I camped from August 9-15 in Assateague Island on the national park side with a girlfriend. Once again, the Captain drove the travel trailer out to our camp site, set everything up and then left. (I am so thankful for this man willing to do this for me, not only once, but twice, this summer). This was a totally different experience from when I camped on the state side of the park back in June.
(This is how our camp looked all set up on the National Park side.)
Pro’s for camping on the National Park side:
- We had an incredible view of the marsh grasses and the bridge that leads to the island.
- A short bike ride away was great viewing of Assawoman Bay and places to picnic and grill out.
- The horses used our campsite to get to the marsh grasses to graze.
- There were lots of horses in the campground to view and photograph.
- There was a meteor shower that was in peak while we were there on August 13-14. Peak viewing hours were from 4:00 a.m. to sunrise. My girlfriend said it was a spectacular show, especially on the 13th. I woke up briefly and went out to look, and then went back to bed.
- We could run the generator from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (and the air conditioning, but we never did that for that long).
- Our campsite was right across from the bathrooms and showers
The horses would stand around the water pump and wait for someone who felt sorry for them to give them fresh water. You aren’t supposed to water the horses, there are signs everywhere saying not to, but we did anyway.
- You get ½ pricing off of camping with your Interagency Pass (which costs $80/year, but gets you into all National Parks within the United States). If you are over the age of 62, you pay $10 for a lifetime pass. A great deal.
- When the bad weather came, we had a nice safe and DRY place to go.
Con’s to Camping in the National Park side:
- It was really hot this trip, with very little breezes, and without air conditioning at night, I woke up every morning drenched in sweat, even with the windows and doors to the camper opened. (This is just how it goes in August, hot and muggy).
- A certain group of horses were more aggressive on this trip and actually took our dinner off of the grate of our campfire. This group of horses would not leave our campsite until we started banging around pots and pans very loudly.
- A guy camping next to us yelled at me for running the generator until 9:58 p.m. He came over ready to turn off my generator, right as I was walking up to turn it off. He was not very nice, and I informed him quiet time was at 10:00 p.m., and he “informed” me it was 7:00 p.m. for generators (which is true on the STATE side NOT the national park side).
- It was difficult to find parking at the beach unless we went early, and dropped off a car with our beach stuff and then rode bikes back up to the car later, and put the bikes on a rack attached to the car. The photo below was NOT taken in Ocean City, Maryland, this is Assateague!
- Only had cold showers, which felt great after being in the heat and sun all day, but the bathhouses on the state park side are much better.
On this trip, I practiced my dutch oven cooking:
Peach Cobbler: Ingredients: 1/2 Box yellow cake mix, 1 24 oz. can of peaches, drained, and 1/2 can of Sprite, mix together and pour into greased foil pan, and place the foil pan into your dutch oven.
Place hot coals under and on top of the lid of the dutch oven. Check often, using this tool to lift the lid:
It also makes a great fire poker 🙂
After about 30 minutes or so, here is what the cobbler looked like:
It was really good!
I know this sounds crazy, but I miss camping on the beach on the national park side with my tent, and hiking in all of my stuff. It was SO MUCH WORK, but when it was done, you were right on the beach and it was great. There was almost always a nice breeze to keep you cooled off at night and to keep the bugs at bay, and no issues with finding a parking spot at the beach.
Maybe next year, I’ll do both, get a spot on the beach with the tent, and another time an RV spot. I most likely will try to camp in the off season, in May or September.
One thing I really want to try next year is to get an ORV (Off Road Vehicle) sticker, which allows you to drive and park on the beach on the national park side. There is an air pump at the entrance, and you have to let air out of your tires when driving on sand, and then you put air back in your tires when you leave. I have passed by the ORV side while walking on the beach, and it looks like a cool way to spend the day. The only downside I see is no restrooms.
I haven’t been posting much because there is a lot going on in my life, and finding time to sit down and draft blog posts has taken a back seat at the moment. I hope to be able to post more and share what is going on in the very near future. Hint: It’s all good stuff.
Thanks for your patience.