It seems like fate says that I must always be taking down a tent by myself in the rain. And such it was. Just a light drizzle, though, and warm warm warm.
Kids wanted to go clamming again, rain or no, so we headed back to Assateague, where we saw cool things at the Tom's Cove visitor's center before heading up the trail to a clamming spot. But we took a wrong turn on the trail, and ended up at a wild pony overlook.
So we saw the ponies. From a distance. The only reason I could see them at all was because of my camera lens, even though I don't have telephoto. Here is our one photo of Assateague's famous wild ponies. Ponies that everyone we met said usually are all over the place, but because of the heat have been making themselves scarce. Ponies that, through my nontelephoto, longest, non-IS lens look fuzzy. But at least we have proof that we DID see them! Next time we'll make a more concerted effort to see them before the last day. We were having such a good time doing other things, though!
There were a few Assateague ponies that were domesticated, and we stopped to pet a foal. The ponies are really quite tiny, but long in the body compared to their height. Would have been nice to see them on the sand by the ocean, but we have another reason to go back, now!
Then the kids needed to use the bathroom, and we were getting eaten by mosquitos, so we went back to the beach, where the kids decided to look for seashells rather than go back up the trail clamming.
So we took a walk waaaay up the beach. There were very few people there, since it had been raining, but at the time that we were there, the rain had stopped, and it was a nice comfortable temperature. Light breeze, not too hot, perfect. We slowly walked, looking for shells in the low tide. If we had only gotten there sooner, we would have found all kinds of shells--but the pros got there first and we kept seeing them walking back with bags of the big, beautiful ones. We did find a conch shell, although it had two holes in it. And a pretty blue/purple one that I have no idea what it is!
Lots of jellyfish washed up on the beach, and I saw one that escaped back out to sea via an outgoing wave. I could imagine him seeing his opportunity and hightailing it out of there! He looked pretty relieved to find himself in water again! Cpt Barry had said that the jellyfish weren't poisonous, so the kids had fun feeling the top of them. Harder than they had thought! Adam was hilarious--the look on his face whenever he found something new was priceless. Pure delight written all over it!
Julia found a patch with thousands of teensy weensy clams of all colours--pinks, blue, white, purple. Teensy, about half the size of my little fingernail, if that. They were exposed by the low tide. It was fun digging them up then watching them turn on their sides and dig back into the sand. They felt really funny on the palm of my hand, kind of tickly as the wiggled downward. We played with them for ages. We weren't prepared for being wet, having left the swimsuits in the car, and we ended up getting soaked. But what a beautiful, relaxing end to our trip. We were about five minutes from being back at the car, though, when the skies opened and absolutely poured down rain. So we got in the car wet, and there was no way of getting to our clothing, which was buried deep in the packed to the brim car. Didn't matter. We weren't even to the Assateague bridge heading back to Chincoteague and then out towards home, and the kids were sound asleep.