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Elni Lake

 I think everyone up there, including my family, has always called it, ''Lake Elni'', and the signage supported that. Maybe it's changed? Elni is calm, with a greenish tint to the water. There is a swamp at the side opposite where Clear Lake and Elni meet (swamp is on eastern side). The swamp is filled with cedars and the typical Michigan forest trees - Norway (Red) Pine, White Pine, Quaking Aspen (poplar), Birch, Jack Pine. Elni has plenty of lilypads and
    is only a so-so fishing lake. Much of the reason for that is that the bottom is very shallow (can freeze to the bottom and kill major populations of fish). Near the swamp, it is sometimes only inches deep and most boats cannot navigate
''the cove'' in the NE corner of the lake. The bottom appears to have a loose mud texture and is, therefore, easily disturbed. But, there is more to that story...

It is a fun lake for story-telling because it has as its bottom several feet of sawdust, which when merged with the natural sand and dirt compounds finds itself much like quicksand. At the top of that bottom layer (sawdust, mostly) is the volatile, easily disturbed, mystery muck. Hence, there
    isn't a beach on Elni. If you wonder about the veracity of my ''quicksand'' reference, take a good, thick stick (we used young poplars stripped of leaves, etc., to push our raft around the lake) and stick it into the bottom (a little
 off shore, since the very edges of the lake are sandy). You may push it down several feet and never touch bottom. When you pull the stick out, you'll see where the quicksand reference comes from. It is very difficult to overcome the sucking force of that mucky compound. I've seen boat motors and other large items sink into the Elni bottom, never to be seen again..

We used to swim in the lake off a raft in the middle. Imagine diving down and feeling the muck with feet, hands, or face. Shiversville!!

Cool, eh? Says David Davenport


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