We had a great time on our trip to Chincoteague. The experience was a bit different than Marguerite Henry's rendition, but we had a great time. If we ever go back, we may go a different day to see a different part of the process. Early in the week, the wild ponies are rounded up on two parts of the island and then one group runs down the beach to be corralled with the other set of ponies.
When we first got there, we entered the Wildlife Refuge and drove around until we found important places to stop. Our first stop was the corrals where all the ponies were. A vet came and checked all ponies to get them ready for the swim. Foals that were too small to swim were already taken over to the auction site.
Those three foals all nuzzled together were so cute.
After seeing the ponies, we went to two of the nature centers inside the refuge. The kids loved the hands on exhibits.
My big kid is always a fan of hands on exhibits!
Next up was the lighthouse!
Bryce walked up all 175 steps. Emmy walked a few, but we carried her up and down most of the way. Hello arm and leg workout!
The view from the top!
After the lighthouse we went to the Chincoteague Museum where Misty is stuffed and preserved. Kind of weird, but cool at the same time.
They also have Stormy, Misty's foal. We may have to read that book next!
We were up early Wednesday morning to get a good spot for the swim. The public viewing area isn't all that close to the swim area. People in boats had the right idea. Here is a picture once they brought out all the horses to get ready for the swim.
The first set of cowboys came through to test the water. They wait until slack tide to swim the ponies.
And they're off. Can you see them?!
They swam ashore to a little island before getting back in the water.
Off the island and onto the last leg of the swim.
The last of them we could see. We couldn't see them once they got to land.
After the swim, we walked down to Main Street to get a spot to watch the cowboys run the ponies to the auction site.
The little foals were my favorite part!
It was fun to finally get to see this event after reading the book Misty of Chincoteague that popularized this event so many years ago!