A New Way of Tubing at Big Bass Lake

Well, what won’t they come up next with at Big Bass Lake? This takes tubing into a whole new direction. Rather than the “donut” this is more like a bench where the feet go first. And instead of lying on your stomach, you can rest on your backside.

How many other strange ways are there to have fun at Big Bass Lake with? My last time at Big Bass Lake was 1995 and I saw someone try Water Walkers which were styrafoam legs looking much like a storks. Of course the water has to be near still for those to work and one prances atop the water like a stork which requires extremely good balance.

Yet I wonder how this new form of tubing has caught on at Big Bass Lake?  And what other new conveyances are being tried out on the lake?  Let us know by way of a comment.

Panoramic Big Bass Lake

Someone once commented to me that a lot of our pictures of Big Bass Lake had grey skies. Well, here’s one with blue skies. I have to admit the lake looks better under a blue sky. Just examine the wide expanse of this portion of Big Bass Lake. There are so many Vista Points around the lake that are more beautiful than words can describe. I’m now bringing some aerial pictures to Big Bass Lake and Beyond to show you the beauty from above. I’m trying to hire an eagle by the name of Sam to do my aerial photography. He works pretty cheap. And he doesn’t ask questions. Besides after looking at the beauty of our lake Sam is kind of speechless anyway.

Former Noreika Land December White Sale

This house on Noreika Road has been on the market for some time now and besides a regular listing you can now even view a video of this home on You Tube which we have elsewhere on this website under the category Videos.

This home has a beautiful balcony and even a conversation pit by Big Bass Lake. But that’s just the beginning of what this house has to offer. Check out the backside of this home facing Noreika Road!

Thia house has a den, large living room, dining room, family room, laundry room, spacious deck, two-car garage, and a large waterfront with multiple piers.

It is located just across from The Haunted Island and offers a great view of that location. But, this is but the tip of the iceberg of this December White Sale on our former land. There are also properties for sale at 6066 North Island View Lane (a fancy name for our former driveway, which is now paved), 6210 Noreika Road, 6328 Noreika Road, 6329 Noreika Road, and 6300 Noreika Road.

Here is a view of the lot found at 6066 North Island View Drive which also faces Haunted Island.

I estimate this to be very close to where our dock was once located and close to our former cottage (then white) now yellow. One has to wonder why so many properties are being sold? Could it be high taxes on the lake or maybe the damage winter storms put on those homes? Whatever the reasons, many properties are being sold on our former property. Maybe some good possibilities for you?

Big Bass Lake Gizmos

Now what in the world is this at Big Bass Lake ? It looks like  a spa  on water . I suppose that in the middle of this contraption  you can dip your feet in the water  and have the fish nibble at your toes . I wonder if you can take this thing behind the boat .  It would seem somewhat relaxing  behind a pontoon boat  but not behind a speedboat . And what is this child on ? Is this what is known as flat boarding? Or is this a new version of walking the plank ? I wonder what each of these costs ? You just never know what’s going to show up on Big Bass Lake !IMG_20171106_161028IMG_20171108_222721

Nuclear Sub Spotted at Big Bass Lake

IMG_20171108_221901 nuclear sub at Big Bass Lake Irons Michigan? Someone sent me this picture but I have grave concerns about it. For one thing look at the size of the Wake behind the submarine? Not much of a wake is it? The submarine looks more like a child’s toy. Maybe the submarine is there to enforce speed regulation of speed boats? I wonder if it would fire Torpedoes at offenders? Battle Stations Battle Stations!

Night Time Arrives at Big Bass Lake

As dusk turns to darkness on any first night at our property, the boys always gather closer around the campfire. It is that sense of the unknown that grips them.  And, on this night with the Marion Boys Club, it was no different.  Our land takes on a whole new atmosphere at night.  Since it was their first day on this particular trip, the boys were used to our campsite but had seen precious little else.

They had been so busy putting up the campsite they had little time to really take in the full extent of their surroundings.  Big Bass Lake appeared to them far differently than it had done in the daytime.  Now it was shrouded in thick darkness and only the shadows of the night surrounded Haunted Island in the distance. 

As many preferred to just stare at the campfire as they munched on some marshmallows, I told them to look behind them and all related that they could not even make out the lake which was only about ten yards away.  You see the light of the fire that they had been staring at had robbed them of their night vision.  I told them then that flashlights would have the same effect on hikes and that is why they would only be used in emergencies. 

As we walked to the Pointe of our beach area the boys could fully observe a night sky filled with stars that many of them had never before seen since city lights rob them of that observance.  Kevin Hansel’s face brightened as he took it all in while Calvin Little drew closer to me as he had never experienced such darkness before.

That first night each boy grows up a little more than they had before and that growth would carry them well for the rest of their time at our property.  It is a growth that I label as “Awe” and nothing further needs to be said.

Light Fog Over Big Bass Lake

This was a light fog over Big Bass Lake but I recall several times when thick fog blanketed the lake and I used to like to row at those times. As long as I could see the shoreline I could make it from our pier to our wooded beach with nary a problem. If I had tried to head over to the Big Bass Lake store across the middle of the lake that might have been a problem even though the Haunted Island and Big Island are close enough together that the shadows of each island should have been visible enough to do just that.

On our boys club trips to the lake we often woke to fogs upon the lake but not very thick. Morning swims were common on those trips to get the sleep out of their eyes in a most refreshing way. After 30 minutes or so in the water chores were started to get ready for breakfast such as wood gathering, fire starting, and the cooks getting ready for whatever was on the menu for that day. Our Hoffman Estates kids were probably the earliest risers of any boys club I ever took to Big Bass Lake as they squeezed out every moment of every day for their activities and work.

Fog also kept low over our wooded beach making mornings rather errie. But by the time breakfast was down the hatch the majority of those fogs had lifted and the kids were ready to tackle the rest of the day. Even so on some hikes we encountered thick fogs as well so fogs were often an essential part of almost every trip up to our property.

Walking the Shoreline of Big Bass Lake

I fondly remember walking the shoreline of Big Bass Lake coming back from our mailbox. It was a preferable walk over that of taking our driveway which was always in the heat of he sun. The shaded pathway along the lake was far better. Of course you had to watch where you were going as tree roots embedded in the ground was always a problem.

Of course this was before the Public Landing was put in as that property was then owned by Frank Benish.  Our property ran along that line all the way to our pier and beyond.  Every now and then I would hear a frog leaping into the lake from a lily pad.  Just past our pier was too difficult to walk along the lake so you went up a hill and followed your own trail overlooking the lake past a lot of our old outbuildings. 

Once clear of them it was just you and the forest until it opened into a field just south of Al Matson’s cottage.  From that point forward Noreika Road followed the lake for about a quarter of a mile before it disappeared into our forest.  All in all it was a good hike to take every now and then to be close to the lake itself.  I always looked at it as a hike to gather one’s thoughts for the day.

The Far North East Side of Big Bass Lake

Each section of Big Bass Lake has its own charm and dignity. On this lake there are many places where you can only see a certain portion of the lake and only an aerial view provides you with a vision of everything the lake has to offer. Unlike most lakes, this lake has many sections to it where vision of the other parts of the lake are concealed.

From our dock on the southwest portion of the lake, I could observe no part of the north side of the lake.  With five islands on this lake, it is difficult to observe one part of the lake from another. 

The northern section of the lake is almost a lake unto itself.  The only portal south leads into the narrows.  However, could this northeast side of the lake be where the Old Homestead Resort once stood?  Or where the Dinty Moore Resort was?  I think Grant’s Resort is on the northwest side of the lake. 

It is said that the north side of the lake is the deepest of any section of Big Bass Lake.  For those that dwell on this side of the lake feel free to add in your own thoughts by way of a comment.

Big Bass Lake Shoreline Congestion

From what I remember of Big Bass Lake from 1950 through the 1980’s, Big Bass Lake was not overly congested. After all, people came to the lake to get away from the congestion of whatever city they came from. Now-a-days, Big Bass Lake is almost as congested as any city as cottages are found back to back and privacy just doesn’t exist.

Our property was different in that our nearest neighbors were across Big Bass Lake Road to the south and about a quarter mile north along Big Bass Lake. There was plenty of privacy. In fact during a stay at our property for the complete summer of 1983 it was like living in paradise. It was so quiet. I could take out our hammok and fall asleep quite easily.

Of course when the public landing went in it got a little crazy at times but only during the summer months. Now, since our property was sold, our cottage is flanked by much larger homes back to back to back. Privacy is gone and its just like city living. Big Bass Lake is almost 100% owned with very little real privacy left.

To get that valued privacy you would need to build somewhere within the confines of the Manistee National Forest which is all around Big Bass Lake. In the 1950’s one could row around the lake without running into a torrent of speed boats but that is not the case today.

I sometimes wonder where people today vacation to get away from it all?

Camp Martin Johnson Water Skiing

Every so often the CMJ speedboat would come cruising by with water skiiers in tow past our wooded beachfront in the 1970’s. It was usually our first experience with them in an afternoon before their recorded bugle call would wake us up the next morning. The odd thing was that most of the campers at CMJ went to bed before 10pm and that is largely when our evening activities began on our boys club trips to our property. So their morning bugle call was a tad early for us.

Our campers largely slept in to about 9:30 am. Our kids really thought that bugler was real and so did I. I only just recently found out that was a recorded bugle call. One of our kids thought so too as he said, “That guy is just too good as he never misses a note!”

Each day we would spot the camp speedboat carrying some skiers behind it going ever so fast over the cool blue waters of Big Bass Lake. But our kids knew there was another camp on the other side of the lake. Our camping seasons were much shorter than there’s as the longest trip our boys club ever took to our property was ten days with the majority of them being a week. A couple of years there were two separate weeks within one summer but those largely came with the Marion Boys Club.

The Little Island Over The Years

I knew this island when it was called Grandma’s Hat because of a tree that for all appearances looked like a plumed hat.  It’s also been called Tiny Tim and Loon Island over the years but now it could well be called Bushy Island as it seems to be over run with them.  There is a lot of vegetation on this island per square inch.

It always had a great sand beach around it which I presume exists to this day.  When it was called Grandma’s Hat in the 1950’s there was ample land so that one could be seen on that island from as far away as the Big Bass Lake Store.  Now unless you are my height (6’10”) that would no longer be the case as you would be absorbed by leafy bushes. 

Maybe the island could be renamed just “Bush” Island in honor of one of the former two President’s?  That’s a thought!

Motoring Past CMJ Waterfront

Permission to come aboard? I enjoyed using our motor boat to glide past the waterfront of Camp Martin Johnson. It gave one a great view of the camp but caution had to be exercised as one didn’t want to get too close due to water activities at the camp.

The camp itself had a very active waterfront with sailboats, water skiing, rowing, kayaks, and of coure swimmers, some of which actually swam all the way to the Big Bass Lake store which was quite a swim.

Now the camp is a housing addition which is sad. Big Bass Lake deserves another resident summer camp on its shores.