Ease of Access: Very easy
Equipment needed: Legs, and a pocket or a bag to stick your finds into
Material found: Fossilized myrtle wood, agates, other fossils
Season to go: Winter, after storms.
Directions: Bandon is a town in Coos County, Oregon, right on Highway 101. You can't miss it! All area beaches tend to have material, but locals recommend Bullard's Beach as the best collecting site.
Safety hazards: Watch for rogue waves. Keep an eye on the ocean, and also remember that you are in a tsunami hazard zone -- make note of the evacuation routes as you drive through. It is extremely unlikely you'll ever need it, but if you do, you definitely do.
|A pretty beach, all covered in sand and not rocks. Visit in winter instead!|
I visited in the middle of summer, when the beach was pretty much entirely sandy. If you want to find the good stuff, you need to go right after a winter storm, when there will be fresh cobbles and pebbles all over and the sand is washed away.
The fossilized myrtle wood is very dark colored, black with paler brown streaks. A close examination will reveal the wood grains within the stone.
Even in summer, it only took me perhaps five minutes of wandering around to find my first piece, so it seems to be fairly plentiful. You can find anything from small chips to fist-sized chunks.
And as always on Oregon beaches, keep your eyes out for agates and other fossils! There's lots of goodies to be found if you have the eyes for it.