Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Assateague Island 2006
As a tradition in the Evil Chicken household, Father’s Day weekend is spent camping on the beach as Assateague Island, Maryland, with the wild ponies. It’s an wonderful spot in the world and you should, if at all possible, check it out. The wild horses of Assateague are ever-present and pose the interesting question, “where did they come from?” One theory suggests that early settlers, in an attempt to avoid taxation on their herds, let them graze on the wilds of the island. Another suggests that the ponies were marooned on the island during a shipwreck. Only time knows the real answer and its not talking. If you camp there be sure to lock up your food since they have been known to raid campsites and coolers for food. Currently it is a $250.00 fine to feed the wild horses – emphasis on the “wild.” They have been known to bite and / or kick the more curious tourist.
There are much more species of wildlife to take in while on the island. Pods of dolphins swimming off shore, birds, snakes, crabs, deer and, I would be remiss as to not include the Mosquito; are all more than plentiful here. If you are camping make sure that your site is ocean side with a good breeze to blow those little bloodsuckers off course. They are thick.
The island is most certainly worth the trip for it’s beaches. The kids and I spent the majority of our time getting slammed around by some pretty good pounders. It was a blast. If you surf, boogey board or kayak the waves you should check it out. The water quality is better than that of my home state of New Jersey and the waves are better too. This may be due to the lack of man made jettys that litter the Jersey Shore. It’s possible to make out ones feet in chest deep water in Assateague – that’s something that one cannot usually do here in Jersey.
The island is a national park and not touched by the touristy glitter that Ocean City, Rehoboth and the other barrier islands provide. Hey, Teddy Roosevelt knew what he was doing. If you are so inclined for experiencing the outdoors, have a head for camping and like seeing heart stopping sunrises from the beach, do yourself a favor and go to Assateague – you will not be disappointed. I'm already looking forward to next time.