Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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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