Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 33 Wisconsin Dells & Washington County Fair

When I was a kid, we traveled almost every year to visit Mom's relatives in the Twin Cities and never stopped at the Wisconsin Dells because my father said it was a tourist trap ( it is) & also probably because we didn't have the money for the boat ride.
I got some nasty looks from the French Canadian photo guys when I took this picture. They take everyone's picture and then expect you to buy them when the boat gets back. I figured for the $50 for the boat ride, I paid for the right to take the picture.

The Boat ride was 2 1/2 hours through the Upper Dells with 2 stops. They also had jet boats and the ducks, we didn't need to go fast or in an old WWII DUK.

The tour guides pointed out a number of named rock formations, but some were on the other side of the boat so I didn't get any pics.

Chief Black Hawk's profile ( Abe Lincoln was a Capt. in the ILL. militia during the Black Hawk War)

The first stop was at the Witch's Gulch, a very cool ( literally & tempature-ally(?) ) narrow chasm in a side channel of the river.

There were many tight spots along the way to a snack bar/souvenir stand. ( did I mention it was a tourist trap?)
The tour figured on 45 min. for everyone to walk thru the Gulch to get stuff & then head back to the boat. We beat the rush.
Stand Rock The guide said that the photographer who invented the snapshot camera took his 1st pictures here of ...

a guy jumping the 5' span. The pictures made the Dell's a famous tourist destination in the 1890's- turn of the century. Today they have German Shepherds jumping every 1/2 hour when the next boat arrives.
On the way back to the boat we went along the side of the cliff to another snack bar/souvenir shack ( did I mention this was a tourist trap?)
The path went through a couple of natural tunnels and some other

interesting rock fromations.

Ledge Rock

Washington County Fair Jackson, WI The classic American tradition.
On our way to & from the Twin Cities when we were kids, we always stopped at the Melius Family Farm. Doris was one of my mother's childhood friends and we always had a good time with their kids, jumping in the hay, helping with the milking, etc. So I told them we were going to stop and they said to meet them at the fair.

We had a great time with Carol Melius who told Wanda about cows & the fair and took us around to look at the animals. We even watched her son milk some of their cows.
Wanda even petted some animals without freaking out about germs.
The Llamas were very interesting, the hair was incredibly soft and we watched this boy take his llama through a kind of obstacle course as part of the judging.

We watched this farrier put on a shoe on this huge Percheron draft horse

We saw some really cute goats
and talked with some really nice folks about their animals. We also saw some wild looking chickens with feathers like fur and rabbits, sheep & pigs. Then we drove 2 hours to Chicago- talk about culture shock!

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