Little Old Cabins of 4-Wheel Drive, Carova Beach, NC

Serendipity, The Rodanthe House, seen in it's original location along the Atlantic Ocean before being relocated

Serendipity at Risk from Rising Tides

Serendipity, The Rodanthe House, seen in it's original location along the Atlantic Ocean before being relocated


Scores of cute little dilapidated cabins, cottages, and beach houses lie a wee bit North of Corolla on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

This region is lovingly called 4-Wheel Drive as it is only available to access by driving up the beach. Rest assured, there's a reason for the 4x4 nickname of Carova, and with or without 4-wheel drive, it's easy to get stuck. "Air Down" before making an attempt to access the area, and drive with caution. Stumps of old trees (usually scruffy old coastal pines) dot the beach, making driving at night a minefield of intermittent trees and folks fishing along the water's edge.

The area once forested by old pines has lots of history, and became a popular area for vacationers willing to make the trek from northern lying Virginia Beach, or the southerly side of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Little lots of property were purchased by hardy vacationers seeking spots nestled in the natural dunes. Now, huge houses can be found in this region alongside old cabins that are rotting back into nature.

Thank goodness the area's rich history is somewhat protected by the natural park and what might be called a restraining order that maintains a wide perimeter around the wild horses that call the Carolla area their home. Unfortunately, photos of the few remaining little old cabins are hard to find. If I get back that way with a 4-wheel drive, I'll scour the area for little leftovers and shoot lots of photos of the increasingly overgrown cabins, cottages, and now historic tiny houses. 

One of my favorite little forgotten cabins is a little plywood dome house that was built along one of the winding tidal channels -- well a little too close. When I last saw the cabin (circa 2000), the dome's once dry 4x4 piers were already rotting at the base due to constant soaking, evidence of the encroaching ocean's continually consuming rising tidal surge. It seemed that around every turn, crouching back in the shadows beneath the protecting arms of sprawling pines, were little old houses. Some lay in disrepair, others abound with additions and strung with a festive assortment of drift wood art collections, bedazzled in a drapery of Marti Gras like found object fashions. 

The community of DIY builders of these wild and varied expressions of "home" with their cute and cleverly built cabins are mostly long gone, and huge custom houses with bright siding and towering views now predominate the area where small homes were nestled among protecting pines. 

And so it goes, slow-n-steady encroachment seeking to take a once vibrant community and claim it for sprawling exclusivity. I wonder if future generations will one day look back at this time, and lament the loss of then aging tiny houses that seem increasing commonplace in these contemporary times.

Kudos to all of us in The Tiny House Movement -- the designers, builders, home owners, raving fans, and archivists -- who truly relish and respect this revival of "home" in it's most basic sense. 

To all who seek the simpler lives of yore.

Live Large -- Go Tiny! - Thom [>:-)

Image Source: Pinterest, Nights in Rodanthe on IMDB, Twiddy Real Estate