Westward Ho travel blog

Detail of Snowgoose Flock

Coming in for a landing

Great Egret among Reeds

Blue Heron Fishing

Wind-tossed waves

The take-off

Sunset after the storm

Patterned clouds

Red Sunset

Red Ball on Horizon

Gold-edged Clouds

What a view!

November 5, 2010

Only a few days left…a depressing thought. Left the Wal-mart and headed toward the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge-Tunnel. The geography is similar to the desert in the sense that it is FLAT! Here, however, the grass is green and the trees are just beginning to turn colors. We passed GREEN fields, cotton fields and fields of soybeans. The homes are typical southern brick or wood but the style is more lowland federalist or Victorian.

The Bay Bridge-Tunnel was a welcome sight although Bob was in heaven because we were finally in Beefsteak Rye Bread and Herr’s Potato Chip country. The wind was really blowing and the Chesapeake looked more like an ocean with huge waves. On the Delmarva peninsula, instead of seeing dry, red sand deserts, we were surrounded by bays, rivers, estuaries and creeks. Decided to stay in Chincoteague at Tom’s Cove campground. This, and all of the other campgrounds on Chincoteague are not particularly nice because there are so many seasonal sites and those sites seem run down. I have never seen so many chachka in the yards of old travel trailers that have been surrounded by flimsy plywood or siding to make them look more like an actual “shore home”. I would NOT want to be here in the summertime. The facilities at the campground are good; water, electric, large docks and a boat yard and ramps. Because there are not many transient campers here, we got our choice of site and are parked right on the bay with a view across the water to the Assateague Lighthouse.

The marsh grass are yellowed and with the setting sun, they are blazing gold. The lighthouse is white and red, but again, with the sunset hitting it, it and all of the surroundings are golden. There are cormorants and other marsh birds on a sandbar at low tide but at high tide, the water comes almost to our wheels; especially since it is a new moon. The tide was so high that when it receded, there were hundreds of minnows caught in the trenches along the road of the campground and they were flashing about.

We went over to the National Wildlife Refuge on Chincoteague Island. There were hundreds of snow geese there as well as great egrets, blue herons, cormorants, black ducks and mallards, sandpipers and plovers and other unidentified marsh birds. The ocean was wind-whipped and the skies were so gray that the photos look black and white.

We stopped to watch this flock of snow geese that was huge in numbers. I got as close as I could with my 400 mm lens on the camera and got some nice photos. Suddenly, they all took off at once and the air was filled with the sound of the wing beats of hundreds of geese. It was an incredible sight. The sky was filled with these white geese and the flock wheeled around and half of them landed again in the same place. It is amazing how they don’t land on top of one another. The photos are pretty good but really can’t convey the sight and sound.

The day was grey but all of a sudden, about 5:30, the sun started to peek through the clouds right on the horizon throwing golden light everywhere. I decided to take Dixie and headed in the truck to where I would be able to see the western sunset over the bay and Assateague inlet. It was worth the trip. The sunset was absolutely incredible. The clouds were more beautiful than the sun itself as they were fantastical shapes with curliques and layers that looked like someone took a bright pink and orange pencil and drew lines and curves throughout the clouds. The sun set in a big red, and I mean red, ball. It was so spectacular that I did not have to “do anything” to the photos – they really show what Dixie and I saw as the sun set. A fitting end to the trip.

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