Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Charlie's 2008 Odyssey XII

The Grand is growing-Part 2
The Flat River flows into the Grand from the North at Lowell. Its headwaters are in Montcalm and Mecosta Counties, farther north than any other tributary. Hundreds of thousands of pine logs were floated down the Flat during the lumbering era. Two quaint covered bridges still span the river, Fallasburg Bridge and White Bridge. On its way south the river passes through Greenville and Belding.
The headwaters of the Thornapple River, which flows into the  Grand at Ada, are in Eaton County just a few miles from Lansing in what used to be an impenetrable wilderness called Old Maid's Swamp, now the location of large sod farms and General Motors' Delta Township Car Assembly Plant. There was an Indian canoe portage across a prairie where Charlotte is now located. It connected a tributary of the Thornapplewith Battle Creek River, a tributary of the Kalamazoo.
At approximately 100 miles, the Thornapple is the Grand's longest tributary. It passes through Nashville, Hastings and Middleville on its way to Ada, where there is another covered bridge. The Thornapple is the only major tributary to enter into the Grand through its left bank, in this case from the south. All the others enter from the east or north via its right bank.
My message of May 1: The trio camped just upstream of where the Rogue River enters the Grand north of Grand Rapids.They will be heading south into the Big City to face what's left of the rapids. It's a long way from Hell.
The Rogue River enters the Grand near Belmont at the top of the great loop that goes north and then south to Grand Rapids. I have never been able to figure out why the river takes that detour. I would have thought that the Glacial Grand meltwater torrent would have been powerful enough to cut right through from Ada to Grandville.
The Rogue begins up near the Newago-Kent County line and wanders southward through Rockford, the location of the only dam. Like the Flat, it floated logs during the lumbering era. Th Rogue (pronounced "rog") was originally named Rouge (pronounced "roozh") like  River Rouge in the Detroit area but it became Rogue as the result of a spelling error by a Wisconsin mapmaker. 

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