Monday, August 14, 2017

Beach Houses of the Past

As older houses along the Outer Banks grow old and fall apart, they tend to get replaced with enormous and over exaggerated mansions. But there exists a small strip of road that is like stepping back into the past, where the houses reflect a simpler time. A time where there were less tourists, and the homes were small and humble. 

They were not painted outrageous colors, but left in their natural rugged state, able to withstand the most brutal hurricanes. 

The landscapes are left to grow wild, with tall sea grass a few cactuses and hundreds of tiny red wildflowers. 

I often wish I could go back in time to when all the Outer Banks looked like this. Before there was the same surf shop on every corner, before all the big hotels and fancy houses..

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Long Branch Trail

The trail I watched being built all last summer from my office window is nearly complete. 

My blog post Forgotten Corners shows what it looked like when construction first began. What used to be an overgrown meadow over a once busy industrial area, is now a nicely landscaped greenway.

The old Railroad track that ran though this area providing coal to the factories has been preserved. 

On the other side of the path lies the current train track where freight trains travel back and fourth all day.

There was hardly another soul in sight on this new path, since it is not quite finished, and maybe not too many have heard about it yet. But I'm sure it won't be long until it is packed with people. But I prefer how it is now, in it's empty state. 

I'm happy to see this plot of land being put to good use, and that some of the old elements of what it once was got to stick around.

And they kept the cobblestone!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Abandoned Mill Village

This is a sequel to my post: Cemetery in a Christmas Tree Farm.

After my friends and I visited their family's long lost graveyard, one of them had the idea of exploring an old abandoned village that had been used to film parts of the Hunger Games movies. It wasn't far from the Christmas Tree Farm, and we were in an exploring mood so we went for it.

I imagined the village being tucked way back into the woods, maybe down a dirt road and hard to find. But in reality it was just a few minutes off the interstate, and on either side of a busy road!

This plot of land is called the Henry River Mill Village, and was an industrial textile manufacturing operation from the early 1900s to the 1970s. The mill workers lived in the 35 homes that made up this little village, but when the mill closed down and the workers left, the homes became abandoned and forgotten.

The little mill houses have certainly degraded over the many years spent abandoned, and most of them are full of graffiti and trash. But this mill town still seems to have quite a bit of character, with the winding pathways, rolling hills and overgrown brush that wrap around the homes.

This entire town is actually for sale!  I'll be interested to see what becomes of this little place in the future. I'd definitely love to return to it again someday.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


July Fourth fireworks are always a crazy time. This year's display included one that fell over, and one that went rogue and shot out a fireball which freaked out the crowd.