the wandering chick
It'll go down as a favorite

Bandon by the Sea will have to go down as one of my favorites. It has so many draws...a sweet little lighthouse, huge rock formations on a gorgeous beach that goes on forever, a boardwalk and fishing pier in Old Town. And it so happens that Bandon is the Cranberry capital of the world.

And the best deal in town is the ice cream at the Face Rock Creamery across the street from Old Town. A child's size, which definitely satisfies most people, is only $1.50. A waffle cone costs 25 cents extra.

I was in the area about one or two weeks early for the cranberry harvesting. I got pictures of the dry bogs, but I really wanted to see one being harvested.

If I ever come back to south Oregon, Bandon is where I'll stay. And I'll get fat on ice cream.

Face Rock
It doesn't take imagination to see why this well-known rock is called Face Rock. She's a landmark on Bandon Beach and one of many named and unnamed looming rock formations.
rock formation
arch in rock formation
rock formation
rock formation
rock formation
rock formation
rock formation
rock formation
tree trunk on shore
tree trunk with vertical rock in background
Most tree trunks, battered and scarred such as this one, are washed in after heavy winter storms.
spray against rock formation
rock formation
rock formation
beach houses
Many of the beach houses such as these are vacation rentals.
beach house
seaweed called a sea palm
Many kinds of seaweed are washed to shore. This one is appropriately called a Sea Palm.
huge pile of bull kelp
The most common seaweed on the northwestern coasts is bull kelp. It comes in many forms and is very fast-growing in the ocean waters, where it harbors and feeds all types of marine life.
pile of bull kelp
rock formation
rock formations
rock formations
rock formations
Bandon's beach and shore
overlook for Face Rock
Bandon provides a couple of sprawling overlooks for its beach and rock formations. This one overlooks Face Rock. Steps from the viewpoints lead to the beach.
Bandon rocks from overview
beach overlook
rock formations
rock formations
rock formations
people on beach in silhouette
rock formations
rock formations
Coquille River Lighthouse
Coquille River fog warning signal on jetty
This is a picture of the Coquille River Lighthouse taken from Bandon's Beach Loop Road. Also seen is the calm Coquille River and, in contrast, the Pacific, separated by the north jetty on which the lighthouse sits.

On the river's south jetty sits the fog horn (an automated beacon) station. It didn't take long for the distant sound of a horn to become the norm. At night, it was almost soothing, far enough away that it could barely be heard on shore. A tourist in Depoe Bay tried to convince me it was whales talking to each other. She said that's what she was told on a whale-watching expedition. Being a tourist myself, I didn't argue, though I'd bet a hundred dollars on a stack of pancakes she was a bit confused on her facts.

Okay, while we're talking about confused's what I heard a couple years ago when I was touring Glacier National Park in Montana. A tourist asked one of the red car drivers when it was that a deer turned into an elk. The driver was speechless, but came up with, "I guess right before he turns into a moose." Whaaaaaat?

south jetty fog horn on Coquille River
seagull on driftwood
closeup of jetty
Jetties are an important part of areas where ocean and river meet. Normally, there are two jetties, one on each side of the river entry. Among other purposes, they serve as breakwaters and aid in the shifting of the sand and water currents.
The Coquille River Lighthouse is located in Bullards Beach State Park two miles north of
Bandon. Once the responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard, it was determined the lighthouse was not needed. It sat abandoned for 24 years until it was purchased as part of the Bullards Beach State Park. In 1976 major renovations were done to repair damage from massive pieces of driftwood (as seen in these pictures) that wash ashore during winter storms.
Coquille River Lighthouse
Coquille River Lighthouse
The next few shots were taken on the jetties of the Coquille River at Bullards Beach State Park north of Bandon.
seagull on 'no camping' post
Bandon Old Town Welcome Sign
eatery on the boardwalk in Old Town Bandon
Bandon's Old Town is filled with eateries, shops and galleries. Its boardwalk, which lines the Coquille River, makes a wonderful stroll for watching crabbers, river otters...and people. Paralleling the boardwalk is the crabbing pier (in the picture to the right).
a very long crabbing pier
colorful wooden fishes decorate outside wall of eatery
Happy....cheerful...colorful....that's how I'd describe Bandon.
Coquille River Lighthouse
Bandon chimney memorial
Bandon's marina
In September of 1936, a forest fire swept through Bandon and devestated all but 16 of its 500 buildings. This chimney, which stands in its original location, all that's left of a bakery, serves as a memorial to the town. Ten people perished in the fire.
cranberries in bog
cranberry bogs
Bandon is the cranberry capital of the world. Late September and early October seem to be the harvesting time. I was a couple of weeks too early to see the red cranberry bogs that we see on the Ocean Spray commercials. This is as close as I got. This bog is flooded, but they've not yet started the process of removing them. Most of the bogs are off the Highway 101 south of Bandon. That's also where the Ocean Spray Processing Center is located.
Ocean Spray Processing Center in Bandon
cranberry bog flooded
Not sure in which state of the process this bog is. It appears the berries have been removed. Hmmm...that rake sure looks clean!
close up of truck tire with cranberries stuck between tread
dry cranberry bog, no water
This, however, indicates movement of the berries!
These bogs (Above and Below) are in the pre-flooding stage. Perhaps the berries are not quite ripe enough yet to harvest.
bog with dry berries
white feather pampas grass
White feather pampas grass
White feather pampas grass does well in the Oregon coast climate and can be enjoyed all along the way. I found this one when I was on the Bandon back roads looking for cranberry bogs.

If you'd like to see more Oregon destinations, please return to the Oregon home page.

Or, you may like to visit a location below.

This picturesque cemetery belongs to the Curry County town of Denmark, just south of Bandon. Population (of the living): less than 50.

Please visit some of my other travel locations. Feel free to email me if you have questions or comments.

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cemetery with crosses