|Locations from Regents Walk|
|Area||Central Widow's Perch|
|First Appearance||Big Blue (Ch.1)|
Big Blue is the central landmark of Widow's Perch. A small but loved mountain in between the forking Santiam river, it can be seen nearly everywhere in town. Standing alone in the valley, away from the other ranges, this distinct geological creation has shaped local culture and folklore, and has inspired terrifying campfire tales. It is 903 feet tall at its peak, and is located in the heart of Widow's March State Park.
By Anglo Saxon human perspective, the mountain's history begins with the town. After the founding of McIvertown, migrating Native Americans from the east, many of which were children and widowed women, are said to have concluded their march west near the mountain's peak, where they observed the settlement. Many decided to put down new roots nearby and seek work in the developing town, some of them working in the first mills which were located across the mountainside.
Over time, Widow's Perch development reached into the base of the mountain and around its side. A small neighborhood was developed in the early 20th century that housed the wealthiest locals, and decades later, in 1940, the land and forests around the mountain was declared a state park. Ever since, it has been Widow's Perch's only profitable tourist attraction, and further areas of interest were constructed across the years.
As is common in most cities that have a place with a good view of the town, the end of Big Blue road, terminating not far from the peak, provides two services: a beautiful vista for tourists and hikers at day, and then a place for teenagers to park their cars and make out at night. Much of the town, aside from the mills and their neighborhoods to the south, can be seen from this location, and many kisses have been shared before the romantic views of the local mall's lights and the radio station's red and white spire.
Blue Sky Manor
Widow's Perch's richest man in its history began construction of this Edwardian house in an area of the mountain that is now in the state park. He never lived to see its completion, but it remains the largest and most valuable residence in the town, and also ranks in the top five in the county. It is a gated manor with two guesthouses, and Lyons family members have lived here for generations. It rarely opens up to those out of the town's elite inner circle.
Hill View Lake
A filled basin in the shadow of the mountain's peak, Hill View Lake, more commonly and affectionately known as Lake Pond, was somewhat hidden in the woods until the 1960's when the mountain access road was expanded into a proper, paved one. After a brief stint as a hippie swimming hole, the city took control of the land and had a camping ground constructed at the water's edge. Littering fines are hefty and the lake is kept clean, though its fish abundance is poor and it is not an ideal fishing spot for anyone other than children hunting guppies and minnows.
Camp Lake Pond
Taking its name from the lake's more popular but colloquial title, Camp Lake Pond is a summer youth program that began running in 1968. A typical summer camp, but not quite big or funded enough to become a sleep-away, Camp Lake Pond runs in two separate two-week sessions, starting in June and then again in July. There are several cabins for the counselors to stay in, but the children, from ages 7-16, arrive by buses that run from the Comet Fire skating rink, departing at 8:00 in the morning and returning at 7:00 in the evening. Activities include hiking, arts and crafts, sing-alongs, watersports, fishing, swimming, and embroidery.
The area is sometimes used as festival grounds the rest of the year, primarily drawing in older Firetown residents. There are also year-round camping grounds across from the summer camp.
More recently, a Bible camp opened up on the other side of the pond, although its attendance has remained low.
While the state park has several hiking trails of varying difficulty, there is only one official trail on the mountain itself. It is not known as a particularly good trail, as it runs too closely to the mountain road and traffic noise can be heard throughout. Most people who simply want to get to the observation area will walk or drive up the road instead. Those in love with nature still appreciate its existence, however, and the trail itself is a center of several campfire tales. There is a glen just off the middle of the trail that is at the center of the local Woodman resurrection urban legend.
The Old Mill
Lower down on the south face of the mountain where the southern Santiam river runs along its side is a preserved, functioning mill. It is the last of its generation and still functions, albeit with much lower capacity than the modern structures south of the river. It keeps around three employees hired at any time to run the building, as well as a tour guide. Older millworkers who have earned some peace, quiet, and a less hectic work schedule may ask to be transferred to the building. Though most teenagers consider it the most boring place in town, middle school field trips are a common sight, and it is often a "fallback" location should something come up and prevent a more exciting scheduled class trip.
Most of the local urban legends have something to do with the mountain or are influenced by its presence. Tales include the Woodman legend, vampires, and even a netherworld cryptid said to take the form of a walking leafless shrub with a permanent fiery skull.
Widow's Perch Magazine contributor Izzy Scott-Coven has written in length about the mountain, and is known to spend many hours obsessively exploring every inch of its grounds. But few take her writing seriously.