Love makes you see a place differently, just as you hold differently an object that belongs to someone you love. If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently. And if you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another.
~ Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces
Let’s meander around Assateague Island today. M and I have gone to the beach two weekends in a row and I realized this morning that I haven’t shared that with you.
Another thing I don’t think I’ve shared with you is that we are now the owners of a moderate-sized pick-up truck. M has been on the hunt for one for a year or two because our car just isn’t suitable for a lot of the work we try to put it through. Between the remodeling of the house and all the clean-up around the property, we’ve had to drag a lot of things on and off the ranch. In some cases, we’ve had to pay to have them brought on or taken off. Now that we have the truck, we can do most of that ourselves. And we won’t have to load up the car every week with our trash. (We don’t have garbage pickup out here in the middle of nowhere. We have to take our trash and recyclables to the land fill on our own.)
The truck is also better suited for the OSV (Over Sand Vehicle) section of Assateague Island National Seashore. Our car, as you might recall, is said to be suited for it but we did manage to get stuck in the sand our second time out. We decided at that point not to use the car for such excursions again. All in all, it just didn’t seem to be good for the car.
There are, I think, about 13 miles of open beach on the Maryland side of Assateague Island that are accessible with an OSV. You could also hike it if you’re up for it. They do allow backcountry camping so you could hike in, stay for a while to rest up, and hike back out. It’s something I have on my list of things to do while we are living here. M and I will have to work up to that because it looks like a lot of work. There is no fresh water available at the backcountry camp sites so you have to carry that in with you along with your other stuff. You could also canoe or kayak your way to one of the campsites. There are two oceanside and four bayside campsites to choose from. There are plenty of rules involved (for instance, you have to hike in; you can’t have someone give you a ride) and you need a permit for use of the backcountry sites.
On Saturday, February 10, M and I took our first trip on the beach with the new (used) truck. As you can see from the images, it was a cloudy day. It started raining about an hour or so after we parked the truck on the beach and started our hike towards the bay area. We parked at KM22 (kilometer 22) and hiked out towards Tingles Island. We didn’t get to see the island because we detoured to see something else. You’ll have to wait to see what that was because I don’t think I’ll fit it into this post.
I just realized the other day that M and I have been on the Eastern Shore for almost five years. It was five years ago this month that we found the house we’re now living in. At the time I thought I would love it here. In some ways, I do. I love the water, the beach, the wild horses, and even the landscape. It’s taken me a while to appreciate the wild beauty of this area. It’s so different than what I loved about northeast Ohio.
I know that sounds absurd, to take so long to appreciate this place. Who wouldn’t want to live near the water, near the beach, near wild ponies? Well, that’s what I thought, too, when we moved here. My heart is still in Ohio, but I think a large part of that is due to the family connection (my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren are all in Ohio).
I’m learning what the locals know. Visit the beaches as much as possible during the off-season months. Go during the off-hours in the summer months. Find the off-the-beaten-path parks, the secret places you learn about when you live here. And the most important lesson of all no matter where you live: There is beauty to be found in every season.
On that note, it’s time for me to go. Thank you for meandering with me on this gray and rainy Monday. There is very little chance that we’ll see the sunset this evening, but if the clouds should part, I’ll meet you at the Point. Sunset is scheduled for 5:47 PM. It’s fairly warm today (mid-50’s) but the wind coming off the water can be chilly so you’ll want to dress warmly.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 566) A walk in the rain. 567) Exploring more of the beach than we’ve been able to in the past. 568) The crazy bluebirds and their crazy antics. 569) Inner discoveries. 570) An incredible 90 minutes of yoga and meditation this morning.