A beach of sea glass

Kneeling between an energetic shoreline and the clay-colored bluffs, I held the smooth, dull pieces of glass between my fingers. The green ones, I imagined, are remnants of a 7-Up bottle that burst into hundreds of pieces as it hit the rocks at the ocean’s edge. The white stones might be fragments of a windshield from an old Chevy or Ford that was flung over the edge and discarded more than 50 years ago. The red stones, though, along with the purple, leave me wondering what mysterious objects they once were, before they were flung into “the dump.”

Once upon a time, residents in a little beach town threw their household trash, appliances and even cars over a cliff, where it simply became known as “the dump.” But then the ’60s happened, and people got some sense — or at least inspired to clean up the coast.
Decades later, the beach is now known as Glass Beach, and the only remnants of “the dump” are tiny pieces of glass that have been worn down and smoothed by years of being pounded by waves.

Glass Beach was the only thing I knew I had to see before leaving Fort Bragg this past weekend. I’d seen pictures of the beach, but never knew it existed in California. I wandered the beach for a while, searching for colored gems and pieces of “trash” that have become like fossils in the surrounding rocks and tide pools. Though the shoreline glittered with glass, it made me a little sad to know that Glass Beach probably won’t be around forever.

Here are a few photos from our afternoon at Glass Beach. Have you ever been?

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3 Responses to A beach of sea glass

  1. Mister Vino says:

    While I have never been to Glass Beach I have an extensive collection of ocean glass. I acquired the love for the colorful bits of glass from my mother as our family spent time at my Grandfather’s logcabin just outside of Santa Cruz. She always was picking up glass, showcasing the mixed color as artpieces almost. As I grew older and married I shared my “hobby” with my wife and kids. No matter where we were we always took a nice long walk down the beach admiring the beauty of the ocean, but always glancing down for that shiny piece of glass. Now we all have ocean glass collections. I hope that my kids will look at their collections with the fond memories of trips to Maui, San Diego, SLO, Santa Cruz, etc

  2. Gorgeous photos! I’m crazy in love with sea glass. I would have gone completely bonkers! I would have needed my “flea market granny cart” to carry my load!

  3. Marilee says:

    I myself would be stuck there for days. I love the ocean and walking along looking for lost treasures. I will have to visit some day. Thank you for the awesome pictures.

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