A Late Winter Trip to Big Bass Lake for The Marion Boys Club

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.

Seaman, Loon, Heart, and Alice Lakes

Seaman lake 4

How about this overview of not only Seaman Lake, which I discussed this morning, but also Loon, Heart, and Alice Lakes which are all in close proximity to the others. In fact, Big Bass Lake is just to their north. Alice Lake, which Ed Hawks has a cottage on, is just a hoot and a hollar from Heart Lake which will be featured here soon.

Loon Lake, of course, once hosted the Loon Lake Pavillion, which was a roller skating rink par excellence for this area. If there are residents of any of these lakes that would care to comment about their particular lake, please do so by way of a comment. Ed Hawks has given us some infomration about Alice Lake but what about Heart Lake?

My Tme at Seaman Lake

Last year Mike and I spent a weekend at the Seaman Lake Resort and had a great time. Mike got in his fishing time while I swam both in Seaman Lake and their pool. I preferred the former but it was nice to lounge around the pool too.

The cabins were spacious and wonderful. I was able to prepare the fish Mike caught with some lemon sauce and fries and he was content to say the least. We took in the lake by moonlight and had some special romantic moments.

It’s good for married couples to get away from their routine for brief periods of time. We even kenneled Frick and Frack for that weekend which we usually don’t do but it’s nice to have some time when they aren’t jumping all over us. I would recommend the Leisure Time Resort to anyone and there is a link to their website on our blogroll. Check it out!

Rick and Illness on a Camping Trip

On all the trips I took to our property in Michigan with various Boys Clubs of America and YMCA’s there was only one occurrence of sickness and that came with the Marion Y. Fortunately, on that trip, we were located at a cabin on Seaman Lake during a trip in mid-Spring. The branches were still barren without leaves and there was a thin layer of ice on the lake. Daytime highs reached into the 50’s while nighttime lows were in the low 40’s to high 30’s.

Rick caught a slight cold on the second day of our trip and since we had a cabin I isolated him in one room. I had heard an old wives tale about putting Vick’s Vapo Rub on the soles of one’s feet and then covering that with white socks for the night. So Rick received a foot massage with Vicks that night and in the morning he was far better. The process was repeated the next two nights.

By the next to the last day of our trip Rick was A-okay again but he largely missed out on most of the side trips. I, or the other adult supervisor on the trip, stayed at the cabin with Rick while the other boys were occupied with the events of the day. On my days with Rick, I must confess that it was somewhat quiet and peaceful.

Rick came back on another trip to experience things he had not when he was ill. I often wonder how I would have handled sickness on a tent camping trip?

Geese, Not Kids, Enjoying Seaman Lake

Just look at that ideal float sitting all by itself out there in Seaman Lake! Yet at this moment, instead of kids frolicking in the lake, there are just a few geese enjoying that pursuit. I can almost imagine this same scene in the winter with sleds cascading down that hill onto the ice covered lake. I wonder how far across the lake a sled could go down from that hill?

What a scene to behold! It makes me want to run down there, onto that pier, and dive headfirst into the lake making for that raft. Or perhaps just sitting on that pier and dangling my feet into the lake while fishing. Yes, this scene conjures up a lot of imagination activity for the just about any summer. And even a few revolving around a sled or saucer.

The Frog Monsters of Seaman Lake

On a spring break camping trip to the Big Bass Lake area we stayed at a place on Seaman Lake because it was still too cold to camp out on our beachfront property. At least that was what I thought until we arrived there to find it flooded over as well. So we stayed at a cabin on Seaman Lake which is about two miles away.

Even in mid spring frogs could be heard croaking away in the evening and one night on our glassed in porch I told of the legend of the frog monsters of Seaman Lake to my Marion Boys Club kids. Legend had it that the frog monsters would jump up the hill to take captive kids that weren’t doing all their chores.

That porch was lighted only by two candles that evening and the kids could hear frogs croaking in the distance even as I spun that yarn. With each passing moment they huddled closer together especially as one frog in particular seemed to be getting louder.

At just the right moment I sneaked my arm behind one of the boys and rapidly knocked upon the glass window pane which sent them all flying every which way. Of course in a few moments they were all boasting how they knew it was a fake all the time. Maybe they did, but what about those frogs in Seaman Lake?

By the way, I wouldn’t recommend a rowboat filled with water as a good escape route for when those frog monsters come to call!

A Distant Relative

Sometimes you just never know where you might meet some distant relatives. My Marion Boys Club kids had just that type of occurrence on a time we opted to stay at the Seaman Lake Resort over that of our wooded beach. Pictured here is Lloyd, Steve, and myself along with some relatives I had never met on my Grandmother Noreika’s side of the family.

Little Corrie was the standout for as I recall she was most in puppy love with Keith (not pictured) at a time when Keith was not interested in girls. Thus, for Keith, this trip was like one from hell. Several times he begged me to return to our wooded beach and camp out there. But, after a little counsel, he chose to make the best of it.

Corrie seemd to have a crush on Keith and followed him nearly everywhere. She also had a more silent crush on Steve (pictured just before me) but he was much too old for her. When Keith found that out he tried to fan those flames in every way possible. Of all the trips Keith had been on to Michigan this was his least favorite.

It was also the second time that we opted to use Seaman Resort, the other time being on a trip to the area in very early Spring over spring vacation in Marion

Autumn at Seaman Lake

Weather by enjoying the cool brisk air on the pier or on a hike around the lake fall is definitely here at Seaman Lake. Just look at the brilliant color of the season.

Maybe a challenging row around the lake would be better? In that way you can enjoy the colors twice as much by seeing them on land and in the reflection on the water.

A list of all the colors await you at beautiful Seaman Lake.

A Quiet Pier on Seaman Lake

Seaman Lake is about a mile and a half south of Big Bass Lake and has a resort on this small lake. I remember that resort as being somewhat smaller in the years I was going up to our lake on a regular basis. Our boys club even used that resort a time or two when the weather was slightly cooler.

Those small lake piers were much in use in those days. The kids could fish right off the pier or use it as a launching platform for various dives while swimming. Of course a rowboat was always tied up to those piers for use for general rowing or even some fishing. Or at times that pier might have been used by the kids to just dangle their feet over the side while chatting with each other.

I remember some “pier time stories” after dark. At those times the kids weren’t as eager to dangle their feet in the water after a story about the frog monster of Seaman Lake. Yes, a simple pier can have a lot of uses when one uses their imaginations in that regard. Do I hear a croak in response?

Rowing on Seaman Lake

Seaman Lake - Deb, Lar, Cor, JoeSeaman's2

Rowboating on Seaman Lake at Leisure Resort offers many possibilities. Either take a leisurely row or toss a fishing line into Seaman Lake. I would recommend a hearty rowboat race. Its great exercise and a whole lot of fun.

However our rowboaters here seem to be enjoying the leisurely row taking their time to explore the view. As you can see, families that row together, stay together. A good challenge is to row to the opposite side of Seaman Lake and then back again. That’s competition which I would favor.

I’d also be cautious if this family plans to swim from the middle of the lake unless they are wearing life preservors. That’s a state law in Michigan anyway regardless of whether you’re going to swim or not. Is this family wearing them?

Also this family seems to be enjoying inner tubes as well on Seaman Lake and now this resort offers another option, that being a swimming pool for those that do not care for lake swimming.

Steve Jones Badminton Tournament

On a trip with the Marion YMCA to our property it was too cold for tent camping so we stayed at the Leisure Resort on Seaman Lake. For the only time on any trip Steve Jones held a badminton tournament. We had met another family there on that trip and they had three kids and they joined in with ours for badminton. It was a better afternoon than expected. After about 2 hours though we headed for Big Bass Lake for a swim. The temperature that day actually got up to 83 degrees. Most days on that trip it was under 70 degrees. The cabin we were in a very comfortable and the kids liked it. I missed tent camping but not the portable John.

Seaman, Alice, and Heart Lakes

This picture highlights Leisure Park campgrounds located on Seaman Lake. You can see Heart Lake and Alice Lake here as well. Ed Hawks, who provides us with a lot of photographs of the area, just moved from Alice Lake to the exact same spot where my grandparents had built their original cabin. This is a great aerial photograph of the Three Lakes.

Which Lake has the Best Fishing?

This is Seaman Lake Where leisure time resort is found. A question. Which area lake has the best fishing? Is it Big bass lake, Little Bass lake, Sauble lake, Seaman Lake, Alice Lake, Harper lake, Loon lake, Heart Lake, Bluegill lake, or Wolf lake? Which one has the best fishing and let us know why by way of a comment.