Monday, September 22, 2008

One person's trash

We thought about driving up to the big redwoods in Humboldt County, but decided it was too far. We washed up in Fort Bragg instead, in Mendocino County. We checked into the homey and friendly Glass Beach Inn. There was still enough day left to wander down to the beach, where the tide was coming in.

It took a bit of cliff scrambling to find a sheltered cove that held what we had come for.
I thought of doing a What is it? post with this photo, but really, you couldn't guess what this is if you haven't been here. Fort Bragg's residents from the early 1900s until 1967 used to throw all their trash off a cliff. Bottles, plates, car parts ... and lots more bottles. In the 40 intervening years, it has all been tumbled and broken and smoothed by the relentless surf.
It truly is a glass beach. There are no sharp edges; people were walking barefoot in the surf. It's a beachcomber's paradise, if you like tumbled glass. Mostly clear, white, brown and green. Blue and true red seem the rarest. I also found bits of tile and metal.

The sun was low, though, and we were hungry, so we wandered back to town, the setting sun behind us.
We'll go back tomorrow.


  1. I am so jealous.
    Stop in Gualala on your way home. That town is really a treasure.

  2. Great sets of photos -- these and Billetproof. Mmm.

  3. NB's right...beautiful photos.

    Man, I love beach glass. I would have come home with heavy pockets. Though in a way, it's more exciting to find the rare piece rather then have piles of it handed to you that way.

  4. My daughter and I are beach glass nuts. I think our eyes would have rolled back in our heads at such a sight. I'll have to add that to my list of places to go.

  5. That's absolutely amazing. I would come home with pockets full also. It reminds me of one of the beaches at Montauk where the beach is made up of perfectly shaped flatish oval stones that are nearly surreal (came home with a trunk full).

  6. I adore Fort Bragg and Mendocino. Have you taken your precious dog to Pattersons Pub in Mendo? And of course, their is a vegan restaurant called the Ravens that has a dog dining room. One of my favorites!!!

  7. I would NEVER LEAVE! You may (not?) remember my confession of a sea glass collector post a few months back... OH THIS IS HEAVEN! sorry for the caps... this is amazing!

  8. Wow.

    My new favorite necklace is three pieces of sea glass, strung together with rings. Green, white, and blue pieces. I absolutely love it, and now we know where these folks get it. Maybe they make trips down there? :0

  9. I remember being told once that there was a bottle factory or something like that up there long ago and that's another reason why the glass is there.
    But great pics! Have a great time~!

  10. Amazing. Simply amazing, and quite beautiful. Almost as beautiful as that shot of James Hetfield in your other amazing post about the cars and tats. One of the best documentaries ever made was Some Kind of Monster, about Metallica's near-breakup. (Boy is James hot.)

  11. Summer, we were going to stop in Gualala but got hungry earlier and stopped in Point Arena instead, which is also a funky little place. Maybe next time!

    Thanks, nbm!

    Rooie, if I lived near there I might be more blasé about it. I guess if you live there you an be discriminating about finding rarer pieces, like blue glass (only found rice-grain-sized pieces of that).

    Betts, it really was a bonanza!

    Alecto, I would be a sucker for that, too. I could fill my house with bowls of rocks.

    Michelle Anne, unfortunately the pup had to stay in Denver!

    Mimi, it's heaven for beach glass aficionados!

    Gorgeous indeed, duck!
    Groovy, if you have a tumbler, you can make your own beach glass, too. So that might be the source.

    Deneph, I hadn't heard that, but it wouldn't surprise me. Fun was had!

    Thanks, Pam! The Sergeant was telling me about that movie. Well, he was nice enough about the photos. A little bemused but nice.

  12. I haven't been to the ocean since I've learned of sea glass. That is awesome! Hubby and I spent our honeymoon in Mendocino.

  13. I wrote you a comment but cannot remember where so I cannot see if you have replied. In any case, I was inquring about getting rennet in Denver. If you could be so sweet to reply to the e-mail I sent, I would greatly appreciate it!