Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Offbeat Winter
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Offbeat Winter

Melissa Fruge - December 8th, 2008
The nights are dark and the days are often gray… welcome to winter in Northern Michigan. This year the snow arrived early and it seems to be sticking. Some of us can’t wait for Old Man Winter to arrive; we’ve been waiting since early spring to break out the skis and hit the slopes again… But if the thought of strapping two sticks on your feet and hurling yourself down an icy hill at breakneck speeds is less than appealing, fear not. There are other ways to while away the winter besides downhill skiing. Check out these offbeat ideas to add zest to the season:

Rent a Snowmobile
Snowmobiling is one option, and a popular one too. There are more than 6,000 miles of trails in Michigan and chances are you live near one of them. Gaylord is a mecca of the snowmobiling world, with trails fanning out across the north, including a new 62-mile trail running all the way to Mackinaw City via Cheboygan.
If you don’t own a sled but want to feel the wind in your face, there are lots of places to rent one for the day, just check out www.michigan.org, which provides detailed maps and a list of businesses that rent snowmobiles. Both Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highland ski resorts rent sleds.

Snow Tubing
Maybe the kid in you is dying to get out and play in the fresh powder. Why not take a snow day and relive your childhood by grabbing a sled and finding the nearest hill?
The latest twist on sledding is the snow tube, which offers downhill thrills with a greater margin of safety than traditional sleds or toboggans.
Just west of Traverse City, families head to Timberlee Hills for a day of fun, whizzing down the hills on a snow tube. It’s $15 for a two hour pass, but that includes a break midway through to warm up and enjoy the other activities Timberlee has to offer like the Hilltop Hideaway, which serves up food and hot chocolate so you can recharge. Plus, as an added bonus you won’t wear yourself out trudging back up the hill because the handletow system brings you back to the top with ease.
In Boyne City, kids still flock to Avalanche Hill to see who has the guts to go all the way down from the top, while in Petoskey they go to the Winter Sports Park to find out who has the fastest bump jumper in town. Both cities run parks that offer more than just sledding; there are also outdoor ice rinks, warming huts and concession stands.
Additionally, both Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain both have tubing parks with three lanes of twisty, turny fun and a rope tow so you can easily haul yourself and your tube back up to the top. An all-day pass will cost you $20, and season pass holders can enjoy unlimited tubing at both resorts.

Dog Sledding
Boyne Highlands (in Harbor Springs) first partnered with Nature’s Kennel last year to bring Iditarod sled dogs to Northern Michigan. The dogs are back again this winter and rides will be offered from late December through March. The hour-long adventure includes a stop midway for hot cocoa and photos.

Water World
If you don’t feel like braving the cold, Boyne Mountain (in Boyne Falls) has your ticket. Dig out your bathing suit and spend the day splashing around Avalanche Bay, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark. There are several waterslides, like the giant Super G and the Vertigo Cannonball tube, an indoor wet rock climbing wall, and wave pool. There’s even a floating basketball court.
At the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, you’ll find a new 15,000-square-foot Indoor Water Playground that includes a 16-foot-tall, 70-foot-long waterslide, along with a waterwalk, sprayground, and water basketball. Then there’s Traverse City’s premier waterpark, Great Wolf Lodge, with a mammoth facility open to hotel guests.

SPA
You can also relax and spend the day getting pampered at a spa, with facilities at virtually every ski resort in the region, along with the Grand Traverse Resort. And we’ve got some of the best: Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain, for instance, was named one of the world’s best by Spa Magazine, it also happens to be the largest spa resort in the state.
From detoxifying steam treatments to facials, soothing massages, and state of the art fitness centers, spas provide everything you need to recover from an exciting day outside.
Spa action is ‘heating up’ literally and figuratively in Northern Michigan. At Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, the new Crystal Spa and Fitness Center is set to open in January. The spa will offer 12 treatment rooms, infared saunas, a steam room, a meditation lounge and garden with a hot tub for relaxing soaks after searching for snowmen.

HIKES
If snowshoe trekking is your thing, check out the guided hikes every weekend at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, or at the Grass River Nature Preserve in Bellaire. Many ski resorts also offer guided snowshoeing hikes, such as the Wild Wonders Moonlight Hike at Crystal Mountain, where you can spend the evening tromping through the woods waiting for owls and other nocturnal animals to begin their nightly activities. To find out more visit Crystal’s website
www.crystalmountain.com.


 
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