Chincoteague – a Respite
Six glorious days of respite on a wanna be boutique island off the Atlantic Ocean. Chingoteaque is most famous as the home of Misty. She is the pony which a series of childrens books by Maurgarite Henry, were written in 1947, followed by a movie in 1961. Most all of us now middle age read the series in grade school.We brought our daughter here years back to ride one of Misty’s current generation ponies. We just happened to time our visit for the week the pony colts and fillies were being auctioned for adoption. The herd is not domesticated and the mares return to the reserve where they are assured health care and protection. The pony penning is annually exercised by the local Fire Department and is a major fundraiser for supporting the ponies. The ponies swim the short channel between two islands to be penned in Chincoteague where you can watch the online auction history at sportsauction.com Some local tales includes ponies who know the drill arrive early for the sweet feed and hay and they bring the new babies.
Learned there are webcams to keep up with the ponies all year long.Visit Chincoteague ponies virtually.
They live on uninhabited islands near Chincoteague. This year seventy-two very fortunate colts and fillies found homes as the auction ended at 6pm on July 31, 2020. There is a state park, Assateague Island National Seashore, on the east of the island, since you can find water on both sides of the park, sunrise on the beach and sunset on the marsh waters. Perhaps even get a few ponies in the photo as well at sunset.
When not watching ponies or sunsets, there are so many other nice places to visit. A farmer’s market, actually several. A favorite quickly developed in Ricky’s Seafood & Produce. Put is this way, we were on a crabcake search and their prices were the most reasonable, well Ricky was out clamming so we had to wait a few hours for him to come and make them. We did try the local oysters, noted to be on menus in restaurants several hours away such as Baltimore. So fishing is a popular sport and you will see many on the beach or in the marshes on flatboats. The following is the fish and respective seasons:
Spring: season for largest flounder, striped bass and drumfish in the bay and surf
Summer: flounder, trout, croaker, sea bass, kingfish and spot in the bay and surf. Blue Fin and Yellow Fin Tuna offshore on the Atlantic side. Charter boats are available as well as rentals.
Fall: Striped bass and Drumfish in the bay and surf
websites providing fishing reports are: Captian Steve’s daily fishing report, capt. Bob’s daily fishing report and Tide Information. Fishing on the beach requires a virginia saltwater license. Night fishing permits are obtained at the visitor center.
We did cook kabobs on the beach. Even got a lesson in seagull body language as they play king of the mountain fighting for the closest position. The wanna be king seagull tucks his head in and shortens his neck as if to posture, “don’t mess with me”. Most of the others back off, there is always one, don’t you know. Bird entertainment. Also they are known to take the food off your plate, one came close.” Hey, you are a bird you don’t take my steak from my beef kabob”.
In the city area there is a really special, ice cream place, Mr Whippy’s. Prepare to stand in line for homemade cones or a better idea, the drive through. You’ll find ice cream made into “cyclones” with your choice of candy or oreos.Believe me I heard “Mr. Whippy’s” every day. Then ride your bike all over the place and see the island end to end. The barrier island is seven miles long, some sources say eight miles and two miles wide. Another exercise option is visiting the lighthouse in the park and walking the 175 steps to the picturesque view of the 37 miles of Assategue, the big sister to Chincoteaque island which is seen on the west/south side from the lighthouse. Watch for golf carts. There is a bicycle lane in the park.
Learned there are webcams to keep up with the ponies all year long.Visit Chincoteague virtually.
Meant to mention the giant “love”beach chairs recently installed at the downtown park. Also there are ninety cities in Virginia implementing the LoveWorks program to encourage tourism in Virginia.
One caveat, if you need groceries, you may want to bring them. Shopping options are limited and prices are reflective of the delivery challenges. There is a Dollar General, however the shelves were sparce on the day we went there. Delivery was skipped the prior week. The workers there were above and beyond, kind and helpful.
Chincoteague – a Respite