Outdoor Report: A lasting impression

February 15, 2020

Outdoor Report: A lasting impression

The Watson Country Outdoor Report is a presentation of the Watson Auto Group, selling Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat in Ludington, Manistee, Benzie and Rockford. “Every season there’s a reason to visit Watson Country. For more information, visit watsoncountry.com.

By Mark Platt, MCP/OCP outdoors writer.

We often hear of cabin fever or the winter blues.  It’s a real condition and many people truly do suffer from the confines of winter.  There is a way to break cabin fever…get outside and enjoy! We live in Michigan and as a result, we get all four seasons. You can enjoy the great outdoors all four seasons.

This weekend while on Facebook I saw pictures of Boy Scout troops and their scout masters winter camping.  I saw other people on a raft drifting down a river. As cold as it was, there wasn’t a frown on any of their faces.  It was people enjoying each other’s company and having fun. Their smiles were contagious and you couldn’t help but recognize they were having truly having fun.  All of this was taking place right here in west Michigan.

Last weekend I had a chance to enjoy the great outdoors as well.  Saturday the lakes were filled with numerous colorful shanties. People were standing on the ice, and you would hear the occasional person yell “flag” meaning someone’s tip-up just had a bite.  On Sunday, it was more of the same, decent temps, shanties decorating the ice like blue dots on a fresh white canvas. The one thing that kept sticking out more than the shanties were the smiles.  People were smiling so much while standing on ice, you could fool yourself into believing that their smiles were frozen, but they weren’t frozen smiles at all. They were real, genuine, ear-to-ear smiles.  

On the lake where I was (can’t tell), I saw dads with their little sons and daughters having a blast on the ice.  I saw older guys like myself with their sons and daughters and the smiles were just the same as the day before. There was one person I met, who made an impact on me, his name is Josh.  From what I can tell Josh is one of the happiest people I have ever met. From the moment I met him at the bait store until we were dragging the shanties off the ice (seven hours later), Josh was excited and wanted to share his fishing knowledge.  He had a lot of knowledge, but more than the knowledge he had a contagious attitude. As I was getting into my truck to drive home, I could hear Josh in the background telling his dad that they should dry out the shanties, so they could go again the next day.  I bet they dried out the shanties and I bet Josh was smiling again.

When I went ice fishing this week I thought my article was going to be about ice fishing.  Nope, it is about people and the good in people. Thank you, Josh!

Mark Platt is an avid outdoorsman, especially in the world of fishing. At his day job (and night job, plus weekend job), he serves as superintendent of Hart Public School.

This story is copyrighted © 2020, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.


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