Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wanderings: The Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has a bit of an ominous sound to its name. It is well-deserved -- jutting out nearly 40 miles into the Atlantic Ocean as a narrow strip of sand that the ocean wants to take back, it’s a place of Nor’easters, nearly constant winds and pounding surf, and a population of hardy people who fish for their livelihood. The Outer Banks are also one of America’s best-kept vacation secrets with some of the country’s best-rated beaches. Need a summer getaway, a real getaway? This is the place for you. The beaches are clean, the water clear blue or bottle green, and you can take a beach walk for more miles than you probably care to in one day.

I’ve been coming to Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks for many years. It’s grown up a lot in recent times. There are all the modern conveniences now – grocery stores, surfboard rental places, seafood restaurants, high-speed internet – and there are also quirky things to be found everywhere.

“Spaceship” has resided in several different locations on Hatteras Island. According to local legend, it was designed to be able to float – a plus when living on a sandbar that can flood from either the soundside or the ocean. I have been told it has had several lives as a house, part of a motel, and a retail shop. Now it sits along Highway 12 in Frisco, NC, on Hatteras Island with resident alien heads. The subject of many photographs, I spent some time a couple of Saturdays ago wandering around it and took these images.

I used a wide-angle lens to capture a “scenery” shot of the spaceship. It gives an idea of the location of the dwelling.

The “New Location” sign gives this spaceship some more humor.

Moving in for a closer look at who is inside.

Finally, I tried to capture what it must feel like for those aliens in the window to look out and see who is staring at them.

I love this series of images. It brings to mind the famous Lucy the Elephant on the New Jersey shore and the outrageous architecture on the Southern California coast of fast-food stands, and it helps to define the Outer Banks and continue its rather strange reputation.

A world traveler and self-taught photographer, look for Ann wandering around city streets and tromping through woods and hiking trails with her camera. After owning an international transportation business for many years, Ann has found her creative spirit again through the lens. See more at Ann's shop and her website.


BClark said...

I really like this article Ann, finding the unusual or quirky is great. Some day I would like to take a road trip being able to stop when something catches my eye.
Thank you for a nice article.

GalloGirl said...

Ann, these photos are wonderful! This pod is a Futuro House, one of the few in this country! I love them and have always wanted to photograph the one in NC.

Here's a link to a website dedicated to locating remaining Futuro houses around the world.


Ann said...

Adri, thanks for the info. I posted these photos on flickr and hoped for some more clues about this pod. It's so funny to see it just sitting along the road. Lots of people stop and pose in front of it for a picture, and I love the sense of humour the owner has to put those spooky heads in the windows.

futurowoman said...

This is wonderful! It's a Futuro, from which I take my "nom de plume" ;)