Each year around November 1, my grandmother opted to go south to Alabama for the winter. My dad’s task was to complete the first run of the journey with my Aunt Barb and Uncle Willie then meeting us in Wabash for the next rung of the journey to Alabama. I had never been at the farm this late in the year before as a teenager. The last 90 miles to our property is through the Manistee National Forest along US 37 and then onto Bass Lake Road. The trees were ablaze with color.

Once at the farm we planned to stay for two days to shut everything down. My dad ordered me to not hike in the woods for hunting season had come and he said that hunters shoot at anything that moved. So I wondered how I would pass my time there. I took the opportunity to use our row boat on Big Bass Lake and the silence was deafening. Usually in the summer the lake is packed with speed boats but not now.

The lake was as calm as I’ve ever seen it and quite peaceful to just take a leisurely row. I rowed around the island that I refer to as the haunted island and the trees had plenty of colors. I then traveled under the bridge, past Grandma’s Hat (the tiny island) and onto the Big Bass Lake store for a bottle of Squirt before making my return trip.