when done!
As always, an engaging, worthwhile visit – and keep an eye out for some “hidden” sitting spots within the woodlands.
- Otter Lake (Labor of Love, rated Moderate)