We were concerned about smoke from the forest fires but as we headed up to Grants Pass in the morning air quality actually improved. For most of the day we had only the occasional whiff of smoke as we passed some of the side canyons. The exception was towards the end of the trip when we were heading into the wind and the smoke. But even this smoke quickly dissipated.
We saw many more birds on this section of the river than we did last year. Perhaps they have moved up river to escape the smoke. The fish were jumping, probably the start of the steel-head run. Pretty exciting when one breaks water next to your kayak. Most of the traffic on the road and overhead seemed to be fire related.
We had lunch on a gravel beach. Nice views, but we did have a carnivore turkey sandwich eater stung by a yellow jacket. Fortunately she had some antihistamines with her and was also doctored by another kayaker with medicinal river mud.
There was no uphill after lunch. In fact, there may have been some on-river napping after lunch. However, we did have to paddle a bit when we hit some flat water and had the wind in our faces.
Eight of us in total with only four swimmers, although one of us swam three times.
We drove back into the bad air Rogue Valley and were back at Safeway at 5 PM without a stop for refreshment.