Michigan Fishing Resorts | Wilderness Bay Lodge & Resort |Laura – Happy 4th of July!


Happy 4th of July from Wilderness Bay!! This weekend has been crazy busy and we couldn’t be happier!! Mother Nature cut us a break and we’ve had sun and a nice cool breeze off the lake.  Our guests and visitors are coming into the store sun kissed with wind blown hair…. A true sign of a good day!

We have had quite a few boat loads visit Jul’s Sweet shop.  It was fun to see families and friends pull up to the dock and pack the store. Bare feet, swimming suits, still wearing life jackets.  When the door opens and the troops enter, you can smell suntan lotion and summer… I love it.

There were lots of Oooo’s and ahhhs over our puppy Stu. Today he was called “smushy” due to his adorableness. So “Captain Stubbing” tried his paw at swimming, … by accident.  He was on the dock with some of our four legged visitors and plopped off the dock.  So far, he is not a swimmer.  He will be however, as he likes to swim in his water bowl and bird feeder.  But for now, I don’t think the Captain “would go down with the ship”… I think he would run to shore for safety and leave his passengers to fend for themselves.  Stu also pulled all the tiny American flags out of the ground that I put out for the fourth weekend. Stu is an “Australian Shepherd” and did not find the need for a Fourth of July celebration apparently.

Our kids and grandbaby are here.  Our oldest daughter Jen, her husband Mike and our grandbaby Amy along with our son Drew have been helping us over the busy July 4th weekend. (Juls is hanging out at my sister’s lake home with my sibs and their kids .)  It has been so fun having them here! I gotta say, seeing our kids interact with the guest is so cool.  “We done good….”  I was in the store with Jen, Drew and our son in law Mike… it was like comedy hour. Jen and Drew were like the two old guys on the muppets with their comments.  I suggested to my son in law Mike that we all quit our other jobs and all work together here at the resort!! I told him we could all live in the lodge together.  He was speechless! I think he was so excited at the prospect there were no words… (just kidding!) But seriously, I love nothing more when our whole family is together.

We continue to meet neighbors and people coming from all over the country coming to the UP to enjoy the beauty.  I sold a fishing license to a guy from California today! I love how the beauty of the area brings people together.  Old and young alike.  Families passing the “up north” tradition on to their kids and grand kids.  With the ever changing world and the crazy news of late, I hope these kinds of traditions don’t change.  We have to hold onto what is important in life… boating, lake swimming, fishing, s’mores and gummy worms are what matters. If you’re reading this, let’s keep it going!! I don’t want our grandkids and their kids to miss out on these treasures of life.

On a personal note, (and along those same lines,) It is Dan and my 25th wedding anniversary today.  We got married on the 4th of July so he’d never forget about our anniversary, (not really, it was the only day the church was open.)  Dan said it was so I was “guaranteed to see fireworks on our wedding night.”  It seems like yesterday that we got married.  I remember I was so nervous the night before my wedding I couldn’t sleep.  I watched the sun rise on my wedding day.  If I don’t sleep, I get sick, like puke sick…. Needless to say,  I ate chicken broth and 7-UP at our reception.  I made up for it that night. When it was all said and done, and I could breathe, I  settled into the hot tub with a giant bacon cheeseburger and promptly fell asleep (poor Dan!).   My dress and veil laid across the table in our beautiful suite, the crystals on my dress shimmered in color reflecting off the fireworks going off in the sky.  There won’t be much time for romance today as we are busy here at Wilderness Bay!! But my hubby got me a porch swing to put on our back porch!! It overlooks the lake and I have already swung with my grandbaby. Little Amy  sang to me and played with her toes.  The cool breeze was blowing off the lake…it only last a few minutes..but that memory will last a lifetime. I hope to get a porch swing in with Dan today:) We need to steal a few minutes alone here and there to regroup and remember “us.”

For our Wilderness Bay nature report, we fed the deer out of our hand last night.  Jen and I along with her little old man chihuahua “Oliver Sanchez,” and our resort cat Smokie Joe Jones.  They all got along famously.  The deer had about 10 deer flys on his nose.  There were little blood bubbles all over his face from those little bastards… I did what every nurse would do and got some calamine lotion and applied it on his nose with a white fluffly cotton ball. .. I didn’t really, but I did think about it. So, we fed him from a little blue bowl just like the ones that we also use to sell our bait.  Just today, Jen just told me a deer was following one of our guest around.  He was carrying a blue bowl full of leaches… ooops!! Come stay with us at Wilderness Bay and get chased by a leech eating deer!!!! The turtles are out everywhere! A painted turtle dug her little hole to lay her eggs right behind one or our guests tire of their van.  She will not be getting the mother of the year award!

Tomorrow, I go back to work at the hospital after this extended holiday weekend. I start my 12 hour shifts, hopefully this will help to balance resort life with nursing life. 

Thank you all for stopping in the store to purchase items, eat an ice cream treat, or simply to introduce yourselves and welcome us to the area.  We even got a bouquet of flowers from our neighbor Kathy! She had read our blog and saw I like to put fresh flowers in our guest’s cabins.  I was so touched by this.  Yet another reminder of why we’re here!

As my grandbaby said last night when she finally laid down for bed, (after a long day of fresh air, with her mosquito bitten cheeks , topped off with a night time fishing excursion…) ”goodnight, bye-bye, all done…” Priceless.


Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort is a family oriented facility located in Watersmeet, Michigan on Thousand Island Lake within the Cisco chain of lakes.  We offer 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!


  • Kathy Tuttle 07/05/2017 at 10:56 am

    Again, Welcome Neighbor! I will be by again, especially to visit Jul’s Sweet Shop! Love your selection at the store and now I know where I can satisfy my sweet tooth and last minute “opps I need …..” emergencies!
    I will for sure stop by this fall when the lake becomes quiet and the pace is more leisurely!
    Take care….Your neighbors! Kathy and Ralph Tuttle

    ps. Our dog Millie some times takes off! If you see her she has her tags on and just give us a call. She is a gentle soul, but she loves to go chasing deer and red squirrels!


    • Wilderness Bay 07/05/2017 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks again Kathy!! Did you see Laura’s shout out to you in her blog??
      We’ll keep an eye out for Millie!


      • Anonymous 07/26/2017 at 2:50 pm

        Yes I did! That was very sweet! Looking forward to meeting you all in person!
        Not everyone up north is on vacation….right? We live here year round! I work for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. My region is northern Wisconsin teachers/schools. Our work is all around transition for students with disabilites!
        So…I love the idea that I have an independent entrepreneur down the road from me!
        Take care! Kathy


      • Anonymous 08/16/2017 at 7:35 am

        Yes I did! Very sweet!
        I will be down to visit soon. Thought I would wait until after Labor Day and things are a little less busy. September is one of my favorite months !
        Until then! Take care.
        The Tuttle’s


  • Tamra 07/05/2017 at 1:29 pm

    I so want to visit!!!! I’m sure its wonderful!
    Happy Anniversary you two love birds!


  • Allison 07/05/2017 at 10:31 pm

    Love the blog ♡ Happy 4th and Happy Anniversary ♡ Sounds like things are doing well up in the Northwoods. We can’t wait to come back and visit (and maybe do some work, lol)


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