Friday, January 1, 2010

Bill Davis on the Grand River

Bill Davis is a lawyer with an office in Grand Ledge and a home in the "Little Egypt" area among the bends of the Grand River upstream of Portland. In preparation for Grand River Expedition '90 Verlen Kruger and I met him at his home to discuss our travel through "his" portion of the river. I say "his" because I think of Bill as the Grand Poo-Bah of what I consider to be the best stretch of the Grand, that from Charlotte Road Bridge to the mouth of the Looking Glass River.

He is one of the ramrods of the Middle Grand River Water Trail Association. Visit their booth at the Quiet Water Symposium March 6.

Bill is a self-professed "slow paddler" who likes to drift down his section of the river, sometimes even backwards, to soak in all the beauty and sneak up on the wildlife. In fact; at the Hugh Heward Challenge hoopla a couple of years ago, as spokesman for the Verlen Kruger Memorial Association when they presented me with that bronze statuette of Verlen, he was carrying like a scepter a paddle with large holes drilled in the blade which he calls his "Slow Paddle". He is at the absolute opposite end of the paddlers' spectrum from the racing Bradfords who look neither right nor left as they are breaking speed records down the river.

In 2005 Bill wrote a paeon to his river entitled "The Awesome Grand River." It is such a beautiful piece that I feel I have to share it with you as sort of a New Year's gift.

(message from Jim, posted by Karen)

No comments: