Sunday, July 12, 2009

You Can't Always Get What You Want

So Mark and I planned to head up to Big Lagoon today, to celebrate 34 years of wedded adventure. Mark's never been out on the kayak but decided it might be a nice way to spend our anniversary. Unfortunately, our buddies at the Weather Channel had little flashing clouds all over the north coast and we just didn't think it was good to be out on the water in a thunderstorm. Since same Weather buddies showed the clouds completely bypassing the Mendocino coast, we headed south to Fort Bragg to check out Glass Beach. The area had been a bottle dump in the early part of the (last) century which left all the glass to tumble around in the waves, polishing and softening the shards. They stopped dumping there in the 60's and, at some point, the State took over to protect and prevent the remaining glass from being collected. It's really fascinating. Normally, just to find a single piece of beach glass is exciting anymore. I mean, it's great that trash is no longer dumped in the sea but I really miss finding the glass. I've even taken to running loads of broken glass through my rock tumbler to make a reasonable facsimile.
I knew it would be difficult to walk around all the beach glass and obey the State Park regulations to not collect but I thought my camera would satisfy by beachcombing urges. That was the hardest thing ever. All those sparkling pieces of wet glass, the very thing I search for earnestly when I walk the sand....and I can't HAVE them. Then, as we're walking back up the trail, there are people sitting in the sand filling buckets with glass. WTF?

So, I'm going to have to find out if there are REALLY restrictions on collecting or if all the websites just say that so the tourists will leave the glass for the locals. There are actually no signs noting State Park designation nor rules against collecting. I hate to think I was trifled with. If I was, I'm going back with a bucket.

UPDATE: I checked with the Mendocino District office of State Parks and confirmed that Glass Beach is considered part of MacKerricher State Beach and collecting the glass from the beach is prohibited. When I mentioned the lack of signage, she responded "yeah, I guess we really should post it...". Yep, they really should.

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