Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Day At Glass Beach, Port Townsend

What is it that draws us to beach glass.  I have a jar of it I collected  years ago that I use as a beautiful door stop Every time I walk by it I think I want to get more!!!

There was a super -3.5 tide on Sunday in the Port Townsend area.  The weather was right for the hike to Glass Beach.  Kris rove us to PortTownsend, the two of us got an early start.  We were heading out on the beach as the tide was receding.  One of our friends, Beth, had a half hour start on us.  The plan was to be on our way back about the time the tide started to return. 

It didn’t sound like it was far, just 2 to 3 miles.  Think again if it was on flat pavement it would have been an easy few miles.  Add soft sand, hard sand, rocks, water and slippery rocks, logs and wind.  On top of the walk you will be tempted to stop to pick up the occasional shell, pretty rocks and prized beach glass.  It was not a brisk walk.

As we started out from North Beach we searched the beach ahead for Beth she was not to be seen.  We could see a point out in the distance and thought it must be just around the corner.  We rounded the point and saw another out in the distance, no Beth. We realized we had just begun!  As we rounded each point the wind would pick up and calm again as we entered the following cove.  There would be a third point to conquer before we reached our destination... GLASS BEACH!  Where we would finally catch up to Beth. I am getting ahead of myself.

Not long after we started we noticed animal prints in the sand we thought they looked like deer, then decided they couldn’t be since they were on the beach.  From time to time over the next mile we would come across them.  I was taking photos of the bluff above us and turned to look out to sea and there WAS a deer on the beach.  I was sorry I didn’t have my good camera with me.  The deer was able to climb straight up the bluffs without a care in the world.  Where was my video camera?

Look closely and you will see the deer near the center of the picture below.

Click on picture to get a better view!

One of our party was going to meet us at the beach by boat.  While walking below the huge bluffs my phone rings.  Who would have thought there was service out there. Sad to say the waters were a little rough and the seaweed plentiful make it difficult to maneuver in a small craft.  She would not be joining us on the beach. 

It is very tempting to pick up glass along the way.  We tried to be very disciplined and keep walking as we knew our time at Glass Beach would be limited.  There would always be time to pick up glass on the way back; but who could resist!  You know you are almost to Glass Beach when you pass a couple of axels.  It took us close to and hour and a half to reach Glass Beach.  

At one time Glass Beach was the local dump.  From the bluff above the townspeople would throw their trash on to the beach.  It would be carried away by the tides.  Today the only clue this ever took place is the beach glass.  Thus the name Glass Beach!

Yes, there is plenty of glass for everyone.  I found a ton of white glass, considerable amount of green and brown, a little blue and aqua.  My prized piece is a seed bead size of rare RED glass. I would have liked to have more time on the beach.  I know I missed a piece or two.  

As the tide came in the surf got ruff... 

click on picture below to see the gull on the rock.

As the tide started to return, it was hard to stop searching.  Our time at Glass Beach was coming to a close.  On the way back we stopped to pick up glass along the way until our bodies were too sore.  From the uneven walking and stooping every muscle in my body began to cry out.  We were barely half way back to the parking lot.  Sore as I am I am looking forward to my next hike out to Glass Beach.       

Found this bottle before reaching Glass Beach.

My beautiful Blues.
The prized red seed bead size piece of glass

Dress in layers if you plan to go.  Sturdy shoes for walking.  Sunglasses help block the wind from the eyes.  I was thankful for the hood on my sweatshirt. 

Thanks Cathy for organizing the trip, Beth for guiding us to the right beach, Kris for driving and the humorous company on the walk!  What a great day.

Please leave comments and share your Beach Glass tales!  

Other articles and post that may be of interest:

Grading Sea Glass

Top Beaches to Collect Sea Glass

Once Tossed Now a Treasure


Shirley said...

beautiful! thinking will have to wait for the kiddos to get older though....

Carrie said...

Hi Lyneen, My name is Carrie we met not too long ago at Rubber Soul. Thank you for sharing your adventure to Glass Beach. My friend Diana makes beautiful sea glass jewelry, collecting the glass if a favorite for her. Someday I hope to venture out to the glass beach it sure sounds like it would be worth the effort. Did you go to lunch in PT?

Catherine said...

Can't wait to see your treasures in person this evening! It was such a disappointment to us to not be able to make it there... we sure gave it our best try, though. The huge sea lion popping up and laughing at us on the North side brought me back to reality... too much kelp and wind but hopefully we'll make it there another day. By foot, I think... I'll start training now....

SO happy you three made it there and had plenty of time to hunt for treasures! What a fun day!!!

Beth Niquette said...

This is in Port Townsend? We often see the signs to that town when we drive north on I-5 through Washington State.

I'm going to have to visit there! WOW!

Ben said...

Hello, great thread!
I just stumbled across this page and had to comment.
Have you ever been to Glass Beach at Fort Bragg, California? Sounds strikingly similar. It was a dump in the early 50's to late 60's, and has since become a very popular day tripping spot.
Here's a link. It's a really fun little town.

Lyneen said...

No I haven't been to Fort Bragg... If I am in the area ever I will be sure to check out the beach!!!! Thanks for the info and Thanks for stopping by!

Sharon said...

We just got back from Glass Beach! I'm so sore that I can hardly walk. We saw a whale breeching, a deer on the beach, and we got lots of beach glass. There were 9 of us, and even the kids were dragging by the time we got back to the parking lot. One scary thing: we were sitting on a log resting, and all of a sudden the high bank started coming down. We all ran, but that could be bad if someone got buried under that sand and clay. Probably a one time hike for me! Fun though.

Melissa McCauley said...

How do you find out about these hikes! Sounds exciting.

Sherri said...

I really enjoyed your account of the hike to glass beach! I have never made it all the way - you must have to go on a minus tide day? I collect beach glass - mostly on the private beach at Alki in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Lynn. I have been there only once, tthe first time my sister didn't really know how far so we didn't make it. The second time we did. What a nice walk. It was worth going the second time, not sure if i am ready to go again anytime soon. Make sure and take snacks and water. We learned that from are frist time there.

Anonymous said...

HI, my wife and I are thinking of taking the plunge and check it out but I am unable to locate where this beach is. Anyone who can give good directions; best way to drive, park, walk and another other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Ken

Lyneen J said...

I apologize that I do not have good directions to get to glass beach. I was the guest of another and am not real familiar with the area.

Anonymous said...

We went this past weekend and although we did not make it all the way to Glass Beach, we collected quite a bit of beautiful sea glass. If you put North Beach Park into your GPS it will lead you to a great parking area that has direct access to the beach. Glass Beach is west of North Beach, so once you are on the waterfront Glass Beach is located 2-3 miles to the left. We were distracted by all of the glass along the way and only ended up hiking 1 1/2 miles down the beach, but as I said we were very happy with the amount of sea glass we were able to collect before the tide starts to come in. As it has been said it is important to plan your trip around low tides. We plan on going back soon and focusing on getting all the way to Glass Beach!

ionabunny said...

This sounds like fun. Always nice to find treasures. The beach glass is lovely. Hugz