The face of the Indian maiden is clearly seen here in the rock. If you start on the right you can see her chin, mouth, nose and eye. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Peggy and I have driven through the town of Bandon several times without stopping on our journeys up and down the Oregon Coast. We decided to correct that oversight this past week. I had googled the small town along Highway 101. Photos of striking rock sculptures at the Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint were included on the site. That alone would have demanded a visit. But there was also the town of Bandon, Bullard Beach State Park, and the Coquille River Lighthouse to explore. Today, I will feature the scenic viewpoint. Next Monday I’ll focus on the town, park and lighthouse.
There’s a native American legend that goes along with Face Rock. It has to do with an evil spirit, a lovely maiden, and her favorite pets. The Indian maiden, Ewauna, had come with her father, Chief Siskiyou, to visit with several chiefs along the coast. In honor of the occasion, a great potlatch was thrown. After everyone had eaten far more bear and salmon than he or she should have and stumbled off to bed, Ewauna decided to go for a swim in the ocean, even though she had been warned not to. The evil spirit Seatka lived in the ocean and had a thing for fair maidens. Naturally, he captured Ewauna along with her dog, cat, and kittens. You can still see them today down among the rocks.
Another view of the maiden, Ewauna. This one taken at sea level. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
The maiden with her cat and kittens off to the right. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
We were lucky to visit the scenic viewpoint at low tide, so we followed a wooden stairway down to the beach, wandered around among the rock sculptures, explored some caves, and admired the general beauty of the area.
Stairs led us down to the beach. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I caught a photo of Peggy making her way down the stairs. Marvelous rock sculptures were waiting for us.
A small stream crossed the path at the bottom of the stairways.
Peggy caught it coming out on the other side of the colorful rocks. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
And I captured a broader perspective.
I promptly name this rock Elf.
Peggy took this for perspective.
Another towering giant caught our attention. I named it Bigfoot.
Peggy and Bigfoot’s toes.
This photo provides a Peggy perspective on Bigfoot’s big foot.
A distant view of Bigfoot looking small— and other rocks— from the scenic viewpoint.
These cliffs rose up dramatically behind the beach.
A pair of eye-like caves had been cut into the cliffs by the pounding waves. I was pretty sure that there would be pirate booty in them. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
One of the caves was filled with rocks. I was tempted to dig.
A view out from inside the cave. We hadn’t been alone in checking out the cave. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
The same rock looking down from the viewpoint.
Looking up at the rock from below.
The other cave provided a view through the rock cliff. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Another view. The yellow plant seen on the other side is gorse. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
George Bennet, the founder of Bandon, brought the thorny gorse with him when he came from the town of Bandon, Ireland in 1873. He saw it as a touch of home. Local Oregonians view it as an invasive plant that crowds out native plants.
It does have a certain beauty, but don’t try to hike through its thorns. The cave comes through the cliff on the right.
There were many more rocks to keep us entertained. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
The cat and kittens looked a little more riled up here as the tide began to roll in. (And no, the cat and kittens aren’t obvious to me, either.)
Peggy caught the tide slipping in between thesis giants. Can you spot the misplaced Canadian Goose on top of the rock on the left? It flew off honking. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I photographed the tide edging around this rock. The bottom of the rock, BTW, is packed with sea life.
Peggy’s close up shows goose neck barnacles, regular barnacles and mussels. Every inch is filled!
Our exploration complete, it was time to head back up the stairs.
Wednesday: The interview with Bone!
Friday: The beautiful temples of Burning Man.
Monday: It’s back to Bandon, Oregon.