Bond Falls, Michigan

After a passable night's sleep in Paulding, and the terror of the Paulding Lights the night before, we continued north very briefly on US 45, a gray morning that turned to misty rain as we reached the day's first activity and, it turned out, a trip highlight. Turning east on Bond Falls Road, which twisted and turned its way back to the falls, we reached a fork in the road. Though I usually go to the right, there are rare occasions (very rare) when going to the left works out. In this case, going to the left leads to the bottom of the falls, while to the right leads to the top. Both work, though the bottom is a more dramatic first look.

Pulling into a parking lot and seeing no other cars leads either to anxiety (because what you have driven all that way to see is closed) or triumph (because you have the place to yourselves). Nature sites don't typically close unless there is a childish political squabble involved, but these falls were wide open. No, we were just early on an unpleasantly damp morning.

We knew we were close as soon as the car doors opened. The sound of roaring water rumbled through the trees. A short path through the trees led to Bond Falls. Rather than attempt to describe the cascading water, here is something worth a thousand words:

Yeah, I know, right? Spectacular. As Dora the Explorer would say, fantastico!

A path ran to the right to the falls, leading to views from the top, and nice ones along the way, too. There were some slippery patches because of a light rain, but no one was lost on the ascent, including Kit, my daughter's American Girl doll. Stay on the path, though. Copious amounts of poison ivy lurked just off the trail, waiting to ruin your vacation faster than all-vegetable pastie.