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Chincoteague: Lighthouses, Wild Ponies and Pirates

Program Number: 2005RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/6/2013 - 10/11/2013; 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; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015;
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 Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

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

10-6-2013

Participants will stay at a motel conveniently located within walking distance of historic downtown Chincoteague, restaurants, shops and amenities. Assateague Island and the Refuge are a five minute drive away. Motel has outdoor pool, which can be used seasonally. Lightning, a Chincoteague pony makes the motel its home.



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, 10-4-2015

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 pm -4:30 pm 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: Rt. 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 arrive on the island, drive directly across Main St. onto Maddox Blvd. Look for the Rodeway Inn on the left. If you are flying into Salisbury Airport, take Mt. Herman Rd. west to the Salisbury Bypass. Stay on Rte. 13 south to Rte. 175. Turn left onto Rte. 175 and continue on to Chincoteague Island. It is about 55 miles from the airport to Chincoteague Island.
  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 at the Rodeway Inn/Evening meeting
(Sunday, October 6)
   
 Afternoon: Please plan on arriving at the motel between 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm for registration.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served at 5:30 pm 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 restaurant, each known for its fine cuisine and friendly service. Restaurants are about 1/2 mile from the motel.
 Evening: Introductions, schedule review, and orientation are included in the evening activities.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Local History / Ponies / Birds/Visit to the host institution - Museum of Chincoteague Island / Assateague National Seashore / Lighthouses
(Monday, October 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: We'll start the morning with a trip to the Museum of Chincoteague Island to view and learn about a first order Fresnel Lens. The museum is the home of local history, and sits at the gateway to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Then we will get back on the bus for a short drive to Assateague National Seashore to talk about barrier island migration and just enjoy some time on the beach.
 Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we will talk about bird identification with a local birding expert, who will help you to recognize some of the birds that you will see while here. 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. After a coffee break, your coordinator will fascinate you with "The Rest of the Story." This is the local history that you won't find in any history book.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: "Lights In The Night" - The focus of the evening lecture will be lighthouses. This talk will be given by a very knowledgeable speaker, and may change some of your ideas of what a lighthouse really is.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wildlife Safari / "Geology of The Eastern Shore" / "Pirates"
(Tuesday, October 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: Field trip into the interior of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We will be traveling into a section of the Refuge that is closed to the public to look for some of the more than 300 species of migrating birds that travel through this area. This area is also the home of numerous other animals, including the famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies. Our guide for this excursion is known for her knowledge of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
 Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: "Geology of The Eastern Shore." Is it global warming or something else? This afternoon we will look into climate change, and the many different effects it has on our earth. This expert led lecture will have you thinking outside the box.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: "Pirates of the Colonies" " Yo-Ho-Ho And A Bottle Of Rum" Tonight we'll take a look at pirates, and separate fact from fiction.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field trip to the Assateague Lighthouse/Wildlife Art/ "Creatures and Features of the Barrier Islands"
(Wednesday, October 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: Included in the morning activities will be a trip to the Assateague Lighthouse, followed by a Fish & Wildlife Service lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: A nationally known artist will join us for the afternoon. She will share with you some of the work that goes into a painting long before the brush ever touches the canvas. This will be a lecture and demonstration.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: "Creatures and Features of the Barrier Islands" Life, where the ocean meets the shore, is forever changing. While the ocean and shoreline create one ecosystem, the marsh lands on the back side of the barrier islands create another. The marshes around Chincoteague and Assateague Islands are among the most productive in the world, and are home to a countless number of creatures. Today we will examine one or more of these mollusks or crustaceans, and find out how sea life has had an effect on all of us.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Bird Carving/Afternoon Island Exploration
(Thursday, October 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: This morning we will enjoy the company of an award winning decoy carver. He will share some of the tricks of the trade, while he carves a bird from a block of wood. The chips will fly. Front row seats are recommended.
 Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: This time slot is left open so that participants may choose their own afternoon activity. There are many attractions in the area that are not included in the program, due to a lack of time. Participants may choose the one that they are most interested in, or spend some time at the beach or on the Refuge.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: Wrap-up for the week. We have saved this evening for some special activities that we will all enjoy.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: meal/"Chincoteague Ponies"
(Friday, October 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00 am at a local restaurant
 Morning: Meet a Saltwater Cowboy ! This program would not be complete without talking to one of the Saltwater Cowboys. The famous Chincoteague Ponies are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. Through their year round efforts, these wonderful animals are able to remain free, and at the same time help to support the fire company. 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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