Foggy Days at Clark Lake

The “City by the Bay” has  nothing on Clark Lake when it comes to fog, at least for the last few days.  Bill Leutz says fog has been covering the ice recently.  Bill attributes it to being “in the midst of a streak of unseasonably warm weather.” On Friday, the high was 57.

Bill captured the essence of the conditions in this photo, taken yesterday (Sunday) around noon, from the west shore of Eagle Point looking north.

January Thaw ps

Below, you can see how the lake looked by mid-afternoon, as the fog began to rise. Ryan Richardson was meditating on the Eagle Point gas dock after a Sweetwater Yoga session.


And finally, this what you saw if you were driving south on Eagle Point Road this morning–color tones you might expect from an Andrew Wyeth painting.


Raft-O-Rama 2017 Theme

The Raft-O-Rama met today (Sunday) to review over 50 theme ideas for the 2017 Raft-O-Rama at Clark Lake.  And the winner is?  TV Shows! 

There are lots of TV shows, and a large variety of genres.  TV shows can be described as creative, humorous, dramatic, and engaging.  And that, of course, fits the Raft-O-Rama spirit completely.  So, on this day in January, the seeds of ideas begin to form, and germinate to blossom fully formed on Sunday, August 6th. 


One of Clark Lake’s most iconic events, Raft-O-Rama gets underway now.  Plenty of work is involved.  And without a committee whose members roll up their sleeves, it wouldn’t happen.  From the luminary project to the parade itself, there are lots of logistics.  The good news?  The committee is a wonderful group who love the lake–and they are not opposed to having some fun along the way.  Would you like to join the committee?  Contact Joe Collins at   

To partake in some Clark Lake Spirit (and to reassure yourself summer will indeed return), check out the results from the 2016 running of Raft-O-Rama.

RoR air 1

Air photo: Andrew Lajdziak

The voting took place by the judges. Spectators at the event submitted their votes for the Peoples Choice award.

DSC_9040_701The Peoples Choice award winner was Aloha Nana

aloha ps

Raft-O-Rama selects judges for their independence.  Here are the awards for each category. 

DSC_8989_693Best Overall, adults 18 and up–State of Confusion (11)

Remarkably, the State of Confusion raft navigated the entire circumference of the lake in reverse!

Confusion winners ps

DSC_8938_688Best Overall, kids 17 and under–Happy Is Our State of Mind (16)

happy winner psThe Best Overall Youth award is now called the R. Tucker Boyers Cup.

DSC_8919_686Most Enthusiastic–Las Vegas, Nevada (10)

DSC_9072_704Most original–State of Inebriation (15)

DSC_9000_695Funniest–Hawaiian Manor (3)

The Hawaiian Manor group won Raft-O-Rama in 1965 and have not had an entry since then.  They decided to change that this year, and won the “funniest” category.

DSC_8980_692Closest to Theme–Wisconsin Cheese (1)

DSC_9050_702Most Colorful–United States (1)

DSC_9040_701Best Special Effects–Aloha Nana (12)

DSC_9015_697Furthest from Theme–State of Emergency (13)

DSC_8929_687Rookie Award–California Sharks (4)

DSC_9009_696Costumes Only–Ohio (9)

DSC_8959_691Most Attention to Detail–The Main Event (2)


DSC_8945_689Welcome to Florida (5)

DSC_8918_685Wyoming (6)

DSC_9064_703Alaskan Dog Sled (7)
Yes, that is Sarah Palin riding along.

DSC_9081_705Michigan (8)

Two winning raft entries honored the memory of Angela Ligibel, who passed away July 30th.  Angela was important not only to family and friends, but the Clark Lake community at large.  She was an avid fan of Raft-O-Rama and participated in it for many years.  Angela was known as “Nana” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and thus the raft entry “Aloha Nana.”  Her nickname was “Birdie” in Raft-O-Rama circles, and you can see that recognized on the Confusion raft.

birdie ps

Many of Angela’s family were present at the awards ceremony.  Afterwards they posed for this photo.


Evelyn Menard, winner of last year’s Mary Reynolds Spirit of Clark, congratulated this year’s winner–Bill Bendele, Jr. Evelyn’s love of fireworks has been her family’s inspiration to present magnificent displays at the east end on the Fourth of July since 2000.  Bill has been involved in many of the building and infrastructure projects around the lake.  The award was presented by Joey Reynolds.

DSC_9125_722And finally an airborne photo of Eagle Point where lots of the day’s activity took place, courtesy of Andrew Lajdziak.

RoR air point 2

Eagle Point on Google Earth

Since 1999 Google Earth has archived satellite photos of Clark Lake.  Yesterday this website displayed the images with a story about them.  The view encompassed the entire lake.  Now here’s a more detailed look dedicated to one of the lake’s iconic locations–Eagle Point.  The images are dated April 6, 1999; no date 2004; May 31, 2005; June 2, 2006; July 25, 2010; October 31, 2011; April 3, 2013; and the latest–October 13, 2016

Here’s a repeat of the entire lake during the same years except for 2004.

Through the years, many at Clark Lake have remember with delight their recollections of Eagle Point.  It’s mentioned at least once in almost every My Clark Story.  Below is a slide show of views of Eagle Point through many decades.

Eagle Point is also spotlighted under the History Perspectives tab.  Here are direct links to some of those stories.  

Eagle Point in 1947 Dollars

Bill Leutz tells the Rollo Every story

An Eagle Point Wedding – B.J. and Sally Lyons

Clark Lake Players present South Pacific in 1963

As said, most pieces under My Clark Lake Story describe how Eagle Point became important to their lives.  These two pieces reach back many years in remembering the Point. 

Dr. Mary Bentley and summers on Eagle Point

Angela Ligibel tells of Eagle Point in the 1940s

Clark Lake from a Satellite

Where were you on October 13, 2016?  That’s when Google Earth’s satellite passed overhead and snapped an image of Clark Lake.  Here’s the latest look at the lake from high above the earth.

  2016 10-13 psGoogle keeps an historical archive of satellite photos.  Below are images dated April 6, 1999; May 31, 2005; June 2, 2006; July 25, 2010; October 31, 2011; April 3, 2013; July 14, 2015, August 7, 2016; and the latest–October 13, 2016.  The first in the sequence from 1999 is monochrome followed by the successive dates, in order.  As you see the sequence move forward, notice the changes.  If you look carefully you’ll notice how things have gradually changed.  For example, check out changes on Eagle Point.  (You can stop the progression of the slide show by putting your mouse on a photo, and then advance it manually with the arrow on the right-hand edge).


Car in Lake–New Developments

New developments:  The car that had broken through the ice near the west end boat launch is now out of the lake. A tow truck pulled it out mid-morning. At the scene were Columbia Township Police, two fire trucks and rescue squad–along with a number of observers.  

Bill Leutz reports the owner “has been parking on the ice everyday to go out and ice fish, but picked a thin spot this time.”   Thanks to C.J. and Bill Leutz for their photos of the car being pulled out of the lake.

fire trucks meta format

According to Columbia Township Police Chief David Elwell, the van did not appear to be damaged and there were no visible leaks.  The van drove away once out of the lake.  The DNR has been notified.

BJ Lyons’ Eagle Spirit One picked up the video of the clean up.  (For video of earlier this morning, please scroll down).

CJ Cox says “Channel 6 News arrived here at the end of the action…and interviewed some people.  The reporter said it could be on the 5 or 6 pm news.”  The Cit Pat also was on the scene.

CJ learned some additional information about the owner of the van.  He and a friend came out this morning from Canton in an attempt to free the van by themselves.   The friend brought waders, but the police and tow truck arrived before they had a chance to extricate it on their own.  CJ also learned that the owner had been warned by other fishermen not to park there because of the risk.  The car had been parked a few feet north of the boat launch.  Had it been directly in front of the ramp, the car would have been in much deeper water.

Earlier this morning, Eagle Spirt One, flew in for some overhead perspective.


This photo from early this morning, was taken by Bill Leutz. 

WKL car in lake 1 2017 01-16

This photo, courtesy of Cindy Naegele, shows the clean up.

Cindy clean up

Click here the review the story from earlier this morning.

Thanks to those who contributed to this story:  Bill Leutz, BJ Lyons, CJ Cox, Cindy Naegele, Ann Swain, , Mike McKay, David Elwell and John Calhoun.

Not a Good Moment

Here’s instant proof that the ice is not strong enough to support a vehicle, and a good warning to anyone else who wants to give it a try.

WKL car in lake 2 2017 01-16

Thanks to Bill Leutz who took these photos around 8 am today (Monday).

WKL car in lake 1 2017 01-16

This occurred at the west end boat launch.  According to C.J. Cox, this car had been parked in this spot for weeks. 

The car was positioned a few feet south from the ramp.  That area is shallower than the area directly in front of the ramp.  If the car had gone down there, it would have been in much deeper water.  

And from the air?  Here’s a look from BJ Lyons’ Eagle Spirit 1:


And the full motion video:

Clark Lake’s Splendor


Clark Lake is constantly rewarding its viewers with visual splendor.  This recompense spans all seasons and every hour of the day.  In this case, here’s a perspective of the lake under an almost full moon.  Thanks to BJ Lyons for flying Eagle Spirit One and capturing these wonderful views for all to see.


Above is a clear shot of the marina dock and the Pointe Bar and Grill as you look east.

Saturday Night at Clark Lake

The recent gray days disappeared with the splendor of another awesome Clark Lake sunset.  Clark Lake is famous for its amazing sunsets, and tonight’s work of art is another example.  Thanks to Bill Leutz who captured it from his Eagle Point location.

FullSizeRender (5)

Mr. and Mrs. Eagle at Clark Lake

Eagles PS 3

Two eagles parked themselves on the ice close to an open spot just east of Eagle Point this morning around 9 am.  According to Rich Bacon, who lives in the Pleasant View area, a fascinating turn of events played out.  And it’s something you don’t typically see. “Once the eagles had positioned themselves on the ice, ducks and geese that had been close to the shore apparently became curious.  They swam out and almost seemed to be teasing the eagles.”

eagles watching ps1

To Rich, that seemed unusual.  “About six years ago, I watched an eagle grab a duck that was in the open spot near my spring. The eagle spent the next couple hours enjoying an extended lunch.”  Why the ducks and geese weren’t wary is not known.  But Rich’s other observation might shed some light on it.  What he saw also explains the title of the article–“Mr. and Mrs. Eagle.”  Says Rich, “you don’t need to be a biologist to understand what these two were up to–it would be clear to anyone watching.”  The question now is when and if Mrs. Eagle will lay eggs and if and where they will hatch. Or if they were just having fun.

Eagles PS 2

Thanks to Rich Bacon who related this story and photographed it.  In order to get closer to the activity, he pointed his camera through a telescope.

In recent years, eagles have been showing up at Clark Lake.  Today, these two were hanging out at Eagle Point, which seems fitting.  They have also been spotted in other parts of the lake.  To catch up on our eagles, please go to Natural Encounters on this website.  Along with the eagle stories, you’ll also be able check out other natural phenomenon at Clark Lake.

For more information about eagles in the United States, please click here.

High Winds Forecast


Photo from late November storm by Bill Leutz

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory that includes Jackson County.  At 3:08 pm today, they predicted “southerly sustained winds around 35 mph, veering west this evening.  Wind gusts will reach 50 to 55 mph this evening.  The highest wind gusts are expected between 6 and 10 pm.”  For the latest forecast for our area, click here

Consumers Energy adds “This activity, along with the potential for light freezing rain…could result in power outages. Consumers Energy is monitoring the weather closely, mobilizing resources and making other preparations to quickly respond to any service interruptions.”  The number one cause of power outages are trees or their limbs falling on power infrastructure.  As Clark Lake residents know, this can also affect cable and Internet service.

For preparation for what to do before, during, and after a storm, CE encourages you to visit their outage center for helpful tips.  At this location, you can view an outage map, report an outage, and sign up for power restoration updates.