The final leg of our boat trip: The Upper Dells
In this, the final leg of our trip, I will be including a gallery of some photo highlights. I will also be pulling out a few of the best parts of the trip to share with you!
Up to this point, we have covered the long car trip, the pool and the festival. We have started our boat trip and this is where we find our “heroines” on the Joliet (our sea-worthy boat) enjoying the many things to see on the tour of the Upper Dells!
The Wedding: Staged or real?
Along our ride, we passed a resort pristinely located on top of one of the cliffs. On the dock on the river below we passed what appeared to have been a young couple who were being photographed for their wedding. The bride was wearing a fine backless, lace… Just kidding. All I know is she was wearing white!
As far as any of us know, it was a real wedding. The only thing that made me suspect that the photo shoot was not real was the way the photographers were moving around. They did not seem like real photographers—at all.
Having taken hundreds of photos at a wedding, posed and candid photos, I never moved like those two photographers did. The only time I had ever seen a photographer move like that was in the movies and mainly when they were doing a parody of real photographers!
From the way their fingers were flicking they had to have taken over 100 photos each during the few seconds that we were in view! That’s a lot of photos to look through!
That’s just my take on the situation. Either way, it sure was a beautiful day to take photos and a beautiful day for a wedding!
Worn out Granddaughter
We hadn’t gone very far into the tour when I glanced over at my granddaughter. She was out! My moving around woke her up shortly thereafter, but she was one tired girl!
I knew when she woke up we would have to make one of the shore excursions to help her stay awake and interested in the tour.
When they mentioned the incredible jumping German Shepherd, I knew I had to see this and I knew my granddaughter would like it, too!
We could hardly wait for it.
The Incredible Jumping German Shepherd at Stand Rock
When our tour guides mentioned the steep grade that we would have to walk up, I started to have second thoughts about disembarking. My legs aren’t what they used to be and I was very nervous that I might need medical assistance! (Well, not that extreme, but certainly a wheelbarrow or wagon to get me back to the boat!)
When I mentioned that maybe we shouldn’t do it, I saw the look of disappointment on my granddaughter’s face and knew I couldn’t back out.
We took a few photos of ourselves near the big rocks that kind of resembled the faces of a dog and then waited for the real attraction.
When nothing happened and nothing happened, I thought maybe it was a joke on us, but then I saw it! There was the incredible jumping German Shepherd!
He leaped the area between these two towering rock formations with ease. Then he leaped back. You could feel, more than hear, the collective sigh of relief from the crowd of us watching this.
According to our guide and the official guidebook, people used to jump this, but in recent years, trained dogs perform the leap today.
A little about Stand Rock
According to the official guidebook, Stand Rock is the most legendary of all the Dells rock formations. You have to go off the river to see it, though.
“Stand Rock is a spectacular outcropping standing 47 feet high. It’s topped off by a 12 by 20 foot flat slab of rock supported by a tapered pillar of layered sandstone. This hardened, overhanging shelf is resistant to wind and water erosion, while the softer layers below are naturally whittled away creating an amazing column of rock.”
H.H. Bennett made the rock formation famous through his photography. He took the first stop-action photo of his son Ashley jumping the five-foot distance. The image went “viral” for the 1930s-1940s and became known as the “Trademark of the Dells.”
In the 1940s, the practice of tourists jumping the span was put to a stop by the insurance companies. Now only the trained dogs take the leap. I also noticed there is a net down below the rocks for the safety of the dogs should they fall.
“Our” dog made the leap easily!
The ride home from Stand Rock
After our excursion, we headed back to the Joliet and were soon on our way back to the return ride home. It was kind of neat because we took the same path back to shore so the things we couldn’t see on our way there, we got to see on our way back. In a way, I hated to go back because that meant our trip was nearing its end and we would be in the car soon enough heading home, but I enjoyed what we got to do and see. Especially being able to spend a little time with my in-laws! We don’t get to see them often enough and really enjoy our time when we can.
My granddaughter really enjoyed spending time with her great-grandparents and seeing all of the sites along the way. She didn’t even nap on the way back home!
We saw quite a few pretty things along the ride back which you can view in this gallery! I hope you have enjoyed our little trip to the Wisconsin Dells!
The Boat Tour
My next post will be getting back to some resources for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Some of them will be local or regional resources, but the majority will be resources that are available in many places.
Watch for it, coming 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: email@example.com.