A week from now, I'll be waking up to the sound of the ocean

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A week from now, I'll be waking up to the sound of the ocean

Postby jasper-isis » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:23 am

... because I'm going camping at the beach! :o

I'll be going to Assateague Island, which is a small barrier island off the coast of Maryland/Virginia. The entire place is a park protected by state and federal laws, so the beach is really nice and undeveloped. But the island is best known for its wild horses, who hang out freely on the Maryland side and often mingle with human visitors (mostly to poke for food, I'll bet).

Last time I went was years ago on a field trip with other biology students. We mostly had to hang out around the river and the forests and the salt marshes (that was a fun one), and I didn't get much time on the beach itself. But the beach was sooo nice. It was totally deserted and stretched out as far as the eye can see. I think I had been ticked that I wouldn't be able to spend my sixteenth birthday with friends and family. The ocean made up for all that. :)

I don't consider myself an "outdoors person," and I've never really gone camping before, but I'm so excited for this trip that I can barely contain myself. Yayayayay! :D


Post some good experiences you've had or plan to have with nature!
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Postby downwithpants » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:10 am

pooping into a hole in the ground is harder than you might think...

how long is the trip? are you gonna be completely cut off from technology/amenities? are you goin with a large sized group?
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Postby Jnzk » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:01 pm

downwithpants wrote:pooping into a hole in the ground is harder than you might think...

...but makes you feel one with nature. :P You should try wintertime camping too.
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Postby jasper-isis » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:05 pm

The campgrounds where I'll be staying are divided into loops of about 30 sites each, and there are hot showers and clean toilet facilities at the center of each loop. There are electrical hookups at some sites, but I don't think we'll have one of those. The climate's not too bad at the beach, and there are no scary predators on the island to worry about. So yeah, this is pretty much camping for newbs. :P

I'll be there for three nights and three days. Not going in a large group, just Boyfriend. We thought about getting together more people, but most people seemed more interested in taking day trips to Ocean City instead. Maybe next year!
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Postby Otohiko » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:10 pm

Well, I think you know what my take on it is (see all the Oto-in-the-mountains pictures or my pictures from my brief outing to my grandfather's place in Russia).

My best experiences were actually in the same area as my grandfather's place, the Karelian Isthmus, when I was about 6 (so, just before the fall of the Soviet Union). We went on this series of two-week camping trips up and down the Vuoksa river (which is really just a series of lakes) - se we would travel on rowboats and sleep in tents. We had this deal - my dad is a professional musician, as some now, so as long as he provided entertainment we went for free.

The groups were about 30 people on average I would say, and there'd always be some kids so that was fun for us, but I actually liked talking to the adults too. There would always be like 'official' group games and campfire events, and plenty of time to just go off exploring on your own, either by boat or by foot. I remember having to be careful when going by foot though, since there was a lot of artifacts left from World War II (though the most dangerous I bumped into was rusty barbed wire).

Probably one of my brightest memories from that is one time that we sailed by night instead of day for some reason. Now, that place is far enough north that there is no actual nights in June/July, rather a period of twilight. So I remember this really eerie, quiet twilight with the boats going through the mist - but I couldn't fall asleep because that quiet was constantly broken by MiG-29 fighters flying from the nearby airbase :lol: Strange mix there.

The nature is amazing though. You can again look at some of my pictures from the same area in my Russia thread. I always said it was my most favorite place in the world. I totally want to go to Finland since I believe further west the lakes are even better.

Another sort-of-outdoors experience was my trip to the village where my grandfather was born. It wasn't that I slept outdoors, but I spent most of my time there - "working" as a cowboy. That was also one of the coolest jobs I yet had. I loved driving my little herd of cows, they're cool animals :P
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Postby guy07 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:10 pm

jasper-isis wrote:The campgrounds where I'll be staying ...



That's not camping : /

Camping is like in a provincial (state) park in the wilderness! Now THAT's fun. But camping in any form is fun, enjoy it! bring toilet paper and be sure to eat smores!
I just got back from Vancouver island, BC ...that was a nature experience. If u'v been there u know what i mean. If u havn't gone ...go, it's beautiful. I'll be posting MY trip thread in a few weeks. 8-)
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Postby jasper-isis » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:01 am

guy07 wrote:
jasper-isis wrote:Camping is like in a provincial (state) park in the wilderness! Now THAT's fun. But camping in any form is fun, enjoy it! bring toilet paper and be sure to eat smores!

Well from what I can tell, technically the entire island of Assateague is a state park. But yeah, the amenities make it a whole lot easier than regular camping, I'd imagine. Which is good. I'm gonna have to start at easy camping and work my way up.


Oto wrote:I spent most of my time there - "working" as a cowboy.

And getting chased by geese? :o

:imagines goose chasing Oto chasing cows:
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Postby Otohiko » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:16 am

jasper-isis wrote:
Oto wrote:I spent most of my time there - "working" as a cowboy.

And getting chased by geese? :o

:imagines goose chasing Oto chasing cows:


Haha, that was a lot earlier than that. (Nice mental image though!)

They only had chickens. I was chased by a chicken there too.
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Postby Bakadeshi » Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:43 pm

my best trip of anything of this sort was up Mt. Sufree in St Vincent, which happens to also be an active volcano, though it usually doesn't erupt for a couple hundred years. I actually don't remember the time we climbed to the top, but I do remember camping near some waterfalls and a river, catching crayfish and stuff like that, and cooking out. Wasn't a real camp trip though since we didn't spend the night there, only the day. I don't think I've ever done a real camping trip before where we actually slept out with nature.

Enjoy your trip though, bring back pictures :o
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Postby jasper-isis » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:05 am

So I've been back for a few days now. The trip was indeed very awesome. :D

There were lots of people there, as expected, since almost all the campsites were reserved for the weekend. Our reservation was divided to two different sites, so we got to enjoy two different locations.

This was our first location. Picture was taken on the first morning:
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The shore is right over those dunes in the back. There's a thin layer of plants on top of the ground, but after a few inches or so it's all sand. We, unfortunately, didn't bring proper beach stakes, so our tent almost flew off a few times. :P

Anyway, the night before, we must've arrive at a really unfortunate time, because the infamous Assateague mosquitoes were out swarming right in our plot of land. Stepping right out of the car, we unfortunately hadn't yet applied insect repellant. You can probably imagine the results. Vicious little bastids they were. Spraying DEET and picaridin right into the middle of the swarm didn't even have any effect. :|

Luckily, the breeze picked up soon, and Boyfriend built a fire to keep the bugs away:
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The weather was really great the next day. We got up the watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean at around 5:30 AM.
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I went back to the tent to change, and on my way out, there came a visitor!
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:o:o:o
Last edited by jasper-isis on Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jasper-isis » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:10 am

Twas a very curious pony who was licking the tent in search of treats. She kept trying to stick her head into the tent. :)
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(I, of course, didn't give her anything. Despite their comfort with the island's visitors, they are wild animals after all.)

Here she is again with a friend, in our neibhgor's camp:
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(It looks like our neighbors went all out with their stuff, but most other visitors came with RV's and the works. Many were staying for at least a week, some up to a month.)

After grazing a little more, they decided to just bask in the sun near our picnic table:
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Meanwhile, we cooked some bacon for breakfast. Actually, Boyfriend did the cooking...
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And I just posed for the camera. :P
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Postby jasper-isis » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:27 am

We brought lots of yummy things to eat, like cheddar wurst for lunch:
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On one of the nights, we visited one of the local crab houses and went for the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. It was awesome. :twisted:

We hit the beach a lot during the trip. Even though the high temperature stayed in the mid-eighties, the sun was brutal during midday, especially with the limited shade. The ocean breezes helped to alleviate that a lot.

Walkway leading to the shore:
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Some of the fences were electrified, to keep out both humans and horses I supppose. They serve the protect the dunes, which protect the beach but are only held together by a thin network of easily-crushed plants.

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It was nice and quiet there. A lot of people come out to bake between noon and four, but it's still nowhere near the crowdedness you get just north at Ocean City.
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Postby jasper-isis » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:31 am

Since there was a breeze, we flew a kite:
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The ponies also came out enjoy the breeze one afternoon. They galloped up the path and mingle with people for a while:
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And then went off to chill on their own:
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I picked out my favorite of the bunch. I thought the coloring of its mane was really cool :):
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Postby jasper-isis » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:52 am

We took a lot of walks in the early morning and evenings. There's a nice pedestrian bridge that connects the island to the mainland. It has telescopes for you to gaze at Ocean City to the north and Chincoteague Island to the south. I forgot to upload a picture of the bay, but here's a picture of boyfriend strolling along the bridge:
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While walking, I also took note of nice locations that we should reserve for next year. :P I thought this one was particularly nice-looking:
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It's a idyllic location, and there's a little bit of shade to boot.

After dark one night, we went out to the beach to search for ghost crabs. We caught a few in the beam of our flashlight, but they were tricksy and liked to skitter away really fast if we flicked the light away for a second. Here's one that I got with the flash of my camera:
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You could tell they were out partying at night though. There were little crab tracks all over the sand in the mornings, like this:
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We managed to fit a lot into just three days - we even drove up to OC for a few hours, for ice cream and fries :P - but it was all still pretty laid back. All in all it was a really relaxing (and much-needed) vacation. We'll definitely go back next year... just maybe earlier in the season, before the mosquitoes hatch. :P

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Yay!
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Postby Willen » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:19 am

Cheddar Wurst. YUM.
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