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Comb out and play on the beach

Published on January 22, 2018 8:50PM

After a series of winter storms that have truly shaken up the Oregon Coast, a new series of beachcombing clinics aims to help people harvest unearthed treasures from the beaches of Lincoln City.

Laura Joki, Lincoln City’s local expert and “Head Dirt Nerd,” returns to lead the new season of free clinics, which start with a session at 9 am this Friday, Jan. 26.

“I am super excited to host the second year of Beachcombing Clinics,” Joki said. “There are so many things to keep your eyes peeled for while exploring our seven miles of beach, such as jasper, zeolite crystals, quartz, petrified wood and others. And, have you ever wondered how these stones got here? I’ll explain how these treasures wound up on our beach at the clinics.”

After a winter storm on the Oregon Coast, the sand erodes to reveal a treasure trove of discoveries. Treasures in the form of petrified wood and shells are commonly found above the surface. But, “rockhounds” and amateur geologists seek more colorful prizes, including jasper and quartz.

The clinics begin at the SW 33rd Street beach access. Before each hunt, Joki gives a talk where she describes the geology of the area and the types of fossils and minerals that are commonly found on the beach. Each clinic lasts about two hours and participants are encouraged to ask questions.

“I get asked a lot about tips for amateur hunters,” Joki said. “I tell them to keep their eyes peeled, head down and ears open. By scanning the beach in the best light possible, you’ll be able to spot the stones glowing in the sun. However, while the Pacific Ocean is picturesque, it’s easy to get lost in the hunt and stumble into trouble. Always pop up your eyes on occasion to survey the wave and ocean conditions. And, be sure to check the tide tables and weather forecasts before heading out.”

Participants should plan to arrive 10 minutes early, dress for variable weather and bring gloves as well as a bag or container for collecting beach treasures.

For more information on the Beachcombing Clinics, go to OregonCoast.org.

Clinic schedule

Friday, Jan. 26: 9 am

Wednesday, Feb. 14: 1 pm

Saturday, Feb. 24: 8 am

Sunday, Feb. 25: 9 am

Saturday, March 3: 3 pm

Saturday, March 10: 9 am

Friday, March 16: 2 pm

Saturday, March 31: 2 pm

Saturday, April 14: 1 pm

Friday, April 27: 1 pm

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