day 38
assateague national seashore

"I shall now attempt to ride my bike with three sharp skewers, a large kitchen knife and an axe." -k.
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History of Assateague:
In the 1960's, developers had sold nearly half of the 900 available lots on Assateague Island to private owners. Development had begun, with paved roads and some houses being built when a huge storm hit and destroyed it all.

After this, the owners were persuaded to sell their lots to the National Parks Association and it has become a protected area ever since. If the building had continued, the area would have looked much like Ocean City. Instead, it is filled with wildlife and marsh fauna.

Bathing Beauty of the Day

Ponywatch 2001
Spotty: 4
Shaggy: 3
Brown: 23
Old: 2
Injured: 1

Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away
Oct 3 - Holy frickin' frack! There's ponies on this island! This is the kind of island that makes you want to phone all your friends and say "Holy Frickin Frack, Cindy! There's ponies on this island!!" And we would have too, if it hadn't been a weekday and our cell phone only had weekend minutes left.

And besides, who would have believed us? Ponies don't just pop up anywhere. And most people we know have never encountered a wild pony. Moose, yes. Bear, yes. Martin*, yes. All of these are within the realm of Canadian belief. But ponies?

Why, an island full of ponies is a girl's dream come true! I can pet them and ride them and brush their hair and braid their tails! They'll eat out of my hand and nuzzle my neck! The only way this could be any better would be if they all had purple hair and stencilled hearts on their bums! Gosh golly, this is better than the Christmas I got the My Little Pony Pink Princess Castle! And that castle turned all my ponies a strange fluorescent green. Well, that wouldn't happen this time! I was in for the perfect pony-lovin' day of my life! Time to find some ponies...

"Hey, hey, hey... Mr. Park Ranger... where can I go to find the most ponies, and the nicest ponies, and the cutest ponies.. " - Me, peeing my pants with excitement.

"They're around. You'll see them." - Park Ranger, looking bored.

"But... but... is there somewhere..." - Me, clearly wanting a bit of pony insider information.

"You'll see 'em." - Park Ranger, looking really bored.

Obviously the Rangers aren't paid to exude excitement. I had to be content with finding ponies on my own... it didn't take long.

Jen & Jon: Campfire Buddies
Our new neighbours just moved into Site 75. They're very much like us, only they had the forethought to bring a remote control duck. Our beach fire was a smashing success, thanks to the mounds of firewood they brought, not to mention Jon's ability to keep back the tide with the power of his mind. Thanks for the coffee!
Supplemental: The day after we left, they went on a hike. They returned to find everything they owned eaten by horses. Bad horsey! No apple!
Holy Frickin' Frack! What the heck is THAT? That's the size of a moose. THAT is not a pony. That is an overgrown vicious-looking mega-horse! It could plow us down without realizing it had stepped on anything!

Golly Gee Wonkers! There's another one!

Hide! Hide! Get the siren flashlight!

Later that night I experienced a new fear. Walking from the outhouse to the tent, for the first time in my life, I was afraid of ponies jumping out at me from the bushes.

"Snap, crackle, pop." - Sound from the bushes.

"ehhhhhhhhh..." - Me, appropriately frozen with fear, unable to switch on my life-saving siren flashlight.

"What's all the ruckus out here? Aim, why are you standing there like an idiot in your PJ's?" - Kev, oblivious to the danger he's in.

"Smunch." - Purple Pony with hearts on his bum, leaving behind two smunched campers without even blinking an irredescent eye.

*For those of you unfamilar with martin, imagine a small woodland creature about twice as long, twice as wide, and twice as nasty as a ferret.

Ask a Couple of Clammers
Meet Rob and John, a pair of die hard fishermen from Chicago. Camped at the tip of the Bayside, they know clams like nobody's business. Here's what we learned...

How do you clam?   If you look at what I'm doing, I'm just digging around in the sand with my toes. Clams are usually no more than 6 inches under the sand, so if you poke around until you feel something like a stone, reach down and check it out.
Wouldn't you be better off with a rake?   Yeah, it's easiest with a rake, we just don't have one in the boat with us.
How many have you found?   Four.
Doesn't sound like a good day...   Nah, we just headed over to that island, thinking no one else goes there and we'd probably find a whole bunch. No luck though.
Why do you have chicken in a cage?   That's for catching crabs. Crabs love raw chicken. You put a drumstick in the cage, the crab goes in, you haul it up. The crab's got to be 5 inches across to keep it.
Crabs like chicken?   Yup.
Wouldn't a crab be suspicious, like "mmm, chicken... hey, wait a second..."   Nah, crabs aren't that bright. Meat's meat.
My toes hurt.   Yeah, it's not that exciting. Takes patience to catch a clam.

John and Rob headed off to clammier waters, but they tossed us a clam as they departed. We put him in a little bowl with water and sand, and a few shells for colour. We didn't have the heart to eat him. Instead, we drew eyes on him, wrote "" on the bottom, and tossed him back into the marsh. Bye Clammy!

my little ponies...

Marsh Horsey

Dune Horsey

Highway Horsey

Mean Horsey
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Assateague, MD

Next Stop: Shenandoah, VA

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Who cares? We've got horses!

Daily Stats
Gas: $0.00
Wine: Red
Mike's Lemonade: 6
Alcohol Permitted: No

Sleeping Quarters
Assateague Ntl. Seashore

Site 84. What a place! The weather is gorgeous, the ocean is wavy, the horses are beautiful... The pesky dune mice circled us during the night and tried to get in, but nothing can penetrate our tent! (except rain, of course)

Cost: $14.00

Shared:Dry Lucky Charms
Smokey's BBQ Pit
Ocean City
K's Order:BBQ Beef Sandwich
A's Order:Chicken n' Dumplings
Beach Cookout
Both:Beef Skewers
Hot Sausages
Jen & John:Chili from Can
Hot Dogs
Burnt:Jiffy Pop

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Riding off into the sunset.