August 14 - September 14, 2019:   Berlin, Maryland
Assateague Island National Seashore - Part 2

If you recall, we have been on a qwest to find the best ice cream.  Our boss Besty and some fellow Rangers told us about some places to try in the area.  So...of course, we had to try them all : )

Our favorite and the only one that comes even close to our benchmark of Cloverleaf Creamery (rated a 10) in Buhl, Idaho is Island Creamery (rated a 9) in Berlin, Maryland.  We went there three times and I could not get away from the Marsh Mud (best chocolate ice cream I have ever had) and Cherries Jubilee (they soak the cherries in brandy).  Craig varied his flavors each time and loved them all!  Great variety of flavors, excellent smoothness, good price and huge single scoops!

Our second favorite was BYOC (Build Your Own Cookie) in Ocean City, Maryland.  They used Hershey ice cream so they did not make their own, however the concept and variety was very unique. 

Third place goes to Dumser's Dairyland in Ocean City, Maryland.  Dumser's has been around for a long time and they make their own ice cream.  The flavors were good - pretty basic and nothing real special.  They had a good selection, but the pricing was a little high for how much you got.

Fourth place goes to Chesapeake Bay Farms in Ocean City, Maryland.  It was all homemade with local ingredients, had limited selections but good flavors.  Price was not too bad, but the scoop size was small and both of our flavors were a little grainy.  However, the cows in the yard were hilarious to watch and fun to play with!

One of the days we golfed at Eagle's Landing near Ocean City.  Wow, what a great course.  This is a municple course and the tee boxes, fairways, and greens were in awesome shape.  The cart had an interactive GPS and electronic score card which was really cool.  Add to that the grounds, scenery, and wildlife...this is one of our top three courses we have played while being on the road!

Check out our Activity Log for a complete list of golf and ice cream ratings from our travels!

We did a lot of bicycling around the island, watching kiteboarders, surfers, people, and...the ponies!

One of the highlights of our entire 15 months that we have been on the road was...a bi-plane ride! 

OMG...what an incredible experience!  It was $200 for two people for a 30 minute flight.  We would both highly recommend this and do it again in a heartbeat!  We flew over Assateague Island and got to see our campground/site and Ocean City.  It is just amazing to see the area from a different perspective and view.  Our pilot Justin was great and provided a little "G-force" and "no gravity" to our ride!  Click to watch the videos.

During our time at Assateague, Hurricane Dorian came through.  We evacuated the Oceanside campground and camphosts, but the Bayside did not evacuate.  Winds got up to about 30mph with rain and lightening.  It was like a good thunderstorm back in Idaho!  Click to play video.

Earlier I mentioned that our buddy Todd from Cincinnati came for a visit.  It has been awesome because Todd joined us in Baja and New York/Maine, and now Maryland! 

As soon as Todd arrived, we whisked him off to Salisbury for a FREE Folk Festival.  Once we parked, we took a free shuttle into town and had a great time wandering around the town, listening to music, people watching, and being silly.

Some of the highlight artists we enjoyed were:  Bill Kirchen (from Commander Cody, sang Hot Rod Lincoln), Jerry Douglas (Dobro player who has played with Allison Krauss), and Aurelio. 

Todd pitched his tent behind hour trailer and had the ponies visiting him each morning, evening, and middle of the night.  We enjoyed sitting at the table eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner and having them wander around.

We took a day and just hung around the campsite and at the beach.  The boys went swimming while I walked the beach.  Todd rented a car to drive here so he was able to bring his bicycle.  Of course, we rode bicycles throughout the park many times.

We decided to ship the Kawaski KLR 650 motorcycle back to Boise.  We have not been riding it and ride our electric bicycles more.  Also,wWith the new F150 truck vs. the F350 we feel it is a little much with the motorcycle in the back and pulling the trailer.  So...one of the days Craig and Todd drove to Jessup, Maryland to ship to KLR home.   Bye Bye KLR.

Of course, I stayed in Assateague and slaved away at our camphost job  : )  NOT....I did work but it is not hard work.

Craig and Todd stopped in Annapolis, Maryland on the way back for lunch and enjoyed a boat ride around the harbor.

Another day we drive to Chincoteague, Virginia and to ride bicycles and see their ponies.  This is the Virginia side of Assateague Island.

To get there, we drove by the NASA Wallops Flight Facility.   At a high level, this is a rocket launch area that supports many missions, just a few are the International Space Station, Hubble, and others.  Had a we planned better we would have stopped at the Visitor Center and inquired about a tour.

Crossing the bridge into Chincoteague we stopped at the Visitor Center.  We were able to leave our truck here, unload our bikes and explored the island by bicycle.  What a cool little island!

We rode out to the beach all the way to Tom's Cove and were being silly along the way.  This was a really cool jellyfish that had washed ashore. 

We stopped by the Assateague Light House.  I captured a great photo of Craig taking a photo of Todd taking a photo  : )

This is the Virginia side of Assateague Island and the pony viewing is much different.  They have a North Herd and South Herd and they are behind fencing quiet a ways.  To see the ponies you walk into the woods/marsh and stand on a viewing platform.  Very different than the Maryland side we have been staying on.

The corral at the bottom is where they round the ponies up in the 3rd weekend in July, swim them across the bay, and auction off the babies.

We stopped and toured the Assateague Island Chincoteague Visitor Center.  There was a touch pool and they had an actual Horseshoe Crab you could pick up.  Craig and Todd were able to pick it up, but when I tried, it weirded me out too much because it's little legs were flying all over the place.  I quickly put it back in the water!  Click to play the video.

Once we finished exploring the Virginia Assateague Island, we rode around the town of Chincoteague, had lunch on the bay, and...of course ice cream at Island Creamery!

These were all fun and cool things we saw around town.  No...that is not a real shark, it is fake.  Check out the "Jeep" wanna be.  It is actually a Oreion, pretty cool rig!  Notice the section that has the names of ponies - pretty cool.

We had a great time in Chincoteague and really enjoyed exploring the Virginia side of Assateague Island.

Of course, since Todd was my partner in crime with lobster, we had to introduce him, Tom, and Carol to The Shrimp Boat for some crabs.  Todd and I both got a dozen each and we could not finish them, just too many.  Tom and Carol were smart and only had 6 between the two of them!

Back on the Maryland side of Assateague Island National Seashore where we stayed, we captured some gorgeous sunsets during our stay.

We had a fabulous time in Maryland at Assateague Island National Seashore!!!  We both loved the entire state, our experience as camphosts, and met some great people (Betsy, Rangers, fellow camphosts, and more).  We really want to come back and camphost again, so...we'll be figuring out how to make that happen!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Betsy, the Rangers, our fellow camphosts (Barbara, Len, Fred, Julie, Wayne, Carol, Brian, Kelley, and Mike), our friends Tom, Carol, and Todd!!!

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