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Saturday, April 28, 2018

“They’re Like Bears Without Claws” - Assateague Island National Seashore

I’ve wanted to go to the Assateague Island National Seashore for some time.  Here was my chance while visiting my son and family in Maryland.

The barrier island’s attraction are the wild horses.

When I checked in at the ranger station for my overnight camping visit,  I noticed this signboard about the proper way of dealing with the wild horses.

When I went inside and spoke with the ranger she made it clear about the risk of being around wild horses and said; “They’re like bears without claws.”

Of course that is not an exact truism, but here is what she meant.  They will maime you by biting, craving you down, and kick you.  They eat grass and your food.  They will break into your cooler and eat what they want. They will rip into your tent for food.

The rangers will confiscate your cooler if left outside.  This is how serious they are about protecting the safety of people and the wild horses.

Here I am at my reserved camping spot for one night.

I decided to go on a hike down this trail. 

The trail turned into old asphalt with a bit of history.  This Old Road segment was part of the current road that ends at the trailhead.  It was built in the 1950 and in 1962 a storm destroyed the road and it was abandoned.  The sign said it is still used by seagulls to drop shellfish on to crack them open for their meal.

I was told there are 83 bears without claws (wild horses) on the island and here are the only 3 I got to see. (2 foreground 1 background)

Above, this person didn’t heed the warnings posted everywhere to keep a bus length distance from the wild horse..

It didn’t take long to find social media posts on wild horse attacks.

Above on Facebook a horse bite.  Ouch!

Trip Advisor post advising they kick and bite!

Then again YouTube video about a lifeguard getting kicked in the head.

Yea, I kept my distance.

While exploring I found this dear. No warning on kicking and biting but kept my distance.

My morning at the campground.  

It was a nice visit and I had AT&T LTE and 32 TV stations, but I’m not a beach person.  There are no views of the ocean from the campground.  I found the area limited on hiking, and hiking on sand for miles with one view is not that fun.   

Rain was on the way too so I headed back to my son’s house as there is never a dull moment with my two granddaughters.

Assateague Island is a nice place to visit and I was happy to see some wild horses.  Weekends at the National Seashore campgrounds are generally booked as soon as they are open for reserving.  Plan ahead if you wish to stay.


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