One of my favorite things to do when out on the river is to explore the barrier islands. I’m a huge scavenger and you never know what you’re going to find. A good day will result in collecting cool pieces of driftwood, bait buckets, weathered dock wood, and an occasional fish lure or bobber. Every day results in shells – tons of clam and oyster – bleached white with time and current. In my imagination they date back to Indian Mounds. More likely they’re left over from the days when Port Orange was known as the Oyster Capital of the country. Either way the shells are everywhere and I diligently tote back buckets of them, always with the intent to turn them into a truly original craft project. More often than not they sit in buckets until I finally turn them into part of my old fashioned oyster shell driveway. But – I digress…on a recent sunny afternoon my river running turned up a huge surprise. From the water the island looked like all the others. Trees downed by storms covered the shoreline, shells covered the sand.
The interior looked inaccessible. While hand picking dozens more oyster shells I noticed a pathway leading through the trees. Feeling brave and adventurous I followed it. Several limb scratches and bug bites later the trees gave way to a clearing that housed a rusty old shack.
My initial thought was to turn tail and run. A shack hidden that well could certainly mean bad news. Pirates, drug runners, society’s cast outs – not people I particularly want to hang out with. But – being a self admitted – and quite proud I might add – Nosy Nelly – I gathered my courage and forged ahead. Fortunately for me the place wasn’t currently inhabited. The shack had been built with scrap metal, garage doors, old lumber and even had a screen door.
How long the residents had been gone is a mystery. Empty water and beer bottles along with fire pits and old shoes seemed to indicate that the place was still in use – at least sporadically.
Glad I had my camera, I shot photos – scavenged a few pieces of odd shaped metal – and then…I turned tail and ran. I’ve thought about that place a lot since then. Whoever built it spent a ton of time and energy constructing it AND hiding it. Who, what, why, when…..I want to know…but I have my own ideas…a story is in the making…stay tuned…