Dec 08 2010

Camping in Assateague

by in East Coast, North America, United States

In mid-October we spent a weekend camping at Assateague National Seashore, a barrier island off the coast of Maryland (south of Ocean City) and Virginia that is one of my favorite places on the east coast. Since Assateague is only a 2.5-3 hour drive from the DC area (wow, did I just say only?) and campsites are booked solid through the summer, we usually just go out there for the day. Starting in mid-October, however, reservations start to dwindle as the temperatures drop, giving us an opportunity to book a campsite for the weekend.

Was it cold? Oh, yeah. Daytime temps hovered in the 60-70 range (with a heavy dose of wind) and dropped to the 40s at night. Thankfully, we had picked up plenty of wood to feed the campfire. It was a bit too cold to go in the water or just relax on the beach like we did in the Outer Banks the previous month, so we did some short hikes around the island, drank a lot of beer, grilled hot dogs, and toasted marshmallows for smores.

Here are some of the photos I took that weekend:

The bayside area

Duly noted!

Here you can barely see the remains of Baltimore Boulevard, a road constructed in 1950 as part of a plan to develop the island. In 1962, a large storm destroyed the road and several houses on the island. Further development was stopped and in 1965 the island was declared a National Seashore.

Maryland don’t surf

Campsites are close to the beach

We spotted the famous Assateague ponies while we were driving to Ocean City for lunch. No one is quite sure how these ponies came to live on the island, but one far-fetched theory claims they are the descendants of ponies who swam to the island after the Spanish galleon they were being transported on wrecked off the island. Nevertheless, they are here to stay…and stand in the middle of the road…and rummage through the coolers of campers who failed to heed park ranger instructions. It’s their island, and they know it.

Pony attacks Jay’s car.

More Assateague photos here.

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