Road trip continued: Misty of Chincoteague Quest
From the time our kids were little, they insisted we read Misty of Chincoteague, about a wild horse living on Assateague Island over and over. At 23 yrs old, my daughter still wanted to see the wild ponies; so on our way north we scheduled a day to find these “wild ponies.” What an adventure! First we hiked a couple of miles on one of the Virginia side National Park trails. What we viwed were turtles, birds, a deer and her fawn and huge mosquitoes that seemd to be the size of horse flies, but no horses. We finally decided to ask a park ranger where they were. On the Virginia side, the horses are managed by the local fire department and are usually corraled in a huge area. Hoewever, there are also escapees. We also tried to hike on another trail to find them in the farthest labryinths of the area. When we were almost back to the car from our fruitless quest, there stood three wild ponies less than twenty feet from us.
After talking to the locals, we discovered that the Maryland side of Assateague Island is where the horses are truly wild, where they manage the park rangers not the other way around. We didn’t even enter the Maryland side of Assateague National Park before we had 15 wild ponies meandering across the road right in front of us. We stopped and got out of our car to take pictures only to have the whole herd follow us back to the car. As we moved just a bit farther, there was a beautiful chestnut pony standing in the middle of the road. As soon as he saw us, he meandered off, but not before making it clear with his neighing that we were intruding on his territory. What a stop! Did you know that it’s been over sixty years since the real Misty of Chincoteague was first released? They have Misty stuffed in a museum in Chincoteague. Have you visited somewhere special that was inspired by a book you read or read to your children?