Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wisconsin Dells - Harry Potter

(Wisconsin Dells, WI) Hi  86  Lo 71 -- We started out early to beat the heat. Also storms were predicted for later in the afternoon. Today we thought we'd experience one of the most famous attractions of Wisconsin Dells, the Original Wisconsin Ducks. Ducks are amphibious vehicles made to go on land and water. They were built in 1942 by General Motors and they were used in both WWII and Korea. We bought two tickets ($24.50 each) and got in line just in time for the next tour to start.I don't like anything to do with water, so I gave Jim the seat on the rail.

They have a total of 42 boats and they leave every 10 minutes. 

The first part of the tour is on a winding path through the woods. The road was hilly and had tight turns. 

After running a couple of miles through the forest we drove off the end of the road and into the Wisconsin River. What a feeling to be on the road one minute, then in the water the next. But it was real smooth. The breeze felt great once we were on the river. Here we are riding over a sandbar with the tires, then on the other side we're a boat.  Interesting concept. 

The river was formed in a rocky gorge, leaving limestone rock formations, or dells, along the side of the river. The dells are what everyone comes to see. They are beautiful.  

In 2008 a flood caused Lake Delton to overflow into the Wisconsin River and caused a lot of damage to the dells. It also caused a lot of property damage in the area. 

The ramp coming out of the river. 

This dam controls water flow between Lake Delton and the Wisconsin river. 

After winding through some more woods, we went back into the water - this time in Lake Delton. Here you can see two other ducks ahead of us.

 One of the boats of the Jet Boat Adventure came whizzing by us.  

The tour is about an hour long. It's a little pricey, but it's really neat to experience going from land to water in the same vehicle. 

After the duck tour we drove through town just to see what's around.  We always thought the two "tackiest" towns in the U.S. are Branson, MO and Myrtle Beach, SC. We can now add Wisconsin Dells. The area is beautiful geographically, but the town is very "touristy" with a lot of traffic. Lots of water parks, go-kart tracks, and amusement parks. A great place for families to bring kids, but it doesn't really have anything for us. 

This building took us by surprise. It's a reproduction of the White House -- but it's upside down! It's called "Top Secret." We don't know what's inside, but apparently it's a lot of family fun. :)

We went back to the RV and had some lunch. Jim found out there's a nice 15-screen movie theater just a couple of miles from the park so we decided to go see the new Harry Potter movie. It's the last of the series and was really good. Now we want to go back and see all the others, one at a time.  Someday we'll do that. 

Tomorrow we're going to see The House On the Rock, which many of our RV'ing friends advised us not to miss. We're looking forward to it.


KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Oh that looks like you had so much fun! Glad you got to ride the Ducks--- your mother must be extremely pleased you are making the time to visit there.

Missing you guys....

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

rick said...

It's so funny watching you visit stuff that we've known for years. House on the rock is really neat.

Vera said...

I would have loved to go on the Duck ride. It sounds like soooo much fun.

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Andy was only 3 when we went, so been awhile, if house on the rock is the one designed by frank lloyd wright, its great. so many of the fixtures and accessory were so far ahead of time,b ut many standard today. sounds like you are having a great time. see you in a few weeks.

squawmama said...

I love riding the duck when they are available... FUN! We don't like the really touristy places either. BUT sometimes you end up there... I love the Harry Potter movies and own them all.
Have fun & Travel safe

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

Now that your Duck boat ride is over, are you aware that there was an accident with the duck boats this year in Philidelphia where two people were killed and the boat sank?

The duck boat became disabled and a river barge operator pushed a 250 ton barge directly over the little duck, sinking it and 38 people on board.

Two Hungarian tourists didn't make it.

A freak accident to be sure, and I think I would still ride the ducks, especially in the Wisconsin River, since barge traffic isn't a problem there. Just thought you would like to know about this........Rod

2.4 D Hwy said...

Looks like you're having a grand time. We haven't "done" the Dells as you two are for quite a few years. It's nice to relive those times.

Kevin and Evelyn said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying your time in our home state. I agree The Dells is too much of a tourist trap. However, if you take some of the boat rides, you'll see the natural beauty it was built around. To me, that's the best part of The Dells, but most people don't even see it. We've been on The Ducks in The Dells as well as a few other places across the country. I think the ride in The Dells was the best.