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Good Cheer and Googie

Ho ho ho. The Christmas season has well and truly arrived in New Zealand if the heat and humidity are anything to go by. A white Christmas? Nah, we'll go to the beach and eat pavlovas, thanks. Yes, it's summertime Down Under, so while you guys up in the Northern Hemisphere are stoking the fire and shovelling snow, we're enjoying and/or cursing the hot, dry weather.

Curiously, Christmas is not exclusively a summer or winter occurrence in Vodeo - it's both. Since Vodeo straddles the equator (the actual line passes through southern Cambria near Gladstone Pass and Poddany), the good folks in the north get their winter Christmas while those in the south have theirs in summer. Not that it makes much difference, since it's equatorial Tarephia and so it's always hot and humid. Don't expect any snow in Holme on Christmas Day (or ever).

Today we look at Avington, or more accurately what lies to the west of it. Avington is a city famous for its golden beaches, but while all the tourists crowd the beaches and bake to a lovely red, Avingtonians all pack up their cars and head for the hills - literally. The Googie Mountains hem Avington in close to the coast, and separate the city from the inland centres as well as its own suburbs around Macquarie. For years they were an impenetrable barrier to westward expansion, and so the only way to reach the inland was to head south to the Pralack River or north to follow the Streigh. Eventually a pass was found by following the Sanbahdoo River and quite literally slashing their way through the jungle once the river ran out. Given it was easier and faster to follow the Pralack, nobody really gave it any thought, at least until gold was discovered in 1865.

In the 1950s, the Googie Mountains lent their name to an iconic architectural style popular at the time, inspired by the sweeping shape of the range.

The news didn't take long to grip Vodeans. Suddenly every man Jack of them was heading up into the mountains to strike it rich, and along the way some new names appeared on the map, like Crestline, Kohoso, and Trago. These were big boom towns while the gold lasted, but by 1870 the gold was gone and it was up to the logging industry to keep the mountain towns going. The terrain of the Googies is too rugged to put a railway line through (or at least was until the 1930s), and not many people were willing to brave the hard journey up, and so the towns struggled for years.

Once the motorcar came along, however, it was all on. People could now go up and stay a relaxing weekend by one of the lakes, where the climate is cooler and less humid. By the 1950s the motorway had arrived and the Googies were on the map. These days the towns of Crestline, Kohoso, and Arrow Lake are big drawcards for the tourist industry, while Trago is a main stop on the motorway west (and is probably best-known for its pie factory). The locals grumble about the city folk clogging up their town, but the Avingtonians have them by the short and curlies, and everyone knows it. Ah, Avalon.

The Googie Mountains are based predominantly on the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California and the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Crestline, Kohoso, and Arrow Lake are based on the area around the real-life Crestline, and the area around Trago, Otlandbourne, and Minnerichell is based on the stretch of the Great Western Highway between western Sydney and Lithgow. The area is something of a nod to a friend of mine who hails from the San Bernardino Mountains, and a few names from the area have found their way onto the map in various fashions. There are still some empty areas around Lake Kohoso that need to be filled, and Arrow Lake is still as yet without any buildings, but all in good time. I'm very pleased with how Trago has turned out - it's my version of Katoomba, but with a few parts of surrounding areas stitched on. I'm not liking how I've done the boundary of the Googie Mountains National Park around Trago, though, so that's another thing to correct in due course.

Eventually the Googies will be mapped to their full size - a chain of mountains and hills stretching roughly from Avondale in the north to Crafers in the south. I'm designing the rivers to match this - the Pralack will in time form a large drainage basin to the west of the Avalon Googies, while the Avalon River itself, formerly a short river running from the city centre to the hills north of Fandtolba, now drains the mountains in the east. This got me thinking about drainage areas, and so I'm considering the Avalon and Pralack to be a practice run before I take on the big one - the Rabe-Tarrack drainage area in the middle of the country.

The Googies also helped sketch out the western part of Avington, which had previously been nondescript and boring. Belvedere and the motorways were added to join the mountains to the city, and soon, all the hillsides will be covered in little boxes made of ticky-tacky, and they'll all look just the same. Progress!

And as a final remark, today marks one year since I joined OpenGeofiction. Doesn't time go fast these days?

By order of the Lands Survey Department,
ParAvion (talk) 23:08, 11 December 2017 (CET)

Comments go down here

Please affix your signature and timestamp. Do not deface the sugar cane with tinsel.

Who doesn't love a good meringue though? Your mapping is great, but your bliki posts are even better and very entertaining to read. Oh boy, have I learned phrases and idioms from you! Also speaking of little boxes, I hope there's a pink one, and a green one; and a blue one and a yellow one - and thaz they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same. --Eklas (talk) 00:09, 12 December 2017 (CET)

Why, thank you for your kind words, I'm always glad to know they're enjoyed. I like to keep my bliki entries both entertaining and edifying. You'll pick up a lot of weird sayings from me that I in turn have picked up all over the place. I even get strange looks here in New Zealand because of some of the choice phrases I use. Oh well, someone has to keep them alive. ParAvion (talk) 04:44, 12 December 2017 (CET)

My goodness, you really are obsessed with the 1950's, aren't you? :O In any case, this looks really good, and does remind me a lot of the Blue Mountains (as you mentioned). FictiveJ (talk) 01:38, 12 December 2017 (CET)

That is putting it very mildly. I'm influenced quite heavily by the '50s, and that's reflected in Vodeo to a certain extent. There's a reason that historians consider the mid-20th century to be Vodeo's golden age, and Vodeans are generally quite proud of their country at that time. Big cars and big rock and roll, what's not to love? ParAvion (talk) 04:44, 12 December 2017 (CET)
Xenica became independent in 1953, so the 1950's were a golden age for Xenica too, if for entirely different reasons (particularly for the indigenous people: it's their land too). FictiveJ (talk) 05:23, 12 December 2017 (CET)
Ahhh, I love RW googie architecture! LA is lousy with it, but you're pretty much guaranteed to find a few solid examples in any large American city's inner ring suburbs. Very clever retconning of of an Earthly term for use in OGF. ;) -- LW (talk) 12:34, 20 December 2017 (CST)
2017 February 26: An Introduction by the Lands Survey Department March 5: Noticing North Harbour March 23: Coffee and Relations April 18: Of Late I Think of Crafers April 30: Why is Roger So Jolly Today? May 4: Listen While I Play My Green Tahorine May 11: Of Motorways and Men June 21: Oh Helensvale! July 3: Parliamentary Conduct July 9: Diplomatic Insanity July 16: A Better Saviso Bradford July 21: Go Where the Rhodes Take You August 8: Get to the Point September 11: When Real Life Writes the Script September 24: Mapping Politics October 15: Breaking the Gridlock October 26: 390 Not Out December 12: Good Cheer and Googie December 31: That Was the Year That Was
2018 January 26: Do These Suburbs Make My City Look Big? February 7: Carry On Doctor March 15: Bordering on Madness May 1: Putting On the Pounds June 1: Further Adventures in Finance June 30: We'll Have a Gay Old Time July 20: Aving Fun in Avington August 15: The Country Members September 26: RADern October 3: Living History October 10: The Hauntings of Holme October 17: Is There Anybody Out There? October 24: If You Go Down to the Woods Today... October 31: The Evil That Men Do November 16: Crawl Out Through the Fallout December 22: There's No Place Like Holme for the Holidays December 31: Looking Backward, Moving Forward
2019 January 30: The South Tonight February 20: Jeez Gerrise March 31: The Angles of Aslington April 30: All the Rivers Run June 23: Consolidation and Crafers July 22: The Pirate Kingdom September 9: Every Which Way but Loose October 3: Tender Loving Care October 10: Mystery in the Mountains October 17: Blood, Sweat, and Tears October 24: Highway to Hell October 31: Supernatural Saviso December 31: 2020 Vision
2020 February 3: This Old Holme