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Mystery Tour 2013 Oregon Vortex

Hirsch and crew at the Oregon Vortex.

Mystery Tour 2013 was a four-day road trip in early March 2013, led by Alex Hirsch and the Gravity Falls crew to find "the weirdest tourist traps in Oregon and Northern California." Fans were prompted to find drawings of Bill Cipher left on these spots.[1]

Overview[]

With Gravity Falls having been renewed for a second season and series art director Ian Worrel about to have a baby, him and Alex Hirsch decided that they should go on a fun little trip before their lives as they put it, "basically going to be over soon." Together with 12 members of the show's art team, they rented a van and traveled up US Route 101. Over the course of 4 days, they visited various tourist traps, stayed at weird hotels, eating at "Twin Peaks" style diners, taking photos for references in season 2 and basically goofing off as much as possible![2]

Among the places visited included the House of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex (southern Oregon) and Confusion Hill in Piercy, California, which both were inspirations for the Mystery Shack, a Masonic Temple,[3] the Trees of Mystery's Paul Bunyan statue in Klamath, CA, along Route 101, the World Famous Grandfather Tree (Piercy, California), It's a Burl (Kerbyville, Oregon), the Mystery Spot (Santa Cruz, California), and One Log House. The crew stayed at the Benbow Historic Inn for one night while on the tour.[4][5]

The Bill Cipher Drawings[]

Mystery Road

The route of the Mystery Tour 2013.

Hirsch and company left behind several drawings of Bill Cipher in various spots, such as telephone poles, signs and trash cans, and released photos of them over Twitter for fans to find. The fans who took a picture of themselves in the same spots received Mystery Prizes.[6]

As of April 16, 2016, all of the drawings have been found. They are/were located somewhere along the road the Gravity Falls crew took.[7]

As of 2024, Alex has given a mystery prize to 5 groups of fans who found a Bill.

Locations[]

# Clue Winner and evidence Prize
1 Pyramid 1 @egoboystudios[8][9] Pyramid 1 Prize
A drawing of egoboystudios with Dipper and Mabel, by Matt Braly.
Pyramid 1 WINNER
2 Pyramid 2 @kimallyn[10] Gravity_Falls_Messages
Alex Hirsch and Jason Ritter called Kimberlee as Dipper and Grunkle Stan.[11]
Pyramid 2 WINNER
3 Pyramid 3
41°08'00.3"N, 122°19'17.6"W
@wtfanonpencil[12] Pyramid 3 and 9 Prize
Drawing of a guy who looks sorta like Abraham Lincoln (Z) minus the hat and a girl (Laura) with a short ponytail in a pickup truck chasing Bill Cipher.[13][note 1]
Bill Proof Collage
4 Pyramid 4
40°31'43.8"N, 122°22'50.8"W
@rhaeme[14] No prize given. Declined/Ignored later offer for one.[15]
Pyramid 4 WINNER
5 Pyramid 5 @JoeyMSouza[16][17] Pyramid 5 Prize
A drawing by Alex Hirsch of him and Joey Souza riding on a "Mershaq's" back while holding hands.
Pyramid 5 WINNER
6 Pyramid 6
42°11'54.1"N, 123°39'04.1"W
@thedeetster[18][19] Pyramid 6 and 7 Prize
Group photo of the 4 of them in Gravity Falls style as characters based on this image.[20][13]
Deetster
7 Pyramid 7 @Gag_Reel_Show (March 2016)[21][22] Same Prize as for number 6[20][13]
|Gagreelshow
8 Pyramid 8 @pianoplayer1537[23] Not known
Pyramid 8 WINNER
9 Pyramid 9
40°00'34.5"N, 123°47'25.9"W
@wtfanonpencil [24] Same Prize as for number 3.[13][note 1]
20160416 175047
10 Pyramid 10 None No prize given, because it was eaten.
Not available because it was eaten.[25]

Trivia[]

  • Mystery Tour 2013 group photo

    The instant photo that Alex Hirsch and the crew left at the Oregon Vortex.

    The crew left an instant camera photo at the Oregon Vortex.[26]
  • Jeffrey Rowe made a series of 11 GIFs of the crew and locations that were visited while on Mystery Tour that are still up on his Tumblr page.[27][28]
  • More images were taken by crew members Josh and Justin Parpan, Erik Fountain and Sean Jimenez.[29][30]
  • The crew left behind a signed framed photo of themselves at Confusion Hill. Years later, during the Cipher Hunt, Alex said that if fans took a selfie with this picture, they would receive a prize. Although, it is not known what this prize is or if it was ever given out.
  • The Bill drawing left by Alex and the crew at the Trees of Mystery appeared in the BYUtv series American Ride. In episode 7 of season 8, the host Stan Ellsworth visits Redwood National Park. As he leans on a guardrail, the drawing is visible on the railing.
  • Alongside finding the Bills, thehuntforbillcipher-blog team also learned that Alex and the crew had left a Dipper hat at Confusion Hill while on the trip.[31][32]

Bill Drawings Trivia[]

Tumblr o3lqo0m4DG1vns1aeo3 1280

A Dipper hat that Alex Hirsch and the crew left at Confusion Hill.

  • Due to Mystery Tour happening before Bill Cipher's formal reveal in the show in "Dreamscaperers," he was referred to as the Pyramid during the course of the trip and in Alex's tweets.
  • The currently known status of the 9 drawings are as follows:
    • A visit to the locations of several of the Bills in 2014 by Gravity Falls News revealed that Bill 1 was still on the trash can. Its current fate is unknown.[33]
    • As of 2023, Bill no. 2 was no longer there on the trash can it was drawn on, with a redrawing of him in black marker now remaining.[34]
    • As of 2016, Bill no. 3 was no longer there, as the area it was located in has been renovated since.[35]
    • The 2014 visit by Gravity Falls News revealed that Bill no. 4 had already been removed, making it likely the first Bill lost.[33][36]
    • Bill no. 5's current fate remains unknown.
    • Bill no. 6 was found by Gravity Falls News to still be there in 2014. By the time thehuntforbillcipher found him in 2016, he had greatly deteriorated. He likely is completely gone now.[33][19]
    • Bill no. 7 was found to be intact still as of 2014 by Gravity Falls News and still there when American Ride filmed there in 2015. However, he was virtually gone when thehuntforbillcipher team found him in 2016. All traces of that Bill are likely gone now too.[36][22]
    • Bill no. 8 was found by Gravity Falls News to still be there in 2014. It's current fate remains unknown however.[36]
    • Bill no. 9 was found by Gravity Falls News to still be there in 2014 as well and again there in 2016 when wtfanonpencil found it. However he likely is no longer around now given the pole it was located on was repainted in sometime in 2020.[24] [36][37]
  • Bill Cipher 3, 6, and 9 were not officially found until March and April 2016.
  • Bill no. 3 and no. 9 were found by Twitter user wtfanonpencil by happenstance while on a roadtrip.[24]
  • The group which found Bill no. 6 and no. 7 cataloged the trip on a Tumblr blog called thehuntforbillcipher-blog.
  • As it turns out, Bill drawing no. 7, which was thought to have been first found in 2016 by thehuntforbillcipher team, was actually found in September 2013 by a fan named linneac.[38] However, unaware of the trip or the fact Alex Hirsch himself drew the drawing, they never contacted him about it.[39]
    Gravity falls crew at Confusion Hill

    The crew at Confusion Hill

  • As linneac found Bill no. 7 three years before thehuntforbillcipher team did, they would technically have been the first and therefore owed the Mystery Prize for it from Alex. But due to the requirement being tagging Alex when finding one, they therefore are not entitled to a prize.
  • A visit to the locations of Bills 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were done by Gravity Falls News during the summer of 2014.
  • Although GF News was the first to find and Tag Alex about Bill 6, 7 and 9, they never got a prize for them. They did later however win a prize from Alex for a different contest.[40]
  • As of 2023, the fates of Bill 1, 5 and 8 remain unknown, but given the Bills found in 2016 were in poor condition or gone and no. 2 and 4 were no longer there when revisited, it is likely many of them are no longer around either, as many were on temporary and movable objects like signs or bins, or in public places that have since been cleaned up, renovated or graffitied over. [41]
  • The person who found drawing no. 4 never got a prize and ignored a chance at getting one in 2023 when reached out.
  • The status of Bill no. 8's prize remains unknown, due to the person finding it no longer being online. Though, as Alex never followed up with a prize tweet for them, it is likely either never got one or did privately.
  • In 2023, Alex Hirsch finally was made aware of the fans who had not yet gotten their mystery prizes and in collaboration for an interview he did, drew the mystery prizes for the fans who found Bill drawings 3 and 9 and 6 and 7. They received their prizes in February 2024.[42][43]
  • Kimberlee, the fan who found Bill no. 2 and got the phone call from Alex and Jason, formally released the audio file of the call in 2024.[44][45]
  • Her phone call, with Alex and Jason playing as their respective main characters, revealed that Dipper was the one who drew the drawings of Bill around the Pacific Northwest as a way to get people to help him reveal the mysteries within Gravity Falls. He was nearly successful until Grunkle Stan took the phone and instead warned Kimberlee to stay away from Dipper, claiming he was crazy, and advertised the Mystery Shack.
  • Although not canon, this sort of ties Mystery Tour into the lore of the show.

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Note from wtfanonpencil: This trip was taken in early 2016 before Bill was found. We came within 30 miles of Bill and had none of the books.

External links[]

Gallery

Click here to view the image gallery for Mystery Tour 2013.
Click here to view this page's gallery.

References[]

  1. Hirsch, Alex (March 14, 2013). Tweet number 312241513025380352. “MYSTERY TOUR 2013! My 4-day crew road trip to find the weirdest tourist traps in Oregon officially starts... NOW!”
  2. https://mediamikes.com/2013/04/alex-hirsch-talks-about-recent-trip-to-get-inspiration-for-disneys-gravity-falls/
  3. Hirsch, Alex (March 15, 2013). Tweet number 312740815678107648. “#6”
  4. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Benbow+Historic+Inn/@40.0681696,-123.7898463,423m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m8!3m7!1s0x54d4eb02dec26ae3:0xe211e13acb5cd9ca!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d40.0675152!4d-123.789982
  5. https://jeffrowegifs.tumblr.com/post/46492231971/parpan-brothers-benbow-inn-gravity-falls
  6. Hirsch, Alex (March 14, 2013). Tweet number 312270020661104640. “@_AlexHirsch First person to find one of these guys in real life and photograph themselves with it gets a mystery prize!”
  7. Hirsch, Alex (March 18, 2013). Tweet number 313712496475267072. “Somewhere along this road, Pyramids 3,6,7,8 & 9 still haven't been found! Photo one, win a Mystery Prize!”
  8. Hirsch, Alex (March 15, 2013). Tweet number 312668336842493952. ““@egoboystudios: Found it! ” Congrats to DAMIEN for finding the FIRST secret pyramid! Expect your Mystery Prize soon!”
  9. {Hirsch, Alex (March 15, 2013). Tweet number 312694974032519169. “@egoboystudios: Mystery Prize #1- A drawing of you as a GF character by amazing show designer Matt Braly! Well done!”
  10. Hirsch, Alex (March 15, 2013). Tweet number 312669841855246336. ““@kimallyn: I FOUND THE SECOND ONE! ” Congrats KIMBERLEE! Your Mystery Prize is coming! Everyone else- keep searching!”
  11. Hirsch, Alex (March 16, 2013). Tweet number 313046628649033729. ““@kimallyn: AHHHHHHH @JasonRitter AND @_AlexHirsch JUST CALLED ME!!!!!! ” Congrats Kimberlee on your Mystery Prize for finding Pyramid #2!”
  12. https://twitter.com/wtfanonpencil/status/721031186030538752
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 https://youtu.be/KjIh2yQ3bBw
  14. Hirsch, Alex (March 18, 2013). Tweet number 313726249153486848. ““@ampereHope: hey i found something! https://rhaeme.tumblr.com/post/45448060377/so-alex-hirsch-tweeted-something-about-redding-and” Congrats! You'll get your Mystery Prize soon!”
  15. https://twitter.com/rhaeme/status/760592850757181440
  16. Hirsch, Alex (March 15, 2013). Tweet number 312740378975539200. ““@JoeyMSouza: Saw #5...also saw some squirrels fighting. ” Yes! You beautiful people have a Mystery Prize coming!!”
  17. Hirsch, Alex (April 9, 2013). Tweet number 321850388477263872. “@JoeyMSouza You win this round Sousa!”
  18. https://twitter.com/thedeetster/status/706316250733944833
  19. 19.0 19.1 https://thehuntforbillcipher-blog.tumblr.com/post/140549464035/stop-3-was-almost-not-really-a-stop-at-all
  20. 20.0 20.1 https://64.media.tumblr.com/6097223b58f6c5d53a5e2636be8ef929/tumblr_o3lqo0m4DG1vns1aeo5_1280.jpg
  21. https://twitter.com/Gag_Reel_Show/status/706313355577851904
  22. 22.0 22.1 https://thehuntforbillcipher-blog.tumblr.com/post/140548341750/we-thought-there-was-a-possibility-of-the-statue
  23. Hirsch, Alex (April 9, 2013). Tweet number 321851222237790208. ““@pianoplayer1537: I found another... pic.twitter.com/6t4K9AaZI9” Amazing detective work! Your Mystery Prize: I will draw whatever you desire!”
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 https://twitter.com/wtfanonpencil/status/721741432311013376
  25. Hirsch, Alex (March 17, 2013). Tweet number 313422462446624768. “#10 will never be found (because it's in our stomachs)”
  26. https://thehuntforbillcipher-blog.tumblr.com/post/140615895860/asking-the-staff-about-the-statue-did-provide-some
  27. jeffrowegifs.tumblr.com
  28. https://www.tumblr.com/blog/view/jeffrowegifs/45739646245
  29. https://www.parpancreative.com/new-project
  30. https://imgur.com/gallery/5SBGg6g
  31. https://thehuntforbillcipher-blog.tumblr.com/post/140546934865/as-for-the-actual-gravity-falls-connections-there
  32. https://www.instagram.com/p/xp3a2rAXB-/
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 https://twitter.com/NewsGF/status/500851015227174912
  34. https://www.reddit.com/r/gravityfalls/comments/15oxlmj/remnants_of_a_past_era/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
  35. https://twitter.com/ThePartyLincoln/status/721049548064296960
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 https://twitter.com/NewsGF/status/500852065308909569?s=20
  37. https://twitter.com/forever_gf618/status/1446913868492689417
  38. https://linneac.tumblr.com/post/61248805874/i-was-up-at-the-trees-of-mystery-in-northern
  39. https://twitter.com/forever_gf618/status/1523087710818340864
  40. https://x.com/_AlexHirsch/status/523299900004769793
  41. https://youtu.be/_lMDP7azRMw
  42. https://youtu.be/8Viei4soJzk
  43. https://youtu.be/2Duei8krVAI
  44. https://youtu.be/rLD376C0jIs
  45. https://youtu.be/4GS0DP4MyQQ
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