I have visited Lake Clear just twice, and have longed to return ever since. The first visit was during the Summer of 1967, as our family traveled west, toward our home in Michigan, on our way back from Montreal, and Expo '67. The second time was during the Summer of 1969, when Lake Clear was our sole, intended, vacation destination, and when we were able to camp for two weeks. I was 7, and 9 years old during these trips, respectively. Our dad had purchased a one-wheel, two-trailer-hitch, tent camper, which we used for both trips. I'm not even sure of the exact route we took, but I remember that when we left the main road, we drove between fields of alfalfa or soybeans, (can't recall) and stopped at a farmer's home to make our reservation. The man who owned, (I'm assuming) this property, and the half dozen, or so, camping spaces next to the lake, also maintained a small store near the dock. I remember that he raised cattle, (dairy, I'm assuming) and that these cattle would walk next to the camp. I'm not sure where they had come from, nor where they were headed, but I remember the sound of the cowbells early in the morning. We knew him as "Cliff." On Saturdays, Cliff would fry fish and chips, and his wife, (again, I'm assuming, and I do not remember her name) would bake fruit pies. Folks came from all over the lake on Saturdays to sample their locally famous fares. The only identifying feature I remember about Cliff, was that he had one glass eye. Also, he didn't care for frog legs. He was curious enough to come to visit our camp when frog legs were being fried once, and just to tease him a little, our dad offered him a taste. But, Cliff politely declined. I remember Cliff and his wife as being very, very friendly to us. "Us" included our mother and father, Monica and Jack Matthews, and my 3 brothers, Tim, Chris, and Brian.
I remember a seldom-used, two-track trail which ran from the campground road, through the woods to a small, several-acre, spring-fed lake. Next to the lake was a small shack, which is where Cliff told us he stored equipment to collect sap, and to make maple syrup. Down from the shack, at the lake's edge, was a small rowboat, which was slightly leaky, but usable with sufficient bailing. Even in the middle of this small lake, one could easily see the bottom, and all of the bass and trout as well. These were larger fish, on average, than we had seen in Lake Clear, but also more wary, and more difficult to catch. Our dad managed to reel in a 37" Northern Pike on the last day of our 1969 visit, which was the biggest catch of our entire trip.
From the campsite, we walked across a small, wooden bridge, and up a small, sandy hill to a hand pump, for our water. On the way to fill our containers, to the right of the bridge, (& bordering the campsites) was an area of water full of lily pads and bullfrogs. A little farther on our left, we could see many recently-hatched turtle eggs on a sandy grade to the water, and a beaver lodge a short distance out on the lake. When we were fishing, and we'd get too close to a beaver family, the adult would give a loud slap of it's tail on the water, and the little ones would quickly "disappear."
These are among the fondest of my memories as a child, and if I ever get the chance to return, I intend to take advantage of it. If anyone there can remember Cliff and his wife, please feel free to reply with any additional information. Our father passed a couple of years ago, but I would love to share any additional information with our mother, who is quite well, and who will be 80 years young in September.