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.
URCHIN Portable Anchor
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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