Michigan Fishing Resorts | Wilderness Bay Lodge & Resort | Laura – Happy Easter!


Happy Easter from Wilderness Bay! Our kids and grandbaby Amy all made it to Michigan to visit us and see the resort for the first time! I can’t tell you how good it feels to have them here.  The house has been filled with laughter and projects are getting done! They have been a huge help and we are so blessed to have them. It’s been fun to watch Amy watch the birds on our patio and sit in her tiny Adirondack chair that accidentally fell into my cart at Ace Hardware.

My parents came from Rochester Minnesota two weeks ago.  Dan’s parents came from Mattoon, Illinois and his sister Chris and Brother in law Ken from Waynesville, Illinois last weekend.  The troops are coming to help and we can’t thank them enough.   My dad cleaned up the grounds, stained the docks with Dan while my mom ironed all the valances for all the cabins.  Dan’s mom Linda, painted Juls candy store shelving and made an adorable awning for her sweet shop. Don (Dan’s dad) built some new porch stairs on one of the cabins. Ken installed a new water heater in a cabin.  All the guys worked together to rewired the power to the docks and added all new “GFI outlets,”.  I am not even going to pretend to know what those are but it seems pretty exciting. Chris (Dan’s sister) cleaned, along with Linda, cleaned some more and organized the kitchens in the cabins. This is just a tiny example of all the hard work they did.  It felt great to cross a few things off the very long list! The support from our family and friends has been huge and we are so appreciative.

So, one of my favorite moments thus far at the resort happened at 445 am on Tuesday.  I was letting the dogs out to “do their business”, and I heard a loon!!! I love loons, and the sounds they make. That is how my day starts, letting the dogs out, looking up into the sky at the still shining stars and listen to the stillness.  Not too shabby, and to have the extra gift of the loon call was a treat.

 Juls learned how to drive the John Deer mower but barely weighs enough to keep it running as it shuts off when she gets too far forward in the seat because it can’t detect the tiny little driver. While her big sister Jen was here, us girls delivered mattress pads, pillows and blankets to all the cabins.  Jen’s little dog Ollie rode on the trailer, he was so helpful.  We like to try to find ways to make helping fun for Juls.  Usually when all this family comes to visit, it’s all about fun and shopping.  It is a sacrifice that Juls has made to be “ok” with family doing projects and no time for games.  Someday when they come back it will be just for fun.   We keep telling Juls to hang in there…. It’s an adjustment and she’s been a trooper. 


The Easter Bunny came to the resort today! Juls planted jelly beans out in the dirt in hopes of gifts sprouting where she planted them.  It worked!! This morning there was all sorts of suprises, including a larger stuffed bunny! I wondered if the deer and any other varmints were checking that bunny out at the crack of dawn this am. Baby Amy ate a few of the remaining jelly beans out of the dirt, oh well, as my dad would say “a little dirt never hurt anybody.”

Two weeks from tomorrow we open! Yikes!!! The store will be staged and filled on the 24th and 25th.  Jen and Dan went and picked out items to have on the shelves to offer.  Jen said it was so fun, like registering for her wedding gifts.  She’s like “mom, I got to use the clicker and pick whatever we wanted!” The only difference is Dad and I are paying for all the “gifts”, lol.  It is another huge step forward to making this thing happen!

Dan has been working seven days a week. Making new list, crossing off old lists, … I try to encourage him to take a break, to take some “me” time.  He forges forward, driven by sheer determination.  Some people think we are crazy, some people are jealous…. We are excited and scared all at the same time.  Our emotions and sleep patterns scattered.  We ground each other with times of “venting”, laughs, calming words and hugs.  While all this is happening we are balancing our first priority, our family, my job and getting Wilderness Bay Resort up and going.  I have faith.  I am grateful for this opportunity to walk along side Dan and make our dream a reality.  When things get stressful and overwhelming, I remember what a gift is to be doing this together.  I am a lucky girl.


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!


  • Tamra 04/18/2017 at 9:16 pm

    Amazing to read about your family adventures! Bravo!!!!


  • Stephanie 04/18/2017 at 9:44 pm

    That sounds amazing with family and friends close by! You guys are doing wonderful work and able to do it together. Tell Juls I love her purple boots! I can hardly wait to come visit! 💕


  • Tammy Heginger 04/24/2017 at 9:11 pm

    So happy for you all! Miss Dan though! Love the beard 🙂


  • Polly Baldus 05/03/2017 at 10:26 am



    • Wilderness Bay 05/20/2017 at 7:59 pm

      Polly! Do you know if David got his package!? Juls’ Sweet Shop delivered to Alaska!! (We will ship anywhere if you don’t mind paying postage!)
      Can’t wait to see you and Gumbo soon!


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