I had never heard of the Wisconsin Dells before Jennifer moved to Wisconsin. A few years back, we passed it on the way somewhere else and I learned that it is a very popular vacation destination. We had planned to take grandsons, Owen and Cam, there for two nights. Fortunately, Jennifer suggested that it might be better if she came along too. Thank God she was there. The boys (five and seven now) were wild with excitement.
The Wisconsin Dells have long been a place that attracted tourists. It is a scenic section of the Wisconsin River, which flows into the Mississippi River. Like so many other beautiful natural places, it has since turned into a tourist town with “attractions”. The main attraction here is waterparks. They bill themselves as the waterpark capital of the world, and I believe it. of course, we brought the boys for the waterparks. Our resort had three or four on the property. The water slides were huge. See the person dropping down the blue pipe!
I almost missed this person zooming through a huge loop.
There are also indoor water parks. This is Wisconsin after all.
Andy and I did not participate in much water sliding. Jennifer took care of that. We took a boat ride to see the natural wonder that made this area famous.
Andy and I sat on top in the front row (starboard side) and we had no sooner left the dock that the captain pointed out an eagle sitting in a shoreside tree.
I think these two rocks are called the gateway to the dells.
This feature is called a stack of pancakes.
The boat went behind an island through a passage barely wider than the boat itself. The water was deep.
The cliffs are riddled with small holes. The tour guide said that they all have swallow nests in them in the spring.
Here, the boat is entering “Witch’s Gulch”. The captain ran the boat up onto the sand before coming alongside the pier.
The gulch had a boardwalk through it, sometimes beside and often over the creek.
There is a concession stand with restrooms at the end of the boardwalk.
I got a kick out of the attendant’s teeshirt.
This spot, with the hole behind a rock post, was called witch’s window.
Our next stop was Stand Rock. The pilings on the pier were not heavy duty.
Stand Rock was rather impressive on its own. But, apparently, what makes it famous is the jumping dog. After the tour guide gave a talk about the history, another woman with a German shepherd appeared on the to of the bluff.
I didn’t catch him midway between but was happy to capture the leap at all.
The trail led through another gift shop concession stand. It was a pretty walk back down to the boat.
Beautiful and you got an Eagle. 8) Ross
Yes, but I was disappointed with it after seeing yours.
This was a wonderful post I learned and loved the photos, have a great weekend 🌻
Thank you. The river was beautiful. The town is a tacky tourist trap with streets lined with “amusements” and water parks. The grandsons (five and seven) were wowed by it all.
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Children have a fresh way of viewing things or life🌻
Sometimes a little to fresh! The five-year-old loves to play with the flab on the underside of my arms. Reminds me that I am getting old.
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I’ve driven through, but never stopped, not being one for tourist traps. Are there opportunities for more natural recreation? (you know I’m thinking kayaks!) How much current when the river squeezes through those narrow passages?
I don’t know about any more than what we saw. I think it would be a great kayak trip though. There is a dam just downstream of where we caught the boat, so it is calm lake water. I’m pretty sure I saw places to launch a kayak. The Wisconsin river banks are a park. There were lots of nooks and crannies along the shore to explore.
It looks a little claustrophobic between those passageways.
Did I miss something? Did a dog leap into the water?
It was tight. In a couple places, we had to watch not to bump our heads. We could always see the sky (or the trees) overhead. The dog leaped from the “shore” to the rock pillar and back again. It was pretty cheesy but is based on the fact that an early photographer had his son make the leap so he could capture him in mid-air. That was back in the days when cameras were very basic. I forgot the details, but it had something to do with rubber bands to be able to take a fast, non-blurry shot. It was a big deal back in the day. At some point, they replaced the son with a dog to do the trick.
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Thanks for reminding me of my visit to Wisconsin Dells probably more than 50 years ago. A tourist attraction then too, but not a single water park. I do remember its scenic beauty, and it seems it was an important site related to American Indian history. That is where I purchased my copy of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and a wonderful American Indian beaded necklace. It is so wonderful to hear that you two just keep on going, and I enjoy reading about your experiences.
I guess the only things still the same after 50 years are the river and, maybe, downtown. Thanks for sharing your memories of it! And, I hope we can keep on going for a while more. I guess we will, to some extent, as long as we are able. There is so much to see and so little time left to see it all. p.s. I loved “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”.