The next leg of our spring trip took us to Ocean City, Maryland. Since it was off season, we were able to stay right on the beach very easily. Our hotel room overlooked the ocean and the sunrise – perfect beginning to a beautiful visit. The town was pretty quiet, lots of businesses were still shut down, waiting for the swell of summer tourists, but we still managed to have fun and enjoy the beach. I took a morning run on the boardwalk, dodging construction workers as they pull up the old planking and replace it with new, smoother walkways.
We spent the day at Assateague Island National Seashore. I had been there twice before, because when I was younger my sister and I were obsessed with Marguerite Henry, an author who wrote many books about horses, including several set on Assateague Island and nearby Chincoteague. The horses are actually the descendents of domestic animals that were set free. During the film about the wildlife on Assateague, we learned how these animals have adapted to the unique conditions on the island. We were able to do some walking around the beach and the inland areas, as well as drive around looking for horses. The Maryland herd, in the National Seashore, is managed by the National Park Service. The Virginia herd, separated by a fence, is managed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. They graze on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which we visited that afternoon. For lunch we stopped at the Sea Star Café. They only have a take out window, but had several vegan options. I had a very filling hummus wrap. It was a windy, but sunny, spring day, so we sat outside enjoying the warmth. On the Virginia side, besides searching for horses, we also visited the Assateague Lighthouse and climbed to the top, up the winding staircase, to great views of the island and the ocean. We also managed to stumble on a round up of the Chincoteague herd, but tired of waiting for the horses to actually show up. Apparently they were running way behind schedule and so we decided to head back to Ocean City.