Traveling is always something I have longed to do, especially by way of vehicle. I am truly a wandering soul. This year I am making it a point to travel every chance that I get no matter how big or small the trip. All we truly have is the present moment and life is for living! I will no longer wait for the right time or until I reach some magic financial status. I am going to travel now!
The 17th was Court’s birthday (my girlfriend for those who may not know) and we took off for the entire week. Originally we had no idea what we were going to do and then I began thinking of all the things she had told me she wanted to do one day. Camping was one of them. I remembered coming across a place in Maryland that allowed you to camp on a beach with wild ponies. I absolutely love horses and one day plan to own some. It was the perfect place to visit. I mentioned it to her and she was excited so I went online the next morning and booked our trip to Assateague Island National Seashore.
They take reservations up to six months in advance and basically everything was reserved. We were extremely lucky to have secured a campsite.
Early Monday morning we drove for about 3 hours using the toll route to Assateague Island and unfortunately there were not any breathtaking views on the way. However about 15 minutes out that all changed and we began seeing “watch out for wildlife” signs.
As we waited to pay our entry fee we saw our very first Assateague pony! We were so excited to check in and settled at that point. Once we checked into the campground finding our specific campsite was fairly easy as we were given a map to follow.
We had finally arrived and began to pitch our tent. Which was super easy and did not take too long to do. In the campsites near us everyone seemed to have either a van or rv. There was one couple with a tent who were staying at the campsite next to us, but they soon packed up their things to head out. They came over and offered us the rest of their campfire wood which was extremely nice. Everyone was so nice!
There was supposed to be a storm our first night from 4pm- 8pm. We knew then that we wouldn’t be able to cook dinner over the fire and decided to go to a local shop we saw on the way in and grab something to eat.
They had just about everything in this shop; clothes, jewelry, swimsuits, wine, surf boards, purses, you name it. Their cafe had a variety of things as well such as smoothies, sandwiches, acai bowls, avocado toast etc. They even had a shop dog named Laila.
When back at the campsite we ate in the car. It is extremely important that you are careful with your food when at the park. Even though the ponies love it, they should not eat human food. However, they will try to get to your food and get into your coolers which should have zippers, laches, or locks to keep this from happening. Though it is best practice to keep your food locked in your vehicle. We made it to the restrooms and into our tents just in time as the storm started right on schedule. Being as though the storm was supposed to last for four hours we decided to take a nap. Thirty minutes later I was awakened by mother nature herself.
The sun kissed my face as the wind excitedly shook our tent. The sun slapped me in the face as the wind violently shook our tent. Although I did not agree with the delivery, I understood the message and got up.
We decided to go check out the beach so that we would know what to expect the next day. It was beautiful! Super quiet and clean. At the time it was a bit chilly and we could tell the storm would be back soon.
We returned to our campsite and decided to play some uno flip! I just want to note that I beat Court like ten times in a row! The sky got really dark and it was like nothing I had ever seen. We did not know what to expect being in such a small tent outside during this storm.
It was 10pm when we woke up. The storm was over, we hadn’t gotten wet, and our tiny tent was still intact. It was cold at this point and we wanted to light a campfire for warmth. We purchased some campfire wood from a local family owned lot since you had to purchase your campfire wood locally. We were honestly just winging this fire thing. Two weeks prior to this moment we binged a large number of Naked and Afraid episodes and let me just say none of them had fire starter logs or newspapers. Unsuccessful. The campfire was a bust. It was so dark we decided to just go back to sleep. Around 2am we were so cold that we were frequently waking up.
We went to sleep late and woke up early, it seems that unplugging and being present in nature allows you to simply be. It was so easy to lose track of time, the days seemed much longer, and everything felt light.
The sun decided to make it up to us the next day and boy did it! It was so hot early in the morning that we decided to ride back to that shop and get some acai bowls after heading to Walmart to grab another blanket before showering and hitting the beach. The outside showers were big and pretty clean but the water was freezing cold. Yes, we took freezing cold showers outside. It was so much fun.
We were stopped by multiple people on our way to and from the showers who stayed in the RV’s near our campsite asking how we held up in our tent during the storm last night. They were all so concerned; one lady even offered us to come to her RV if we needed anything even just to use the restroom. Another lady learned of Courtney’s birthday in conversation and exclaimed “So you’re the BDG! Everyone has to do whatever you say today. Even me, I’m a slave to you today. What would you like? Let me see what I have in my RV, do you like beer?” She was so excited and referred to Court as the BDG/ Birthday Girl for the rest of the day. We hit the beach and it was so beautiful, so much so that I took a nap on the beach. I know right, while wild ponies are roaming the island lol. That’s what happens when you are so relaxed and at peace.
Nap time was over and we decided to put our feet in the water. Melody, the woman previously mentioned, came over when we returned to our blanket to offer the “birthday girl” her binoculars to see the dolphins.
Those binoculars were so good, it was easy to spot the dolphins and we could see them clearly. (We took a pic of them so we could be sure to grab ourselves a pair.) We enjoyed the beach for a few more hours. It was so clean even though there weren’t any trash cans around, and quiet even though there were kids running and playing nearby. It was truly the relaxing get away we needed.
We returned to our campsite and Court was ready to get even; we played Uno Flip. She won a couple games but nothing to brag about lol. We showered and then successfully lit the fire!
We sat around it for warmth, roasted marshmallows, and made smores!
Which might I add are for children. As a kid I loved them and could eat many in one day but this day I could barely eat two. Those smores didn’t hit the way I remembered and to think I was in the grocery store trying to get two bags of marshmallows!
Whose marshmallow roasting is accurate? The answer is obvious.
Just as we finished the ponies made their way onto our campsite. They were literally standing next to our tent at one point. We quickly backed away unsure of what to expect. All while still trying to take pictures and record. At one point I was a millisecond from hitting the floor trying to take pics and walk backwards in $2 Walmart flip flops.
The horses roamed around and played near our campsite for hours. They searched high and low for food and scraps. They galloped and lounged around. By the time they left it was so dark outside you could barely see. We put out the fire and made our way into our tent only to find minutes later that the fire was still burning. I climbed back out of the tent to pour more water on the fire and the ponies were back. If it wasn’t for some of them having white spotted coats, I would not have seen them. I put out the fire and got back in the tent to let Court know the ponies were right outside our tent. If only you could see the look on her face. We sat and listened for the horses. We could hear them galloping and vocalizing, but we couldn’t see a thing. We could hear the birds chirping and wind singing. It was like a Disney movie.
Another late night, early morning. I woke just in time to see the sun begin to rise on my walk to the restroom.
I was greeted by the moon at the door of the stall. Came out and headed to the beach just as the sun peaked.
There was a bird sitting on a sand dune, waves crashing against the shore while the wind softly kissed the back of my neck. A Disney movie I tell you.
The sun proudly sat above the clouds while the moon looked on in awe. I went to wake Court because boy was this a sight to see. She was already up and headed my way when we noticed the ponies were back. They visited every site trying to see what had been mistakenly left out for them to enjoy. We packed up, took a few more pictures, and headed out.
Although the weather on our first day at Assateague Island National Seashore wasn’t the best, it was a beautiful experience just as the rest of our trip. Camping here was nothing short of amazing. A one of a kind experience that we will never forget. A reminder that the life I truly desire isn’t out of reach. And to think that such a beautiful place was only two and a half hours away and thirty measly dollars a night! We are definitely going back!
Have you been? Would you go? Did you even know that this place existed?