Friday, April 24, 2009

Heward's Journal - Paddle Days 15, 16, 17

Continuing with Heward's journal, to match the Intrepid Four:

Thursday Apl 22d 1790.  A cold night & a Morning threaten'g Snow    we did not start early.   Doubled the point & opposite to the nore West found a Run came into that we were following which turned South & by Winding continued South & South West to mid Day with a Grassy Lake at each side   at which Time we entr'd more into the Woods   the Course West by Nore   a Strong Current & large Body of Water  (Grand River)   continued the same Rout nearly West by Nore and West    the Wood very thick & many trees cut across to traverse upon  (this is the only time Heward commented on downed trees or floodwood)  about 5 oClock came to two Cabins of Ottawas (maybe at US 27?)  who confirmed that we were on the Grand River   & at night met two Cannots mount'g to go to Detroit   the lands on this River seem Low & very thick Wood(s)   plum Trees Hickory  & Bois blanc (Tuliptree or Sycamore?) and on the higher lands Oak   a very steady but not rapid Current   Camped & at
Night (Berryville?) the Indians came & told us we would meet many Cannots coming for Detroit.

My Note: The "Cannots" that the Indians were using or building most probably were elm- bark canoes. There was no good supply of paper birch this far south.

Friday Apl 23d 1790. Wrote Mr Robertson by Indian going to Detroit in two Cannots   continued our Rout till about 10 oClock the course nearly West & then it turned all at once to North by East or nearly North   a fine Day & good Current   Met about 11 oClock with Indians spearing Sturgeon   an ill looking Band of about 12 who seem to be refugees from the Ottways & peutwatomas   strong fat Vagabonds   bought Sturgeon for tobacco & set off when a reinforcement was coming (I'm guessing this was about at Onondaga)   the River from here became large & fine with a strong Current and Stony Bottom   the Course West Nore West & continued 'till about 3 oClock when it increased in Water & run in large Turnings with Points & Marrey (?) & not so strong a Current   the course Nore West 'till about 6 oClock & then came to an opener Course nearly the same direction   passed a strong Rapid (Eaton Rapids) & Camped. Fine land & heavy Wood on both Sides.

Campsite: Could have been as soon as Petrieville but probably about at Burchfield County Park.

Saturday Apl 24th 1790.  Refited our Cannots with Gum & set off   passed a rapid in about an hour (Dimondale)   after which high broken Land & some pine Trees   the Banks of Red Land   (remember, no dams so banks would have appeared higher wherever there  are backwaters today)  from thence came to a River from the East (Red Cedar)   & a little lower two Cabins of Indians from Sagana (North Lansing?)   they were providing Cannots for their Departure   the Course to this Time nearly Nore West by Nore   from thence high broken land & some pine & Cedar   about 11 oClock came to an Island in the Middle of the River & a long Rapid & afterwards another Island about Mid Day. (Delta Mills)   Dined.   the Course West Nore West & came to another Island    afterwards three Small Islands & some pine Trees on both sides of the River & high Rocks on the North (Grand Ledge)   & a Small Run of Water from the South (Sandstone Creek)   after which another small Island & a
long & pleasant Drift of an equal & strong Current   the Banks high but the Beach level & Gravelly Bottom    to another long but not very strong Rapid    & to another small Island   the Course West by North to again high Banks to the North    to another Island  (Deer hunter's island?)  from thence to another Island    from thence to four others altogether   following from here a High Sandy Bank with some pine Trees on the South Side    after which a Large Island and two small ones following    afterwards three Small Islands & two small Meadows to North   this last Course nearly West    heavy Wood on all Sides   Encamped opposite an Island.

Campsite: At the dead end of Erdman Road in Danby Township of Ionia County upstream of the mouth of Sebewa Creek.

This is the day's journey that inspired the Annual Hugh Heward Challenge.

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