Sunday, September 01, 2013

Glass Beach - Fort Bragg, CA

Glass Beach was mentioned when we researched the closest beach to Beale AFB.  

This area used to be owned by the Union Lumber Company. Fort Bragg residents used the site as a landfill It was routine in the early 20th century to simply drive up and toss your trash over the cliffs. The dumping was stopped in 1967. Over time the ocean has done what the ocean will do.  It is interesting to find bits of old cars, spark plugs etc embedded in the rocks....and the glass? Its turned into SEA GLASS. 

We  set out to find this spot. We overshot the beach on our way through town. I began asking others at the Ward Ave Beach how to get to the Glass Beach....Coming from Beale....driving through Fort Bragg on the main street you  turn LEFT at Denny's. There are SMALL signs that say "glass beach." Drive down to the end of the road and you'll see a parking lot. This is before the entrance to  MacKerricher State Park. You can also park along the streets. You are NOT supposed to collect sea glass (or wildflowers etc) on State property.  

We knew, from reading tips on Trip Adviser, if you go straight ahead or to the right you may be  disappointed when you don't find a beach covered with sea glass. This seems to be where most stop. Still glass to be found...but...nothing like the treasures which await.

 The reviews said to go left, the climb down is steeper but the beach is COVERED in glass. This was taken right before I sat down and slid. ::snort::

 Once you master the steep, slightly uncomfortable climb down you discover a beach that IS covered with glass....that is not sand people. Fine, smooth glass....mostly white, brown and green. We did see a few slivers of cobalt blue. No reds.

My mind went directly to a new entry for "That'll preach." Most were content to stay where it was comfortable and complain the treasures weren't as easily reached or abundant as they expected. Those who went further found treasure of all hues. See? That'll Preach. I win for the day!
My sea glass hunting partner was ecstatic! She kept saying,
"It's much easier to find sea glass in CA than Japan." 
 Reviews also said if you go far enough left you are no longer on state land and you can collect sea glass. We have plenty of sea glass and found no new colors to tempt us. These pieces, for the most part, are much smaller than the ones we find in Japan.  It WAS incredibly fun to see this spot.
Just laying there...about 80 - 90% glass
Why can't you collect sea glass? It seems folks have been hauling buckets and coolers of glass out. Over time that has depleted the glass on the easiest to reach beaches. This is a huge tourist attraction for the area. The glass will eventually be gone, or ground to sand and then what? Are you ready - evidently there is a movement afoot to "seed" the land with more trash  glass. We found this ironic. 

It was unsettling to see folks  ignore the signs and fill water bottles, buckets and pockets with glass. Some did it on the sly...some were very open. "Mom, can I get two more pieces of glass?" I guess most don't realize you can simply drive off state land, take your chances and by George, you may find a piece you can legally keep...After all the ocean doesn't KNOW this glass must be washed back on this beach....we DID see a piece on another beach. 
Right at the water's edge....BEAUTIFUL! 
Personally, collecting sea glass here is a lot like fishing in a farmed pond. We'll keep looking to find our random pieces of sea glass on "normal" beaches...but this was interesting to see and the view was beautiful....we were filthy after our climb down and back up. 

We plan to visit this area again. We will probably take visitors if they promise not to steal glass....and we'll go search for glass where you CAN take it home. ::snort:: 

One last random shot caught by our fearless our climbs we came to this spot. I immediately wondered if I could fit through this is NO way I would have fit through this spot a year ago. I hesitated. I told Michael what I was thinking, he laughed and told me to do it....I did....even with my 5 lbs of pcs gain... Easy la freedom.
At THIS point I was happy I wasn't in beach attire
Do I love sea glass? YES. I've collected it, spoke about it, made jewelry with it, written about it. Our Japanese packers couldn't BELIEVE I was MOVING glass floats and jars of SEA GLASS to America....but I did. This was a fun I'm very glad we did.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


berrypatch said...

I LOVE this! I would consider a trip to CA just to see this. ;-)

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Come in the next couple of years and we'll take you over....seriously.

Anonymous said...

hope to one day see and get some sea-glass. got to do it sooner than later it seems due to the legs which are great these days. :):):) l/p mopm t.