Eagle Winging It

I think that baldy is looking for the nearest barbershop to check out the latest wigs. He really seems to enjoy his view high atop that tree. Do you know that when eagles train their young to fly its three and out. They take them to a high place and over the nest they go. If they don’t fly on the first two attempts, mom rescues them.

But if they fail that third test, there will be no rescue. As in baseball, its three strikes and out! How many eagles have you observed at Big Bass Lake?

Pleasant Acres on Loon Lake

Does anyone at Loon Lake remember this Resort? What side of the lake was it on? Did any of your friends stay there? And what year did they open and close? Could Loon Lake today get enough business for a resort? What was your remembrance of Pleasant Acres Resort? The Only Resort I remember on the lake would have been the Northeast side of the lake. Please leave us a comment with any responses to one questions.

Sauble Lake Curve

Once off Michigan 37 at the Club 37 Restaurant turnoff, I used to take a road enroute to Big Bass Lake Road. After a long road trip, my senses finally felt “at home” as I rounded the curve facing Sauble Lake and could take in this magnficient view. Nearby was the Sauble Lake Emporium and even before that used to be the Fun Spot.

Sauble Lake felt like home probably because I used to swim there as a young boy as the Richard Benish family had a cottage there. They would invite us over to swim in Sauble Lake. Actually there are five of these lakes with channels between each of them. Whereas Big Bass Lake has five islands and one channel this lake has its five channels between the various Sauble Lakes.

The next lake up the road was Loon Lake which would connect with Big Bass Lake Road which I would follow along the entire run of Loon Lake. Then it was up a short hill and the Big Bass Lake Store was right in front of me with Big Bass Lake just behind it. Then it was only a mile west to our property. But, it was always Sauble Lake that made me feel finally at home after that long trip.

Storm clouds approach Big Bass Lake

2c857137-541b-4b58-8eda-9f48ea15ac22.c10-1 Big Bass Lake has weathered many storms but a few years ago the area was hit by tornadoes. That night it rained so hard that our rowboat was filled to the brim with water. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the house was going to come down. One house across the lake was hit by lightning and burned to the ground. It was the worst storm I ever experienced at the lake.

Our Farm in the Spring

This picture provides you with a glimpse of what needed to be done every spring. The grass had to be cut and what a lawn! It extended all the way to Big Bass Lake Road. A lawnmower would do right around the house and garage but for the field all the way to the road a tractor had to be used, not to mention all the way back to the barn.

Notice all the trees behind the house. A great many of those are now gone to make way for new homes that desired an open view of Big Bass Lake. Instead of the field you see to your right, new homes are now found there. Yes, farms are disappearing in that area all too fast to make room for tourism.

Yes, that tractor of ours sure got a good workout come every spring. It also plowed a pathway through the barnyard nearly to Al Matson’s cabin where Noreika Road’s sandy section begins.

That solo tree has been around for seemingly eons. In a picture published within this site was of me and my sister when I was about five, and that tree is in that picture and it doesn’t appear to have aged a day in this photograph. It has stood smack dab in the middle of our field despite high winds and driving rains and winter gales. Going North on Big Bass Lake Road past the public landing, it is off to the right as you hit the curve taking you due North.

Our garden was something else as both my grandmother and Aunt Beth tended and noursihed it as one of their prime attractions. As a kid I only got to weed it and that wasn’t much fun. I once asked my grandmother why smelly manure could produce such wonderfully aeromatic flowers and she replied, “Just a miracle of nature”.

I remember helping my Aunt Beth shuck beans and I must confess that they tasted better that night. We had just about every vegetable imaginable in that garden. Not that far away down the field was our orchard full of tasty fruit. As I mentioned in a previous post, there were also blackberry bushes in the middle of our property not ten yards off the dirt road that cut our property in half.

Yes, that unique tree and our garden will also be in my memory as such good things came from the latter into our larder. Then there was the compost pile but that will be saved for another day and post.

The Hikers Dress Code.

These two boys would NEVER have been dressed like this on a hike had they been with any of my boys clubs. You’d never see any boys from the Marion, Hoffman Estates, or Salesian Boys Clubs look like that on a hike. Prior to going on any trip to our property I sent out a dress code to all parents of the kids that would be going with me to Michigan.

On that list were jeans or sweatpants, tennis shoes (one leather), two pullover long sleeved sweatshirts, three T-shirts, underwear, swimming suit, shorts, and work gloves, which were optional. On the Salesian trip boys also brought their dress shoes since they were going to church as I had a large group of Catholic boys. But it should be noted that just as those boys would not have worn their dress shoes without socks, the same would be true on hikes yet with their tennis shoes. Without socks parts of the shoes tend to wear on bare feet producing painful calluses. And, the same can be said in regard to hands when rowing a boat. Just as socks with shoes, bare hands are safer in gloves especially going down hill. One boy without them grabbed a tree and the bark of that tree tore the boys skin on his hands badly. The next time he was at the store he opted for work gloves over snacks.

Long pants or sweatsuits also protect the skin from poison ivy, nettles, or underbrush and bushes that can stretch the skin. Sweatshirts also protected the skin from those very things. Even around camp some boys wore their full sets of clothing for chopping wood, collecting it, or for cooking. If you’ve ever had an hot ember strike your bare skin near a fire you’ll have a whole new appreciation for sweatpants and shirts.

Close in to our campsite the boys either walked around in bare feet or in their canvas shoes with bare feet. Short walks were not likely to produce calluses. Even when rowing some boys wore shoes to project their feet from the hot metal rowboats. Those that opted for just bare feet were often denied entrance at the Big Bass Lake store so they learned from that experience fast.

At the end of each trip the boys had a whole new attitude about my dress code.



I’ll never forget the day. I was studying at Lincoln College, Lincoln, Illinois, when at ten minutes to five I saw a tree fly by my window. As I stood I heard a terrifying sound as our third floor roof was being ripped off as the lights went off. I groped in darkness in the hallway to the entryway. I saw the baseball field centerfield wall of some seventy feet shoot skyward. I heard later that the Dooley Carillon was ripped from its foundation and landed on a car three blocks away. It was an F-3 that hit our college with the brut of the storm hitting the southeast side of the campus.

To be on the safe side,I spent the night in our gymnasium as did so many others. This is also true but at the drive in theatre that lost its screen, Gone with the Wind was playing.