A simple blog about food, cooking, family, friends and the fun of ultra running. From the eyes of Chef Bill Bailey.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Cuyahoga Running Warriors

Long before any of us started running and hiking the Buckeye Trail, and before mules pulled valuable commodities up and down the Erie Canal; This area of the nation, which we now call Cuyahoga Falls, was the property of no particular Indian tribe, but set aside by various tribes as a hunting ground. With the dawn of history in Ohio at the time of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, we find the Cat Nation, or Eries, in this region; but before the arrival of the first settlers the Iroquois had defeated the Eries, in 1656. The Indians who lived in Summit County were peaceful and friendly to the Whites. In our history, there was never one instance of any Indian atrocities. There is no record of the Indians burning the cabins of the settlers or murdering our men and women. It was only when the Indians became intoxicated by the Whiteman’s firewater that they became troublesome, and they were sorry and apologetic later.

Indians came to the Cuyahoga Valley on two different trails. One was the well-worn Mahoning or Watershed Trail that came west from Pennsylvania. It ran north of the present day Youngstown and crossed the upper part of the Cuyahoga River near what is now Kent. When it reached what eventually became Stow, it split, one branch going to what is now Cuyahoga Falls near what is now Portage Trail at which point it intersects with the other trail, the Portage Trail. This is the north-south trail which led the Indians from the Cuyahoga River to the Tuscarawas River which was eight miles away. Travel from one river to the other was difficult and it was necessary to get out at the Signal Tree and portage canoes and belongings over the rough path.

OK now you have a little history on the Indians who roamed the area. Mike & I came up with this crazy idea that transpired from an early morning run a few weeks ago. We were running passed an Indian-head carving that sits on Front St (Rt. 59) near Bailey rd., Mike suggested we run from the Front St. Indian-head Carving to the one on Market street in Fairlawn. Then I remembered a few more Indian land marks that we should visit along the way.

We will start our 23 mile journey in honor of those Indians who traveled & Portaged through the area of Summit County at 6:30ish pm. Just off the banks of the Cuyahoga River. We will "Portage"(without canoes), to various Indian statues and carvings ending in Fairlawn at another massive Indian-head carving. Our portaging will be a little bit faster then the Indians, we will be running. Here is a link we will travel. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=820634

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