The Wild Horses of Assateague

I wanted to go to Assateague to see the wild horses.

I like horses and the thought of seeing wild horses wandering around an island in the Atlantic Ocean intrigued me. (I almost got my own horse once when we lived in Pennsylvania, but then we moved to the suburbs and I got a bike instead which I thought wasn’t quite the same as a horse, but such is life.)

I had read Misty of Chincoteague when I was a kid and being literary-minded I like visiting author’s homes and places that are written about in books. (Maybe someday I’ll add all my author home visits on the blog.) Misty is fictional story of a real Chincoteague pony. The book, a Newbury Medal winner is considered a children’s classic.

So after a good’s night rest at the classy Hampton Inn with the sound of water in the background, we headed off Chincoteague Island and onto Assateague Island National Seashore where the horses live.

Except they must’ve been hiding because we did not see any horses. Not even one. We drove the entire length of the park and saw only trees and fields and little ponds.

No horses.

At the end we found the Tom’s Cove Visitor’s Center and so I asked what I thought was a logical question.

“Where are the horses?”

He shrugged and didn’t seem at all interested in helping me. “You can see one in Chincoteague – it’s fenced in behind McDonalds.”

Seriously? That’s the best he could do? I drove across the country to see a horse fenced in behind a McDonalds?

Dejected, we headed back to the car, but then Sue saw another ranger and asked him. He was a lot more helpful and sent us down the road to an open field area. “We just rounded them up for their vaccinations,” he explained. “So they’re probably still around the spot.”

So we headed to the designated area and sure enough – we saw the horses off in the distance.

And at McDonald’s we saw one up close.

(This story DOES have a happy ending.)

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