It was a hot day, not too windy, the water levels were high (much more water than ten years ago), the bugs were not a problem and there was no one out there -- four cars (including ours) in the parking lot at Achray.
On the drive home we saw four bear, a beaver and two otters.
We have often noticed the small pond east of the Achray Road less than a kilometer beyond the Barron River. It seemed that it might be interesting to check it out with respect to wetland plants. But it's such a small pond that it is not worth a day trip all the way from Point Alexander. But today we were nearby and had some time.
It was an interesting little pond and we enjoyed our paddle. But it was a little too early for wetland plants. The shores of the pond were very "sedgey" but there was some sphagnum in the middle which might be interesting in a few weeks. We'll try again if circumstances permit.
Our original intent was to start at Squirrel Rapids and paddle upstream on the Barron River through the Barron Canyon and return. But it was too windy for that to be a pleasant paddle. So we improvised.
We spend most of our time photographing the southern channel of Cache Rapids. The access is via the upstream end of the rapids. (It might be possible to do it starting at the bottom, but we know that the obvious route, working your way upstream along the shore doesn't work. Perhaps somewhat away from the river ... ) The ground on the south side is very rough; lots of broken rock, discontinuous rock ridges and downed trees. But we felt that the hard work was worth it. (We would love to see some lidar images of this area.)
On our lunch break, we decided that rather than fight the wind paddling up to the canyon, we would return to our vehicle and check out the small pond east of the Achray road less than a kilometer beyond the Squirrel Rapids parking lot.
We undertook an early season day trip by canoe from Achray to Johnston and Berm Lakes. This was on the Monday. Achray had opened on the Friday following a late ice-out (although the ice had been off Grand Lake somewhat earlier.) It was quite windy and as a consequence, we didn't take many photos.
One of our objectives was to check out the canoe campsites on Johnston and Berm Lakes. We determined that although they are useable, we wouldn't pick either of them as a destination campsite.