Julie, a lonely fourteen year old girl, moves to Manzanita, an Oregon seaside town, from Los Angeles after her writer father, Robert, loses his job. Her family, including mother Kathryn and older sister Susan, has trouble adjusting to life in a small town. Julie’s parents struggle with her father’s unemployment and her sister, Susan, finds solace in a summer fling with Tom, a not-to-bright local logger. The story opens with 16th century Spanish sailors landing their launch on the beach of Manzanita. They carry a treasure chest up Neahkahnie Mountain, leading a manacled black slave. The treasure is buried and the slave is killed and laid on top of the ground to “guard” the treasure and frighten the Indians away. Back in present day, Julie has a dramatic encounter with a large Roosevelt Elk on the beach. It’s hooves uncover an old Spanish gold coin in the sand. The Elk becomes Julie’s silent, watchful guide and protector as she becomes fascinated by the legend of the Tillamook Treasure and becomes drawn to the search for the gold. She seeks the wisdom and guidance of her Grandfather and his good friend, Great Elk, a Native American. They tell Julie the legend, the stories of the Native Americans who once populated the area, and also of an elk, saved from drowning by the slave before his death. It is said that the elk had black hand-prints marking its neck from where the slave had grasped its neck to keep its head above water. Treasure hunters have been looking ever since. Julie decides to search for the buried gold and in the process discovers more than she’s bargained for. Julie’s elk has the same black hand-print markings and she realizes that it is her spirit guide. Magic realism and a mystical story, based on a real legend of the Oregon coast, create an enchanting and humorous tale. Most of all, Tillamook Treasure is the story of a young girl’s adventure in the most amazing summer of her life. Julie discovers the real treasure she already possesses in her family.