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[page 5] <Handwritten in blue with embellishment in blue and red.> A Chronicle of <right-pointing arrow> The First Great Adventure BY G. FINDEL The story of a journey undertaken by Tom Bombadil, Hildifons Took, and Glorfindel last summer to discover the Meeting of the Rivers and explore the Withywindle Valley. From the dawn it was a clear, hot day. Friday the First of September, 1967. Hildifons, Tom Bombadil, and I met at Tom's house in the Old Forest at 2 o'clock, which as we all must agree, is a fine time to start an adventure. There was some dispute at the onset between Tom and Hildifons as to the nature of the adventure: Hildifons wishing to undertake and easy-going adventure to the "orchard" (or so I had named it when I discovered it on the 5th of July, 1967) and Tom wanting a real roughnecked adventure, hiking down the Rouge (or Withywindle) as far as was possible. I sided with Tom, having been to the orchard 5 times before by myself, not to mention once with Hildifons, and being in the mood for a real adventure. The dispute thus settled, we set out. Tom and H.T. chose two of Tom's walking sticks, and I cut myself a stout staff from a tree along the way. We set out east along the North Bank of the Withywindle. The first stage of this adventure was rather old hat to the three of us, it being undertaken upon the bikeriding trails [page 6] the [UNREADABLE] page. ADVENTURE by Findel, cont. [UNREADABLE] journey of less than half a mile [UNREADABLE] to the Military Bridge over the [UNREADABLE], and from there on the journey was [UNREADABLE] although [UNREADABLE], Tom and I had chanced to [UNREADABLE] in earlier times. We continued along the North Bank until [UNREADABLE] to Ford Field. There is [UNREADABLE] Soon again we started out. There on the North Bank is an open space from the walking bridge to the Brady Highway Bridge of about a hundred yards in length where about ten willows grow. There we walked, cool in the shade of the willows and WITH NO NETTLES OR WEEDS TO CLAW AT OUR LEGS. (ooRG) It was the last time that the Old Forest would be kind to us in a long, long time. We crossed under the Brady Bridge and our troubles began. The bank was rather steep and there was no wall. We had to fight our way through tangled nettles and weeds, constantly in danger of slipping down the bank into the muddy [UNREADABLE]. After about ten minutes we were still within 25 yards of the Brady Bridge. I say "we" meaning Tom and myself. Took, who had had the [UNREADABLE] of choosing to wear sandals, had fallen behind, cursing Bombadil with one breath and nettles with the other ([UNREADABLE] make that next.) Thus it was that the Old Forest deflated us aat the first real confrontation. We crawled up to the top of the steep bank where there was a little used black-top road. Don't get me wrong thought, this road was West Lane, and it wound through the richest section of Dearborn. I say it is little used because it is rather secluded, and there are only about 15 house privileged to stand there. We followed West Lane to the end, a rather short distance, and moved down again into the valley of Withywindle. The river itself had turned away from us while we were on the road, having flowed away south. We struck out south from [UNREADABLE] end of West Lane to attempt to rejoin the river. Straight away we came to a fence, barbed wire, as I remember, and crossed over it. We were now on the property of Mr. [UNREADABLE] of Dearborn. The land we [UNREADABLE] on was used for horseback riding, and so the going was not too bad for a while. [UNREADABLE] gradually nettles became more and more of a problem and we found ourselves wading through large patches of them. It was tough going, and the [UNREADABLE] to [UNREADABLE]. Mosquitoes became more numerous and bold with each forward step we took. On and on we went, and still there was no sight of the Withywindle ahead. Finally, after fighting our way through a particularly thick patch of nettles, we stumbled [UNREADABLE] the Withywindle. The stream was narrow at this point, and it was flowing with a [UNREADABLE] trickle of water. Indeed, it was not muh to look at, but we had found it in the wilderness. We guessed that we were not far from Michigan Avenue at this point, and elected to cross the river and take our way back west to the Fairlane Inn and there take some well-earned refreshment. From there we would decide our next course of action. As it was, we decided to head east along Michigan Avenue to find a place where we could strike off north to find the meeting of the rivers, where the Withywindle joined her larger sister. From there we would walk north along the larger river's east bank until we came to the [UNREADABLE]. At this time, though, the [UNREADABLE]. If we managed to [UNREADABLE], it would be late, and would be far from home. But we were high with the spirit of adventure and would [UNREADABLE]. The problem of "getting home in time for dinner" would be dealt with [UNREADABLE]. END OF PART I