Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grand Canyon National Park

             If you’re looking for a great summer get-away, check out the Second Life Grand Canyon National Park at Grand Canyon (98, 187, 110).  This site has all the fun of the real-life canyon without the heat and crowds.   

               Like its real-life counterpart, SL Grand Canyon National Park is huge.  The best way to see it all is to take advantage of the free hot air balloon tours.  The hot air balloon is great fun as it rises up and down to give you a better view of the activities.  The balloons come in a variety of styles and colors for couples, groups, or solos.  The tour is a great way to get an overview of the area and all of the activities that are available.  You can hop off at any time, of course, or take the entire tour.      

I met Kystalrose, a SL resident who visits the Grand Canyon often.  Since she told me this was her fifth or sixth visit, I consider her an expert on the site.  She also recommends the balloon ride for new visitors.  Another of her favorite activities are the jeeps.  When I asked if she had any tips for residents, she laughed and said “Stay out of the water!” Apparently the jeeps have a mind of their own at times. 

In addition to the rapids, there are other dangers at SL Grand Canyon.  While Kystalrose and I were talking, a huge boulder rolled down the mountain very close to where we were standing.   Warning signs tell residents to not climb on the rocks to yodel, but apparently some tourists don’t heed the sign.  Fortunately Kystalrose and I were unharmed. 

In addition to the balloons and jeeps, there are helicopters to fly and rafts to float on the Colorado River.  You can try out a hovercraft, too, at Grand Canyon (24, 247, 21).  Be sure to check out the menu options.  Hovercrafts are available in a variety of colors and come with other options, too.    

Some of the activities, like the hiking and rafting, are found at the real-life Canyon.   Others are pure SL fantasy.  The Enchanted Forest, monkeys, and tropical beach are definitely not part of the real-life canyon experience.  But they are not to be missed.  You may even find an underwater surprise.      

The skywalk is one of the features that may seem like Second Life fantasy, but it’s a replica of the real skywalk located at the real-life Grand Canyon.  Find it in SL at Grand Canyon (195, 211, 110).  Voice information is available at this location that tells about the geology and early inhabitants of the Canyon.

Hiking and horse trails are also available in some areas.  I hiked up one trail and found a mountain sheep.  There’s also a stable where you can rez a free horse, or you can bring your own to ride.    

There are a few zip lines you can use to go quickly from one area to another.    The one near the gift shop, located at Grand Canyon (128, 123, 22), goes to Crater Lake.    Or you can teleport to Crater Lake at Grand Canyon North (119, 59, 22). 

If you join the group (no cost), you’ll become a Grand Canyon Scout.  You’ll get a free t-shirt and cap, a map, and a snake bite kit.    I spotted one rattler in time to avoid needing to use the kit, so watch out.  Additional canyon clothes are available for very reasonable prices.  I bought new pair of jeans for only $70L.  There’s also an explorer belt for $70L that holds survival tools.  This item just might save your  life.  Not only will you support the Canyon, you’ll have some great souvenirs to take back home.    

Grey Lupindo

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