October 31, 2009
My love for Serendipity House started on my second trip to the outer banks in the early 90’s when I first laid eyes on her while driving down highway 12 on my way to Buxton. I was speechless as I drove into Rodanthe. My fascination, daydreams, and fantasies and never ended since that first day I saw her.
The beach house called Serendipity stands at the northern edge of Rodanthe; first house you encounter as you travel south on Hatteras Island just as you leave Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.
The view from the house just has to be incredible, with the ocean to the east and the sound to the west and the beauty of undeveloped Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to the north.
When it was built in 1988, Serendipity was quite unique for the time for Hatteras Island. At that time most of the houses were one story simple beach houses, Serendipity was large multi-story and oh so beautiful!
Serendipity was the first house built in the Mirlo beach area in 1988, at that time there was at least 400 feet of beach in front of the house
Whenever I had the chance to visit the outer banks I always dreamed of staying in the serendipity house, but never could afford it. Sadly now it will never be.
Now, Serendipity is demonstrating the conflict between man and Mother Nature on the outer banks.
With every storm, with every wave, with every tide, the ocean undermines more and more of the house and cuts closer to Highway 12, the only road in and off the Island.
With what I have read lately there are those in the government that would like to see the house and others next to Serendipity removed, GONE and replaced with a dune line project to protect Highway 12.
I understand the need to protect the highway, it is the only road, and it is constantly being overwashed from the inlet at the north to just north of Buxton. It is a very fragile area. But to see the beautiful houses removed because the ocean water flows down their drive ways and contributes to the flooding of Highway 12 , to me seems there has to be another way to resolve this issue. Even with the Dune reconstruction, this is just a temporary fix, with 16 feet of beach loss a year, that too will be gone and highway 12 will be flooding yet again. Facts are the road will more than likely need to be moved again, or another inlet will be formed north of Rodanthe; all are part of the variables of life in the Outer banks.
The beach loss in this area is the fastest on the outer banks at the rate
up to 16’ a year. That is a lot of beach to lose!!! Most areas is the average of less that 2 feet a year.
This area is one to see nature at its best or worst… depending on your perspective. Serendipity is a splendor, a beauty, a tragedy just waiting to happen.
Images taken from our fall Sept-Oct 2009 trip. The first day after we arrived we went to Rodanthe to see her. The outer banks is the place I am the happiest.