On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

Round the first bend

Cloudy but still beautiful

Entrance to Witch's Gulch


The path back to the boat


Brown colored water

German shepard leaping between the rocks

H.H.Bennett photo

William - the "meteorologist"

The boat awaits

I took a two hour scenic boat ride of the Upper Wisconsin Dells. Wisconsin is in for two to three days of thunderstorms so this was my window of opportunity. I went on the noon tour and made it back to the dock just as the first drops of rain were falling. When I got to the car the heavens opened up so I just sat for a bit until it let up.

I am very glad I didn't listen to all of those who told me that the Dells was a family vacation place with theme parks, water parks, miniature golf galore, and all sorts of kids activities. That is true. I am sure it is nirvana for most families with young children. It is also, however, a place of many natural landmarks.

As I approached the gang plank to board the tour boat, I was surprised at the really dark brown color (because of tannins) of the Wisconsin River . I was lucky enough to get a top deck first row seat on the railing.

Thousands of years ago there was a catastrophic flood that cut a channel through soft sandstone leaving behind the incredible rock formations that I saw today. Walking through Witches Gulch was simply amazing . Pictures are worth a thousand words and I took plenty of pictures! Stand Rock was our second stop. To watch that dog make the leap from one rock to another was unbelievable. H.H. Bennett, the photographer who made the Dells famous, invented the stop action shutter camera and to prove that it worked he had his son make that jump 17 times before he actually caught him mid way in the air. I only got one chance to shoot the dog mid air and I think I did fairly well.

William , a third grader from Salt Lake City, sat next to me throughout the entire tour. His parents were two rows behind with baby sister. As we headed back to the dock the storm clouds were brewing and the wind was kicking up. I engaged William in conversation to pass the time . I asked him what he liked best about the tour. He said the spider webs at Witches Gulch. Typical boy ( although I have to admit they were enormous spider webs ). He then proceeded to tell me that he would be in the 4Th grade in the fall and wanted to be a meteorologist when he grew up. I said that was wonderful because he could predict storms like the one we were about to have. He said - NO! I want to study meteors! I told him either way he would have his head in the clouds.

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