The kids of the Marion Boys Club took the opportunity over an early spring break to visit Big Bass Lake in what amounted to the end of winter. We took as our base of operation the resort on Seaman’s Lake a mere mile from Big Bass Lake. Winter was still upon the area as a light coat of snow covered the ground and Seaman Lake was still iced over but only with a thin coat. I say that because in about two feet of water it caved in under the weight of both Calvin Little and Kevin Hansel. Only their feet got wet but both were frozen as they entered the cottage to change clothes and shoes.
Fortunately the cottage was just up a hill from where they went in. And despite warnings to the contrary about the dangers of ice told them continuously on the way there, they just had to experiment. They wrapped themselves in two Indian blankets that kept them quite warm to the point that they didn’t want to leave them for over an hour.
Our second day there saw the temperature rise into the low 50’s and the snow cover was gone by mid-day. I took the boys over to our property on Big Bass Lake and I parked the car just off Noreika Road where we usually parked for summer trips. To both the boys and my surprise, the area we usually camped at was under two feet of water! The lake extended all the way to the swamp behind our camping area.
So we opted instead to take a hike on the logging trail all the way to Matson Road. The kids marveled at how “naked” the woods appeared without leaves and how far they could actually see across our property. We ate our lunch near the creek by the phone lines before heading back to the car. Our next stop was at the Big Bass Lake store where the kids purchased some snacks for the night ahead.
We were only at the area for four days over a brief school break. On this trip we took no night hikes as the weather was still kind of brisk and the nightly wind went right through you. The next to last day there we took a trip to Driftwood Valley and the boys were taken aback as to just how desolate that area was at this time of year. There was no talk about wading in the Little Manistee River that day as the temperature was only in the mid 40’s with a stiff wind.
All in all the boys really enjoyed the trip and especially the nights in our heated cottage. Instead of campfires we rallied around the old heat burning stove. Graham crackers with strawberry jelly really hit the spot on those nights. The following day we left the resort for home and the boys looked forward to our summer trips there where tents would be the order of the day at Big Bass Lake.