Sunday, October 5, 2014

"Wild" Horses {Years Ago}

Years and years ago, I read an article in a magazine about a family camping trip to Assateaugue Island. When we moved to the Washington DC area a few years later, we were close enough to make the trip. We packed our tents, found special stakes to hold them in the sand, and set off for an adventure. I told Addison and Brennan about the Misty of Chicoteague book that tells of wild horses living on Assateague Island, but I didn't want to get their hopes up that we'd definitely see horses.

I would've been safe if I had promised wild horses, though we're not sure that the horses are really all that wild anymore. So many visitors come to the islands and feed the horses that they've become accustomed to human interaction. It wasn't a problem of not finding horses, it was instead a problem of horses getting a bit too close for our comfort.

On one afternoon during our first trip (in 2005), we drove to the bay side of the island and went canoeing for a while. Here's what we found when we returned to our car:

Thankfully he moved on after a bit, and we could go back to our campsite.

Later on that same trip, we were cooking dinner at our campsite. Tim walked to the car to grab some of the food that was kept in the trunk. For reference sake, the car was this close to the tent.

As soon as Tim took a few steps away from the back of his car, a nearby horse spotted the open trunk. He helped himself to a full bag of potato chips. The closed bag was no match for a horse smart enough to know that one good step on the bag would pop it open. He finished off the entire thing and left all the crumbs for the seagulls (hundreds of seagulls it seemed like).

Assateague Island boasted more "wild" animals than just horses. One of my favorite pictures is of Addison's breakfast on the beach -- just moments earlier the deer had tried to lick her toes.

I shared the story of our second camping trip to Assateague Island story several years ago. It wasn't a "Years Ago" story when it happened, but I guess it is now -- Assateague Island, the Rest of the Story. This time Lauren got to enjoy one of the horses stopping by to see what sorts of snacks we would share.

If the whole point of camping or traveling is to come home with the best stories, our trips to see "wild" horses on Assateague Island must have been some of our best trips.

Ben and MeI'm sharing a "years ago" story (or stories) corresponding to each letter of the alphabet for the Blogging through the Alphabet challenge hosted by Marcy at Ben and Me. I often tell my children stories of things that have happened in our past, and now I'm taking the time to write down those treasured stories.

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