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Reflections of Summer: Behind the Scenes: Waterfall Kayaking

Kayakers say that the only way to see the depths of the Salmon River Gorge is to learn how to kayak over 50-80 foot waterfalls. So how did the Field Guide crew get it all on video? We share the behind-the-scenes story of bushwhacking, rappelling, waiting and chasing as we struggle to capture a rare adventure beyond the trails end.

Oregon Field Guide is OPB’s long-running local weekly TV series covering natural resources, ecological issues, outdoor recreation and travel destinations across the Northwest region.

Join us Thursday, October 1st when Oregon Field Guide will launch it's new season. Until then, enjoy the summer with the Oregon Field Guide crew!  Reflections of Summer takes us down memory lane with a series of behind-the-scenes clips, recommended summer destinations and activities, plus favorite stories and experiences.

This week - Oregon Field Guide Producer, Ed Jahn recommends a visit to The Salmon River Gorge.

"I remember hiking the Salmon River Gorge years ago with Wil, my ol' black lab." shares Jahn. "For a hike that was only a little more than an hour from Portland, and on a trail that was by no means a secret, I was surprised by how untouchably close the trail coursed to the 'no man's land' of the Salmon River Gorge.

I always feared Wil would go chase something fluttery and quick and he'd find himself lunging down into the abyss, never to return.  So I kept him on a tight leash. What was so frustrating was that you could hear this river seemingly just over the edge and down in the canyon. But there was no way to get there. No way to even see it without ropes and bravado. But occasional glimpses through the trees and over the scree strewn slopes told you there was something down there, and any creek that wound through a gorge so precipitous must be a beauty.

Years later, for our story on waterfall kayaking, we found a way in (using ropes and bravado, of course), and discovered why this gorge is penetrated by so few.  For myself— I've hiked this trail a few too many times with 50 pounds of camera gear on my back, so you won't find me back there anytime soon.

Then again…."

More information and to watch Kayaking Waterfalls No Way Out But Down

Check back weekly for more web-exclusive video clips as we count down to Oregon Field Guide's new season!

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Major Support Provided By: Dorothy D. Gage and Dan Stanton, Fred and Clara Dolen Charitable Foundation

Additional Support Provided By: Kay Kitagawa and Andy Johnson-Laird, Christine and David Vernier, Coit Family Foundation, Beth Torry Miller Trust, Greenfield/Hartline Habitat Conservation Fund of the Nature Conservancy, The Roundhouse Foundation, Bonnie and Peter Reagan