I’m on Staycation!

I can honestly say that I don’t remember if I have ever had a “staycation” before. At least not since 1979 when I began my traveling career with Braniff Airlines, I can’t recall a time when I didn’t purchase an airline ticket, a bus ticket, a Lonely Planet Guide, or at least pack a bag in prep for vacation. It feels very odd to do so little prep for “PTO,” (time off from work,) such a precious commodity over the years. Instead of packing a suitcase, I packed away the makeshift desk, the routers, boosters, antennae and power cords, started my engine and drove 50 miles up the coast to the northern end of Assateague National Seashore in Maryland.

It’s a lovely campground with sites right along the dunes where I can finally hear the ocean lull me to sleep each night. Though probably a bit crowded by some standards, the sites are all angled with some brush in between for privacy.

Although there is lots of maritime forest vegetation on the lee side of the island, the windward side is quite barren. No sea grass in the dunes, remnants of seashells, or even dried seaweed on the beach. Just windswept bare sugary white sand as far as you can see in either direction. The four days I have been here, the wind is either blowing a gale or not at all, so the ocean follows suit with either giant, angry waves, or calm as a bathtub.
The bayside would no doubt be the kayaker’s dream, however like the ocean side, the wind has been a factor. When it is calm enough for an enjoyable paddle, the “greenheads,” or biting horse flies are intolerably relentless.

Assateague is known for its wild horses. They are referred to as “horses” here, not “ponies” like they are known on the Virginia side, and they appear to be more laid back sun bathers here rather than swimmers. 😉

Evidence confirms that they are notorious for wandering through the campsites like Yogi and Boo Boo stealing picnic baskets, however I only managed to find them along the beach or the roadside.

There is another solo female RVer in the campground. She came over for a visit yesterday. She had gotten word that there was another “single lady” in the camping loop, as if that should bond us like a Beyonce’ song. “All the Single Ladies!!” She is one of those fidgety older women who asks a million questions “Why,” then proceeds to tell me everything I am doing wrong, from my DC volt meter to my SPF sunscreen. I stopped just short of telling her my mother had not yet retired from her job. 😉

I am like the hermit crab; the Winnie is my shell…

I have enjoyed turning my little shell home into my own beach cottage, angling it into the parking space to maximize the privacy, the view, as well as the sound of the ocean through my bedroom window. I am enjoying a good read while at the beach; Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz, a modern day comedic “explorer” who set off to retrace the navigational routes of Captain Cook. I find that full timing does not offer as much spare time as one might think, between working, repositioning, and researching one destination to the next, so it has been fun to unplug and read about the remarkable 18th century navigational achievements back before the days of maps, Siri, and the GPS.

The last two weeks of the month are always my busiest time at work, which meant I had to cram 10 days of work into five before vacation started. Consequently, I had little to no time for “personal grooming.” My brother Don is meeting me at the next stop. Having been four months since my last “hair refresh,” my fear is he will confuse me for his grandmother rather than his sister. I meant to get this taken care of in Chincoteague, but I ran out of time. People I meet along the road are always talking about how “brave” it is traveling alone as a woman in an RV. You wanna talk “brave?” Try guessing at a hair color from a box, then coloring in a national park with no hookups, no mirrors, and cold water showers. 😉

Once I am done, I am not happy with the result. I want my sun-streaked hair back, gray and all. As I get closer to Manhattan and a life I had 10 years ago of black tie affairs and designer suits, I realize how my simplified life has changed me. I stopped wearing make-up, much to the chagrin of my Mom. She loves to remind me, “A little powder and a little paint, makes a woman what she ain’t,” to which I tease her in reply, “Exactly, Mom. I don’t like to be what I ain’t.”

I realize in the shedding process of becoming a Hermit crab, I have also shed some of my vanity. If you subscribe to the theory that “happiness is an inside job,” that is not necessarily a bad thing. Particularly when one is on Staycation.

8 thoughts on “I’m on Staycation!

    • Hi, Lynne! What a coincidence that I was over on WinnieViews looking at your pictures from 2011 when your comment came through! I wanted to see if we were in the same area. Our campsites look very similar. I was just south of the boardwalk, and it looks like you were too, though I can’t tell if it is same loop.

      Thanks again for encouraging me to try to get the ocean side! I would have been a bit disappointed on the bay side with no ocean sounds. I really enjoyed that short walk to the beach. Also, there were no “equus ferus” to be found on the bay side. 😉 The Park Ranger corrected me. Me: “When is the best time of day to see the ponies?” Him: “We call them horses here, ma’am, because that’s what they are.” LOL! It may just be my own interpretation, but I got a sense they were trying to differentiate themselves from the “Pony Penning.” Being all natural like that…

      Thanks again for all the great advice, as usual!!

  1. I’m headed toward Assateague and will have my sights on an ocean site. If they have numbers, could you tell me which one you were in. Since they assign when you get there I want to ask specifically for a great site. These look like wonderful days you had. Hope to have 5 days of the same. Just left glorious Lubec and am ensconsced inside while it pours outside for 48 hours they say here at Moosehead Lake. Agree agree about full timing helping me shed the unnecessary including hair color and make up. It is what it is and so am I.

    • Hi, Sherry — Great that you will be heading to Assateague! I really enjoyed my stay there. I was in Site #30. There are two oval loops on the ocean side, so try to get on the dune side of the oval, if you can. The inner sites seemed to have a lot of foot traffic back and forth to the water sources (cold showers, water spigot, and pit toilets) in the center of the oval. I was right next to the boardwalk, which also had a bit of foot traffic, but I liked being right there with easy access to the beach. Site #30 had a little brush on the other side to give some sense of privacy, so I thought it was a good site.

      I will look forward to the blog post!

    • Hi, Kim! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I don’t have the credentials to leave a comment back on your blog (no Google, AIM, etc. IDs) but there is a nice campground on the BRP, Mount Pisgah, at around MM 408. It is a nice place with some hiking trails nearby. No hookups, but the “B” loop has hot showers. There is a nice restaurant at the Mt Pisgah Inn across the Parkway with great mountain views from their window and rockers on the deck!

      Looking forward to following along…

  2. Love these pictures, and am so happy that Lynne shared the link to your blog with us when we met last night. We’re on a 7 month excursion in our View and have been emailing with Lynne since I discovered her blog before we left; she’s been so helpful for us as we embarked on this journey! In Chicago, so we finally got to meet her in person last night! We lived in DC in the early ’70’s when I was in the Army and spent many wonderful weekends at Assateague and Chincoteague! We may try to find your campsite on our way back down the eastern seaboard from New England on our way home.

    • Santa! Yes, Lynne has told me about your blog, and I keep meaning to check in. She tells me you have been to some great places! We have a lot in common, it seems. I lived in Atlanta for 8 years, bought my 08 about 2 months after you (same color, but mine is a J,) and left the Sunday after Easter!

      Lynne is a delight, isn’t she? She was so very helpful to me when I was trying to find my View. I have gotten so much helpful advice from her, and found a good friend in the process! Glad you guys finally got to meet in person. Hopefully there will be a blog post about the meet-up forthcoming.

      Thanks for saying hello, and I hope we cross paths one day soon!


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