After enjoying my birthday on Mackinac Island, the next day was Saturday. Very close to the lake house is the Oden State Fish Hatchery. This hatchery supplies hundreds of thousands of brown trout and rainbow trout to Michigan lakes. Every Tuesday and Saturday, they offer free youth fishing from 9am-10:30am. They even provide the bait and fishing poles!
Fishing is first come, first serve at a small lake about a half mile walk behind the visitors center.
Nice one Ethan.
I haven't taken Ian fishing before (mostly because I hate fish), so this was going to be a new experience for him. I baited his hook, and we walked over to the rail. Nearby someone tossed a handful of food into the water and the fish started a frenzy. Seizing the opportunity, I tossed our bait in that area and handed the pole off to Ian. Within 10 seconds, we had a fish on! We pulled him in close and then Grandpa grabbed a net to pull him in. It's all catch and release here. The park ranger working the event came over to remove the hook and take our picture.
Smile with your first fish Ian! At first Ian was a little curious.
But it was all just a little much for him. He didn't like seeing the fish thrashing around.
I was able to get a rod back in his hands, but I'm pretty sure he was happy we didn't catch anything else.
After all the bait ran out, everyone cleared out fairly quickly. It really is a beautiful spot back here. When there's not too many people around, I'm sure it's very peaceful.
Next we checked out the Big Fish Pond. These are all the fish that have "retired" after doing their part for the fish hatchery.
We should have brought more quarters! Luckily we were able to get more food from the ranger.
This is more Ian's speed. Feeding the fish.
No kidding these are Big Fish. Check out how big they are compared to these ducks. Not just big, but they're thick too!
Everyone enjoyed feeding the fish.
The visitor's center.
Inside, there's lots of pelts of different animals. Ian, what'd you find?
We've been driving past this place the whole time we've been here. I didn't get a cake for my birthday yesterday, and I'd rather have pie anyway.
Inside there were lots of tasty looking pies. $10 for a half-pie, $18 for a whole pie.
Mmm. A Northern Michigan Cherry Crumb pie. It was delicious!
Back at the lake house, we enjoyed our last couple days just hanging out and relaxing.
The screened in porch was a big hit.
As was the lake.
This floating island that we brought with us was a big hit. We anchored it just off-shore and enjoyed the waves gently rocking it up and down.
Ian was constantly asking me if we could go ride.
Sure thing buddy, let's go!
Maybe I was taking it too slow with him, or maybe the vibration of the motor was relaxing, but two separate times we were out on the jet ski and I notice he stopped holding on very well. I looked down and the little rascal was asleep! I said "Ian! Are you sleeping?!?" He looked up and me and gave me a very quiet, "yeah..."
Going out later with Ethan though, there was no way he was going to fall asleep. I'd find a boat going by, and we'd jump its wake. I'd see how fast we could turn 180 degrees without being thrown off, and we'd see how fast I could get the jet-ski going across the lake. I think we topped out just under 65 mph! We were flying!
And later I'd take the jet-ski out by myself and have some fun with it.
Alli is really starting to enjoy solid food.
Spread some toys around the porch and Alli is happy.
Time to pack up and head home. Cleaning up the house, deflating all the water toys, and getting both jet-skis out of the water.
With so many people, there were a couple cars heading home. I'm in the van with Ty and all the kids. Along the way, he asks if I've ever eaten at Tony's. Their slogan is "Got Bacon?" Sounds like my kind of restaurant.
After a brief wait, we're all seated and looking excited.
Their claim to fame is their BLT with 1lb of bacon!
And the turkey club is no slouch either. That thing is massive!
I could have ordered the BLT, but I would have asked for no lettuce or tomato, making it just a B sandwich. And while that's probably not bad, I instead opted for a 1/2 pound burger with bacon, cheddar, grilled onions, and bbq sauce. Aubrey was also nice enough to donate some of the bacon from her BLT to make it even more massive. It was delicious!
It was an awesome time up at the lake house. It was really nice to get away and do so many fun new experiences!