Memorial Day Weekend

Hello from Wilderness Bay! Happy Memorial Day! We want to take this moment to thank those who have served our country and sacrificed so we can be safe and have our freedom.  A true definition of the word selfless.

So,  it’s Splummer! That is a combo of spring and summer that we are experiencing on this 80 plus degree day! We have made big progress in the weather department in a short amount of time.  We had official “ice out” on the lake on May 8th, just a few days prior to fishing opener for Michigan!  Things are lush and green ! Mosquitos are here in full force… love them…. NOT!


Things have been busy around here! We closed the store for the month of April and did some updates here at Wilderness Bay as we don’t ever want to be stagnant.  Some of the improvements included in the paragraphs to follow.

Kitchen Floors…

New wood floors in all the kitchens in the cabins, installed by Dan.  It really richens the look of the cabins.  I hope previous renters were not attached to the gold and cream color vinyl.

Level Pier…

Our pier took a huge beating this winter! The snow, wind and ice was too much of a triple threat, (not to mention the young man who took out the corner of the pier with his snowmobile .)   Needless to say, the pier was half under water, boards missing and it resembled a roller coaster track.  Dan ,along with help from the burley Bruce Becker, Kirt Warner,  Bob McGuffin, and Tony Basanese,  leveled the pier! It is also out of the water! This is a huge accomplishment and has been one of our biggest projects to date.  Dan worked tirelessly , wearing his waders in the cold water. 

New Swim-up Bar!

What some of you may not know about Dan is when he is in project mode, he will not stop!! I ended up taking him a turkey sandwich and a Powerade out to the pier… he ate it while standing in the water with his waders on! Our friend said it was like a Northwoods swim up bar! A lot of these projects are two- man projects and we so appreciate the help of our new friends.

Dock Work at Wilderness Bay Lodge and ResortPier Repair at Wilderness Bay Lodge and ResortPier at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort before repairs. Pier during repairs at Wilderness Bay Lodge and ResortPier during repairs at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort 2Northwoods Swim Up Bar at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Screened Deck on Deer Cabin…

The Deer cabin has a nice mosquito and bug proof screen on the porch!! I want to sit out there at night, the only problem is we have guest staying in that cabin.  I don’t think they would mind if the entire Hance fam hung out with them while they’re on vacation, do you??

WB Swag and Gift Items…

We have added new WB swag and gift items!! Sometimes, when I order these things, I forget it’s our money we are using to purchase these items, not monopoly money! I get a bit carried away.  We want to make sure our guests have items to buy for their poor friends and family that were stuck back home while they were here chillaxin! We have WB coffee mugs, camo tumblers for hot and cold beverages, new hats, shirts and sweatshirts! Come on in and check them out! They make great Father’s day gifts!

Wilderness Bay Mugs and Tumblers

New Mugs and Tumblers at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort!

New Swag at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Added Dock and New Hot Water Heaters…

There is another dock added to the bay this year brining our dock total to four! Room for all our guest boats and then some!

Dan added 3 new water heaters to three cabins, no cold showers at Wilderness Bay! That is no way to start your day of relaxation!

New Seats Voyager Fishing Pontoon…

Our Voyager fishing pontoon now has newly upholstered seats, compliments of the multitalented Dan.  One day I come home from my nurse job and there are boat seats in our family room.  We live in the upstairs of the lodge which is already nice and cozy, throw in there a pile of pontoon boat seats and … well just say it was unsettling for my OCD.  Every night until about 11pm, I could hear the gentle sound of the staple gun from bed.  But it was worth it! It looks very nice, and more importantly no one will have foam sticking to the back of their legs on a hot summer day on the lake!

Voyager Fishing Pontoon at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Added Color to the Resort…

I have been busy planting pots for our front porch.  The flowers are poppin’ with color and I hope to provide a nice cheery atmosphere as our guest come in.  I sprayed the shit our of them with this product called “Deer Off.”  If the deer eat these plants, I will never talk to them again! My friend Melissa McGuffin helped me plant bushes and flowers up in the planter under our Wilderness Bay sign.  We keep trying to make the place look and feel better, keeping in mind, it all cost money.  We have big dreams, but need to chip off a little at a time.

Smokey Joe Jones at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Michigan Miss Amazing Junior Miss – Juls Hance!!!

In other big news… Our daughter Juls was crowned Michigan Miss Amazing Junior Miss!! Miss Amazing is a pageant for girls and women with special needs of all varieties.  It is a heartwarming pageant that I wish everyone had the chance to see.  It is a non -competitive atmosphere, focusing on building self -esteem, life skills and friendships. 

For us, it another reminder of what is really important in life and what it means to love unconditionally.  For Juls it’s all that, and being crowned queen….let’s be honest.. So she moves on to The National Pageant in Chicago Illinois in August!! She is beyond excited and we are beyond proud.  It is a chance for her to shine, get all glammed up and wear a tierra… oh, and there are cute boys who escort them onto the stage.  In her rein as queen she spends as many hours as she can volunteering in our community.  She also gets to appear in the Watersmeet Fourth of July Parade!!

Queen Juls and Laura at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Michigan Miss Amazing Junior Miss Juls Hance

Family is growing!!!

And more  big news! We our expecting our 2nd grandbaby!! Our daughter Jen and son in law Mike and Amy will have a new addition to their little family in October! We are giddy with excitement. One of our greatest joys is our grand daughter Amy . We also love watching the kids be parents, there is something so cool about that.. the circle of life.

Our daughter, Jen with her husband, Mike and our granddaughter Amy

Nature News…

In nature news… I took the dogs out a couple of weeks ago at 530 am and noticed a tree down over our stream. Then I started noticing trees and branches down everywhere,  what a mess! Apparently beavers love Wilderness Bay too and have chosen to call it their home.  We hired a beaver trapper who was unsuccessful after week one, so , he pulled his traps.  Dan had texted him and said he saw the beaver leisurely swimming by in the bay and it flipped Dan off.

We got special permission to trap the beaver family as one of the trees fell on our shed and they were just running a muck! I don’t know, after I heard we had a trapper lined up, I started second guessing our decision.. these beavers are just out carrying on about their day, they can’t help it that they have sharp teeth and are skilled lumber jacks… We haven’t called another trapper yet. The damage has slowed down. I may just put up a “For Sale” sign on their dam.

We have swarms of humming birds! They dive bomb us on our front porch.  They are such tiny ,striking beauties with their shiny green and vibrant red colors. I think Dan likes them more than he likes me.

There was also a Moose sighting on Thousand Island Lake Road over the Memorial Day Weekend and he took a swim on the Chain!! He may have one too many and took a wrong turn the night before as it is rare to see a moose around here. 

Goose Chaser…

On my last nature note. We have been training our Australian shepherd “Stu” to chase geese off our property as we don’t want our guest walking through goose poop.  Well , as a herder, he takes this job very seriously and chased them out into the lake and swam after them.  There were six of them and one of him ,now at a disadvantage as he was swimming.  The geese started flappin’ and squawking and he came back with a minor flesh wound by his eye.  No one hurts my babies… watch out geese, I’ll swim out there packin’ a gun in my swim suit next time.  There are so many mis truths in that last sentence.  The biggest one is me putting on a swimming suit. 

Captain Stubing at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Store is hoppin’…

The convenient store and Juls’ Sweet Shop was hoppin’ Memorial Day Weekend! Is it bad form to wear thigh high support hose with flip flops and shorts? My legs were throbbing last night as we finally ate dinner at 915pm.  Our cabins our full! We have 5 dogs staying with us this week! With our two, I think they should form a dog gang and take on the geese.  I’ll get them all matching bandanas!

Fish are Biting BIG TIME!!!

Resort guests have been catching fish like crazy! From Opener to Memorial Day the Walleye reports have been awesome!  We love it when they have good luck on the Cisco Chain! Catchin’ all varieties!!  We wanted to share a couple of pics for living proof! Rumor has it that there is a big guy swimming right out in our bay, taunting everyone.  I have my money on our daughter Juls accidentally catching it in one of her five minute fishing expeditions  off the dock. 


I think that’s enough for now!! We are blessed to be full at the resort (except for one cabin for one week in July, ) until the second week of August! We’re actually doin’ this!! Long days, like 13-14 hours sometimes, but so worth it.  This is what we prayed for!! I am not complaining!!

Thanks again for reading this blog and all your love on Facebook! Without all of you, we wouldn’t be succeeding, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Until next time! Enjoy the start of summer!!

Enjoy your Summer!



Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort is a family oriented facility located in Watersmeet, Michigan on Thousand Island Lake within the Cisco chain of lakes.  Our resort offers snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter months and game fishing for muskie, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill in the spring, summer and fall months.  We offer waterfront cabins, snowmobiles, boat rental, a candy shop and convenience store where you can purchase hunting and fishing licenses. 

We pride ourselves on being family oriented with the desire to a place that you will call your home away from home.  New owners Dan and Laura Hance are excited for this opportunity.  Dan comes to this resort with thirty years of experience within the hospitality field and Laura will continue nursing with over twenty five years of knowledge and experience within the health care field.  Dan and Laura want their love for people, their work ethic and combined talents to make Wilderness Bay their dream come true.  We look forward to hearing from you!



  • Lisa S 05/29/2018 at 8:42 pm

    We cannot wait for our week in June at WB!! You blog makes the waiting harder!! Congratulations Miss Amazing …Juls!!


  • Whitney 06/05/2018 at 4:06 pm

    Great blog and update!! Sounds like you guys are off to a great start and nice job on the Dock and all other improvements! We look forward to seeing you this summer more!


  • Patty 07/19/2018 at 11:20 am

    Love your updates and blog!!! Lisa is an entertaining writer and we always learn things. While we own our cottage on the chain our kids and grandkids love to visit the store! It’s Well stocked with all of life’s basic needs but most impressive is Jul’s candy store!


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