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 · TRAVERSE CITY’S Wild, Wild...
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TRAVERSE CITY’S Wild, Wild West

The Old West is alive and well in Traverse City’s southeast corner.

Mike Terrell - June 9th, 2014  


Built in 1922, Ranch Rudolf is all about horses, hitching posts, and hay bales, with plenty of campfires and family activities to boot.

Its Western-themed main lodge features beamed, vaulted ceilings and hosts a restaurant and bar. There’s a guesthouse styled like an old bunkhouse, 16 motel units, 25 campsites, and a low-slung, wood frame building that has a general store and rental equipment for outdoor activities.

Established as a Northern Michigan guest ranch in 1922 by Chicago chef Rudolf Paziener, it was a guest ranch and retreat for Chicago businessmen and their families. He ran and owned it until his health started to fail in the 1960s.

After a string of myriad owners, the ranch was sold to horse lovers Melody and Sid Hamill in 1982.

“It fit the lifestyle we wanted and the guest ranch that we envisioned operating,” said Melody, who along with her husband grew up with horses. “That was how the ranch got its start nearly a century ago, a love of horses, and that was why we bought it.”

Still the only place in Grand Traverse County where people can rent horses on a daily basis, the Hamills offer rides up to three hours as well as children’s horse camps in the summer.

Horses aren’t the only thing going on at the ranch. Perched on the Boardman River with close to 400 feet of frontage, there are canoe, kayak and tubing rentals. It’s the only outfitter servicing the mostly uninhabited upper Boardman, something fly fishermen seek out.

With trails like Muncie Lakes Pathway, the North Country Trail and Shore-to- Shore Trail crisscrossing state land adjacent to Ranch Rudolf, it offers endless miles of hiking and riding possibilities.

There is guest access to archery equipment, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes and a large outdoor pool, which tubers can warm up in after gliding down the chilly Boardman River.

The ranch also offers hayrides and a stocked trout pond where guests can catch their evening meal.

In spite of all the activities, the Hamills say they like to keep ranch life simple and natural.

“We haven’t changed a thing since we’ve owned the ranch except for upkeep,” said Melody Hamill, whose grown children also work there.

She says keeping the past alive at the ranch has been – and will continue to be – their way of doing business.

“Rudolf wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” she said.

Ranch Rudolf is located about 13 miles southeast of Traverse City on Brown Bridge Rd. For more, visit ranchrudolf.com.

 
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