The Bandon, Oregon Series: Part 3… Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint

Peggy and I arrived in Bandon on a stormy day and drove over to the Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint as soon as we had checked into our campground. Face Rock was shrouded in rain and mist. There’s a legend that says you can hear a woman’s voice in the wind if you listen. It all sounds like an appropriate Halloween tale…

According to Native American lore, the beautiful Indian maiden, Ewauna, arrived with her father, Chief Siskiyou, in the Bandon area for a major potlatch. Ewauna had never seen the ocean and immediately fell in love with it. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the potlatch concept, the object is to give things away to guests, the more you give, the more you are admired.)

What’s not to love about the beautiful ocean beaches near Bandon? This photo is looking south from the Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint. The rock in the distance is Haystack, which I featured in my last Bandon post about the Devil’s Kitchen State Park. The two people among the rocks provide perspective.

“Don’t go near the ocean,” the old men of the tribe warned Ewauna. The evil spirit of the ocean, Seatka, lived in the waters along the coast and apparently had a thing for beautiful young Indian maidens. But what young woman full of life listens to old men? That night there was a great feast as part of the potlatch. After being stuffed with bear and deer and elk and berries, and mussels and clams, everyone drifted off to a deep sleep. That is, everyone except Ewauna.

She quietly got up, careful not to wake anyone, and slipped off to the ocean taking her dog, Komax, her cat, Tenas Puss Puss, and Tenas’s kittens with her. She carried the cat and kittens in a basket. Ewauna ran up and down the beach with joy and jumped into the ocean for a swim, telling Komax to look out for the cat and kittens. Out she swam, farther and farther, as Komax barked louder and louder, warning her of the danger. Suddenly an ugly monster surfaced and grabbed her. It was the evil spirit, Seatka.

Komax stopped barking, grabbed the basket in his mouth and swam madly out to rescue his mistress. Dropping the basket, he sank his sharp teeth into Seatka’s arm. Good boy! The evil spirit screamed in anger and pain, grabbed Komax, and threw him far out into the ocean. For good measure, he also grabbed Teanas Puss Puss and her kittens, tossing them as well. He then increased his grip on Ewauna, squeezing her tight.

“Look into my eyes,” he demanded. He could only possess her if she looked at him.

“Never!” she had replied, staring steadfastly up at the sky and moon. And that is how Chief Siskiyou found her the next morning, still staring up at the sky, refusing to let the evil spirit to possess her. And that is where you can find her today.

Coming back the next day, Peggy and I found Ewauna still staring up at the sky with a smile on her face. Still free. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Her pets, too, have been turned into rocks (shown on the right) and wait faithfully for her.
Later we returned to the beach to watch the sunset and found Face Rock turned orange by the setting sun. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Speaking of faces I caught this photo of Peggy as the wind had fun with her hair at the scenic viewpoint.

While Face Rock gives its name to the scenic viewpoint, there are a number of other sea stacks to admire.

Photo by Peggy Mekemson.
Photo taken from inside a cave by Peggy.
Peggy caught this unique shot of the sun sinking into the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Mine was more traditional.
I’ll conclude my Bandon series with this dramatic evening look of sea stacks at Face Rock. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

NEXT POST: After a thousand posts, it’s time to consider changes in my blog.