A return to Assateague Island

Two years ago, our first significant trip with Moby took us to a barrier island off the Maryland coast called Assateague.  Both the state and national seashores are kept in a natural state and lack the development infringing on many Mid-Atlantic beaches.  Indeed, the absence of crowds, boardwalks, noisy attractions and amusements, and busy, bustling towns is a key attraction to Assateague Island.   Sitting on the quiet, open beaches, it is easy to imagine times long since passed, and the night sky holds spectacular star-filled views of the Milky Way, passing satellites, and, if lucky, a shooting star or two.  Because of the lack in vacationing hordes, wildlife abounds both on and around the island and one stands a good chance of sighting dolphins, skates, rays, deer, pelicans, all types of fish, and many more critters swimming, flying, or running about.  The animals typically at the top of visitors’ lists are the wild horses, made famous by the “Misty of Chincoteague” book series written by Marguerite Henry, that freely roam the island.  Last week, we returned to the island to spend five days with friends, family, and horses.


Our campsite. The Westfalia side tent we normally setup blocks too much breeze for summer use. We instead opted for the canopy I employed with the Big Red One and Big Blue.


No crowds!


The herd marching in, much to the delight of all the campers.


The horses know where campers normally store their food. These guys are smart! I watched one horse picked up our neighbor’s (they were at the beach) beer bottle, turn it upside down and take a swig, and then chased him off after the horse opened a cooler. “Scavenger” as the kids named this one, came over to check out our cooler. Luckily, I put the cooler backwards next to the bus so it couldn’t be easily opened.


It’s been a long time since I saw one of these; a horseshoe crab. We also got a chance to see a few dolphins, ghost crabs, and rays (skates?) among other wildlife.


Snug as a bug.


I think she has the best views and breezes up in the pop top. She blazed through book two of the Misty series while we were there. I sure hope she doesn’t ask for a horse someday.


The camp hosts setup in a really nice Eurovan. They are slowly getting ready to take it on a cross-country trip in a year or so.


We spotted one other Eurovan on our loop (just above the left corner of the screen house) on the way home.


This was an interesting discovery on the way out of the campsite. A VW Routan outfitted with a pop top and presumably some sort of camping interior. A quick check on the web indicates there are a couple of companies retrofitting Routans for camping, mostly in Canada. First one I’ve ever seen.


Bus spotted!! Came up too fast for finding out why and what it is there for, but at least I got a quick photo.  Also passed an orange Thing, but no photo-op.


Chesapeake Bay Bridge, heading west towards home, about halfway across. Not a bridge for the light-hearted!


This is a close-up shot of the beach to the right of the bridge in the above shot. Sandy Point Park is the name and it’s where Martha and I held our wedding rehearsal party. We were married the following day on the other end of the bridge at the Kent Manor Inn, Kent Island, MD.


7 thoughts on “A return to Assateague Island

  1. Looks like you found a perfect spot right on the beach. I’m on the lookout for a canopy similar to yours – did you buy or make it (and what material is it made from) ?

    • Any spot on that beach was perfect! I bought the canopy a long time ago for $15-$20, it was a standard 12-foot x 12-foot blue tarp with a grommet hole in each corner and one in the center for the 5 poles. Originally it was designed as a stand alone canopy. I liked it because it doesn’t weigh much and takes up very little room when packed. I looked around for a new one (this one has a few holes), but couldn’t find any. Seems the EZ-Up has lessened the demand. I did find some alternatives but they were in the $40 range. The 12×12 is a little long for the bus, so I think I’ll buy a 10 x12 tarp and put in my own grommets and see how long it lasts. When I looked for replacement poles, I found more options in the UK than here. Perhaps you’ll have better luck finding a kit near you.

      • Thanks for the info. I’ve really struggled to find what I’m looking for – a lightweight tarp / sun canopy that has a Kador strip to slot into my van rail or extend my existing awning. I’ve seen them in continental Europe but not in the UK. However I found a company that customises tarps by adding Kador strips so I’ve just bought one rather than getting my own made (too expensive) or making my own (no skills/equipment).

  2. Pingback: When every little breeze counts (front window screens) | Zero to Sixty . . .Eventually

  3. Pingback: Getting away once more to Assateague Island, Maryland | Zero to Sixty . . .Eventually

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