Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pony Penning...realizing a childhood dream Part 2

So...we arrived on Chincoteague in the early morning and found the tiny island absolutely packed with cars and tourists. We had arranged to park at the local high school and take a bus to the site of the pony swim. So, armed with bugspray and cool drinks we arrived at Memorial Park just across the channel from Assateague. We had considered the possibility of watching the swim from a boat, but the boats involved were mostly small fishing type boats, the wait could be half a day long, and our bladders were not up to the we opted to watch from the shore.

After what seemed like hours (and actually WAS several hours) finally a cry went up and we could see the pony herd in the distance approaching the channel.

If you look closely, you can see tiny figures in the pictures that are horses. These shots were taken with a 300 mm zoom lens. Your view here is actually MUCH better than our view from the had to use your imagination quite a bit.

See, those are ponies heads in the water swimming the channel. Somehow I had pictured a more intimate experience....

Once the ponies emerged on the Chincoteague side of the channel, they were driven through town to the fairgrounds where they were corralled to wait for the auction of the colts the following day. The first foal out of the water was raffled off; I of course bought a ticket and then found myself wondering what in the world I would do if I won. Wouldn't the ultimate irony just be to win a pony FINALLY, then have to think like an adult and realize I had nowhere to keep a pony, no time to spend with one, and was way to big to ride one! Thankfully I didn't win and wasn't faced with any tough decisions.

Here are some of the foals in the paddock; it actually started to rain around the time that they reached the fairgrounds and the whole area was generally hot, steaming and muddy. We didn't spend a ton of time at the fairgrounds as it seemed kind of anticlimactic.

All in all, the pony penning and swim was the least interesting part of the trip but I'm really glad I went. It definitely brought me back to my childhood and was something I'm so glad I got to do. I spent so many hours dreaming about going as a kid, I just couldn't pass the opportunity by! Next time, I would stay at the Maryland end of the island and spend more time there and get in some birdwatching (although I would like to see the Misty Museum, although I don't think the stuffed Misty is still there-not sure I need to see that!).

So mark one thing off of my list of "things I want to do before I die"!

1 comment:

  1. I read the books as a child, but I'm afraid I don't remember much about them. Beautiful ponies, and your blog posts makes me want to revisit the books I loved as a child.

    Cheers, Kim