Assateague National Seashore is cared for and managed by the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Resources. Visitors to the park in Virginia enjoy the beach, wildlife, dunes, wetlands and marsh islands, protected for public use and enjoyment. We managed to take a few more pics -- it was a beautiful day, but the wind off the water was cold.
LITTLE BIT OF WILD PONY HISTORY: The Virginia herd is managed by the Chincoteague Island Volunteer Fire Department and the Maryland herd is managed by the National Park Service. Each year the Virginia herd is rounded up for a Pony Penning and Auction. According to legend, the horses arrived on Assateague when a Spanish galleon with a cargo of wild mustangs sunk off the coast. The surviving animals swam to shore and are the ancestors of today's herd. However, the ponies have a more practical origin-- more than likely they are descendants of herds turned loose by early settlers. Penning began as a way for livestock owners to claim, brand, break and harness their loose herds. By the 1700s, it had become an annual event. The penning continued on both islands for years. By 1885, they were held on Assateague one day and Chincoteague the next. Word of the events began to spread and hotels and boarding houses began to be booked for the festivities. In 1909, the last Wednesday and Thursday of July were set as the official dates for the yearly event. The most renowned aspect of Pony Penning is the swim across the Assateague Channel. The herds were first transferred by boat, but in 1925 they swam across the channel. Today, in July, cowboys herd the horses across the narrowest part of Assateague Channel at low tide. They are then examined by veterinarians and then herded through town to a corral where they stay until the next day's auction. The proceeds from the auction are given to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department for updating their equipment, etc, and also serves to trim the herd's numbers. To retain the permit to graze on the refuge, the herd must not exceed 150 horses.
We have never seen a bald eagle in the wild. "Eagle-eye" Mindy saw one and we stopped the car to see if we could see it as well. Take a minute and see if you can see the bald eagle in the picture. It's in the upper-half, center of the picture. You can always click on the pic to enlarge it and should then be able to see it.
You can also camp on Assateague Island. I thought for sure I had pictures of the camping area, BUT apparently I don't!!! If you are interested in Camping on Assateague Island, check out the following link: http://www.assateagueisland.com/assateague_camping.htm. We wouldn't mind going back and camping on the beach.
By this time, the sun was sinking and we were tired and hungry. We left Assateague Island, stopped off in Ocean City for a bite to eat and drove back to our little MH and all slept like babies.
Check back in a few days and I'll share our trip to DC with you that we planned for the next day. In the meantime, may God bless our family and friends and may God continue to bless our voyage.