You can click the buttons above to see pictures from this trip. The Chincoteague pictures mainly try to show what has changed in the past few years. There's a few just to show what's there. On this site, most of the information is found on the Chincoteague page.
We hadn't been to Chincoteague
and Assateague Island in a year and a half. Its one of my
favorite places to visit so it was time to go back. It had to be a
short trip since unemployed people don't get long trips. I was
also curious to see
how much the town had changed due to the new
I was up at 4:00AM and heading east. You have to cross the
Chesapeake Bay Bridge and head across Maryland. When you get to
Salisbury, go South on Route 13 and look for the signs.
When I got there, it was straight through Chincoteague to Assateague Island. I was
headed to the beach but took a while to get there. There were
several Great Blue Herons in the creek along the road. There were
also a bunch of ducks at Swan Pool near the beach. I got seriously
sidetracked on the way to the beach. I even set up the scope and
tried digiscoping for a while. I got some pictures but they need
work. Not sharp enough for prime time. On the other hand,
the pictures are of birds a long way off.
I made a swing around the wildlife loop after the beach. Its 3.5
miles and took me forever. Way too many distractions. There's an eagles nest in Black Duck
Pool. I had a good scope and couldn't find the nest but could
watch the eagles occasionally. By the time I got to the forested
section, I'd killed a lot of time. The eagles were in and out as
they were sitting on eggs. There's a closed circuit TV you can
watch in the Visitor's Center to see them.
I finally completed my walk. It was many pictures later. I
wanted pictures of Northern Shovelers and got several. Not great
but better than none. I also got pictures of herons and egrets
standing side by side. Normally, the herons tolerate no one.
I also saw an eagle carrying a major branch back to the nest. I'm
not really a birder but saw
Green Winged Teals,
Pin Tail Ducks,
Common Merganser and other birds I couldn't name.
Lunch was at McDonalds. I wanted something quick and it was
I stayed at the Lighthouse Inn. It was OK. I checked their
website before leaving and found little useful information. They
didn't even show rates. The reservation / rate parts of the site
didn't work. The ice machine
was turned off and there was no breakfast included in spite of what was
on the web. I was kind of irritated but I
suppose it all turned out OK. The room was old but clean. It
had a small fridge and microwave. The king-size bed was comfortable.
The rate was $59.95 for the room and that was reasonable but you
couldn't find it on their website.
Up at 5:30 for the sunrise. Assateague doesn't open until 6:00 so
no rush to get there too early. Sunrise was mildly disappointing but I got
some good pictures anyway. The trick is to zoom into the sunrise
to where you get only the good parts. You also have to have a
I didn't see many ponies. There were 8 or 10 near the road in
Black Duck Marsh.
There's pictures of them in the album. There was one loose in the
Wildlife Loop. He wouldn't quit eating long enough to look up.
Typical but I took his picture anyway.
On the way back to town, I stopped at the Refuge's Visitor's Center.
One of the bald eagles had hatched overnight. It was cool to watch
one of the parents tear off pieces of meat to feed it. It then
laid back down on the little one and the other eggs. I heard later
in the day that the other one hatched too.
Changes in town.
Breakfast was at Mr. Baldy's. It used to be the Chincoteague
Family Restaurant and serves a mainly local crowd. I wasn't impressed but would go back
again for lunch just to see. I wanted to go to Skipper's for
breakfast but there
isn't a Skipper's any more. It has a new name but I don't recall
what it is. It didn't have a buffet sign either. Oh, well. Dinner
was at the Chincoteague Inn. Their porch area is like a local bar
but they serve food too. The crab cakes were pretty good and the
atmosphere was what I wanted. I had a couple of drinks earlier and thought
I shouldn't drive to AJ's. One other thing, the Mariner is
now a Quality Inn. It looked pretty good too.
I didn't know what to expect of Chincoteague this visit. There's
been talk of a lot of new building. The new bridge is well under
way. I'd guess 6 months to a year to finish it but don't have a
basis for that. Sunset Bay Villas is built. In Ocean City,
it would look nice. In Chincoteague, I thought it was an eyesore.
It isn't ugly but didn't fit the landscape and blocked the view for many except those
that could afford a $600K condo. My thought was that if you need a
place like that to stay, you may well not like the town you're staying
in. I like Chincoteague as it is but fear places like this will
cause even more changes.
The Landing at Water's Edge is also nearly complete. Its townhomes
located between the Waterside Inn and the Anchor Inn. They don't
fit the town much in my opinion either but they don't take up near the
view that Sunset Bay does. They were $700K when we were last there
and I didn't check this time.
The Landmark Center is like a ghost town. Cap't Fish is where the
Shucking House Cafe is. They used to be where Sunset Bay is now.
Not my favorite but they must be doing OK. Shucking House used to
be Sue's favorite breakfast place because of being over the water.
The old Landmark Crab House looked closed but not necessarily deserted.
Not sure what's going on there. The rest of the shops seem to be
waiting to be torn down for the new condos and marina.
On the whole, I had a great time and look forward to going back.
The town is changing but much of what I like is still there. Its
still my kind of place to go to the beach.