My wife and I got hooked on beachcombing for rocks by our friend, who for the purposes of this column, I will refer to as, “Katy,” because her name is Katy.
Katy is to rock collecting as an F-350 Ford pickup is to gasoline – She can’t get enough. Her appetite for rocks is NEVER quenched. I have personally witnessed this woman single-handedly drag a rock the size of a Buick Skylark off a beach, UP A CLIFF, and into the trunk of her car.
Here’s the problem. Some people, and I’m speaking about people in general, not just my wife. (Although I’m really just talking about my wife), are quite comfortable asking their spouses to carry the rocks they find.
And, sadly, because I have adopted the “happy wife, happy life” philosophy, I have agreed to do so. I am, for all practical purposes, my wife’s beach rock Sherpa.
But Hallelujah! This has come to an end!
You see, we live in Oregon, and I recently discovered that Oregon has laws governing beachcombing! (Yeah, I know!)
Here are a couple of laws that caught my attention:
Oregon law allows for the collecting of –
“Agates and other non-living items such as shells, stones, and fossils loose on the ground, in small quantities, defined as no more than a one-gallon volume container per person per day; up to three gallons per person per calendar year.”
Now, I don’t want to rat out my wife, but between you and me (let’s keep this on the “down-low”), I think my wife is stretching the boundaries of her three-gallon limit. If the FBI subpoenaed me to testify, she’d be going away for 5 to 10.
Oregon law also sets a limit on the amount of sand and coble. (Didn’t we stop using coble in the Middle Ages?) Oregon law enforcement officials should be relieved to hear that the only sand I take home from the beach is what get caught between my toes, and, of course, my butt cheeks.
But HERE is the law that has me rejoicing:
“Each person collecting must use an individual container and may not combine collections in the same container with another person.”
You read that right! Everybody’s got to keep their own rocks in their own container! Or they go to jail, that’s what!
Thank you, overly bureaucratic and marginally communistic government of Oregon, for lifting this heavy burden off my shoulders – Literally!
The only thing I’m concerned about is that when I tell my wife I can’t carry her rocks in my bag or I’ll go to jail, she’ll fire back that old retort:
“Suck it up, Buttercup!”