Sunday, July 30, 2011
While I generally prefer to shoot stills, there are certain experiences that really demand video. The ride up Oregon’s wild and scenic Rogue River is one of them. The 104 mile round trip up the Rogue, one of the original eight rivers protected by the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, is half wildlife safari and half amusement park ride. This video focuses on the latter. It was shot using a Canon PowerShot S95 in an underwater housing. (The HD version is available here if your internet connection can support it.)
The video only hints at the amount of wildlife that can be seen in and along the river. On this trip we saw Canada geese, harbor seals, dozens of turkey vultures, ospreys everywhere, several bald eagles, herons, three bears, a number of river otters including one that was eating a lamprey for lunch, and a deer with a couple spotted fawns. Because of this, taking a DSLR with a telephoto lens can also be a good way to go as long as you have a way to protect it while enjoying some of the wetter passages along the river.
Commercial tours up the Rogue are offered exclusively through Jerry’s Rogue Jets out of Gold Beach. If you decide to try it yourself—and I recommend this experience to anyone touring Oregon’s southern coast—here is my best advice:
1. There is a 60, 80 and 104 mile trip. Choose the 104 mile trip. It is the only one that takes visitors into the wild section of the river. (The Rogue is divided into three sections: recreational, scenic, and wild.) Don’t worry about the trip’s duration; time flies and you are never more than a couple hours from a potty break.
2. Do not choose the 60 mile trip unless you’re just looking for a basic boat ride and want to stay relatively dry. There is little white water—life jackets aren’t even required—and the boat never leaves the recreational section of the river.
3. Take the trip on a weekday, if possible, and avoid holiday weekends if you want to see wildlife. Our first trip was on Fourth of July weekend. We saw lots of other people along the river but few animals.
4. Wear a hat and use sunscreen. Your wet clothes will keep you cool enough that you may not notice the sun baking you to a crisp. And do not forget sunglasses.
©2011 Timothy Linn. All Rights Reserved.