A quick review of our trip so far. We had the very long car ride and then the very long ride to the festival where we saw a bunch of really neat things. But because of the heat and the long walk, we were all pretty happy to get back to the car. It was then that we decided to take one of the boat tours of the Dells.
Part three is the focus on the start of our tour of the Dells Boat Tours.
The Ride to the Dells Boat Tour
I wanted to ride the Duck Boat Tour. It was only an hour and I figured that would be easier to keep my granddaughter occupied and content than the two-hour Upper Dells Tour. I was outvoted, however, so it was off to the Dells Boat Tour.
These tours must be all connected because we rode one of the Duck Boats to get to the other tour!
Our driver was a young lady who was a very good driver which made me happy because it was a madhouse downtown because of the festival!
So, once again, we were at the festival. Yep. If we had only known it we could have just gotten on the tour right there and wouldn’t have had to drive five miles back and then come back downtown…again!
This isn’t the greatest photo, but that’s my in-laws sitting in front of me and the young gal who was our driver of the Duck Boat.
In case you don’t know what I mean by a Duck Boat, it is a boat that has wheels and can travel on land and water. They were used by the military for use on land and water and are officially called a DUKW. According to an article in Wikipedia, “It is a a six-wheel-drive amphibious modification of the 2½-ton CCKW trucks used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War.”
We didn’t know that we were going to have a “mini” tour of the festival area, but because our Duck was used to transport people to and from the festival and to the Dells Boat Tour, we had a little tour!
Pictured is one of the Duck Boats from their brochure. If we go again, we are definitely taking the tour! I think it would be a great experience for my granddaughter!
Our driver was asked for directions to some place every single time we stopped. She was very gracious, though, and answered every person who asked her something. I’m guessing this is part of her job, but if not, she was a very amazing young lady!
We finally arrived at our stop and we were more than ready to get going on the “real” boat tour!
The Real Tour
The elevator that we took down to the boat launch had to have been operated by hand. It was so slow I could envision some tired man cranking the elevator up and down and taking VERY LONG breaks in between!
We finally got down to the launch just moments before the boat would depart. We gave the ticket-taker our tickets and boarded the boat.
I wanted to sit on the upper deck, but it was already packed full, so we went below which actually turned out to be a better thing because the weather was very warm and several people from the upper deck came down into the shady inner deck about part way through the tour.
I wasn’t sure what we were going to see on our tour. I figured water and rocks! I was pretty close. The fact is, though, the rocks and history are interesting. I would recommend the tour to anyone who is interested in the history of the Wisconsin River and specifically the Dells.
The tour features an amazing journey through the most pretty part of the Wisconsin River in the Upper Dells.
Our tour was to be two hours long to tour the 10 miles of that section of the river.
The Amazing Features in the Stone
The rocks and cliffs that we saw were sandstone. The features were very amazing. It was strange to see trees growing through and out of the rocks.
The way the water had measured the years and events was evident and our guide and captain pointed out some interesting details.
We were shown many details along our trip. I just couldn’t get over the beautiful blue sky providing a backdrop to the awesome and majestic trees jutting from these cliffs.
I also found out something about the brown water that I will share with you.
When I saw how brown the river was, I thought, “This has to be the most polluted river I have ever seen.”
If you saw Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you will know what I mean by the “chocolate river.”
In reality, the Wisconsin River is actually a very clean waterway.
According to the official Boat Tour Guidebook, “The brown color comes from a natural substance called tannic acid. The pigment is a harmless material derived primarily from the bark and roots of tamarack and oak trees in northern Wisconsin.”
Hmm…beautiful and educational, too!
Tying it all Together
There is more of the tour and you can enjoy the next installment soon!
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About the author
Karin Nauber, “G.G.” is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 27 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. G.G. has five grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. She began this website with the hope of helping other grandparents who may be struggling with their role as parent/grandparents. If you would like to contact her, please do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org.