MANZANITA, Ore. — A Portland woman lost her engagement ring while at Manzanita Beach last Friday. She wasn't sure she would ever find it but that's until she got in touch with a kind stranger who helped her find it.
Allie Gardner and her family spent the day at the beach.
"We had just gotten there, we'd been there 5 minutes and I was spreading some beach blankets and my ring flew off," said Gardner.
The engagement ring landed somewhere in the sand. They dug and shuffled the sand around but couldn't find it and eventually had to drive home to Portland. But Gardner and her 8-year-old son Miles were determined to find it.
"I just had this feeling that I couldn't let it go that it was at the beach I knew it was there." said Gardner.
"It's just was so precious to her I just wanted to find it for her," said Miles.
Two days later they went back to the beach on a mission. This time they were equipped with a brand new metal detector they ordered, a spaghetti strainer and a shovel.
"I dug, when we got a beep on the metal detector and Miles strained with the spaghetti strainer and we did this for hours, it was very tiring," explained Gardner.
They were not successful at finding the ring. That's when Gardner grabbed her phone and did a Google search for "how to find a ring on the beach."
The Ring Finders website came up. An organization of people all over the country with expert-level metal detectors who help people like Gardner.
She found a man from Seaside, Gabriel Valencia, who was an hour away from their location but agreed to come out and help.
Valencia grabbed his gear and within an hour, he was on the sand.
"I told her that I'd do my best to find it I started sweeping the area with my metal detector." said Valencia.
In less than 10 minutes, he found the ring.
Gardner got her ring back and Miles found what he now wants to be when he grows up — a ring finder.
"Because I just like helping people I want to help people find something that's valuable just like he did," said Miles.
And through the saga the family also learned some good life lessons.
"Like patience pays off, and persistence right, not to give up and the power of kindness," said Miles.
Valencia is a respiratory therapist in Astoria. Looking for rings is a hobby for him.
"The whole ring finder thing was to help people — I like helping people," said Valencia.