On all our boys club and YMCA trips to our property at Big Bass Lake, Michigan, one thing was clear.  The real journey began just north of Grand Rapids where my vehicle turned onto M-37 for he trip north through the Manistee National Forest.  Up to that point, the kids longest journey through a forest was at the Salamonie State Forest where we trained for these trips and that full ride through that forest was about four miles. 

Our journey through this national forest began at Newyago and never stopped until we reached our destination at Big Bass Lake some seventy miles later.  Up to Grand Rapids the journey was like the ones through Illinois, Ohio, or Indiana, where all the boys saw was farm lands and small towns.  Now that was about to change!  What the boys were now to observe was one LARGE forest, lakes, and rivers all the way to their destination!  And, that sam forest goes about forty miles further from the end of our trip!

Towns like White Cloud and Baldwin interrupted that forest but only for a few minutes and several smaller places like Bitley, Wolf Lake, and finally Peacock were mere blurs to the boys.  But scenery as you see here was the boys constant traveling companion.  They were amazed as to just how large that forest was and even on all their side trips, that forest would always be just outside the car.

Their awe was something to see as they were not truly prepared for just how large a forest they were going to be going through only they never got through it all.  And, the Manistee National Forest was going to be the full total of their camping experience untll we exited it on our way home some ten days or so away.