Friday, November 15, 2013

New Coin might be Added to New Island Currency

        There is talk on Government Hill that a new ten-roger coin will be minted soon to supplement the one-roger. This new issue, possibly in silver, will be about the size of an American silver dollar, and will be the highest denomination issued. The design will honor nature's beauty, nature's energy from the ocean, and the joy of being in nature, as in surfing. The reverse will feature New Island's coat of arms. Again this is only a rumor and no plans have yet been announced by the New Island mint.
        Currency traders have set the value of one roger at about  $22.50 in US dollars. IF this coin becomes fact, the ten-roger will likely be set at $225.         
       The one-roger, below, has been in circulation since 2003, and is New Island's first coin.
The indigenous blue pelican is New Island's national bird.

"Joy" and "We are One" are the national mottos.
One-rogers can be purchased for $22.50 each. Contact Lee Mothes at if you are interested in owning a 2003 brass one-roger.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Winter Surf Arrives near Putney

While Trish and Emil were enjoying their new place on East Sumbitch Island, up north, a series of winter storms began generating rough surf off New Island's Putney suburbs. Everyone in the neighborhood turned out to watch huge swells roar past Putney Head, as the weather offshore began to change. The Maidstone CafĂ©, Putney's oldest coffee house, is usually busy this time of day, but is nearly cleared out. A local art collector, Oscar Rivvitz, seems unaware of the action.

During New Island's winter months, which are June, July, August (we're in the southern hemisphere, remember...) severe gales lash the South Indian Ocean at the higher latitudes known as the "Roaring 40s" and the "Screaming 50s". Most of this weather-energy reaches New Island in the form of impressive surf, especially along the Southwest Coast. When it's this big at Putney Head, it's really crazy at Brandonhead or Roaring Cape.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trish de Beaupre Gets her Deed and House!


Once on her land, Trish decided she wanted a spacious house with a big kitchen and a large studio. With Alan's help, she found that the clay on East Sumbitch was suitable for adobe-making, and plenty of pencil-pine and oak trees grew nearby for roof beams and patio framework. The doors and windows came from the Sapphire Tribe, the best window-makers on New Island.

With the help of a carpenter and an adobeman, Trish and Emil built their house and repaired the old boathouse, a relic from the days of the Russians.

Alan and Trish worked out the house design and floor plan, then Lee did the painting of her house, its floor plan, the boathouse. That's Emil having fun in his vintage mahogany Chris-Craft. Below is Trish's Grant Deed, issued by the Land Office.


Trish and Emil moved in just this June!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Meanwhile, Back at the Land Office

Alan was now busy drawing the plat map for New Island's most recent landowner, Trish de Beaupre. Here is the story:

Trish and Emil were looking for land and Trish spotted the Sumbitch Islands on the New Island map, and was amused by the unusual name. To see the islands up close, they took the Mail Schooner up from Putney on its weeky run. As the schooner threaded the narrow Fool's Passage, Trish spotted an old stone boathouse and pier, and she quickly asked if they could be put ashore for one hour. For a "docking fee" the skipper agreed.  While Emil poked around the crumbling boathouse, Trish hiked up the hill and found an ideal site for their new house!

East Sumbitch Island viewed from the mail schooner, which passes through the area once a week.

Trish then went to the Land Office back on the Main Island and met Alan, the clerk, mapper and sometime architect, who works there. Trish told him about her desire to claim land up on the Sumbitch Islands.
"Ah, that's an interesting place up there", Alan told her as he reached for the New Island Survey Book.  Alan then looked at the 34-Section Map, and found the Sumbitch Islands, up at the top, in Section 1:

He then went to Plat 2, up near the top of Section 1, which includes the Sumbitch Islands and North Cape:
Like all the 34 Sections, Section 1 is divided up into Plats which are about two miles by two miles wide. Each plat is drawn up whenever someone claims property on that plat. Since Trish is the first to claim land on Plat 2, Alan had to draw up the 2-mile-wide plat, in detail, below. Alan then marked the map to show the exact size and location (within a few feet) of Trish's land on East Sumbitch Island. Click on the map to see Alan's work in detail!

By the way, anyone who claims land on New island gets this same personal treatment!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bert meets Stinky

Bert was not alone at Alan's house...
While Alan was at the land office, Bert the Parrot took the day to explore his new household. In each room he found at least one nice perch with a full view of his surroundings. He also found signs of a predator - and knew that somewhere a cat was lurking. Bert has a keen sense of smell, and there was the obvious evidence - a bowl of cat food in the kitchen, near a little flip door to the outside. Bert had been around cats before, so he knew.
After eyeing the kitchen for a while from atop the cupboard, Bert flew down to sample some of the cat food, since Alan hadn't got around to buying proper Parrot food. After a few morsels, Bert became disgusted and then smelled strawberries hidden in a bowl, under a plate, on the counter. Bert knocked off the plate with his bill, which crashed on the floor, making quite a racket. This awakened Stinky, Alan's cat, who was sleeping on the back porch...

While Bert happily chewed on strawberries, Stinky popped in through the cat door, saw Bert, and immediately jumped onto the counter at him. Bert shrieked, and, as birds often do when they take off in a hurry, pooped! On Stinky's head! Stinky was horrified at this insult, and jumped down to clean himself off. To a cat, being pooped on by a bird is probably the worst humiliation. Bert was back on top of the cupboard, giving Stinky the Eye...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Alan's Job

 Around 9 am at the gallery and Land Office.
Lee's is driving his 1959 VW van to the gallery, Alan's bicycle is in front.
The scooter must belong to someone hiking the path to the nearby ruins...
Just down the road, in Hazel, Alan works at the New Island Land Office, which he rents from the Commonwealth. Alan has a license to sell New Island land directly from the Commonwealth.

"I'm a one-stop shop," says Alan. "I help people buy land and then I'll help them design their dream house if they'd like - that's the fun part. I also sketch events, phenomena, and quick renderings like the one above of my office and Lee's Gallery..."

Alan Faramond has actually had some training in architecture, and vigorously supports sustainable building practices, both of which helped him get hired by the Commonwealth.

Next door is Lee's art gallery. Lee has been here for some time. He's usually off wandering the beaches and back country to make sketches for new paintings. He then does most of his paintings here, and shows them off  in his gallery. Lee and Alan trade time at each others shop when one of them is on the road. Lee creates the paintings of everyone's land and whatever they build on it.

Alan and Lee get along pretty well. When business is slow they hang out and talk about art, architecture, philosophy and the meaning of friendships. Lee lives upstairs over the gallery. Alan commutes on his Malvern Star bicycle from his house near Hazelhurst.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alan Gets Off the Train

Alan stepped off the train at a flag stop near Hazel, on the south end of Putney Bay, and walked up the hill to his house. His new-found friend, Bert, who was perched on his shoulder part of the way, flew off to a nearby tree, then to the house, as Alan approached it. Bert is smart, and is taking inventory of this place for any kind of predators, particularly house cats.  
Though he is an architect, Alan bought this rather humble place (instead of designing it himself) some years ago...
"This little house is perfect; I have enough space to work on projects, and to relax, eat, sleep, and dream. I've fixed up the yard quite a bit, adding a trellis, a brick patio, and an in-ground hot pool overlooking the bay. But soon I'm going to build another hideaway on a beach far away from any roads and railways! I rather like toot-toot of the train's horn as it departs from the flag stop, but I don't like the traffic noise. What I like to hear is the faint roar of the bayshore surf and the high-pitched cries of the shore birds."
Or so he's been saying for some time now... 

Alan's house is on the rise to the left.
It looks out on an endless expanse of ocean and sky, the sandy beach and surf, the distant dunes of  The Hook (visible at the far-left horizon), and the Hazelhurst Ruins, an Old People settlement of stone and mystery. Hazelhurst is one of several prehistoric settlements scattered over the island.
Who were the Old People, and where did they go? We don't know yet.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bert on the Table

Bert sits on the table giving Alan the eye while Alan and Samantha sit there stunned, trying not to make eye contact with Bert. Bert then flutters up to Alan's shoulder, gives Samantha the eye, and Samantha gets a little spooked. No screeching, and no one's talking. Alan sits very still while Samantha slooowly gets up from her chair, wiggles her fingers goodbye to Alan (and Bert) and retreats back to her car.

Alan sips the rest of his grenade, nibbles some sunflower seeds that Samantha must have left on his table, and then holds one up to Bert. Bert very gently takes the seed in his beak, and Alan likes the sound of Bert cracking it next to his ear.

It looks like Alan has found a friend.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bert Comes Back

Bert comes out of nowhere, bites Samantha, and brings the other Samantha out of seclusion...
"OK," said Alan, "So Bert bit you..."
"Yes, then I screamed, and Samantha came running out, who is very brown from living without clothes, I guess. She asked me if I was all right, and everyone in the class was watching, and I wasn't all right; my thigh was still hurting where that parrot bit me...and I was so rattled I just had to leave that place..."

"Samantha's Wild North..."

"Yeah, have you ever been there? It is way the heck in the boonies, up on the North Bight. A friend of mine told me I just had to experience the place. Well, it's a bit rustic, to say the least. Anyway, it took me two days to get down to Putney - I had to walk part of the way!"

"So what about Bert...?"

"Well, he flew off, and I didn't see him again until I got to the Fillmore camp on the north Bight Path. Then he flew up to me and landed on my shoulder...pretty as can be. He screeched in my ear as I tried to fight him off , but he kept landing on my shoulder and my head until I gave up. Then he said 'Bert I am' as clear as day, so I said, 'Hi Bert.' He's been pretty good since, and didn't panic once all the way through the long bus ride, and the train station in Putney. But then people tried to touch him. His screeching scared the guy who runs Hopp's Store, and then bit that creepy kid in Davoo. Then, when I bought my ticket for the train, the agent warned me about taking him on board, and Bert, bobbing his head up and down, said, 'I'm such a good bird. Good bird, Good bird...' so the guy rolled his eyes, waved us on, and here we are."
Alan sips his grenade as Samantha stares at hers...

"So," Alan finally asked, "Why are you telling me all this?"

"Well, when I walked out a while ago, Bert wouldn't stop screeching, so I tossed him out the window in the next car, and I just feel terrible!"


Just then, Bert had caught up with the train (since it had stopped in Skegness), flew into the open window by their table, landing clumsily and bumping Alan's glass, and once again gave Alan the eye.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Samantha sans Parrot

A little while later, as the train pulled into Skegness station, Samantha returned to Alan's table, without the parrot. She had a funny expression on her face as she somewhat humbly asked Alan if she could sit down again. "I'm sorry the bird was so loud. It's a noble macaw, from Brazil, you know, and they naturally screech."

Alan knew nothing about parrots, so he took her word for it..."He seems to talk just fine as well - did you teach him that?" No, not at all!" she replied, "And say, can I get some of whatever you've got there?" She was nodding to his drink. "Oh, sure, it's pineapple juice and a little vodka -  ask the barman for a 'wee grenade'..." She looked at him a second before getting up, giving Alan the impression she might have wanted him to get it for her...

After Samantha sat down again, she quickly glanced at him, then looked down at her drink smiling at something...Alan was starting to wonder what might be going on. "OK, uh, Alan, right? I feel like I need to talk to you, just because you seem like a friendly guy." Alan, who has had a rather sketchy history with women, and hasn't "been with someone" in quite a while, sipped his drink and said, "Okaaay..."


"I'm not sure how to begin this, it's kind of a long story," she began.
"Well," he said, "I'm not going anywhere for another hour or so, is that enough time?"

"Oh I suppose. Anyway, I was up at Samatha's Wild North, you know, that women's commune near Desert Point? Have you heard of it? And no, I'm not the Samatha it's named after -just a coincidence! Anyway, I was at a yoga retreat there and I was doing the downward facing dog pose. That's when Bert, the parrot, flew out of nowhere and landed on my butt. I didn't feel anything as I was deep in the way, do you do yoga?" "Uh, no..., replied Alan." "Well, anyway, that stupid bird bit the back of my thigh and then I screeched bloody murder! This brought Samantha (the famous Samantha that anyone rarely sees!) running naked from her 'seclusion' and I was never so embarrassed in my life!"

                                                                                       --see next post!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Alan's Trip Home

As Alan was staring out the train car window, his thoughts wandered to the question, Where is Home? You know, that place where you sleep, where you hang your hat every evening, where the supper dish is...  Alan dwells on this all the time, maybe because he constantly feels restless and wants to be somewhere else, even though he has already come a long long way. 

Just then a woman with a parrot on her shoulder walks into the car, orders an iced lemon-tea and then sits down across from Alan. The parrot rocks on its feet while swaying its head sideways (the way parrots do) and casts it's unblinking eye at Alan. "I'm Samantha...", the woman said, "...and your name is...?"  "Oh, it's Alan," said Alan , a bit distracted by that eye of the parrot.

"And this is Bert," Samantha added.

They talked for a while, mostly polite chitchat, and then the parrot SHRIEKED, making everyone jump. "Bad bird!" scolded Samantha, and abruptly got up as the parrot, being a parrot, repeated "Badbird badbird badbird..." as Samantha walked out of the car, waving a hand sort of dismissively at Alan.


Eventually he got over all that enough to enjoy the gorgeous sunset (below) from the train window. He thought they were passing File Heads. He'll be home in a little over an hour, and it will be almost dark...

File Heads is a bluff just south of Laverne on Putney Bay.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

After the Tsunami, Alan Goes Home

After all the excitement over the sort-of tsunami in Putney Harbor, Alan Faramond (who made the sketch of the bridges) relaxes at the Rainbow Cafe over a cup of dark sumatra and a chocolate gelato. Martha, the Wheatland girl on the bike, had come up to dry her feet and settle her nerves. Still a bit out of breath, she sat down at the counter next to Alan, and announced, "Well, I've never been so accosted by Nature in all my life..." Alan recognized her as she was ordering the minty-green tea, a house specialty. He pulled out his book and showed her the sketch he made of the wave, the bridges, the merganser, and her..."it doesn't really look like you, but it was of you." "Wow, cool...are you one of those depictors?" "Yes, fully licensed by the Commonwealth to record whatever I see around me. I also design houses for people who want something different." "Um", she said, and sipped her mug of tea. She's not that impressed, Alan thought, but he left her one of his calling cards anyway. "I need to get back home, he told her, and if you're ever down near Hazel, stop by - I work at the Land Office there."
"Where's Hazel?"
"South of Rosslea."
He then walked to the Downtown Station and took the Putney-Victoria train back home.
 Here the train passes close to the waves,
as Mt. Hayes is revealed above the clouds.
Alan always enjoys the ride. The route follows the coast through not-so scenic Portmore, but more scenic Abbotsford, Skegness and then Rosslea. Passengers can watch the rolling hills and views of lofty Mt. Hayes from one side of the train, or the surf and beaches from the other. Alan almost always sits on the seaward side so he can watch the waves.

He likes to sit in the last car, close to the coffee bar. As people come in to get a mocha, they are likely to stop and chat; Alan has met more than one house-designing client here. He always keeps a stack of his calling cards handy...
Here is the route of Alan's train:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

About the Merganser

Most Putney residents assumed the merganser ducks that hang around the bay were originally brought in from eastern Russia in the early 1900s for sport shooting. Rumor has it that these ducks were the descendants of north Asian mergansers that got away.
Not so!
After years of research on obscure islands south of New Zealand, ornithology expert Delilah Wiggins of Putney University has determined that New Island's  mergansers are a close relative of the Auckland Merganser long thought to be extinct! See the Wikipedia article below:
The Auckland Merganser or Auckland Islands Merganser (Mergus australis) was a typical merganser which is now (almost) extinct.
This duck was similar in size to the Red-breasted Merganser. The adult male had a dark reddish-brown head, crest and neck, with bluish black mantle and tail and slate grey wings. The female was slightly smaller with a shorter crest.

Illustration from 1909

Drawing of the head
This bird was first collected when a French expedition led by the explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville on the ships L'Astrolabe and La Zelee visited the Auckland Islands in 1840. Its decline was caused by a combination of hunting and predation by introduced mammals. The bird was not flightless, but rather hard to flush; it preferred to hide between rocks when pursued. The last sighting was of a pair shot on January 9, 1902. It was not found in a 1909 search, and a thorough 1972/1973 exploration of possible habitat concluded that it was long extinct (Williams & Weller, 1974).
Subsequent fossil discoveries suggest that this merganser was previously resident on the South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura in New Zealand. Fossils of a subspecies or closely related species have also been found on the Chatham Islands. There exists a short remark mentioning "a merganser" found on Campbell Island in McCormick (1842), but this may just as well refer to the semi-marine Campbell Teal which is otherwise missing in his notes: he only mentions the Pacific Black Duck ("a New Zealand species of duck").
There are unconfirmed reports of an extant Auckland merganser population on The Commonwealth of New Island, a warmer large island west of Australia.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Cecelia Ave. Bridge...

... was the pride and joy of Alexander Poloustrov's modernization efforts in the early 1900s.  As the railway bridge was nearing completion, he moved his labor force 200 yards up the bay to begin construction on a similar concrete arch span, which was completed in 1914. The elegant street lighting was special-ordered from St. Petersburg and shipped around South Africa.  
It's wide sidewalks and little traffic make it a favorite walking route back and forth from downtown Putney to the west/northwest neighborhoods. Jumping off or diving from the bridge is not allowed, though young daredevils try it quite often. Some have met a grisly end by hitting a stone abutment (such as where the Chinese merganser is standing) instead of the water. There have been eighteen known suicide attempts from the bridge, but probably more since records have been spotty. Only two of these were known to be successful, since it's not that high off the water.
Except for frightening off the merganser, the tsunami had no affect on the bridge.
A brief review:
This all happened in the City of Putney, on 
The Commonwealth of New Island, in the Indian Ocean. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

As the 4:42 crossed the Landon Everard Railway Bridge...

...the tsunami had just passed beneath it! When the passengers saw the roiling waves, the conductor assured them that, "This bridge is plenty strong enough to take that little bit of rough water!"

This cast-concrete parabolic-arch bridge was built in 1908 during the Great Modernization directed by Governor General Alexander Poloustrov. Under the reign of  Czar Nicholas II, Poloustrov built hundreds of miles of new roads, streets, and railways as well as hydroelectric dams and deep-water harbors to modernise New Island. This ambitious Great Leap Forward was intended to tell the world that Russia was also creating a colonial empire to rival that of Great Britain, Germany and the USA. Poloustrov's modernization was surprisingly accomplished with hired labor - a story unto itself!

Landon Everard, a New Island native, later won brief fame for sending the first international  telegraph message to Perth, Western Australia. The railways maintained the telegraph and early telephone systems, so the bridge was named after Everard in 1992.

The Putney Interurban Streetcar Authority (PISA) runs trains every 15 minutes over this bridge from the Downtown Station to the western and northern suburbs. A narrow bike/walking path was added in 2011, but it was a bad idea. The trains ran so close to the path that few people used it, and two 11-year-olds were almost hit by a train while arguing and shoving each other during a rainstorm (a long story). The path was closed late in 2012.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Also on the Cecelia Bridge...

...Georgina Lark was taking her sister Francine's baby, Tomas, for an outing in his pram. She was returning to Newtown (Francine's neighborhood NW of downtown Putney) from the Fantasia Market, and had been walking for over an hour, in the gathering afternoon heat, with no hat. She was hot and thirsty and beginning to find this tiresome.

She had let go of the carriage (thinking it would stay put) to dig in her purse for a mint or something when she suddenly noticed the tsunami coming up the bay. In those few seconds of Georgina's spellbound distraction, the pram had edged away from her down the sidewalk...

By now the wave was crashing almost directly below the bridge and Warren McGovern, excitedly dancing and waving his arms, (having just seen the wave) nearly fell over the pram. He grabbed its handle just before it tumbled into the street, rescuing young Tom! He then hollered toward Georgina, who was still staring at the water, "Hey, is this yours?"
More bystanders had rushed onto the bridge wanting to know what was happening, and Georgina seemed to delight in all the attention. To anyone listening, she explained she had recently returned to Putney from far-away Los Angeles, California, where she had been living for several years. "I almost got married there", she said, still somewhat breathless. While Warren waited with the pram, she went on about trying out for acting parts in Hollywood movies, but not having much success; in fact, no success at all. "You just can't believe how tricky and creepy those movie agents are...why, there was this one time..." 
Warren, still holding the pram, made eyes at Tomas while thinking that Georgina might have only one oar in the water...

Monday, February 18, 2013

On the Cecelia Avenue Bridge...

...Warren Mc Govern was taking his late afternoon break from his cook's helper job at the Rainbow Coffee Shop located just west of the bridge. The Rainbow is run by two women, Alison and Janel, who have built up quite a nice business. Warren likes his smelly cigarettes and they don't, so he often walks out to the bridge railing and stares at the bay, deep in his thoughts. (He smokes Rugby Lights, a local brand found no where else!) Warren thinks of himself as a "Modern Philosopher" and wants to write a book of his ruminations one day. He hasn't quite started it yet.

Warren grew up in tiny Spofford, a sheep-country town inland from Newport, down south. He got out of there as quick as he could, and has been working odd jobs, first in Victoria Harbor, then in Putney when he learned about the university, as well as Putney's more literary/bohemian culture. He likes the Rainbow because it attracts so many students, including a certain female philosophy major named Marjorie that he'd like to know better.

The day the tsunami rolled in, Warren was leaning on the railing as usual, and was probably the last person on the bridge to really notice the wave. He was absently watching the girl on the bicycle (Martha) and not until she suddenly swerved up the bank that it dawned on him there was something happening here. We see Warren just as he re-enters current reality...

Friday, February 15, 2013

As the tsunami surged under the railway bridge...

...Martha Wollensak was riding along the bike/walk path with her headphones on. She later told her boyfriend that she saw some people waving at her from the bridge and she thought, "Wow, do I know those people?" Then she suddenly felt water rushing around her feet, and it almost upset her bicycle. She managed to swerve up the grass embankment just before she came upon Bob's Prop Shop, but she got plenty wet anyway. Martha is from Wheatland in the rather dry Highlands, and had just come down to visit her boyfriend Rod, now attending Putney University. She didn't expect the ocean to visit upon her.
"That was enough bicycling for me today." said Martha, still a bit breathless... 

Martha is about to get wet

Thursday, February 14, 2013

When the tsunami came through...

...this little red truck was crossing the Cecelia Avenue Bridge.

It's a Haulzall Type 2, gets up to 95 miles to the gallon (gas prices are through the roof on New Island) and can easily cruise at 65 miles per hour. The Type 2 is a kind of Tuk Tuk, but with four wheels instead of three. It's built in Victoria Harbor, mostly of imported parts from Thailand, and uses a high-efficiency, very quiet, gas/biofuel engine designed by Arnold F. Partener, who moved here from New Zealand. Arnold had been tinkering with small engines all his life, but couldn't find backers in New Zealand or Australia (they couldn't believe his claims of efficiency). He moved here in 2002, set up a small plant in an long-abandoned whale-oil processing building in Victoria Harbor's Marketside District, hired a few semi-retired foundry specialists and machinists and set to work. (VH once was a ship repair center, and, before that, a whaling center run by the Russians. Many machinists stayed on after the Russians left in 1992.) 

The first trucks came on the market in 2009, and were an instant success! New Island was finally in the home-built transportation business, after years of importing. Haulzall is developing a Type 2 Electric model, but Partener's company, Nevermore Transport, is not yet happy with the cost, weight, and environmental risks of the battery.

Most trucks are meant for commercial use - very few are used privately. This one happens to be owned by Putney University.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Indian Ocean Quake Sends Minor Tsunami into Putney Bay

On January 5, an earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter scale shook the Indian Ocean floor near the islands of Mauritius and Reunion, sending a small tsunami to New Island late that afternoon. The wave was not noticed on the coast, but in Putney Bay it resembled a hefty tidal bore, growing to a height of 4 feet, as its energy was concentrated in the narrows. As the wave approached Putney's bridges, some walkers and cyclists got wet but no injuries were reported. Surprisingly, damage was limited to only a few boats that were torn loose from their moorings. Alan Faramond, intrepid architect and sketch artist, happened to be in the area and dashed off this view of Putney Harbor between the bridges.

The small green arrow on this map shows the view in the picture.

What was going on here as the tidal bore apprached?  Stay tuned.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not Much Traffic on New Island Roads

Route P-20 on its way to North Cape, in the Blue Ranges

The Russians built New Island's major roads and highways beginning in the 1900s. The Czarist government initially funded the roadbuilding for the needs of the Russian Navy, and,for a while, for land-investment oppurtunities.  The south and east parts of the island were suitable enough for railways, but narrow two-lane roads became the rule in the mountainous Highlands. For many years, Russian contractors hired Polish workers, for a year at a time, to build the roads. Roadbuilding continued as towns and settlements spread over the island; the Russians were generous since all roads were officially military roads.  Russian road building continued into the 1960s during the Cold War with the Americans.

When the island won its independence, highway traffic diminished to near nothing, since the Russians removed their own vehicles. New Islanders have since imported some cars and light trucks, but no new roads have been constructed: A. They cost too much to build and maintain. B. Roads can mess up the landscape. C. Many locals prefer to walk the Path System instead.

As a result the island is graced with narrow, winding, though mostly paved, national highways numbered 1 through 6, and several paved and unpaved county roads, all with a P, M or E before the numbers that stand for Putney, Edgarford, and Mulhenry Counties respectively. Several un-numbered public roads also lead to interesting places.

Soon we will check out some of these interesting places.