Shawn Shakespeare suggested I might like to drop into Les Salines, the latest region design from the pairing of Tolia Crisp and Dandy Warhlol (Terry Fotherington), offered under Tolia’s Frogmore brand. And for those who like westerns, it might well hit the spot.
Apparently located on the edge of the “Mojave Desert Refuge, Arizona”, Les Salines offers an interesting and curious mix. On the one hand, it has all the look and feel of the Old West: a town sitting on a desert plain, its wooden buildings lining a couple of rutted tracks, the earth packed and hardened by the passage of uncounted hooves and wagon wheels. Sidewalks are little more than boards fronting the various businesses and laid out over the bare earth between them – doubtless offering little in the way of dry footfalls when the rains decide to pay a visit.
Frogmore presents Les Salines: A full region, wild west adventure from Tolla Crisp and Terry Fotherington. Everyone is welcome at Les Salines and Frogmore group members have rezz rights. The town is jam packed with details with visits to the saloon, bank, blacksmith, photo studio, general store, hotel, and much much more! Be sure to check in with the sheriff as well! Everyone is also welcome to join their photo contest and a notecard is available at the landing.
Les Salines Destination Guide entry
A sign indicates the town was founded in the 1860s; but precisely what caused settlers to establish it is unclear, but a mine (or quarry) might be responsible, perhaps being the site of a gold mine; or perhaps, given the local waters, it became a natural place for stagecoaches heading west to pause in their journeys; or perhaps that same water made it a suitable point where the locomotives could quench their huffing thirst.
Dominated by a large hacienda overlooking the town (and another a short distance away, apparently long deserted, Les Salines may equally have grown up as a result of a railhead being established here in order to ship cattle eastwards for and the hungry bellies of America’s growing cities.
Whatever the reason, the town, with its fancy signage façades over its various businesses, has clearly seen better days. Their walled flanks and flat roofs all look tired under the heat of the Sun, and stage and brush is starting to intrude into the heart of the town, suggesting its population might be in decline.
The founding of this town is just one of its mysteries; another is the period it represents. On the one hand, the buildings, the stage and reliance on horses and wagon points to a time perhaps in the latter part of the 19th century – say the 1880s or 1890s. This is perhaps supported by the photographer’s studio (photography having moved west in the decades following the US Civil War) and the presence of the rail lines.
However, the train sitting on them appears to be hauling fright cars from a more recent era, whilst the overhead cables which switchback their way down the main street look more akin to carrying electrical power than in echoing the taps of a telegrapher’s touch on his key. Not that any are actually hooked-up to any of the buildings their poles stand alongside as they zigzag over the street.
Further mystery is added by the fact that while the Mojave sits mainly within California, it does extend out and east into both Arizona and Nevada – although the Desert Refuge (aka the Desert Wildlife Refuge / Reserve, founding in 1936) sits within the Arizonan corner of the Mojave (a place also, and coincidentally, home to the infamous Groom Lake and also Nellis Air Force base.
Of course, Les Salines doesn’t have to reside anywhere in the US west (hence the sign noting in sits on the edge of Nowhere!), but these little suggestions give the setting a sense of mystery and mixed age when allow the imagination to run free when visiting. They also offer lots of opportunities for informal RP for those so minded – although the primary aim is to present a photogenic location; and as the Destination Guide notes, there is a lot to see, indoors and out.
I will note that with shadows enabled I did find my viewer struggled a couple of times when flycamming and / or loading textures, but on the whole, Les Salines makes for an interesting and engaging visit.
- Les Salines (rated: General)