One of the boy’s first experiences with the Manistee National Forest came at the White Cloud Roadside Park. There the boys could take care of their “business” and enjoy a brief snack. They got to stretch out their legs from a two=hundred and twenty mile car ride with a short hike into that forest behind the park. Up until this time the scenery had appeared much like what they found in either Columbus, Ohio, Marion, Indiana, or Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Now, however, for the last eighty-five miles of their journey all they would see would be lakes, rivers, and forest. Most of the boys had never seen a national forest before and even in this experience they would not be taking it all in as the forest ran for another good forty miles past our turnoff point.
But this roadside park was their first exposure to the Manistee National Forest and that experience would last them the next full ten days of their camping trip. Our property on Big Bass Lake is surrounded by that forest. Our two-hundred and fifty-six acre farm had over one-hundred acres of forest land itself.
So after that short hike behind the park the kids piled back into the vehicle for the last leg of their journey. They had their first taste of that forest and now the full menu awaited them.