Thursday, June 2, 2016

OREGON: The Search for the Wizard's Hat

I'm sure you've all probably seen photos of this iconic rock structure - the wizards hat. Being as I'd seen it all over Flickr, I figured it was a pretty popular spot for photographers in Oregon. On the contrary, we discovered that no one we met had any idea what we were talking about. This strange rock ended up bringing us on quite an adventure.

With a little research, we discovered that the Wizard's Hat was located on the shore of Bandon, Oregon. With the help of photography communities on Flickr, we were able to find exact coordinates which we plugged into our Google Maps. While the coordinates gave us an idea of where to find the Hat, it did not at all help us find somewhere to park. After a little driving, we were able to find a location a little further down the beach that had parking available.

Upon pulling up to the beach, we looked along the shore but didn't really spot it. We asked the other beach-goers, and no one seemed to know what we were talking about. Apparently it's not as iconic as the internet would make it seem.

We wandered down the beach until we finally found it, among several larger formations.

And so of course, we promptly got to posing in ridiculous poses along side it to celebrate.

The sky was overcast that day, and so the lighting wasn't ideal for the dramatic photographs we had seen throughout the internet. Regardless, we decided to continue exploring the beach and see what else we could find.

We were exploring between a few rock formations, when suddenly the tide started to come in. One moment I was walking along a sandy beach, and the next I found myself waist-deep in the ocean. Josh, upon the wave hitting his ankles, promptly scurried up the nearest rock to safety. Holding my camera over my head, I tried to climb up and dropped my cell phone into the wave in the process. With a little searching (read: splashing around in the water in a blind panic), I was able to find my phone and get out of the water to safety, soaked from the belly down, with my boots full of fresh Pacific Ocean water. We decided to call it a day for coastal wandering.

Lessons learned:
1. The ocean is not to be trusted
2. Samsung Galaxy phones are surprisingly durable
3. Waterproof boots are only waterproof to a certain depth

At the moment, this was terrifying. We had never seen a sneaker wave, and there was no warning. We promptly learned to be more careful while exploring the Pacific Beaches. In the end, the phone recovered, no one was hurt, and it makes a pretty funny memory.

What are some of your funniest travel memories?

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  1. Yeah. The OR coast doesn't f*** around. Rocky and power. Y'all should head south and check out Cape Perpetua. Coolest spot on the coast.

    1. it really doesn't! thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I had a bit of a tumble with the ocean as a kid that's always made me a bit wary. Glad everything worked out so it can just be a funny story.

    1. understandable! it's better to be safe than sorry.

  3. Gorgeous photos! And a great little story to boot :)

  4. I really need to travel to Oregon! The wizard's hat looks so much like the interesting formations on Black Sand Beach in Iceland. It sounds like it too based on the powerful water there!. Glad to hear you're ok!

  5. funny post! I'm traveling to Bandon in a few weeks and hope to see the infamous Wizards Hat... Can you be a bit more specific as to where you found it? Thanks!

  6. It's the angle that you look at it from...I've never looked for it..yet. But that's what I read..a lot of people don't know where it is because they've never seen it from that angle..I follow a guy on instagram. He has a shot of's epic... Look him up.. @jasmanmander

  7. glennfalsup@gmail.comJanuary 27, 2019 at 12:44 AM

    I was playing around on a cliffs edge at Cape Kawanda several years ago. Suddenly a huge splash of water hit me and I was out for a forced swim in the Pacific ocean. I swam out and around the point to the Pacific City side of the beach. My only injury's were two cut up knees and a bruised ego.