Page 91 - Visitors Guide 18
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About the author
If you’ve not read anything by Kathleen Stocking, a Leelanau County treasure, you’re in for treat. She’s the daughter of Pierce Stocking, the fellow with the vision to lay out Pierce Stocking Trail.
Kathy’s latest book, “The Long Arc of the Universe,” offers a worldly view of her encounters and philosophies. She
is also author of “Lake Country” and “Letters from the Leelanau.”
Wrote Jim Harrison, “Kathleen Stocking has an intensely appealing ability to write about the Leelanau area. I don’t think anyone does it better.”
We agree, and feel fortunate to present
her latest offering in the Leelanau Visitors Guide.
In Kathleen Stocking’s childhood, Alligator Hill was a place of stale wood smoke, buzzing sawmill and Walt Whitman. — Photo by Becky Thatcher
Of Squirrels and a Timeless Alligator
By Kathy Stocking
Special to the LVG
This is the story of a mill, a marriage and a hill near the crossroads town of Glen Arbor. It’s a story that takes place during a time when the earth’s human population has gone from a little under 2 billion in 1908, when my parents were born, to an estimated 11 billion in 2100, when I expect my grandchildren will still be alive.
This covers a span of time when horses have been replaced by cars, when the last of the Ottawa women selling baskets from their canoes
around Glen Lake have been replaced by people on jet skis, when letters and books have been replaced by telephones, television and the Internet, and hundreds of species of  sh, plants, birds, butter ies, frogs, and animals have become extinct due to deforestation and pollution.
This is the story of Alligator Hill where I grew up, a 500-foot-high deposit of glacial till stretching unevenly, green and vaguely amoeba-shaped, for two miles or more in every direction between Sleeping Bear Bay and Little Glen Lake, Glen Arbor and big Glen Lake.
Growing up, I saw Alligator Hill up close, either from the back of my horse or on foot, and from that vantage point it did not look like an alligator. You don’t see the alligator unless you’re
at the top of the dunes looking east, or on the south side of little Glen Lake, when the leaves are off, looking north.
In February 2018, I started making day trips back to Alligator Hill, just to see it. From Inspiration Point, on the high, south side of Big Glen Lake, looking northwest, Alligator Hill looks like a sleeping cat with its
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