Face Rock, Bandon, Oregon

face rock

From this perspective, it’s easy to see how Face Rock, got it’s name.  Legend says that long ago, Chief Siskiyou from the mountains came to the sea to trade with the four tribes that lived in this region.  Warriors stood on the bluffs above the ocean fearing that the evil sea-spirit, Seatka might cause trouble.

Siskiyou’s daugher, Princess Ewauna, was not afraid of the spirit, and one night, when the moon was full, she slipped away from camp with her faithful dog and a basket with her cat and kittens nestled inside.  She went swimming, farther and farther from shore, ignoring the warning barks of her dog.  Seatka captured the princess.

Carrying the basket of cats, the dog swam out to Ewauna and bit the evil Seatka.  Howling, he shook off the dog and threw the cats into the sea.  Seatka tried to make Ewauna look into his eyes, but she refused and kept her gaze on the moon.  The dog ran on the beach howling, but in time, he, the cats, and Ewauna, still gazing up at the moon, were frozen into stone where they remain to this very day.

I first passed through Bandon, Oregon back in college days, and it’s one of those places that has drawn me back ever since.  I took the current blog header photo two years ago at a spot about half a mile up the beach overlook trail.

With the wind off the sea and afternoon fog, it is downright chilly.  I had almost forgotten what chilly is like, but I remembered this afternoon, rolling into town in cutoffs and t-shirt.  It’s hard to pack for cold weather when it’s 100+ degrees outside, so tomorrow will likely involve shopping for a sweatshirt.

This will probably be a quiet week on thefirstgates, as we wander the shore, listen to the ocean, and eat cranberry oatmeal cookies.

Photo by Casey Fleser, CC-by-3.0

Photo by Casey Fleser, CC-by-3.0

See you then, with more stories and photographs.

9 thoughts on “Face Rock, Bandon, Oregon

    • A definite change of pace. With a wind off the ocean strong enough to blow off hats, it was chilly enough to be thinking the heat isn’t so bad…
      But a change of pace like this is always refreshing, and we are enjoying it.


  1. Face Rock looks pretty substantial for a petrified human head! But beautiful, even on an overcast day.

    It’s interesting that cultures that weave natural features into their myths often envisage their predecessors as figures of gigantic stature. Certainly here in the UK Arthur is envisaged as a giant in folklore, removing large stones as pebbles from his shoe or playing at quoits with tombstones. Even literature took up the theme, having Arthur and his men in The Dream of Rhonabwy view a medieval dreamer as shrunken in stature from their own days.

    The reverse seems to apply now, doesn’t it. With Enlightenment ideas of Progress still prevailing in the present, a kind of sneery attitude has developed, of past cultures and technologies being of lesser worth.


    • Chief Siskyou, the princess’s father, gave his name to the mountain range that separates California and Oregon – the Siskyou’s are not the tallest mountains around, but awfully hard or impossible to get through during the winter blizzards.

      And mentioning Arthur in terms of the seeming diminished stature of current leaders, compared to the storied leaders of the past, reminded me of Kennedy. We still refer to Kennedy’s presidency as Camelot, for the shining promise, cut short by assassination.

      More politically astute, I think, was Lyndon Johnson, who followed him. I heard a National Public Radio reporter commenting on this theme recently. She said she was in a room when Johnson got angry at someone and chewed him out, and “It took five years off my life.” The context was her comments that our recent president’s don’t approach that stature – as an example, she mentioned that no one is frightened of Obama (this was during his first term).

      Johnson, who championed and passed legislation for a war on poverty, equal rights legislation for blacks, and the Voting Rights act, that our current Supreme Court just gutted, in my opinion, could have been a great leader. If he hadn’t led us into the Viet Nam quagmire, I think that is how we would remember him.

      Thanks for your comments.


      • Interesting assessment of Johnson, who is chiefly remembered here for Vietnam and given less recognition for his positive achievements. And, yes, Obama is seen as weak here too, even if there’s some realpolitik involved.


  2. There is a star gate into an alternate universe their at Face Rock state park, I know for absolute fact, I was their and in it and through it and back and I don’t give a shit if anyone believes me that will never change what happened. I will tell anyone what I saw and did not see just email me if your in this stuff at all.


    • Hi John. I’ve been remiss in keeping up with comments. I’ve been drawn to Bandon again and again for 40 years & sometimes gotten out close to Face Rock on low tides. I don’t pretend to understand the subtle geography of the earth, but I’ve been in various power spots, known and unknown, and am certainly not skeptical of people’s experiences there. I’d be very interested in hearing your story. Please email to mhmussell@gmail.com. Thanks! Morgan


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