Standing on the dock of D Lake in Lincoln City, wishing we hadn’t left our jackets in the car, my niece and I couldn’t help but feel discouraged. Our plan was clearly falling apart. Being novice kayakers, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to paddle our way across the wind-whipped water, at least not while having fun. As a back-up plan, we decided to try the Siletz River. With some good advice from a nice gentleman at the Siletz Moorage just off Highway 101, we went up river about 14 miles. We found a great place to launch at Strome Park. Even this far up river, the tides influence the trip. We had noted the tide was out when we left 101 so we headed west toward the ocean to go against the incoming tide while we were still fresh.

Strome Park, in Lincoln County, provided a great place to park, use the facilities and launch the kayaks. The day was overcast but very warm (perfect weather as far as we were concerned). The boat launch provided easy access for the kayaks.

The Siletz River was shallow in some spots but easily negotiable. We had a pleasant paddle for a couple of hours with views of swallows swooping around and the gentle ripples of small fish jumping for bugs. Our 4-year-old Bichon Poodle mix has become our constant companion in the kayaks and seems to enjoy the outing as much as we do.

We were back to the car by about 5 pm and decided to drive back the same route to Lincoln City. We decided that traveling on to Toledo to view the road not yet traveled would be taken another day. We had eaten lunch at the Kernville Steak and Seafood House a few months ago and wanted to try out their dinner menu. It is just a couple of blocks off Highway 101 as you head up the Siletz Recreation Area.

This restaurant states their Filet Mignon is their signature steak and they grilled it to perfection. My niece was anxious to try it and enjoyed every bite (which included a baked potato, fresh vegetables and a garden salad). I opted for the wild salmon and certainly was not disappointed. I chose charbroiled and although it was a bit spicy it was delicious. I too went for the baked potato but made a different choice in their clam chowder. It is different from Mo’s but extremely tasty. The chowder was given the People’s Choice Award in 2005 and 2006 at Lincoln City’s chowder cook off and it was easy to see why.

Our server told us that August is by far their busiest month but we were seated quickly without a reservation. The atmosphere is pleasant with many tables having a view of the Siletz River. They sport quite a bit of artwork by local artists and it adds to their light ambience.

More more information on kayaking Oregon’s waterways, please visit our Outdoor Recreation section.

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