Reub's journey

24 June 2011

Canoeing on the Siletz

For starters, the word "canoeing" looks wrong, like it has too many vowels. It's a word to keep in mind for the next time I play Scrabble and am stuck with hardly any consonants.

 Anyway, yesterday we went canoeing (still looks wrong) on the Siletz River, which lies west of us, very near the Pacific coast.

This is the river on which Ken Kesey set his novel Sometimes A Great Notion. Yesterday we had an 11-mile stretch entirely to ourselves, not another person in sight.  The lush green temperate rain forest lying on its banks is reflected on the surface.

The Siletz is a beautiful, clear, fast-moving river, a perfect home for salmon and steelhead.

The banks are thick with flowers, grass, trees and berries.

Every time I look at a river like this, I can't help but think that water is like a super high-tech invention: a silvery, cold, reflective, moving substance thought up by geniuses who were paid billions of dollars for their amazing discovery. Water.

Shimmering with mystery.

We saw three bald eagles, two hooded merganser families, a kingfisher, and when a young bull elk crossed just in front of us we were all in awe.

He changed his mind and crossed back, so we had a good long look at him. This is what I call a really good day.


  1. This is what I call an excellent day. Great photos to help take me along. Been long since I have been in a canoe. Hubby invited me this evening, but I had been out all day in the hot sun with granddaughter and could not get up the enthusiasm.

  2. WOW! i'd say so!!! loved your description of water!!! so true! as is the puzzling spelling...

  3. I love to canoe. I love rivers. what a glorious day.

  4. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows.

  5. Tabor: You definitely need to have the energy for canoeing; it's a bit of a hassle to load the canoe, drop it off and shuttle a vehicle to where you take out of the river. But boy was it worth it.

    twg:The spelling continues to look wrong!

    Ellen: You live in a pretty dry part of TX and I wonder what rivers you have for canoeing?

    jb: my favorite boat-quote!!

  6. Simply gorgeous and amazing photos. Your writing is so lively and fun I enjoyed reading about your thoughts, especially the invention of water. Can you imagine?

  7. Great pictures, Kerry. I can't believe you got to see the elk twice!

  8. Shopgirl: Thanks! What if it's true, that water WAS actually invented by a bunch of geeky scientists? Think of the royalties they would get.

    Chrystal: Twice. One of those things that will never happen again.

  9. I'd agree - a very good day indeed!



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