Friday, October 29, 2010

Raisin Ranch

A few weeks ago I discovered the world of Ameretto horses. I don’t want to buy one of them (at least not yet), but it did get me interested in riding horses again. I wondered if there were any places in SL where residents could ride without investing their Lindens in livestock. Luckily I have found a few, and Raisin Ranch, owned by residents Denis Lagan and Equinox Pinion, is one of the most beautiful.

If you want a great trail ride or simply a beautiful spot to explore on foot, start at Raisin Ranch at Fruit Islands, Raisin (113, 48, 25). There’s a kiosk where you can pick up a free horse if you don’t have one of your own. The land is surrounded by tall waterfalls on one side and a sandy beach on the other. Palm trees provide shade, and there are lots of places on the beach where you can have a quiet talk or a picnic. Lush vegetation complements the area, and you can enjoy the sound of ocean waves or country music, whichever you prefer.

A series of wooden bridges connect the islands and make for an interesting ride or stroll. Pelicans, sea turtles, toucans and other wildlife can be found here. Continue up a steep mountain trail that is next to the ocean. What a view! Look around and you might find an eagle nest, too. But watch out for the cougars!

If you survive, continue on up the mountain. You’ll soon cross a stone bridge that leads around a volcanic lava flow. Beyond the volcano you’ll find ancient ruins and a beautiful waterfall hidden in a lovely tropical forest. If you’re with your special someone, you might want to tie up your horses and climb the steps on foot. You’ll be rewarded with a special treat at the top of the ruin.

The colors and sounds are amazing at this part of the sim, and the trail ride was fun. But if you want more excitement, you can find that here, too. Ranch residents, Valky Bigbear and Harald Zimer, have organized Italian Country Ranch, which features barrel racing and more. It is located at Fruit Islands, Raisin (202, 164, 451). Here, too, you can get a free horse and try your skill at racing around the barrels. Competitions are held regularly, and the rules are posted. If you’re fast enough, you might even win a cash prize.

If all that racing makes you thirsty, walk next door to the saloon for a free cold one. Or avoid getting dusty and sweaty in the first place and come here to watch the others race. You can pick up a schedule of events, then sit and relax in front of a roaring fire. You can even do a little line dancing, too.

Grey Lupindo

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