Up is that dreadful direction I had to go nearly every night back when I lived on that island without cars. For the first 2 summers I had been there, it had been conveniently placed at this jittery Pancake House right in town. This summer, it was ‘Up the Hill’ or in “The Village” as that section of the island was known.
This trek home involved a 1.5 to 2 mile trek up a persistent incline varying from 25 to 45 degrees at times. All the while, you are passing or being passed by people on foot, bikes, or horse carriages in varying states of drunkenness, as most Mackinac Island employees are.
One quarter of the way along this walk you pass this: the Grand Hotel. Tightly clutching its proud title of the largest covered porch in the world, this large hotel has become a landmark of the State of Michigan. It was built by a railroad tycoon as a northern terminus destination of his rail.
To this day, the hotel remains the largest employer on the island and owning a good percentage of the island’s land. But don’t ever try to walk the road in front of the hotel, which passes on to the West Bluff, quite probably the most beautiful spot on the island with historic homes and a the best possible view of the Straits; Grand Hotel guards stand under strict orders to keep anyone from using this small stretch of road, despite the fact that they let the public walk the rest of their estates freely.