Assateague is a skinny island just south of Ocean City in Maryland. Where Ocean City was all tourist attractions and (probably) trucked-in sand, the beaches along Assateague are natural and wild. The northern part of Assateague Island is in Maryland and hosts both Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore. The southern end of the island is in Virginia and hosts the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
Assateague is perhaps best known for the wild ponies that roam it. I’ll share some pony photos soon, but for now, just enjoy the beach.
It’s a long trip to visit any ocean from my Indiana home, but the Atlantic is far closer than the Pacific. And since we were most of the way to the Atlantic already on our Washington, DC, visit, we decided to spend one day at the beach.
Who knew Maryland is so wide: it took 2½ hours to drive to the beach at Ocean City! Fortunately it was an entirely pleasant drive, US 50 almost all the way.
The day was chilly and the wind barreled in off the ocean. Consequently, few people visited the beach with us. That was just fine with us.
The winds were strongest on the pier, from which I took this photo. It chilled the bones in a hurry. I didn’t stay up there for long, as I was wearing only a windbreaker over my pullover!
In Ocean City, to get to the beach, you have to cross the boardwalk.
End to end, it’s top-notch tourist-trap kitsch.
But since the season hadn’t begun, most of the stores and attractions were closed.
You could hardly get a bite to eat on the boardwalk this early-April day.
The boardwalk wasn’t devoid of people. These youngsters were having fun. The kid out front was pushing the cart backwards down the boardwalk.
We left the beach and boardwalk in search of lunch. After we ate we drove down the coast a bit to see a natural beach where we encountered some wild ponies. I’ll write more about that visit in a future post.
Why is it that beaches look so good in black and white?
I never would have guessed until I saw J. R. Smith’s photostream on Flickr. He lives on the northern California coast and photographs the beach in black and white all the time.
This beach isn’t in California — it’s in northwest Ireland. on a peninsula in County Sligo called Rosses Point.
Rosses Point is a peninsula with this beach, a harbor, and a small town. Famed poet William Butler Yeats spent his summers here when he was a boy.
We spent about an hour exploring this beach, and in that time dark clouds parted for full sun, only to yield to gray overcast. The changing sky is a lot of why we stayed so long: new light brought out new and interesting things to photograph.
My color photos of this beach do not at all show the scalloping in the sand.
We had other places we wanted to see this day so we reluctantly moved on.
Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak T-Max 400