Torch Lake

Where the Rainbow Stores Its Colors

5Picture Collage Come get away for a week on the shore of Michigan's most beautiful lake in our rustic log lodge. Kids love the big sandy private beach. Teens romp on the sandbars and boats. Parents kick back and gaze at the grades of color in the crystal clear water. At night enjoy billions of stars, and then a fire in the massive fireplace.


The lodge sleeps up to 8, and sits on 200 feet of shoreline, with 350 feet to the road to give you privacy.  It has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, screened porch, living room, and a new bathroom and foyer.


Our Caretaker lives nearby and makes sure ROMYR is ready for your arrival.

 
 
Torch Lake 
ROMYR Lodge 
Toys 
Play 
Shopping & Dining 
Rates & Dates 
Terms 
Contact Us 
 

Torch Lake

In michiganderspeak, you'll find Torch Lake on the west edge of the mid-upper lower peninsula of Michigan. Which is to say that it's visible on a Rand McNally map nestled right beside Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. (For more michiganderspeak, just turn on a Michigan weather report!) On the map, you'll also see Traverse City, the Cherry Capitol, a long time tourist Mecca, now more suited to those who just can't do without a city atmosphere.

Once rated the third most beautiful lake in the WORLD by National Geographic, Torch still retains much of its natural quality and beauty. Like the Great lakes, Torch Lake was made when glaciers gouged out the deep trench that is now it's bottom, and piled up steep banks all around it's shores. Over 300 ft deep, the bottom falls in distinct steps, and these "drop-offs" produce gorgeous grades of color, from light green, to aqua, to azure. Underwater springs provide water which is clear to over 15 feet.

Torch Lake is about 3 miles wide, about 17 miles long, and is part of the Chain O' Lakes. ROMYR is a member of the Three Lakes Association, which preserves and protects these lakes.

You can almost see ROMYR on the SW part of the lake in this picture.

The area is surrounded by cherry orchards and birch forests that have trilliums blanketing the floor in the spring.

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ROMYR Lodge

 

Lodge Fireplace

The lodge was built by our grandfather in the 1930's, and named by him after his two children: Robert and Myrna. She was older, so we're just happy he didn't name it after a popular line of cookware. We pronounce the kooky name roh'-meer, but I kinda like roh-meer' too. Grandpa also built a voluminous boathouse into the bank, a smaller (unoccupied) Cottage, and a long heap of rocks out into the water which collects our sandy beach. It's amazing what a school teacher can do with summers off!

Two bedrooms on the ground floor each have a double bed. The loft has two twins in one big frame, and a double futon. All of the standard mattresses are firm. The bathroom and foyer were completely replaced in 1994, when the floors of the bathroom, kitchen, eating porch, and entryway were refitted with handmade Mexican tile (complete with the errant paw print). There is hot and cold running water, tub/shower, and sink. The living room features a massive stone fireplace (with a supply of wood). The galley kitchen has a range, stove, microwave, refrigerator, sink, coffeemaker, toaster and a full supply of cookware. Remnants of the original kitchen remain, including an old nonworking wood-fed stove. The kitchen opens onto the screened eating porch overlooking the lake. On the boathouse top, which serves as a deck, there is a stone buffet, a propane grill, a big picnic table, and a bunch of Adirondack chairs. Click for more pictures.

ROMYR is not a condominium, and anyone who goes there expecting pampered living will be disappointed. It's much closer to nature. There is no: heat, A/C, phone, radio, TV, washer/dryer, or dishwasher. We have the cabin cleaned thoroughly after each visit, but you will likely find sand on the floor and a few cobwebs around. We draw our water out of the lake, and we recommend that you drink bottled water. No whiners!

ROMYR Lodge

Boathouse & Picnic Table

South View

Huge yard is great for sports. Beware of concrete pad though! ROMYR's 200 ft shoreline slopes up 300 ft to the road.

 

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Toys

The beach is the major attraction, and it comes completely stocked with naturally occurring "toys." The bottom descends very gradually, and kids are drawn to the crystal clear water to shallow snorkel for crayfish, collect fossilized rocks, clams, minnows, and tar balls (tar balls? No Way!). ROMYR Dock and HoistI always wear my arm out skipping rocks (while debating the difference between a skip and a pity-pat). Beach chairs make it the perfect place to gaze or read (bring your own beach towels).

There are various inflatables around. We have a swimmer's buoy 100 feet beyond the boat moorings that protects a large area from ski-boats. The 5 foot deep sandbars about 150 feet out are perfect for water Frisbee, or underwater leapfrog. For a huge sandbar as shallow as two to three feet, head for the south end of the lake (in the foreground in the aerial photo above). Caution: Thanks to careless boaters, the Zebra Mussel has been brought into Torch Lake, and surf moccasins should be worn to avoid being cut by their sharp shells when climbing on submerged structures.

The rowboat is useful for getting to the boats at either of the two moorings, and for casual rowing. If you bring a larger boat or sailboat, the trip to Alden is great for trendy shopping and dining. We added a dock and boat hoist in 2011. The hoist is 96 inches wide, and good for up to 3500 lb. The dock is L-shaped, great for loading and unloading, but it's not anchored to the bottom and should not be used for unattended or heavy weather mooring (use the hoist for that). The dock is in 30 inches of water. There is no ladder to get out of the water onto the dock, and it's high enough above the water that you'll have to walk the 40 ft. back to shore if you fall in - just so you know. The two moorings near shore (not the swimmer's buoy with the fancy star on it!) have smaller floats attached by rope to long heavy chains and withstand a pull of over 100 lb., making them suitable for small boats in any weather. Worthy skippers of larger boats might also find them useful. ROMYR does NOT insure or carry liability insurance for our renters' boat(s).

18 inch Pileated Woodpecker at ROMYRIn 2006 a generous renter donated a used Snark sailboat to ROMYR, which is fun for learning to sail and toodling around the bay. Leave the nylon sail out of the sun and rain when not in use. There are some other private toys in the boathouse, but they are off-limits to our guests.

Swans visit ROMYR. DO NOT FEED SWANS.Landlubber toys (in the ice chest under the kitchen window) include: horseshoes, Frisbee (also good on the sandbars), soccer ball and football, to use on the huge mowed property. There's also a couple old bicycles (probably NR), puzzles, cards, and board games (including Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, and Labyrinth, among others in the living room chest). There is a book collection with the following titles: The Sailor's Bible, Fiberglass Boat Repair, Old Yeller, and many mystery/detective stories and well as classics. For more selection, visit the used book store at the beautiful Elk Rapids library.

Bird watchers can enjoy hummingbirds that feed on the sweet peas, as well as kingfishers, mergansers, mallards, swallows, flickers, pileated and downy woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, gold finches, waxwings, phoebes, kingbirds, grosbeaks, orioles, flycatchers, jays, gulls, swans and shorebirds. Occasionally a loon flies over from the nearby Grass River Natural Area. If you boat on Grass or Torch river, please do what no one else does, and observe the no-wake law to preserve their nests. We have a regular birdfeeder on the boathouse rail, and a Niger (thistle) seed feeder sock hanging in front of the screened porch, which you are welcome to fill and enjoy. Keep the bird seed in a rigid container with a top to avoid sharing it with mice. Please don't feed the waterfowl, as this contributes to swimmer's itch.

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Play

Once I get to ROMYR, it takes something really special to draw me away. Here are a few of the attractions that qualify. Click to return to the Top of the Page.

Shopping & Dining

Trendy shops are nearby in Alden and Elk Rapids. More abound beyond Traverse City in Suttons Bay. Alden, Rapid City, and Elk Rapids also host Antique shops.

Groceries: About 5 miles from ROMYR is the Village Market, a Spartan Market, with most everything you need at only slightly inflated prices. This map shows another Village Market in Elk Rapids, and huge Glen's stores in Kalkaska and Bellaire if you want to stock up.

Click here for a list of Area Restaurants in Alden, Eastport, and Elk Rapids.

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Rates & Dates

2015 Calendar

We invite guests to ROMYR to help defray the rising costs of a vacation home in Michigan. If you live in Michigan we hope you will ask your state Representative to offer non-residents the same deal as residents in proposition A, which burdens all non-residents with double school taxes.

We have moved our calendar to VRBO. After you click on the big beach ball link VRBO, you should see our VRBO site open in a new window (sorry about the ads VRBO puts there). On the right on that page, click on the words: View calendar: Updated xx/xx/xx under the stars to see our calendar (duh). Don't close this page. If you decide to rent, we will ask you to return to this page and click the ROMYR banner below to access our rental agreement.

To reserve a week, you can either go to the "Contact Us" section (below) to send Pat an e-mail with your name, phone number, the number in your party, and the week(s) you want; or you can follow the instructions on the VRBO site. Either way, you should click  CONTRACT to go to the contract (which has Pat's mailing address), and print it out (from your browser).  If you are concerned that someone else's check might be in the mail before yours, include a second choice date on your contract. We do try to make contact with you by phone before accepting your reservation to assure that you and ROMYR are compatible.

We do not hold weeks unless they are properly reserved. If you want up-to-the-second confirmation of the VRBO calendar, please contact Pat by e-mail (see below).

Unlike places run for profit, we're just recouping a fraction of our costs. So please reserve early and we'll enjoy peace of mind together. No discounts for last minute rentals.

However, we do offer a 10% discount for multiple-week reservations. Just indicate it on the printed contract before you mail it.

Rates in June and September are lower. With longer days in June and cooler nights in September, the weeks are extremely pleasant. If the week you want is reserved now, please check back weekly or feel free to e-mail Pat anyhow, as reservations can sometimes change. If no September weeks are reserved before we take our week(s) we sometimes close up when we leave and cancel all remaining weeks.

In a typical year we open the calendar to repeat renters in December, and everyone else in January, but if you know what you want before that, e-mail Pat and she'll keep you in the loop.

Click on our logo to access our printable contract: CONTRACT
Click on this big beach ball for a quick e-mail you can address to your friends and relations to check out this website:

Click on the bouncing beach balls to read unsolicited comments from previous happy renters: 

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Terms

Please pay in advance to secure the reservation, with 50% down, and the balance paid at least 4 weeks before the reserved dates. If you pay 100% up front, it's half the headache, and will give you $10 off for saving us a trip to the bank with a headache.

We require a signed contract before admitting you to the property. So please don't e-mail Pat asking for the address so you can "check the place out."

We provide linens: 3 Double beds, and one king (or 2 twins): bed pads, sheets, pillowcases (and pillows), extra blankets (look in all the chests), towels (one bath towel per person), washcloths. Or, if you prefer to bring your own, let us know two weeks in advance and we will leave the beds stripped. We suggest that you bring your own beach towels. Our caretaker stores extra sheets and towels at ROMYR for the next renters, so please let us know if you must use extras.

Absolutely No Smoking or evidence of pets.

We really need your help with the garbage. Please put your garbage into plastic bags, place them in our 96 gallon wheeled covered totes, haul all garbage (including the remainder from the previous guests) to the top of the driveway on Thursday night (changed in 2012), and retrieve the container after pick-up on Friday. Please don't fill our landfill with reams of unnecessary disposables. We have two totes in case the last renters forgot to haul their garbage up to the street, and we expect you to fit all of your waste into the first can. Think c o n s e r v a t i o n, especially if your party is more than 8. Thanks.

Leave the place as orderly as you found it.

Memorial Day to Labor Day: Arrive after 6:00 p.m. Saturday; Leave by 12:00 p.m. (noon) the following Saturday. No partial week rentals.

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Contact Us

This web page is intended as an introduction only. Please call or e-mail us to check out any particular assumptions that are important to you. Note that Pat lives in the Rocky Mountain time zone; please be considerate with early morning calls. (Clicking on the underlined text in the table should initiate an e-mail to that person.) To request a week, go to the Rates & Dates section above, and follow the instructions. If you don't get a response, or have suggestions for ROMYR or the Web Page, please contact Evan below.
 
Who Helps out ... E-mail Address Home Phone # 
Pat Reservations pcraigmt@yahoo.com 406-579-4131 (C)
Evan On call evan.craig@illinois.sierraclub.org 231-714-2795 (C)
Alan Treasurer giarcea@yahoo.com 406-579-3540 (C)
If you call and leave a message, please state your name slowly and clearly at the beginning of your message.

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