The cold sands of the central Oregon Coast are generally unforgiving. The combination of high tidal fluctuation and pacific storms bringing high winds and wave action often move objects around faster than they can be recovered. However, not so for this Colorado couple visiting Pacific City, Oregon on their 15 year wedding anniversary. While playing on the dunes near the beach with the family Del felt his heavy platinum ring fall off, and heard it hit the ground. They sifted though the loose sand to no avail, then found www.threingfinders.com on the internet. It was a short message, “Do you come to Pacific City?” Pacific City is only about an hour from my work place in Newport, but at the time I was at my home Sisters, OR high-up in the Oregon Cascades. A series of text messages revealed that the ring was likely worth looking for, but they were headed back to Colorado in the morning – I couldn’t get there until Saturday.
They did a great job of pin-pointing the location: a Google Maps satellite view of the area with lines and arrows, and a cairn made out of sea shells before they left on their lonely journey home, sans a special 15-year-old wedding ring(remember, you can always drop a pin in Google Maps allowing us to navigate right back to it, as well).
Saturday morning was a beautiful coastal morning. Warm-ish, with a slight marine layer allowing occasional glimpses of the pounding surf of the Pacific as we drove to Pacific City. The marine layer was just clearing as we arrived at the vacation rental. My plan (hope, really) was that the home hadn’t been rented to someone else already, and use it for beach access. However, there was a car in the driveway and nobody answering the door. Rather than risk intruding on their vacation, we parked about half a mile south at Bob Straub Park (named for a well-liked Oregon Treasurer) and walked north in the bright sunshine of the early Oregon morning, sipping coffee and listening to the cry of the gulls above. The beach was fairly deserted at this hour, and Roper (my two year old Cowboy Corgi) was able to romp and frolic to his heart’s content (pausing only for the occasional hero shot).
Arriving at the location was easy due to the google maps navigation. Several landmarks were unmistakable, and yes, there was the cairn of seashells. The sand was soft, well above the surf-line and on much more of an incline than it appeared from the satellite view. I debated briefly between the Garrett ATX and the AT Pro, opting ultimately for the Pro since it was set up, and ready to go. I figured I could always come back to the ATX if needed. Power button on, a quick ground balance, and three swings later the unmistakable mid-tone thud of heavy gold and platinum. It happened so quick I almost didn’t believe it. The area was a steep slope with a shallow bench, then falling off into the surf. That ring could have (should have) rolled or sank out-of-sight. Was that really it? Swing, thud, swing thud, swing thud…it must be. One scoop of sand…thud, still in the hole. Another…thud, still in the hole. A third, thud. A fourth, silence. I had it in my scoop. Shake, shake, shake the sand out through the small holes until the rattle of metal on metal can be heard. Yep. there it was – an extremely heavy, men’s platinum ring, from nearly 12″ down in the soft summer sand. The reply text from Colorado summed it up, “OMG!!!”
It’s nice to be able to return items of significance to good folks. It’s heartbreaking to know that sometimes the precious memories contained within a sentimental item will be lost forever if they happen to be lost in the wrong place, or folks don’t know to look for www.theringfinders.com. Please help us spread the word. We’re always willing to listen and more often anxious to try to help. The feeling we derive from a successful recovery is certainly worth the effort.