Face Rock Wayside in Bandon
We have traveled many times down south to visit the United States. Our favorite route is to head down along the Pacific coast from our home on Vancouver Island through Washington, Oregon and into California using Highway 101. There are a ton of breathtaking views and vistas along the way and many outstanding beaches to explore. Among the best in my opinion is Bandon Beach and in particular the area called the Face Rock Wayside. Almost every time past we make it a point to stop here and stretch our legs with a walk along the beach.
The Face Rock Wayside can be accessed by following the Beach Loop Drive and is not too difficult in an RV, especially if you approach it from the south. The parking area is in the form of a loop so is RV friendly. The only time I would be wary might be in the summer months when it could get crowded with vehicles but most times this isn’t a concern. One reason we love this area is the lack of crowds.
The Face Rock Wayside gets its name from the giant face like rock formation sitting out a few hundred meters off shore. It appears to be laid back and looking up into the sky. There are several other rocks that are also named, such as the Cat and the Kittens off to the right of Face Rock and down the coast a ways is Table Rock.
According to a Coquille tribal legend, the face in Face Rock belongs to Ewauna, daughter of Chief Siskiyou, who had traveled here to a great potlatch feast in his honor. Ewauna had never seen the ocean before, so one night she sneaked to the beach for a moonlight swim. In the water she was grabbed by the evil ocean spirit Seatka. But she refused to look into his eyes, knowing that this was how he controlled his victims. Instead she fixed her stare on the North Star, and defiantly gazes there even today. – http://web.oregon.com/hiking/bandon_islands.cfm
Lucked out with a Sunny Calm December Morning
We have seen many different weather conditions on Bandon Beach from dense fog to howling winds stinging our faces with salty sand to warm dead calm evenings.This time we were treated to a calm, sunny and clear mid-December morning. The cool crisp air off the Pacific Ocean was as fresh as it gets. We excitedly grabbed our cameras and the beagle and headed down the winding wooden staircase that takes you from the viewpoint parking area down onto the beach. Once down on the ground you begin to appreciate how huge the rock sea stacks, pinnacles, and outcroppings really are. With the sprawling expanse of beach laid out before you and crashing surf of the Pacific you really start to feel quite small.
Once my wife Anne hits the beach she is off in her own little photography world busily snapping shot after shot of the gorgeous landscape. She is really in her element here doing what she loves best. That leaves Angie and I to race around, explore and enjoy the beach. With no one in sight, I let Angie off leash and she gets to romp and play freely on the huge sandy beach. Her favorite activity, besides eating everything and anything she deems to be food, is fetching sticks. It’s a blast to watch her race around.
Video highlights of our Visit to Face Rock Wayside in Bandon
Playing with the New Camera
This was one of the first opportunities I had to test out my new Sony NEX5RK mirrorless camera and I have to say I’m super stoked! I’ve hardly had time to scratch the surface of what this camera can do but even with using mostly the auto settings it produced some nice shots in very bright conditions. Also, I loved it’s HD movie capture ability which I used for the above YouTube clip. Built-in to the camera are some neat apps that allow you to take some artsy shots with the processing performed right in the camera. Here is one I shot of Anne in front of Face Rock where I set the camera to only show blues and black and white on the other colors of the spectrum. Pretty Cool!
So if you find yourself RVing Highway 101 on Oregon coast and see the sign for “Bandon by the Sea” make sure to stop and have a look, make a picnic, walk the dog or get out the camera and enjoy a little bit of this spectacular beach. Heck stop for a few days and explore! They also have a great little old town area, marina, and some good eating. There are several RV parks in the area. I would recommend Bullard’s Beach State Park a few miles to the north as a nice place to camp. If you are looking for a quick overnight, easy in and easy out pull thru type place then look for Robins Nest RV Park just a few miles south of town. Basic little Good Sam park right on the Hwy 101.