When the temperatures reach 100 degrees F., it seems that bears at Houghton Lake go for a great, big, long swim across the lake! That's no mean feat for a Marathon Bear in training, because Houghton Lake is 7 miles wide! This little black bear was seen by boaters in the middle of the lake, swimming with his little bear paws, just as fast as he could for the far away South Shore!
Dave Hager, the son of Dee and Jim Hager who are friends of ours, couldn't believe his eyes when he saw this black bear swimming in front of their cottage on June 1st, 2006! What's next Dave, a Moose perhaps???
So, the next time you head out in your boat, or on your pontoon, and you see what looks like a lost sea creature with funny round black ears, it just could be a bear out for a swim!
The Bear Fact is, I have never heard of anything stranger than a bear swimming 7 miles across Houghton Lake, or any lake for that matter! I wonder why the bear went to such lengths to get to the other side? Do you suppose his girlfriend lived 'on the other side of the tracks?'
This bear must have been very tired and hungry by the time he made his 7 mile swim to the other side of Houghton Lake on June 1, 2006! Maybe the fish just weren't biting on his side of the lakes!
What you cannot see from this picture, are the many cottages and houses along the shore where this little guy emerged! Not only did he make it 7 miles across the lake, but he then proceeded to wind his way through the thickly habitated residential area, and was then thought to have crossed the main, very busy road to find refuge in the thick woods beyond! I wonder where he is now!
On June 1, 2006, Bill Apostopoulos, a Houghton Lake resident, was casually floating around the lake in his fishing boat, when he saw what he thought was a dog! Much to his surprise, it was in fact a local lost black bear! Apparently, the poor bear just couldn't 'bear' the heat any longer and decided to go for a swim!
So, take heed when you swim in the lakes of Northern Michigan! You just never know what you might meet on your way!
If you get off the beaten path in Michigan and especially in the sandy forests or marshy areas around wooded area, please be especially careful of poisonous rattle snakes. These little snakes can make you awfully sick and even kill a young child. They are called Massauga Rattlers in Michigan. This is the first on I ever 'ran across,' but my father has seen many as he has been hunting and fishing. I never want to see another one either!
First and foremost, pack accordingly as winter in MI is COLD. Secondly if you are going to be bringing your snowmobile, be safe. If the lake isn't frozen enough due to exceptionally warm weather such as this winter, take caution, as the snowmobile may go through the ice--it has happened this past weekend while I was there.
Be prepared, this is a big drinking weekend for a lot of people and therefore you will encounter a lot of intoxicated individuals. Cops will be out so it's best to have a designated driver or take the shuttle from your cabin to the Limberlost.