The Beach Detective

Things are picking up again at Priest Point Park


Denny here again. Have been to Olympia's Priest Point Park each of the last three days.

Last Thursday, I made a sweep of the southwest section of the beach, from the southern-most access trail to the Ellis Cove access trail. I had my trusty, heavy plastic grocery bag that I carry with me everywhere. Just where the trail breaks onto the beach I found three crumpled beer cans.

Crumpled cans are beach detectives’ number one clue that the cans were discarded by ambulatory visitors. Uncrumpled cans, especially those close to the tide line, may have been dropped overboard and floated in. Any that are higher up, just above the beach have likely been dropped by their drinkers as they were finished.

Thursday was special because just as I neared the mid-point access trail, where there is a trash can, I met Julia and her Corgi. She noticed what I was doing, said ‘thank you for doing this” and then, declared that from now on she was going to come with her own bag.

I had a full bag, dumped it. I started up the rest of the beach and Julia and her canine companion joined in the quest for trash. We continued more or less together to where the beach got a little mucky. We parted and I took yet another full bag to the bin near where I was parked.

Yesterday, I went to the northwest portion of the park. I had my camera, but no bag. Sadly, I had rinsed it out and forget to bring it. What was stunning that day was the sunlight breaking through the clouds over the Olympics. Spectacular. As I was working my way south along the beach over and under the fallen trees that stretch across the beach, I found a tree root wad completely bound by vines. It had clearly been used as a beer can receptacle.

Today, I went back to that root wad stash with my trash tote and from there to the next access trail, I found what is pictured herewith. One floated ashore suitcase, full of rotted stuff and -- count’m -- 21 beer cans (13 from the root stash), two beer bottles, one rolled joint container, one plastic drink bottle, a plastic bag and some foam coffee cup chips.

Sad to say -- it was a good haul. On a good day, I come away empty-handed.

Afterword:  My daughter, Mundi, visited here last week and I was telling her about pickin' up in Priest Point.  She suggested that I check out the website for the Keep America Beautiful organization, which she said is allied with my quest.  I will.  So can you! 


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