Continuing with Heward's journals to match our Intrepid Four:
Paddle Day 11 - UP THE HURON AND HELL CREEK Monday Apl 12 1790. Went with the Indian from our Encampment down again to the Fork leading Nore West & arrived about Mid Day. proceeded up the Branch which turns more North East about four leagues the Current very strong & nearly as wide & deep as the other part of the River from Sanscraits Village (in other words, back on the mainstream) & on a Gravelly Bottom to a Cabbin where it divides into two Lakes the River at this place about 20 yds Wide & between 4 & 5 foot Water here one of those Lakes points NoreEast (Base Line Lake) & the other nore West (Portage Lake) the last we passed to West nore West which after a Traverse of about a league brought us again into a small Serpentine River (Portage Creek) run'g from the same Direction about 6 Yds wide & about 3 1/2 foot Water to the banks but being overflowed we had 4 or 5 feet Water. the lake unpassed is about a league each way & seemingly deep where we could see the Bottom it was fine Gravel & Sand (I don't understand that sentence) as also the River to about 2 leagues up where we encamped late
Campsite: From personal reconnaissance I believe their campsite was on a knoll on the left bank of Portage Creek where it is crossed by Tiplady Road about a mile and a quarter southeast of Hell. It's about the right distance up the creek and it just looks like a good campsite. Or as Charlie Parmelee would say,"...it says Camp Here..".
Paddle Day 12 - ALMOST TO THE PORTAGE Tuesday Apl 13th 1790. Set off then on our Rout West nore West & in about 1/2 a mile it turned nearly North & in a Stream Serpentine the Banks in about every mile varying West Nore west and to North for about 4 leagues (I believe he mixes leagues and miles rather loosely) the stream here about 4 Yds wide & about 3 feet Water when in the banks we arrived at another Lake about 1/'2 a mile long & 1/4 mile wide point'g Nore West & South East (No-name lake under Hyland Lake??) pass'd by the Nore West point from this into Another Small Lake (Halfmoon Lake?) having a Small lake to the Left hand or West Side, (Blind Lake?) the Lake of our Rout run'g North & South & our Course due North (Watson Lake?) this Lake but Small abo't 250 Yds Wide & our course then run'g in the Manner of a Small Lake Nore Nore West, leaving a Round Lake of about 2 miles round to the North or Right hand (Patterson Lake?) after the point of this Lake passed on the north side of another spreading Lake full of long Grass & Mush Rat houses at the Nore West end of which (Woodburn Lake?) the Serpentine Run took nearly South & doubled around a point with Trees & passed still in the Manner of a Small Lake to the South from our first Lake today to here about 6 miles from here about 3/4 of a Mile & the Course turns West Nore West Continued nearly this Course with many Turnings but where the Stream would not be miss'd about 6 Miles to where the Run enter'd into another Lake at West. (Williamsville Lake) this lake runs South East & Nore West about 200 Yds Wide of our Course taking the Turn to the south east. The Indian here informed me that the carrying place was direct pointing from the Mouth of this Run which is West by South.* We continued this Course 'till within abo't a 1/4 Mile of a Bay at East (Ellsworth Lake) & then took a turn up the Run which pointed nore West being late & likely for a bad Night we encamped.
*On a topographic map the direction from the outlet of Williamsville Lake to the head of the portage is exactly southwest.
My Note:The size and shape of lakes and waterways have changed since Heward's time. Water tables have been significantly lowered by deforestation and agricultural drainage.
Campsite: There is a point of high and dry land rising from the marshes through which Portage Creek flows about a quarter of a mile upstream from Ellsworth Lake. My guess is that is where they camped that night. It is about the center of Section 5 of Lyndon Township of Washtenaw County.
The Wisconsin River flows 430 miles across the state from Lac Vieux Desert in northern Wisconsin to its junction with the Mississippi River ar Wyalusing State Park in southwestern Wisconsin. Known as "the nation's hardest working river," it has many power dams and resevoirs, mainly on its upper and middle portions along the lower stretch with beautiful scenery and numerous islands.