I’m definitely not what you would call athletic in any sense of the word. Getting me on water skis would I’m sure provided great neighborhood entertainment without ever leaving the channel. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate those who were born with ‘the gift.’ Some of my friends right down the way are a few such people. I’m pretty sure Jim and his boys were born on skis. (Now that I think about it I should ask his mother.) Skiing on one ski, wake boarding, barefooting, you name it they all can do it. I don’t think there’s much they enjoy more. They have to, to be up at the crazy hours they are just to be out on the crystal clear glass of Snow Lake and Lake James.
They’ll share their passion with anyone who shows the slightest interest. They’ve even had my then 9-year old foster son up and skiing in less than an hour. Granted he was an especially gifted athlete who also learned to barefoot that same day. The point is if you love skiing, there’s no better place to come than 101 Lakes Country. Jimmerson connects to James connects to Snow connects to Otter you won’t find more great places to jump in and go for a spin. All along the way you’ll find boat rentals at the local marinas.
Just to the west of Pokagon on Lake James, less than a half-mile from where it connects to Snow Lake is a slalom course. It’s free and open to anyone at any time. All you need is the boat and a pair of skis. Well that and a driver and a spotter and well you get the idea, it’s there and free for the taking. Powerboats and sailboats can also be rented at private marinas on the lake.
While there might not be too many places to actually rent skis, there’s a special kind of bond among avid skiers. They’ll befriend just about anyone they meet on the water. They enjoy sharing their sport and they just might share their equipment just to entice you to join them. All you need to do is say this sentence in a crowded lakeside restaurant, “I wish there was someone to teach me to ski,” and you’re sure to find yourself a willing teacher, especially if his name’s Jim!
Erika Celeste is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio, print, television, and marketing. She owns and operates New Moon Media Group where she’s written several documentaries and books.