Beyond the Beach Blog: Finders Keepers

When you’ve been to the beach dozens of times you quickly learn to recognize when something looks out of place.

I had just such an experience as I was picking up trash on the ocean shore at the D River Wayside in Lincoln City. It was Valentine’s Day, 2014. I had heard there were going to be a large number of red glass floats hidden, or “dropped”, as they say. I had high hopes in finding a red float. I had never found a float before and I was sure that destiny would grant me this one wish. However, If I didn’t find one, I had a backup plan with my bags of trash.

It was just after 1:00 p.m. There it was, nestled in the sand, hiding by the rocks – a golden brown glowing orb. That’s right, BROWN. My heart nearly leaped from my chest. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had actually found a float! I couldn’t care less that it wasn’t red. It was beautiful and it was mine. Finders Keepers. That’s what they call it. Nearly a dozen people had walked right by it, that I noticed, and it went undetected to the untrained eye.

Each month, sometimes two and three times a month, for a little over two years now, I have been making the nearly 1000 mile round trip to Lincoln City to spend time with family. Nearly every day I’m there I pick up trash off the beach. Each bag of trash equals one entry into a monthly drawing when turned in at the Visitor Center at 540 NE Hwy 101. Trash for Treasures. That’s what they call it. Two months earlier my son won a glass float by turning in some of my beach trash. Two months before that my husband conspired with my sister to “hide” a float he had purchased to surprise me for our anniversary. My glorious brown float would soon join them on the shelf at home.

Since that day I’ve found a handful of floats, most while picking up trash on the beach. Each one has found a new home with a friend or family member. Here’s my logic: If you’re going to be at the beach and there’s trash, why not pick it up? You’d be doing your part to save the planet and you just might get lucky and find a float in the process! If nothing else, smile at a stranger and enjoy the beach!

A west coast scientist/author once wrote about how being near water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do. I certainly believe that to be true…especially in Lincoln City.

Happy treasure hunting!

~Debbie, from Idaho

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