Finishing the Great Northern Road

Previously I mentioned my latest construction project in Minecraft, the Great Northern Road.  I started out with a bridge heading south from the Mesa biome… just because I wanted to build a bridge and that looked to be just about the right stretch of water to build it across.

Mesa Biome Channel Bridge

Mesa Biome Channel Bridge

With a bridge to nowhere it seemed only right to try and link it up with the rest of our works, so I began paving a path southward.  Soon I got far enough away from a portal that I had to start harvesting my own supplies in what became something of a feast or famine routine.

When you have a long stretch you want to pave, you always need more cobblestone.  Then you hit a mountain range and begin to tunnel through and suddenly you have more cobblestone than you need.  At that point I tended to build a supply depot to store materials.

Forests, on the other hand, were not much of a problem.

Flint and steel solution...

Flint and steel solution…

And lighting fires kept away some of the monsters who otherwise tended to interrupt progress through the night time cycle.

And during the day in the shade... on Halloween...

And during the day in the shade… on Halloween…

And so I drove south, clearing a path two wide and three high, digging tunnels, bridging chasms, and so forth… right up until I ran out of food in the middle of nowhere.  Ah yes, you need to keep yourself fed in survival mode, and there is a definite correlation between how much you are doing and how much food you need to consume… and building a pan-continental highway single handed gives you a healthy appetite.

By that point I had made it about two thirds of the way down towards my destination, which actually put me within reasonable range of a nether portal outpost I had built some time back.  That used to be the far north before we made it to the mesa biome.

So I headed west toward that, finding it on the first try, and used the portal to get back to my mountain base.  Once there and re-supplied with a stack of yummy baked potatoes, I took a look at the latest rendered map to check the progress of the road.  It looked like the road was lined up to pass right by my base, so I decided to just start at the south end and build north.  I didn’t actually have the coordinates, but I eyeballed it on the map and started where I thought it might hit.

Of course, my base was on the edge of another expanse of water, so it was time to build a new bridge.  The great northern road would have a bridge and each end.  To contrast with the polished granite look of the northern bridge… and because I used up all my granite on that… the southern bridge would be in polished andesite.  Sort of a Bay Bridge to the north end’s Golden Gate Bridge, to frame it in terms of the local bridge population.  I even put in the extra span.

Bridge at the south end of the Great Northern Road

Bridge at the south end of the Great Northern Road

From there I pressed north, burned gaps through a few more forests, dug a few more tunnels, pressing on until the two roads joined together… almost.

Pretty close... right?

Pretty close… right?

The two sections of road were off-set in both the vertical and horizontal, so I have to build what essentially amounted to an adapter kit.  Then I put up a sign to commemorate the completion of the Great Northern Road.

Then I had to head back to base to grab a horse and actually travel the road.

It runs about 5.5km and, riding straight through, it takes almost exactly a full game day to get from one end to the other.  If you start at the south bridge just at dawn, the moon will be rising as you finish crossing the north bridge.  And if you stop and idle along the way, you will either have to ride in the dark or stay at one of the rest stops along the way.  They all have a bed and I put up a hitching rail outside of each, so bring a lead for your horse to tie it up for the night.

Horse rail at the north end of the bridge

Horse rail at the north end of the bridge

And, the best news; I only hit my head once on the whole ride… so I had to stop and fix that.  But otherwise the road was horse compliant.  Then I had to a likewise horse compliant tunnel through my mountain base so it hooked up to the roads leading to other bases.  Thanks to some work by Skronk, you can now ride through and hook up to his own south desert road.

Now to build some attractions along the road.  Skronk says that his own work involves removing the mesa biome, block by block, to build his own base, so we’ll eventually need something else on the road.

The work of Skronk and Enaldi

The work of Skronk and Enaldi

I still have to figure out how to do that work justice in a post.

Meanwhile, as I was working on the road, something else appeared on the map.

A great big hole in the water

A great big hole in the water

On the list of things previously mentioned was Aaron’s blocking off and draining an ocean monument.  Since then he has taken that a step further and, with the help of a lot of sand, has walled off and drained the entire area around the monument.

Dry monument

Dry monument

I’m still not sure how he got all the water out… except “very slowly.”

Another angle

Another angle

So we now have that to explore as well.


Also, somebody made a house out of melons in the jungle.

Andrew Melon joke goes here...

Andrew Melon joke goes here…

6 thoughts on “Finishing the Great Northern Road

  1. Toldain

    This series of posts have inspired me. I started playing Minecraft and in short order started up a hosted server and invited Thing One and her friends to play.

    I am *such* a noob. The things you are doing seem like wonders…


  2. HarbingerZero

    Same with me. I never spent a great deal of time with the game but its had a bit of a renaissance in my free time lately. I’m in awe of the monument draining, because I’m currently working to clear a swamp, and its mind numbing.


  3. rcurrie

    I first read the title as “Fishing the Great Northern Road” and thought sweet! Tagn is going to try out fishing!

    The road story was much better. Cheers!


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @rcurrie – I have tried fishing. I just haven’t done anything with it worthy of note I suppose. Instead this is just another post about me and some giant yet simple construction project.


  5. .xyd

    Skronk’s and Enaldi’s handiwork is amazing. I wish I had 10% of their creativity.

    Seeing the underwater monument exposed like that is pretty cool, more so knowing Aaron spent more than a few hours drying it out. It turns out most of my friends are OCD, some more so than others, and they’d all see this and say “wow, that’s OCD”.

    Wish I had more time to play. I can’t get my $#@! villager farm to function properly. They don’t seem to reliably harvest or plant. My iron golem farm is generating a very nice supply of iron, though. Wish I would have built it in a spawn chunk.


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