16-Jun-2001 -- Our first attempt began after a great day of kayaking on the Jordan River, we headed up the Jordan River Valley to see how close we could get to the crosssing. I had already done my homework as to the general location, and we had planned our kayaking trip to get us pretty close to the area.
From the river at Grave's Crossing we headed south on M-66. We drove to Penney Bridge Rd. and headed east. Penny Bridge Rd runs just north of the 45th parallel. This road is a seasonal two track that runs all the way thru the Jordan River Valley and ends up at M-32. We drove to the intersection at Cascade Rd and headed south. Cascade Rd ran at about 84 degrees and 57min. From the map I could see that the rd intersected with the "Deadman's Hill trail" which also is part of the North American Trail which incidently goes from New York to North Dakota. We decided to get to the trailhead and head east on foot. After driving south we passed the 45th line and found the trail about a 1/4 mile south. We parked the vehicles and headed east. After walking in a few hundred yard we came upon a beautiful cascading stream and a foot bridge. (See Picture #3) It was at this point after checking the map that we decided to come back at a later date, a little more prepared to go cross country.
03-Jul-2001 -- Dan Luyk and I were ready to find this confluence. We had come prepared to travel back into the bush to find the crossing. We headed onto the trail at marker #16 (see picture #4), off Cascade rd. It was a great hike and the trail is well marked. We passed marker #17 (see picture #5) and we were very close to Longitudinal line 85W. We continued on until we found 85W and it was at that point that we had to go cross country into the woods. We headed directly North using our compass as a guide, due to the heavy woods and poor GPS coverage. The area was very boggy to begin with, and then it was rolling hills and lots of tree coverage. We crossed a small stream (see picture #6), probably Landslide Creek, and we're able to get right on top of the confluence, after a bit of a hunt. It was quite suprising to find a pile of wood directly at the site of the confluence. Obviously someone at sometime had marked this location. I was able to get a clear reading at the site and the "tee pee pile of wood" was directly on it (see picture #2). I assume that it may have been a surveyor or some early confluence hunter that had made his (or her) mark. All in all it was a great way to spend my "51st" birthday. What a great excuse to take a hike into one of the most beautiful areas of lower Michigan.
April 2002, Ken Armstead adds:
1. In the summer of 2000 with my new Garmin Etrex I decided to see if 45N 85W was marked. It wasn't so I marked it with some logs only. No sign. Now that I'm aware of the DCP, I may unmark it. I have talked to the Dept of Natural Resources about a small concrete post, however. No trails or signs though. This is in very dark and fairly remote woods where some understated sign of civilization would be welcomed by most people, especially if they've been looking for a while.
2. Future Visitors: Getting on 85 and heading North is the hard way, although maybe more interesting if you like climbing up and down and wading through creeks. I suggest starting from the Landslide Creek Overlook and following the trail NW and then the logging roads North until you are at 45. That would put you about a mile or so straight E of the confluence. Approach it heading west. There are a series of woods roads that will take you within 75 yards if you can find them. The closest one passes by on the NE, heading NW.