“Roads? Ha! From now on we create our own path.”
That would have seemed like a funny statement thirty years ago, but here on Mackinac Island, it was apparently the norm. With the advancement of modes of transportation all over the world, it seemed to have moved backward instead of forward on the island. For decades we didn’t allow cars. Once the world changed, however, rebuilding the roads seemed like a waste of energy.
We slowly glided over the lake and soon, the bluffs of Mackinac were in clear sight. Long gone were the beautiful Victorian houses up on the west side, which were now lined with my memories of a time long past. Instead, overgrown plants and the weathered frame of houses lingered over the bluff in a somber fashion.
“When was the last time you were here?” Scott asked me.
“It’s been a long while,” I said nonchalantly, trying not to stare out the ferry window like a shocked tourist at the scene we were approaching. Even the Grand Hotel was everything but grand, covered in moss, an empty, skeleton of an abandoned hotel. The red carpet that used to line the front steps of the hotel and ushered you into a luxurious place was now stained and tattered from the years of exposure to the elements. It looked as though no one had made any effort to rebuild in this area in the last thirty years… but I was about to find out how things had really changed for the remaining residents. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, trying to keep my nerves down.
Above all, stay focused, I thought to myself, and I left my seat to throw my backpack onto my back and walked to the back of the boat. As the ferry entered the harbor and docked, I lingered for a moment, realizing that everything I had once known about this island will be completely different. I walked up the ramp with my rifle pointed and ready, keeping my senses sharp, eyes straight ahead towards the seemingly empty main street ahead of me, and prepared for the worse.
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