The year was 1775. It was August. Nicholas Cresswell was beginning his journey into the Ohio region. He would travel to White Eyes Town, Co-a-shoking, NewcomersTown and Gnadenhutten before journeying on to Fort Pitt.
This day we would be traveling very close to, and possibly walking some of the exact ground Mr. Cresswell had passed some 200 and 25 years prior.
Unlike Mr. Cresswell, we did not forget our provisions the night before we left, but always fear we have too heavy a load to carry. We would not loose our horse or meet up with Indian women or find our bodies invaded with an army of small animals. But our meager party of 8 would have an adventure of our own, leaving us with fond memories and stories to tell our grandchildren.
We arrived around noon on a small farm near White Eyes Town. We were to meet with 6 other scouts for our 2-day journey to explore this area. Our provisions were at a minimum since it was summer time and no extra clothing would be needed. When we arrived the party had already left a few minutes before us .We knew of the general direction they would be travelling and made no haste in following their sign.
The terrain in the area was steep, and quite over grown with thickets and briars. It reminded me of my home and the beautiful hills of Morgan County. Frank and I and our ever faithful companion Molly the mountain cur, reached the top of the hill and found a magnificent rock on its peak. Here we would rest our backs for a brief time and look and listen for the rest of the party. We figured they could not be far ahead of us. As we rested and looked at the view from atop the rocks I heard a twig snap. We hushed our voices and listened again. Soon we saw 4 other scouts crest the saddle and come into view. Jeremiah our host, Bob and Randy and Tom had reached the hilltop. We said our hello's and thought we must hurry on so we could make camp before nightfall. Jerimiah wanted us to see the Indian Rocks(named for the place where pre historic Indians would gather to sharpen their tools on the coarse sand stone.) here you can see deep crevices in the rock formed by such sharpening methods. So we trekked towards these rocks while looking for a good place to make camp along the way. The humidity was thick and we knew we needed to get out of the valley to catch a breeze or we would be bothered my mosquitoes. We journeyed on.
As we climbed higher, the woods opened up and the hill started to level out .We felt a light breeze from the west and knew this would keep us comfortable and the insects from bothering us. This would be a good place to camp for the night. We still had a few hours to explore the nearby Indian rocks.
Everyone cached their gear and grabbed their rifles and headed for the ROCKS. We were still missing 2 scouts but we hoped they would meet up with us before sundown.
The famed rocks were truly beautiful. I don't know what it is about these rocks that made your heart tug at your soul. It could be the knowledge of the native people coming here to sharpen their tools or the thought of Nicholas Cresswell and his party possible camping here that made you stop, and moved ones mind back in time. Seeing my fiends and their dogs scurry about the rocks in their primitive dress, carrying nothing but flintlock riffles brought a feeling of wonder and gladness over me.
We relished in the place until we knew we must leave and ready our camp for evening.
Everyone searched for dry standing wood, and gathered plenty to cook our evening meal and the ones that had them erected their shelters.
Frank and Jeremiah and I had decided to scout around before supper and ran into the other 2 scouts Cheryl and Gary.We pointed them towards camp. They had arrived early enough to partake of the evening meal with the rest of us.
Our fine host Jeremiah prepared us a treat of Buffalo Roast. What a delicacy!
The dogs provided us with great entertainment through out the evening. We watched Molly and Sadie running and playing through the camp like 2 young pups running through a Shawnee village. We all laughed and spoiled them with bites of meat from everyone's provisions.
We sampled everyone's flask, and caught up on all the news in the settlements until we could no longer keep our eyes open. Everyone settled into their beds and the firelight dimmed. I awoke a few hours later to see the ground illuminated with the beautiful light known as Foxfire. Some of the other scouts had never seen this before and they were quite bewildered with its illumination.
After closing my eyes for a second time I heard the clap of thunder and the clicking sounds of rain tapping on our canvas. The lightning show was spectacular. We received quite a downpour that night but even the scouts with no shelters kept fairly comfortable with wool blankets to keep them dry.
In the morning everyone ate their breakfast and broke camp. One more trip to Indian Rock before we would head back to the settlements and say our farewells.
We had an impromptu shooting match from atop the high rocks. and enjoyed the challenge of the competition.
WE all returned home Sunday. Molly
slept for 2 days. She seemed to be having dog dreams
of running through the woods, hunting squirrels, and reliving the Trek
to White-Eyes Town.
A fine adventure indeed.
Till next time........
Keep On Trekking,