The climbfish have now evolved to cover my life in the US - including very exiting life in downtown Baltimore (aka the wire) and ocean research expeditions with NOAA. I don't promise frequent updates but I will try and cover the most and least exiting times here. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Assateague Island - where the wild wild horses run (mum visit, part 2)

Chauffeur Kågesten and passenger Birgitta Tergil on route to Ocean City, Maryland
After some intense days trying to see all there was to see in Baltimore and DC me and mum packed the jeep full of camping gear and went for the coast. Well it wasn't the official plan at first, mum wanted to stay in a comfortable hotel in Ocean City, which surprised me as I know she really likes camping. But after a while she admitted that she was a little scared of camping in the US due to crime and unknown beasts, so I took it as my mission to change her view of what is dangerous here.

3 hours drive from Baltimore to Ocean City and Assateague Island
By coincident our trip to the coast just happened to correlate with a god surf forecast, and just by as much coincident I happened to stop by a surf shop and rent a board as soon as we got to Ocean City. Once in the surf this friendly fellow Nate decided to sell me his very yellow board for 100$ and I couldn't resist...
Two new friends found in Ocean City!
Surfing skills are a little rusty still...
Mum in Ocean city next to two local gangsters and holding on to "real" coffee in her hands (she kept asking "do you have real coffee?" everywhere we went as she doesn't like the weak tea like brew served in the US... Luckily I am past the age when you get embarrassed about your parents and was proud to show her the espresso machine instead)

Once we got to the camping on Assateague Island, 8 miles (15 km) drive south of Ocean city my horse loving mum was greeted by the "wild" horses that live on the island since 300 years back, and she started to warm up to the camping plan.
Mum enjoying a beer under the full moon and a roaring fire, much better then any hotel or bar.
When we woke up in the morning there was horses all around the tents, the horse below had just been to the toilette and was cleaning himself at the water tap when a very sleepy camper opened the toilette door behind the horse and walked straight into the rear end of the horse, quite enjoyable to watch...
I don't know about wild horses, this one seems to be very civilized.
Some good scenery with horses roaming free
They say life at Assateague Island can be pretty harsh at times with lots of insects, wind and sand, but during our first day the only annoyance was the little fellow below sitting on a tough grass all around the campground piercing through and getting stuck in anything from my crocs to our clothes and skin.
A little less friendly fellow greeting us at Assateague Island.
The wind picked up so we went hiking on the beach and on some trail in the park and played with our cameras for most of the day...
We spend hours watching these little birds feeding in the surf, it seems like they spend their
whole life running up and down as the waves roll in and out trying to not get their feet wet
A stranded visitor and a "living fossil" on the windy beach, the horse-shoe-crab
 While the wind didn't do much good for the wave surfing the kite surfers where having a blast and where pulling off some quite impressive maneuvers.
Kite surfers ripping it up at Assateague beach
Is it a recent lava flow? Remnants of an ancient earth quake? Ah, forgot we are in the US, it is of course an old asphalt road created during an effort turn the wild lands into a big resort. luckily the road got destroyed in a storm in the sixties and the island where turned into a national reserve instead.
When the wind finally dropped in the evening I got some really nice surf under the last rays of sunlight. I met beardy Bob who also comes from Baltimore and we teamed up to surf until it got pitch dark. It turned out that Bob is a talented musician and he gave me a cd that stayed on repeat in the car for most of the trip. Look up Small Sur on spotify and listened to his last cd from 2011, good stuff. As we both like surfing, beards, music and live in Baltimore I think we will meet up for some more surf trips to the coast later in the fall.
During the very last hour of daylight the wind suddenly dropped and the surf turned nice and glassy.
Me and Bob, a new found friend surfed until it got dark while mum kept up with her paparazzi work.
Beautiful sunrise surf at empty Assateague Island beach with dolphins just outside the break.
what more can you ask for the start of a day.
We kept exploring the island the following day before we returned to Baltimore during the evening to save/kidnap Anna from her study marathon and take her to dinner.
Global warming?
Finally some good use out of the Jeep!
Xmas time! There are all sorts of shops along the road in the Maryland country side.

Mum have now left me and Anna after a great time here and we already miss her. Anna just finished her exams (for this time) so this weekend we are going to NY, looking forward to it.