Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Long before our launch day in 2015, I kept a Pinterest board of beautiful places I wanted to see. Bill bought me an electronic picture frame where I downloaded the photos, and enjoyed dreaming about all those locations I saw every day.
One of them is Wisconsin Dells. Amazing layers of sandstone along the Wisconsin River with lush green forests.
So naturally as we're coming east this summer across a northern route, I make sure we stop here. It isn't until I start looking for a park that I see multiple references to "water parks". Okay, so there's a couple places for the kiddies to cool off, that's nice.
Fortunately I find a park that advertises "For Older Kids", and the reviews say things like "this place is for retirees, not parties". Sounds like our spot!
We arrive at Country Roads RV Park on Tuesday and are escorted to our large pull-through site. The setting is ideal, beautiful trees everywhere, but none blocking our satellite. FHUs with 50 amp, a nice store, friendly people, picnic table and fire ring. And the most steeply sloped spot we've ever had :-(
Looking at the other open sites we note they aren't any better, so we get as level as possible and make do. It's a shame because this is really a nice, quiet park with easy access from I-90.
It's early in the day so we head to "town". I think there might be a town here, but it is buried under a giant tourist trap. OMG! Where are we?? Water parks line the highways like casinos in Vegas. Zip lines, giants tube slides, roller coasters, and spinning gyros. Huge, elaborate Roman ruins, Trojan horse, etc, etc, etc....it's wild. For kids and thrill seekers, this is Nirvana. For us....not so much.
We find a parking spot - it's not extremely crowded - and enjoy a very nice lunch while people-watching. So many are in bright and neon colors that it's like being inside a kaleidoscope.
Apparently the only place to see what I've come to see is on the water. Wednesday morning we get tickets on the Original Wisconsin Ducks.
Built in the 1940's, and used in WWII, these amphibious vehicles are rugged. And loud. And tight. And very cool when they go from driving on land to moving easily through the river.
Our driver is a charming young man who delivers his cheesy jokes with good timing, and drives the beast with equal skill. It's not his fault this trip falls short of our expectations.
There are a couple spots where the forest is lush and filled with bright ferns, and there are sandstone formations along the water that are lovely. Maybe it's the dull, gray skies, or the extreme humidity, but the dells are definitely a disappointment.
|Ready for her first sort-of-a-boat ride|
|Snug quarters - the sides are completely open for viewing|
|One area has pretty, bright ferns|
|Red sandstone layers|
|Entering Dell Creek|
|The layers continue far under the water|
|Another intrepid tree|
|You climb stairs to enter the Duck, but they sit low in the water|
Away from the amusement park atmosphere, the area is lovely. We take a drive through the farmland, enjoying the quiet.
|Barns and silos dot the hills and valleys|
It's raining so hard that I pull off the interstate for 15 minutes hoping the worst of it will pass us by. Back on the road we manage to follow the storm for a couple hours before it finally moves south as we turn north.
Along a two-lane country road we see the Spruce Goose through the thick down pour. Huge props turning slowly in the mist, it's very eery!!
Too soon the wind farm comes into clearer view and the magic is gone.
Although Lambeau Field is far from the center of town, the area is still "built up" - more so than I envisioned. A new multi-level parking structure is being built next door, but for now there is free parking around the stadium.
Seeing it for the first time is very exciting! More than any other field I think, this place feels like football history.
|Vince Lombardi - never had a losing season in 60+ years of coaching high school, college and professional football|
|Built in 1957, Lambeau is the second oldest NFL stadium|
Let's do that!
Jerry leads us through the private suites area to the corporate suite where he shares the history of the team, the stadium, and the coaches. He is passionate about his Packers and his presentation is very good.
|More fine hotel than football stadium - the suites were part of the 2001 renovation|
|Jerry telling us about the greatest men in football|
|Similar views can be yours for just $160k a year!|
|Hard to imagine|
|Over 50k season ticket holders sit on hard bleachers every year - there are 125k on the waiting list to be one of them|
|The huge team locker room where rousing speeches are given from the center of the G|
|What we actually see of the locker room. It is, afterall, hallowed ground!|
But when they open those big doors, and the recorded sound of that stadium full of fans echoes down the hall - it kicks your ass! We both have goosebumps. Everyone has big smiles. We're all laughing. Tessa's tail is wagging.
It is absolutely the highlight of the day!
|We are a small team|
|but the cheering crowd loves us :-)|
|We're really here|
|Ginormous new-ish scoreboard/replay screen|
|They cut the grass every other day, and use a hundred gallons of paint for game day|
This pro-shop is like a mall! Not just the usual shirts and hats and beer koozies - this place has everything for your home, your vehicle, your every thing.
|The Atrium makes this a year-round place to visit - restaurant on the ground floor.|
|So. Much. Packers.|
|When in Rome.......|
Moving through eastern states is definitely "quicker", and Friday we move into Illinois.