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Chincoteague: Lighthouses, Wild Ponies and Pirates

Program Number: 2005RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/5/2013 - 5/10/2013; 9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014; 10/5/2014 - 10/10/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/7/2014; 5/3/2015 - 5/8/2015; 5/24/2015 - 5/29/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/12/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Price starting at: $598.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; History & Culture; Natural History
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

Serene and unspoiled, the small island of Chincoteague is home to exceptional human and natural history. Take a field trip to the iconic Assateague Lighthouse. See the lighthouse's rare Fresnel lens and Island treasures at the Museum of Chincoteague Island. Led by a local “saltwater cowboy” learn about the island’s famous ponies, memorialized in Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague,” which still run wild. Understand the fragility of life on a barrier island and the resilience of the people who live here as we delve into pirate legends and lore on the beach at Assateague and hear astounding stories of the U.S. Lifesaving Service that began in 1874.




Highlights

• On Assateague Island, walk the longest undeveloped beach in the mid-Atlantic with an expert on dune ecology.
• Explore restricted sections of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in search of ponies, Sika elk, deer, waterfowl and more.
• Enjoy an evening with musicians who teach you sea chants and traditional Celtic music.



Activity Particulars

Walking less than a mile per day. Climbing one flight of stairs daily when program is at the Rodeway Inn.



You may be interested in a three-night version of this program (#10545).




Date Specific Information

9-21-2014

Comfortable motel conveniently located within walking distance of historic downtown Chincoteague and its restaurants and shops. Lightning, a Chincoteague pony makes the motel its home.



10-5-2014

Waterfront resort. All rooms have sunset vistas over Chincoteague Bay. These program dates include hands-on aquaculture experiences in the island's seafood industry.



11-2-2014

Comfortable motel conveniently located within walking distance of historic downtown Chincoteague and its restaurants and shops. Lightning, a Chincoteague pony often makes the motel its home.



5-3-2015, 5-24-2015, 6-7-2015, 9-20-2015

Waterfront resort. All rooms have sunset vistas over Chincoteague Bay. This program includes a cruise that shows the dramatic evidence of changing barrier island topography as well instruction on growing aquaculture industries.



Coordinated by Museum of Chincoteague Island.




Chincoteague Island

One of several islands along Virginia’s Eastern Shore separating the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean, Chincoteague Island is world-famous for its oyster beds and clam shoals, quaint Victorian-era villages and pristine beaches, and is the gateway to Assateague Island National Seashore and the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge.



Accommodations
Varies by date. Several offerings include a waterfront inn. Please see Date Notes for details.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Nancy West

Nancy Richards West has lived on Chincoteague Island for three decades, using this picturesque setting as inspiration for her paintings. The first resident artist chosen by the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the thrill of painting en plein air often lures her out of the studio and into the field, where she captures the effects of changing light, weather and seasons. Nancy has extensive training in classical drawing and color theory, and her delicate treatment of oils is subtly elegant. Her work has won numerous awards and honors, including the Ward Foundation’s top award for painting, and she represented the Commonwealth of Virginia at the White House Easter Festivities in 1996. Nancy received her B.A. with high honors in fine arts from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.. Nancy has been sharing her artistic talents on Road Scholar programs with the Museum of Chincoteague Island for almost 20 years.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Rodeway Inn
  Chincoteague , Va. 5 nights
 Rodeway Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: The Rodeway Inn is located on Maddox Blvd., walking distance to downtown Chincoteague, and a short drive to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague National Seashore. The conference room is on the second floor of the motel. The outdoor pool is available during the warmer months. Bike rental is available on the island. Patios and pavalion available for your use.
  Contact info: 6273 Maddox Blvd.
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 USA
phone: 757-336-6565
  Room amenities: All rooms include refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, ironing boards, hair dryers,and internet access.
  Facility amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool. Guest laundry.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Determined by time of year. Participants wishing to arrive a day early or stay over an extra night should make arrangements directly with the motel. Be sure to tell them that you are with an Road Scholar program to get a special rate.
  Check in time: 2:30 PM
  Additional nights after: Determined by time of year. Participants wishing to arrive a day early or stay over an extra night should make arrangements directly with the motel. Be sure to tell them that you are with an Road Scholar program to get a special rate.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00-4:30 p.m. in the motel conference room for registration. You will be staying at Rodeway Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at about 11:00 am, after the morning meeting and lecture. You will be staying at Rodeway Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking is available at the motel There is not any public transportation on or to the island. Participants will want a car to go to the beach or downtown during their free time.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Chincoteague , Va.
  Nearest highway: Rte. 13
  Nearest airport:  Salisbury, Md.
  From End of Program
  Location: Chincoteague , Va.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Norfolk, Va.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is about 120 miles from the airport to Chincoteague Island.

 

Salisbury, Md.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is about 55 miles from the airport to Chincoteague Island.

 

Washington, D.C.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is a 3 to 4 hour drive from the airport to Chincoteague, depending on traffic.

 

Baltimore, Md.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is a 3 to 3 1/2 hour drive from the airport to Chincoteague Island.

 
Driving Directions
  All points north or south You will be traveling either north or south on Rte. 13. Turn east onto Rte. 175 at T's Corner in Oak Hall, Va. Rte. 175 will bring you onto Chincoteague Island. When you exit the bridge, drive directly across Main St. Look for the Rodeway Inn on the left, directly after The Island Creamery.
  Chincoteague Island The weather on Chincoteague Island is seasonal. It is usually cool in the early morning and evening, but warms up nicely during the day. Participants wishing more information about the area may contact the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce at 757-336-6161.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration; Orientation; Local History; Ice cream social
(Sunday, May 5)
   
 Afternoon: Please plan on arriving at the motel between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. for registration.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. at Maria's Restaurant. For your dining pleasure, this program includes "A Taste Of The Island." We will be dining each evening at a different island restauant, each known for its fine cusine and friendly service. Restaurants are about 1/2 mile from the motel.
 Evening: This evening's activities include a schedule review, a colorful history of our local area as well as an ice cream social at the Island Creamery, featuring local, homemade ice cream. Uncover the unique 300 year old history of Chincoteague and Assateague as you learn how and why its resilient people survived and adapted despite isolation, storms, wars and changing economies.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Birds; Visit to the host institution - Museum of Chincoteague Island; Assateague National Seashore ; Lighthouses
(Monday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: A locally catered al fresco island breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: Our small island has an outstanding museum, rated by TripAdvisor as one of the top 5 attractions on Chincoteague. With your expert guide, explore the museum's exhibits including a rare Fresnel lighthouse lens, surprising shipwreck finds, handmade artifacts from the past and much more. The museum is currently the home of Misty.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local establishment at12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: Immerse yourself in identifying some of the many bird species you will observe here as local birding expert, Paul Smith, leads you through the basics of color, shape, and call. More than 300 species of birds migrate through this area each year, using Assateague Island as a resting place. This area of the east coast is known for its abundance and variety of birds.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: Dr. Ralph Eshelman, a renowned and much sought after expert in many marine topics, will help us explore the important roles lighthouses have played throughout history, especially the Civil War. We will begin to understand the important place they have in marine safety.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wildlife Safari; "Geology of The Eastern Shore"; "Pirates"
(Tuesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: Explore the interior of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to look for wild ponies, Sika elk, nesting terrapin, otters, bald eagles, Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel and other wildlife. Jenny Somers, a local birding expert with over 30 years experience, will be our guide. We will be going into an area that is normally closed to the public, so be sure to bring your camera for the trip. Take along your binoculars if you brought them.
 Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: How much do you understand about our changing earth? This afternoon, Dr. Eshelman will focus on the geology of the Eastern Shore and the impact of climate change and global warming.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: Meet a "pirate." Dr. Eshelman will introduce us to pirates, as he leads us on an exploration of this group of "brigands," their adventures and local activities. Hear the rumors of Black Beard and his crew in and around Chincoteague and speculation of buried treasure on Assateague.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field trip to the Assateague Lighthouse; Wildlife Art; Aquaculture
(Wednesday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: Take a trip to our own lighthouse on Assateague. Understand the role of this facility in the Civil War, and the dramatic seeming change in its location resulting from the shifting sands. Learn first-hand about the restoration activities.
 Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: Study the techniques of local wildlife artist Nancy West, who is internationally recognized for her sensitive interpretations of this beautiful coast. Through slides and an actual painting session, Nancy will demonstrate how she captures the subtle patterns of color, light and movement distinctive to the waterways, creatures and skies of Chincoteague. Learn about the local banding program and bird identification.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: NEW TO OUR PROGRAM! Dan Grosse, an expert in aquaculture will lecture us on the changing marine ecosystem and how the modern day marine industry is adapting. The oceans and shoreline create one ecosystem and the marshlands on the back of the barrier islands create another. Dan will describe these ecosystems that make up some of the most productive in the world. He will enlighten us regarding how fragile it is and the balance needed to successfully maintain it.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Decoy Carving; Afternoon Island Exploration (Free time); Evening entertainment
(Thursday, May 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: An award winning decoy carver, Roe Terry, will demonstrate the skills of this traditional island craft handed down by generations. He will share the tricks of his trade, carving a decoy while he entertains us with amusing stories. Be sure to try to get a front row seat to get the most of this activity.
 Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is for you to create your own adventure. We will be available to help you take full advantage of the many unique opportunities tailored to your specific interests.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: Enjoy a concert by local artists. "Three Sheets" who will perform sea chant's and traditional Celtic music that will entertain and delight you
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Saltwater Cowboys and "Chincoteague Ponies"
(Friday, May 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 am at a local restaurant
 Morning: There is special surprise this morning. Dean Orsino, a local "saltwater cowboy" and Chincoteague EMT, will entertain you with stories of the local fire department volunteers who care for the Chincoteague pony herd. He has a special video of the ponies and will explain the role of the Chincoteague Volunteer Firemen play in keeping this valuable resource healthy and free. Our program will end after the morning talk at about 11:00am.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Misty of Chincoteague


Author: Marguerite Henry


Description: A Newberry Honor book, intended for children 8 - 12 years old. With the same feel as 'Lassie' and 'Black Beauty', it is the story of two children and their love for a beautuful pony. Written in 1947, it is still a popular book, and is required reading for 5th grade students in 26 states. "Nobody could capture the Phantom. She was the wildest mare on Assateague Island. They said she was like the wind, that the white "map" on her shoulders was her mark of freedom."



Beuitiful Swimmers


Author: William W. Warner


Description: For more than three decades, William Warner's Pulitzer Prize-winning exploration of the Atlantic blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay has delighted thousands of readers and become a modern American classic. Nature enthusiasts and fans of fine literature alike will find 'Beautiful Swimmers' a timeless and enchanting study, in the tradition of Rachel Carson's 'Edge of the Sea' anfd Annie Dillard's 'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek'



The Last Waterman


Author: Glenn Lawson


Description: A true story of a Chesapeake waterman, struggling to keep alive a way of life passed on from one generation to the next for hundreds of years. "What really bothers me is that a man soon won't be able to make his way on the Bay, no matter how hard he works. The water just doesn't have much life left in it. You asked me what's the worst problem on the Bay. That's it, no life in the water."





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