I’m utterly exhausted. In the last few days the toll of biking between 30 and 60 miles a day has caught up with us. The need to consume huge quantities of food has also caught up with us. We’re hungry all the time and all food is appealing, even things we don’t usually eat…like Tastycake fruit pies with 480 calories a pop. My legs are a tad bit sore but for the most part they are tired and don’t want to push the pedals around. The weather today is cool and rainy and endlessly windy (as only the seashore can be) and after having our campsite invaded by the wild horses at Assateague National Seashore this morning, we feel like we need a rest. Only 10 miles down the road we called it quits for the day at a campground called Frontier Town, which has warm showers and wireless internet.
This is normally the type of camping set up we would avoid but today I think it is the best $40 we’ve ever spent! Usually we won’t pay more than $25 for camping but after 5 days without a real shower and feeling like we needed to go back to sleep after riding 10 miles we’ve decided to splurge and spend the night here. Plus we have electric, internet and some crazy wild west atmosphere…it’s sort of like Epcot Center camping in the old west.
So, now that you now how we arrived at Frontier Town, here’s a story about our breakfast with the wild horses in Assateague.
We woke up by 8am and the skies were heavily overcast and light rain was falling on and off. One thing I really dislike about camping is packing up a wet tent so already the day was not a perfect start for me. Despite the rain, I went about cooking breakfast when Hannah pointed out two brown horses standing about 50 feet away from our camp.
They stood perfectly still. Just staring at us. It was rather creepy. This went on for about half an hour and then they decided to graze. At this point, I left to ride about half a mile back to the park office and register (we arrived at dark and the office was closed the night before) leaving Hannah in charge of keeping an eye on our stuff and the food. Hannah had been taking pictures of the horses all morning and earlier asked me “Do you think they (the horses) have a schedule where they show up at campsites at breakfast time because they know there will be food?”. I responded with a “Yeah, they probably get hand outs from people who think they are cute and don’t understand that they are wild animals” We both agreed partly based on the number of signs and alarmist flyers posted in the bathrooms showing what happens to people who feed horses or get too close to them. “Have you ever hit a deer with your car? Imagine hitting a horse!” and so on.
About 15 minutes later I arrived back at the campsite and the two horses, who at this point had come much closer to where Hannah was sitting, were startled by the bicycle and sort of snorted and moved around quickly. One took the route to the tent and the other deftly ambled over to the picnic table.
Hannah also seemed startled by the horses movement and I tried to quietly yell that she should get up and move away from the one horse that kept moving towards her. As she slunk away from the table the horse moved in and tried to nab a bag of food. Sneaky mammals! Looking back I think it was planned and they always work in units of two. While one horse distracts campers by snorting and trotting about the other goes in for the goods. After that they wouldn’t leave the campsite and it was a pretty awkward dance to try and pack up around them. I must have walked out of my way to reach the tent or the table at least four times just to avoid a horse.
Here’s a link to the video of the horses conspiring for a food raid on our breakfast.
Later, after these two horses had been convinced to move on, another one appeared and again, just stood staring about 30 feet away. As Hannah was reaching into the tent for her sleeping pad the horse whinnied and started charging towards her! At the last moment it veered to the side and ran to meet another horse behind us that we had not noticed. It seemed to be a clandestine morning meeting of horses at our campsite.
And that’s how our day started. From there we biked about seven miles and stopped at a small gift shop/deli with nice folks that made us egg sandwiches even though the breakfast menu was over. We wolfed them down and rode on another three miles to our current campsite at Frontier Town. Pictures of Frontier Town to come. We’ve also added a Youtube channel that we’ll be working on and adding more videos to as we go. Once it’s a little more complete we’ll post the web address for that as well.
Oh yeah, the campground is running a special and if we want to stay tomorrow night it’s free. They ask that we make a donation to the American Cancer Society instead. It’s hard to beat that deal so we might just take another rest day tomorrow too.