Hello from Wilderness Bay! Our puppy Stu has turned 17 weeks old.  He is currently napping at my feet so I am taking this opportunity to finally blog! Having a puppy is like having a toddler with car keys running around.  I have ordered two puppy training books that I haven’t had time to read.  He is signed up for puppy classes in Eagle River. We missed the first class of four, but that’s ok, our child is gifted and I am sure he will catch up.  He likes to play at night… by play, I mean run around the house at the speed of sound, tearing up underwear, hanging off BoBo’s ear, terrorizing the cats with an occasional break to pee on the floor without warning.  I am certain our guest can hear the profanities being yelled at adorable fuzzy little Stu as our windows are open and the sound travels across the lake.  We love him dearly and he is very smart and incredibly cute…which is a good thing.  We are starting to exercise him more to burn off his furry energy.  Meanwhile, Saint BoBo ate a bag of jalepeno cheddar popcorn and carmel corn I had purchased for Dan and Drew in Mackinaw City… we awaited the storm… happy to report, BoBo was unphased by the rich carmel and spicy jalepenos. 

My “Deer Off “spray that was recommended to me by our neighbor Carol, has worked wonders on my plants on porch!! My dad also hand crafted a couple of Adirondack chairs with a little table that looks so homey on our porch.  It’s a nice shady little spot to pull up an ice cream cone from Juls’ Sweet Shop and put your pins up!! My dad is a retired physician and has taken to wood working.  We were so lucky to get these chairs and a beautiful bookshelf for our little “lending library,” here in the store. Somebody asked me if he was a surgeon skilled at working with his hands.  Nope, a Gastroenterologist…used to working with fiber I guess. I wish the people that have commented on our new furniture could meet the incredible man who crafted them…


We have had some of the nicest guests staying at Wilderness Bay! Some of them have been little kids.  Dan was encouraging the kids to chase the geese of our grassy area into the water.  He would treat them to a free piece of candy from Juls’ Sweet Shop.  As you can imagine, the kids were in and out, their little tanned legs running as fast as they could.  I had a little blonde boy with big blue eyes come into the Sweet Shop asking what he could buy with his shiny quarter..I wanted to give him the store, he was so blasted cute!!

Our neighbor’s nephew, Eric, thought it would be a good idea if we got to know a little about the ATV world here in the north woods. Being city folk, this was new to us.  Eric was kind enough to take Drew, Juls and Dan on a trail ride! Safety first, he educated them on the rules and safety so no one lost any limbs out on the trail.  Dan loves that he has been making new friendships…while maybe only here a week or two, the friendships continue through Facebook, phone calls, etc.  Eric is one of those guys Dan will always stay in contact with.  I even got into the spirit and tried one out today to deliver the cat crate to the garage…. I made it!! (The cat was not in the crate by the way.)  I think I could like this ATV business. For those of you who don’t know, I tried to ride our son’s moped in a school parking lot and tipped it. Who tips a moped?  I like the four vs two wheel concept, lol. We will be getting trail maps here for our guest and maybe someday have a couple on property to rent! We have so many ideas, but it’s a process to acquire all these toys. Weird, there are no money trees up in the North Woods!!

For today’s nature segment, I will share with you one of my phobias… I have a few. Toads… I have a fear that they will jump up and stick to my face. Now to most of you that sounds unreasonable, but in my mind, it’s going to happen… for sure.  Every night there has been this toad on our front porch, right out side our front door. How am I supposed to leave the house? I have to re-route to take the dogs out. Does this toad know I am potty training a puppy and have to go out that door every hour?? He is there every single night, in the same spot.. does he not have anything better to do?? UGH!! On a nice nature note, there have been a pair of fawns with their white spots on them that come to munch on grass etc at the resort.  I wonder what the mom says to them to keep them safe.  They are so on alert.., their tiny tooth pick legs launching them over bushes to get away . It’s like they have a silent language using their eyes and nose twitches to speak. 

We are trying to start this fun thing called, “where in the world were you.. wearing your Wilderness Bay Swag?”.  We launched it on our Facebook page but need more pics!! Tell us where you are and what you are up to while wearing your WB stuff!! We want to post pics on FB.  We had some people meet in Wisconsin that started talking because they were wearing our sweatshirts and struck up a conversation about what brought them to Wilderness Bay!! Bringing people together and spreading goodness in this crazy world we live in today!! Let’s keep it going!! Be creative!!

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A big thing happened at our house the other week.  Juls, our daughter who has William’s Syndrome , went to a music camp for kids with her exact same syndrome!! It was in Oscoda Michigan , which is about 7 ½ hours away from here.  This was her very first time being away with no family at all.  Needless to say, I thought that I was going to have to make an emergency trip to go get her on the second day. The camp nurse called me before I was even an hour away on my way back home.  Juls had some anxiety and “fainted”… she did not actually faint but it sounded good.  She rallied and turned things around and was able to stay!! We were very proud of her, this is a huge accomplishment for Juls.  Sooooo, another phobia… bridges… I had no idea about the Mackinaw Bridge being one of the top 10  longest suspension bridges in the country.. Yep, true fact, I even googled it before I typed this.  Nor did I realize, I guess, that to get to Juls camp we would have to go over that bridge.  Yep again.  I about had a break down on the bridge.  I told Juls she had to keep talking to me.  She says, “It’s a beautiful day and the ocean looks so pretty.” I responded, “don’t look out the window, you’ll get sucked out.” (no need to correct her that it was not the ocean, it was not the time for geopgraphy.) She was giggling at me, as I was talking to her half laughing, half crying… After my sweaty body made it across, I wondered how in the hell I was going to get home?? I would be without my side kick.  I hear you can get an “escort” to drive you over the bridge.  So, I have a total stranger drive my messy jeep, full of dog hair etc while I lay on the floor in a fetal position?? Didn’t make sense to me to bother.  It is also a toll bridge. I had to pay 4.00 dollars to shit my pants.. the whole thing was hilarious.  I am glad to be home with my little Juls, on solid ground.

The store and resort continue to be busy.  We have met people from Texas, Ohio, Indiana, all over the map! Our good friends the Cruz Family came all the way from Iowa for a visit.  They are such a fun cool family!  We were touched that they chose their precious few days off before school starts to come stay with us!!   Our biggest regret is not having nearly enough time to visit as we stay pretty busy keeping things running!  Some of the new friends we have made (guest who have stayed with us,) will be coming back next summer!! One guest is currently pregnant and will be bringing her new baby next summer.  We get to watch families grow with people and dogs alike.  Re-booking is the biggest compliment ever!! We are so excited to read the positive reviews on facebook and Yelp etc.  We are doing something right! We listen to the suggestions from our guest and put them into action as soon as possible.  There is still so much cool stuff we want to do!!




Thank you to every single person who has read this blog. Hopefully you’ve  gotten to know a little bit about what we are like as a family. We want you to be a part of our journey as we forge on with this adventure of running a resort.  We appreciate every guest that has stayed with us, allowing us to get to know you and your families. To the people who stop in our store buying Slim Jims, milk and beer, to those who load up with malted milk balls, pop rocks and licorice ropes in Juls’ Sweet shop,  to those who are sportin’ our Wilderness Bay shirts, hats and sweatshirts and those who stay in our cabins and then write really nice reviews on social media… Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.   It is because of you that we are able to be here. WE APPRECIATE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!






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!




  • Angela Becker 08/14/2017 at 8:57 am

    Omg Laura, you are cracking me up! I’m also afraid of bridges and can relate to how you must’ve felt going across the Mackinac bridge. I just see pictures of it and start sweating. No way would I ever cross that bridge lol. I love the idea about someday having ATV’s to rent. I have always wanted to do this and have already asked Kevin if we can do this while we are up there next year during our two week stay. Our families are so excited about next year, we can’t stop talking about it. We are so happy that you all are doing such great things with Wilderness Bay! See you in October!


    • Wilderness Bay 09/02/2017 at 8:59 am

      Thanks Angela! Nice to know I have a bridge friend!! We can’t wait for your group to visit next summer!


  • Polly Baldus 08/14/2017 at 7:09 pm

    Great blog,Laura! You have a gift. Dad wants to tell you, the furniture has a lifetime

    Guarantee. For parts and service. Also I still get scared crossing the Wabasha bridge. I FEEL


    • Wilderness Bay 09/02/2017 at 8:58 am

      Thanks Polly! How do you feel about the person that had to clean the seats in the Jeep after that trip? WE LOVE THE BOOK SHELF!!! It’s a great hit in our store!


  • Anonymous 08/16/2017 at 7:42 am

    Love reading your blogs! Can’t wait to come down and visit soon!
    Love the Mackinaw Bridge story! It is something isn’t it! I look forward to meeting you all and hearing all about Juls business!
    See you soon.
    Your neighbor….Kathy


  • Scarlet 09/24/2017 at 4:35 pm

    Would love to see fall pictures of trees?


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