Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-04-12 4:10 PM (EST)
You mentioned someone dying on the water near cliffs and rugged terrain, so I looked at air photos of the locale and see that the area around this river is as flat as central Illinois. Somehow you thought temperatures in the mid-40s in June, occurring at SOME location nearby, is relevant so I checked water temperatures midway along the route, and they are fluctuating roughly between 55 and 60 in recent days. That's not good for swimming but not colder than I would have expected for this time of year, and not something a near-shore river paddler needs to consider "fatal" in the event of a capsize. Having extra clothes in dry storage and mostly not straying too far from shore would be precaution enough for most people.
Other than that, yeah it's a longer trip than most people with not much experience can do, but certainly not impossible for someone who's strong and highly motivated by the challenge.