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Bandon Oregon Sea Stacks | by Stephen Oachs (
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Bandon Oregon Sea Stacks

Grab some popcorn and put your feet up, this is gonna be lengthy...


or view large on black!


After I left Redding California and my shoots with Chaybert, I headed north into Oregon. Destination -- Crater Lake National Park. The goal -- a sunrise/sunset shot over the snow drenched lake.


As we snow shoe'd toward the west rim from the lodge, I quickly realized just how cold zero (yes, 0) degree's really is. Every inch of skin was covered. I feared my eyeballs might freeze but there was little to no wind which I was thankful for. The snow was very light...the kind that won't allow you to make snow balls, so with each laborious step we took we sunk down 12-16 inches. It was very slow going.




As we went along the rim I kept looking at the sky -- it was amazing. I thought for sure this was going to be a spectacular sunset and that I wouldn't have to do this hike again. As we approached Discovery Point (just over half way to where I wanted to shoot from) I realized we wouldn't make it...the sun was setting fast. So, I decided to setup at Disovery point and wait the 30 minutes or so until the light and color show began.


As I stood there, all setup and ready to shoot, the warmth we generated from the strainous hike quickly vanished and we found ourselves jumping up and down, walking in circles ... anything to keep warm. Teri was not pleased. 65 is cold to her, let alone zero degree's...crap, the wind is starting to blow. Now it's easily below zero. And, as we did our little warmth dance, the amazing cloud formations that were to make the light show vanished, leaving a blank, boring sky. I couldnt believe it. So, I took a few snaps just becuase (and to see if my camera would work in the extreme cold (it did)) and we packed up to start the hike back. I was amazed at how well the 1Ds Mark III batteries performed in the extreme cold. I took 3 with me and the one in the camera never went below the full mark. Impressive.


The hike back in the twilight was pretty cool. All that ambient light relecting off the snow was quite a sight. We got back to the car just as the last faint glow finally dropped below the horizon.


So with all that said, you'd think I'd be posting a shot of the lake.




Instead, the story continues. So we went back to the cabin (an hour drive down the mountain) and settled in for the night, awaiting Santa's arrival. About 2am, Santa landed (hard) on our roof. It woke us up and Tucker (the Beagle) barked in fright. It turns out the loud noise on the roof was a massive hunk of snow falling from a nearby tree.


DAMN YOU SANTA...snubbed again!!


So Christmas morning we decided to pack up and leave the Hoth like world we had been living in the past two days. We headed for the Oregon coast.


We arrived in Bandon Oregon to a big coastal storm. The weather was moving fast, it was cold and windy, but balmy in comparison to the 7100 foot rim of Crater Lake. I walked down the beach amazed by all the sea stacks. I decided I needed a better vantage point and the rogue waves lapping at the shallow beach scared me (after my wipe out a few weeks ago) so I decided to climb up on a rock...




I finally found a good one that was very high but the surf was reaching it so I knew it would be risky...I might get up there and find the tide wouldnt receed to let me down. I did it anyway...what the heck, right? I get up there and when I look back at the path I just took I realized going up was a hell of a lot easier. Getting down would not be easy. Instead of worrying about who and how I would be rescued, I decided to shoot and deal with that later.


As I sat there watching the weather roll through I didn't think I'd get any color and figured this would be a monochrome shot, at best. Then, these giant waves came rolling in and the sun broke through a small hole and eluminated the entire scene. I quickly fired off a few shots and then the it started pouring.


I don't know exactly how I did it but I managed to climb back down that huge steep sea stack, waited for the surf to pull back enough to give me sand to jump too and ran up the beach, chased by a big wave.


I probably looked like a total goof (don't answer that) but it was fun.


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Taken on January 9, 2009