My Search for the Wild Ponies on Chincoteague Island

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For an adventure, I thought it would be fun to travel to Cincoteague Island, Virginia to see the wild ponies. Knowing it was a four-hour drive, I called the day before to guarantee I would be able to see the ponies. I guess the lady over the phone had a different idea in mind than I did because I expected to see them up close. There were to places called “Pony Overlooks” and as you can see, the first was a bust. I parked my truck and walked about a mile on a trail through the woods, hoping I’d see more ponies. It turns out, the trail came to a large deck that overlooked the fielded area where the first ponies could be spotted, except now I was on the side of them- still not much closer.

Disappointed, I moseyed around the island some more. I found the park ranger and asked, “Do you know what happened to all of the ponies?” He smiled. I didn’t catch his name but he said as a result of Hurricane Sandy, a lot of gates were damaged, so most of the ponies have been moved up the island.” He could tell I had a disappointed expression on my face. “Do you like to walk?” he asked, and at the time, I knew exactly where this was going.

I walked a little more than halfway up a seven and a half mile service road to find more ponies, just as far away. The walk took about three and a half hours. (Good thing I wore my sneakers) Now extremely let down, I decided to check the first place I spotted the ponies¬†again, just in case. Off to the distance, on the other side of the road, I could see cars parked. At this point, I didn’t care if they were looking at ducks, so I drove over there.

This part of the refuge happened to be “The Loop.” (The service road actually goes off the loop in one direction) The loop is about three miles all the way around. After 3 o’clock, visitors are allowed to drive The Loop.

Jackpot! There were the ponies standing right on the side of the road. Of course, I could have patiently waited until 3 o’clock and saved myself three and a half hours of walking, but where’s the fun in that right?

The moral of this adventure: Hard walking pays off;¬†don’t give up when your feet hurt.