Which Sauble Lake Is Your Favorite?


So, which of the five Sauble Lakes is your favorite? Did you even know that there were five of them? Were you also aware of the interconnecting channels between the five lakes? And, which of the five is the most and least populated?

How many of you have been to all five Sauble Lakes? What are the connecting channels like? How long are each of them? Having never been on any of the smaller Sauble Lakes, those are good questions to ask. I have swam in the largest of the Sauble Lakes that being just across the street from the old Sauble Emporium.

Which of the Sauble Lakes is the best for swimming and fishing? Which is the deepest and shallowest lake? Are speedboats allowed on all five lakes and how wide are the channels between each lake?

If you have any of the answers to these questions, let us know by way of a comment.

Manistee Instant Car Wash on US 31


When you approach this Manistee police officer, who seems to be the gatekeeper for this innovative new car and people wash, he will advise you to roll down your windows and get a good fast start before you roar through the waters coming fast down that hill. It’s a kind of US 31 Shoot the Shoots.

By the way, you have to supply your own towels! Also you’ll need your own soap and car polish as well. I take it you know which one to use on which?

Ed’s House Looking Great


These are photographs of Ed’s new sided home. The house is looking really good. I like the deck that he has on his house and that middle section behind his house. I have another shot that gave me from the vantage point of Big Bass Lake. With that beautiful house, Ed will have to do something with that pier.

The Funnel Cloud Near Big Bass Lake


On a trip to our property with the Hoffman Estates Boys Club a funnel cloud was observed near our field and over a neighbors property while we were starting a hike which was ever so quickly cancelled. The funnel cloud was moving away from us but with those things one doesn’t tempt fate.

We returned to our beachfront camping area as fast as we could and got to the lowest point there to ride that storm out. Only the storm never came as it was moving to the southwest at a rapid pace. All we received was a brief period of wind. Some of the boys had never seen a funnel cloud before as that was a one time moment for them.

The kids were rather quiet that afternoon choosing to remain at camp. Ever so often, though, I noticed their eyes go skyward just to make sure that storm had passed. Within an hour the sun was back out and all was forgotten but for that one hour it was rather tense at our camp. At campfire that evening that was the topic of the day.

Michael, in particular, was up to talking about that experience and then the others joined in. One of the kids joked about that happening on the night we were going to go to the haunted house citing that they would have opted to spend the night on the island rather than crossing Big Bass Lake with that thing in the area. Only at night they never would have seen that funnel to begin with until it was too late. That was the only time that a funnel cloud was observed on any of our trips to our property.

Tubing Again on Big Bass Lake


Ah, it’s the time of the year 4 speed boats ramping up there’s speed to tow skiers and tubers alike. What great fun it is to go around the five Islands on the lake. There is no speed limit on Big Bass Lake so watch out if you’re on a rowboat or a canoe. Even the rare sailboat is at risk due to high wakes on the lake. I’ve even seen a hang glider towed by a speedboat and that’s quite a sight to see. I just hope the glider never gets an itch up there when the tendency to scratch it. But what a view they must get of the lake! Have fun everyone but stay safe.

The Still at Big Bass Lake


Bass Lake EveningStill

In the 1920’s, I just learned that my grandmother, Barbara Noreika, was once arrested for making moonshine. No, not the kind that glows on Big Bass Lake, but the kind of stuff that my grandfather once sold at his bar in Wisconsin before making the move to the farm. No doubt this moonshine made by my grandmother was prepared for my grandfather. I wonder if Elliot Ness was in on the bust?

My grandmother, I am sure, would have rather been in the kitchen preparing pasti with cole slaw over that of that other activity. Farm life then was difficult as the family faired largely on chicken, eggs, and milk, all home grown or produced by the animals of the farm.

There was a Lithuanian language barrier in the area and thus many people like my grandparents were segregated. Yet, like the Amish, they came together for barn raisings, to cut hay, and of course for social gatherings.

You just never know what things one might find out about their grandparents these days!

The Green Hand


When I was 9 years old I attended Tower camp at Sawyer Michigan. On the second night my counselor told us about the green hand. He said every so often a mysterious green hand reaches up from under Lake Michigan and pulls people underwater. In my cabin there were eight boys and at our first swim at Lake Michigan none of us went in. We waded in very shallow water. That night our counselor told us he was just kidding about the green hand and he didn’t think we took him seriously. We all looked at one another and told him we believed him. He apologized and the next day we had a great swim in Lake Michigan. To get there we had to go over Mount Baldy a large sand dune. Swimming was much better after that.

Upper Peninsula Storm Damage by Teri


This is what 9 inches of rain does to an area. This area they have to revert to horseback for a while. Roads are nearly impossible for a wide area. The Michigan Department of Highways has their work cut out for them. They also have a lot of sinkholes to deal with. What a mess! I have added a video of this incident.storm

Sauble Lake Emporium Now in Limbo by Walt


Over the years, Sauble Lakes have taken two major hits. The first was when the Fun Stop burned down and I lost my bowling lanes tucked away in the Manistee National Forest. Then the Keasters (I think that’s spelled right} sold the Emporium. Now that was a country store.

I’m old enough to remember Otto Bartlett’s store over at Big Bass Lake but the Emporium was far greater though each had their charm. Each had a great vista of their respective lakes and that was a selling point of each store.  The Emporium stocked moe merchandise and the parking was never a problem. 

Now each of those stores stands vacant.  It’s sad.  The Bender Family has a country store between Big Bass Lake and Loon Lake that seems to be doing okay.  And ha the original owners kept their store I think the Emporium still would be in business. 

The Big Bass Lake store would need a total remodeling job to get it into shape for any business that took it over.  The Emporium would need far less remodeling.  I wonder what will become of the old Emporium store?  Country stores are an albatross in today’s economy it would seem.  Still they served their purpose and I, for one, loved making purchases there.  I really enjoyed their ice cream.

Maybe the Emporium could be made over into a roller skating rink like the one that at one time was on Loon Lake?  It deserves a better fate than to be razed or turned into a home.  Any ideas on what might become of the Emporium? 

The Last Day of a Trip


The last day of any camping trip to our property on Big Bass Lake was always bittersweet. As the kids folded up the tents to be stored in our grainery on the way out they had bittersweet memories. Sure, they were going back to their own towns and families but this period of independence was about over. They thought back to the visit to the Haunted Island at midnight, the trips to the Pine River Bridge near Wellston or the visit to the Lake Michigan Recreational Area for swimming, or even the night hike down the Bloody Antler Trail as those times were about over.

They talked some about those things during the last campfire the night before. They laughed at how much fun they had swimming, boating, or fishing on Big Bass Lake. They even talked warmly about their camp chores, except for cleaning the latrine. They wouldn’t miss that part at all. They spoke of the night hikes on our property in the deep forest and of picking blackberries to go with cattail pancakes which they made for themselves on the trip.

As they loaded up my station wagon they glanced about at the forest and Noreika Road, taking in many memories and some for the last time. Yes, some trips had repeat campers but some would never come back to this place. And, as we drove past the Big Bass Lake Store for the last time, they knew their trip was at an end. Sure, there were many miles before we reached either Columbus, Ohio, Marion, Indiana, or Hoffman Estates, Illinois, but the trip home was often more relaxed.

Rarely did I hear that refrain on the way back to wherever the kids came from, “Are we there yet, or, how many miles are left to go?” As we sped along the kids would talk openly about all their experiences which made the return trip go all the faster.

We always stopped for a snack once leaving the Manistee National Forest near Grand Rapids, Michigan, and for the kids that was the last vestage of their camping experience as from them on only cities and flat farm land was left to see. But, what memories they would have for the rest of their lives!

More Ghosts of Camp Sauble


What happened at this building at Camp Sauble in the last month? A couple were walking the road just outside this building when they heard noises coming from inside even though the building has been deserted for years. The man quickly scanned the building by entering through a door. He found it completely empty and as soon as he got outside they both heard noises again. This time they both ended the home cautiously and again nothing was inside. The woman noticed the floor and there were no Footprints but their own. They returned to the road to continue their walk when the noises again occurred. This time they walked faster away from the building. What were these noises? Is the camp haunted? That couple sure thinks so. And they won’t be back. I wonder what really happened there?

Sharon’s Rest Station by Bob Hamilton


Sharon has been having double portions at dinner lately and a forest near our home is suffering for it. When we take our walks in the evening hand in hand she sometimes has to rest. She’s been leaning against various trees in the forest with this as a result. She has caused the trees to be somewhat deformed. I’m not sure what we can do about this but I have the same problem. Our weight is affecting the forest. Sharon got the idea of selling tickets to our unique Forest. She tells people they just grow this way. Instead of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we have the leaning trees of Hamilton Forest. Sharon is using this as justification for increased eating. Needless to say our leaning trees are expanding. She either has to go on a diet or take less walks in the forest. I must confess that our forest is beginning to take on a whole new look. I have a new name for it and that is the Hunchback forest. Not bad for a rookie.