Saturday, February 16, 2008

Criminals and Assateague Island National Seashore

Okay, I admit it. I am a bit on the obsessive (and criminal) side. Sometimes I will get things into my head and I just can't dislodge them. That has happened with national parks.

Oh, but you say "National Parks are great. Each showing a slice of our history or a grand piece of scenic beauty." Yeah, that is all well and good. Until you get introduced to the Passport Cancellation program. When you visit a park, you get a stamp commemorating your visit. Each has the name of the park and the date you visited. "Oh, that's nice! What a nice way to memorialize your trip!" you say.

Yes, that is all well and good until you realize that it is not just parks that have this program. It is monuments, battlefields, historic sites, historic parks (which are not the same as plain old national parks), military parks, memorials, recreation areas, national seashores, national rivers, reserves, parkways, historic trails, and historic waterways. So that said - now that I have this obsession about getting all my park stamps, I have realized that it is going to be quite an undertaking, possibly a lifetime of work!!

That brings us to today. We decided to take a ride to get a stamp. It was a nice day so we loaded up the dog and off we went. Ok, back that up a little... Vol Fan woke up this morning a little on the sick side but was still willing to go. So I loaded up my sick husband and my dog and headed off for a nice little outing to get my stamp from the Assateague Island National Seashore.

This park is mainly known for the wild horses that live here. They round some up each year and make them swim across the channel to the mainland and sell them. Other than the horses, it's just a beach with a lighthouse, which is pretty cool. (But we didn't stop to climb because we were in the midst of commiting a horrible crime!) There were some hiking trails and a scenic drive. If I were a bird watcher, I am sure I would think it was glorious! (But, again, we didn't stop because we were in the midst of commiting a horrible crime!)

After a 3-hour drive (only 120 miles but it had stoplights -- yes, I did say ONLY 120 miles. I told you I was obsessed!), we were greeted by a sign saying "NO PETS! NOT EVEN IN YOUR VEHICLE!" What!? Not even in my vehicle. What am I supposed to do with the dog? Tie her to a tree while we go in?

So being the criminal masterminds that we are, we just boldly went to the gate, handed our National Parks pass to the ranger to pay our fee, and went in. With the dog! In the car! Thank goodness for tinted windows! So I went to the visitor center, went to the bathroom (which was not the flushing kind -- ewww!), got my stamp (and my magnet - oh, didn't I mention my magnet obssession?), turned the car around, and left, heading for another 3 hour drive back home.

Ok, everyone can say it now. "You have a remarkably understanding (or possibly crazy) husband to ride in the car for 6 hours while not feeling good to get a stamp that he doesn't care about getting." Go ahead and say it!

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