Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday - the Dells

Today we took it easy in the morning and after lunch we drove into Wisconsin Dells to take a boat tour of the upper Wisconsin River.  First, let me tell you what the "Dells"s has turned huge amusement/water park and sidewalk karaoke bar teeming with loud, sunburned people towing loud, sunburned children.  Oh my goodness, the humanity.  

I snapped this picture through the bus window as we passed yet another water slide - the Trojan Horse!

 We drove to the ticket booth and left the jeep in their parking lot.   A shuttle bus picked us up and took us downtown to the boat landing where we boarded a small boat to begin our tour.  Our boat was captained by a freshly graduated college student and our narrator was in his first year of college in Madison.  They were both competent and knowledgeable and pretty funny to boot.    The dells is a beautiful stretch of the Wisconsin River bordered by tall sandstone cliffs and soft green hemlock trees.  There are no houses along its banks and would be absolutely lovely were it not for the hundreds of rental pontoon boats and jet skis shooting every which way in the narrow waterway,   Our young captain even had to throw it in reverse once to avoid running over a young man who fell off his tube directly in front of our  boat!   The driver of the boat and his buddies towing the tube and cutting crazily across our path, laughed and waved.....have another beer guys.

our boat for the afternoon

I waited a long time to take this picture with no other boats in view.....

A nice thing about this particular boat tour is that they docked twice and we were able to walk into the beautiful rock formations for a half an hour or so.   The first stop was at Witches Gulch, a long, very narrow "gulch" with a fast flowing spring fed stream running along under the boardwalk.  The stream was beautifully clear in contrast with the root beer colored water of the main river.  The brown color is a result of  tannic acid from the tamarack tree roots further upstream.

We re-boarded our boat and cruised a bit more, stopping for another walk into the woods.  This time to Standing Rock.

Standing Rock

The photo in the  bottom of this photo shows a young man jumping from one rock top to the other....

now they have a beautiful German Shepherd do the jumping for our viewing enjoyment....hmmmm

The return trip was quiet and beautiful until we got closer to the city and then the insane boat traffic resumed.

I really loved the boat tour, walking through the woods, seeing the hidden sights, but I couldn't wait to get back to our nice quiet campground.   The whole area was just way too crazy and frenetic for me, it made my head ache.   Calgon, take me away!

wise, all knowing eyes.....

Tomorrow morning we pack up and leave for Elkhart, Indiana and a quick visit with old friends.


  1. Great boat tour!! Of course, I told John we need to go back to Wisconsin and take that tour (he said he knew I would say that). We stayed in Fond du lac which was centrally located to three of the main cities. We didn't get to the Dells. You know I would have loved those rocks!

  2. What a lovely place and boat ride. I know what you mean about the craziness! Here in CO the summer crowds are in full swing and the weekends are insane. We are so thankful for our cozy little cocoon to come home to each day!

  3. What a neat adventure...the boat ride and walks look and sound like so much fun...minus all the crazy folks you encountered. Sometimes, it's just not worth it to even waste time thinking about them! We have never been to Wisconsin...we would both like the Dells. Awesome picture of the German Shepherd making the jump.

    I love, love the photo of the eyes...and the nose from the last post...Sasha is beautiful! And yes, if we just take the time to study our canine dependents, they do have wise, all knowing eyes!

    P.S. The cherry festival wasn't much to write about! But the cherries are delicious!

  4. I want to visit this area. I love that rock formations.

    Wonderful boat tour that actually allows you to get off and explore the area.