Down by the river…

…it’s the morning of day 11 ~ Great Oregon Road Trip.

The first sound I hear is a songbird welcoming sunrise. The Nehalem flows silently past my door a few yards away. The glassy water wears a mirror reflection of the old bridge crossing the Nehalem. A pair of Mallards glide past, breaking the surface with their wake. A heavy mist is settled on the hills and mountains in the distance. Conifer covered ridges look ghostly.

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Nehalem River from Kindra’s River Inn in early morning. Nehalem Oregon. Photographer: Mary Charlebois


My morning walk passed under giant firs. It was like a walk in the rain. Drip, drip, drip. Thank goodness for the hoodie. My black wellies are another blessing. I’m glad I tucked them behind Blue Bell’s seat.

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Nehalem River early morning. Nehalem Oregon. Photographer: Mary Charlebois


Oregon is beautiful, one stunning vista after another with loads of history thrown in. I stood on the spot where the Lewis and Clark Expedition ended their journey at the Pacific. I tried to imagine how they felt knowing they found the way west to the promised land. I wonder how many pioneers they thought would follow? I’m certain they could not have predicted the masses that live here now.

The independent spirit of the first settlers lives on in Oregon. Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve met people with passion and creativity, warmth and determination. People like Kendra, the host and chef at Kendra’s River Inn, my home for May 1st.

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Kendra Hall, owner, chef, inn keeper, cleaner and bed maker at Kendra’s River Inn, Nehalem Oregon. Photographer: Mary Charlebois


Early morning on May 2nd, I’m standing in the doorway of Kendra’s kitchen. She offers me tea and invites me in. I felt special to be asked into her domain.

Green onions, celery and fresh herbs were flying off her cutting board into a bowl. She prepared for a luncheon catering job, to be delivered that day. In between mixing chicken salad, she stirred a skillet of potatoes that would be part of my breakfast later.


As Kendra told me about how she came to own and operate the historic building sitting just twenty feet from the road, she worked; moving from refrigerator, to chopping board, to prep table, to flat-top. She’s been in the restaurant business for years. The sale of her last eatery provided the money for Kendra’s River Inn. When I asked her if she had been an innkeeper before, I was surprised when she said, “No, but I’ve always had ideas about how I wanted to do it.”

Kendra’s a no-nonsense kind of woman. She’s too busy and too focused to beat around the bush. She’s warm, passionate, devoted to her guest’s comfort and determined to make a success of her historic bed and breakfast at the intersection of Oregon 53 and the Nehalem River. There’s no doubt she will reach that goal.

I ate my breakfast with Kendra and two of her friends visiting from Hawaii. We were the only guest in the six-room inn. The eggs benedict was outstanding. The local eggs and Hollendaise were creamy and tangy, perfect. Conversation flowed around our table covering topics serious and uproarious. There was some curiosity about the life of a travel writer. We discussed California’s upcoming change to allow recreational use of cannabis. We chatted about the buildings history.

By the way, the eggs benedict was a special treat Kendra made for her friends. I was lucky to be there researching a story. Taking pity on a wandering stranger, I was included. Guest are usually served a continental breakfast. Lucky me!

I returned to the Garden Room, my cozy suite on the lower level. I looked at the fireplace, the cloud-like, king-sized bed and the little stacks of books placed here and there. I wanted to lounge away the day reading by the fire. But, I had to write a bit, answer email and hit the road for my next destination.

The river, the mouth-watering food, my suite, the fireplace and Kendra, made me feel at home. I know I’ll return to this seceret hidaway someday and catch up on my reading and have some more of her hazelnut and parmisean crusted halibut.

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Kendra’s River Inn. Nehalem Oregon. Photographer: Mary Charlebois

Thanks for stopping by, MaryGo

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