Again, guys, thanks for all the great advice. You can always count on the Buzzards finding consensus regarding the best rivers to run
. Seriously, this has been super helpful! Paul7, I think what you said really resonates - it is clear that the weight of being responsible for a family of new rafters on a river like the Rogue was causing me angst and would likely get worse. I ultimately think we will take Shappattack's advice and try for the Grand Ronde. I have done that section twice at low flow (500 cfs) with no problem. I love the idea of getting a brigade of IKs to help offload from the rafts. The lower Salmon will be out backup if GR flows hit rock bottom.
I know I eventually will need to nut up and eventually push my comfort level - but would prefer to do so with a group that has more experience. I have only been rafting for 3 years but have taken it seriously: 5 day rowing school, several multi-day trips (Grande Ronde x 2, John Day x 2, Rogue, Deschutes, Klamath, etc), Swiftwater Rescue, countless days on various rivers fly fishing (or really rowing for friends who get to do all the fishing). This has all been with the eventual goal to comfortably get my family and others out on rivers like the Rogue, Salmon, MF (eventually) and beyond.
Thanks all - you guys are a valuable resource and entertaining to boot.