Seaside Stories

Roaming the Sand for Treasures

November 11, 2012 | by Nate Burke

Life on the Oregon Coast has unbelievable perks, but none are such a part of the ebb and flow of coastal culture as beachcombing.  It can be a meditative adventure if you consider the beach as a special place, the doorstep to an oceanic world larger than imagination.  There is a quiet magic to roaming this sandy limbo – this narrow expanse is the closest we can get to walking along the edge of the world.
One of my favorite things though, is stumbling upon small treasures the ocean has left behind.
My grandma used to tell me that sand dollars were misplaced “whale money” that fell out of whale wallets – most likely when they were purchasing essential underwater goods and services.  Apparently the exchange rate of whale currency was pretty lousy, because my sand dollars couldn’t buy much.  But finding them was a delight and now as an adult I’m astonished that a little sea creature’s exoskeleton can have such charming artistry.
My other favorite finds are the infamous glass floats.  It’s not uncommon to see a suspicious object glittering with reflected sunlight off in the distance.  On approach, you’ll find what looks like a half-buried fortune teller’s crystal ball glinting up out of the sand.  These glass floats were used by fisherman from all over the globe to keep their nets and lines afloat. Popular antiques, floats can wash ashore after extremely long periods at sea, traveling thousands of miles and can range from the size of a grapefruit on up to the size of a basketball.  Some may be extremely old, too (Japan used them as early as 1910).  The best times to go hunting for glass floats are between November and April, usually after stormy conditions.
Beachcombing will often reward you an astonishing array of shells, sea-life, prehistoric driftwood, and of course stunning panoramic scenery.  There was a particular time when I was younger, out wandering the Seaside beach at sunset, and I was lucky enough to witness the venerated “green flash” – an optical occurrence where a green flash ignites the horizon right after the sun goes down.  It was an astonishing display of nature’s shocking beauty.  Sometimes the best things we come away with from beachcombing are the stories of the wonders we’ve seen.
Do you have a favorite beachcombing story? Please share by commenting below.
Editor’s Note: Tide charts can greatly aid a scavenger hunt. Plan ahead and always be aware of your surroundings. Here’s a link to our tide tables

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

How to Start Cycling In Seaside

Few places in the Pacific Northwest are as primed for pedal-powered exploration as Seaside. I should know since I’ve ridden abou...

Learn More
Drilling in Seaside

World War I soldiers drilling on Seaside's beach.

Learn More
MotorHome Magazine: Sea to River, Oregon’s Spectacular North Coast

Bobbie Hasselbring from MotorHome magazine attended a media Fam (Familiarization) Tour hosted by the City of Seaside Visitors Bure...

Learn More
Broadway Retro

A look at downtown Seaside during the 1960s

Learn More
The Spirits of Seaside Inside

Above photo: An old fashioned cask of beer in the historic Seaside Brewery by Jon Rahl, Seaside Visitors Bureau. Seaside has a lot...

Learn More
Tillamook Head Trail
Seaside’s Very Own Rainforest: Tillamook Head

Hiking the Tillamook Head trail offers pure bliss for this local hiker

Learn More
Ice Cream for Dinner

More than a dozen frozen treat shops, the thought of brain freeze is likely.

Learn More
Seaside Lifeguards – Kicking off the Summer Season

The lifeguard tower in Seaside ensures a safe and fun beach experience.

Learn More
Seaside’s Famous Feathered Citizens

First two weekends of April are filled with bird education

Learn More
Episode One: Grave of the Unknown sailor

The Seaside Audio Walking Tour exploring the mysterious grave of the unknown sailor.

Learn More
Seaside Hotelier Recognized by ORLA as Operator of the Year

Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association names Oregon Lodging Operator of the Year

Learn More
Fishing Adventures In and Around Seaside

Fishing on the Oregon Coast near Seaside

Learn More
Klootchy Park's Sitka Spruce Tree
Near Seaside: Reviewing Klootchy Creek Park

Located adjacent to U.S. Highway 26, about 2.5 miles east of U.S. Highway 101, is the famous and previous national-record-breaking...

Learn More
Seaside Inside: The Historical Edition

Above photo: A group plays the historic arcade game, Fascination at Funland Arcade in downtown Seaside, Oregon. Seaside is a popul...

Learn More
What is Fascination, Anyway?

Talk to anyone who’s ever visited Seaside, and they’re bound to bring up Fascination with an enthusiastic “I love that game!...

Learn More
Hiking Saddle Mountain is one of our four favorite hikes around Seaside.
4 Favorite Hikes Around Town

The sheer variety of trails in and around Seasie Oregon means you have plenty of hiking options, from kid-friendly strolls on the Prom to more strenuous climbs with stunning views.

Learn More
Seaside Art Scene

Seaside is well-known for its scenic coastline, color-drenched sunsets and abundant natural beauty, but this coastal town has an a...

Learn More
Honeymooning in Seaside

Part of the fun of planning a wedding is also planning the honeymoon (and I’ve been collecting ideas for both)! Many couples dream of the ideal honeymoon location, and on the top of their list should be Seaside! Sand, sea, and surf, along with amazing places to stay, eat, and be merry.

Learn More