A few weeks ago we drove out to visit my brother in law out on the Oregon Coast. We had heard that Bandon is one of the stormiest beaches on the West Coast, but we lucked out: about 30 minutes after we arrived at the South Jetty Park the clouds cleared up, the wind died down, and it was a warm, beautiful day. A surfer paddled out to catch the waist-high peaks forming against the south side of the jetty, and locals walked their dogs down the beach while their kids scurried over the fort-sized boulders scattered randomly around. I had a hard time remembering this was Oregon and not Southern California.

We saw a few people picking through the pebbles in the sand and asked them what they were looking for. I hadn’t known this before, but Bandon is an excellent place to collect wave-tumbled agate and petrified wood. So Tanner and started hunting for rocks.

Collect petrified myrtle woodWe waded up to our knees in the surf and dug into the sand to expose the layer of pebbles a few inches down. The retreating water scattered the rocks around, allowing us to pick through and find any worthwhile specimens. In 30 minutes we found a few quarter-sized pieces of attractive, black and white petrified wood which a local informed us was myrtle. We also found a handful of smaller agate pieces. I let the kids take everything but a piece of the myrtle wood, which is now sitting on my desk.

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