We awoke today pretty well rested. We headed into Walmart for that promised donut. Lily got one, I was soft and let Ethan get a Coolata for breakfast. We grabbed a couple items and then made a quick stop into the nearby Goodwill. We’re still hunting for that perfect vintage stovetop percolator. We had something more to eat and headed out.
I had researched the area and wanted to take a boat tour in the Upper Dells. The downtown area looks really neat, yet touristy. I think we dilly dallied a bit too much, and when we got to town we parked on the far side and there was a lot of walking and gawking (by all) getting to our destination.
When we finally got to the dock, there was a wait to load onto the boat and the kids really wanted to be on the top deck…so we waited for the next boat. It was a beautiful, clear and sunny day for a boat cruise and the scenery was worth it. Our captain and crew were college “kids” and I spent a lot of time reminiscing about my boating years when my mom was on the river in Chicago.
The sandstone formations were really awesome and I can see why it’s a popular tourist destination. It was cool to learn about how a photographer played a part in bringing the tourism industry to the Dells with his award winning photo of his 15 year old son jumping mid-air between rock towers. He froze motion and the shutter was born, and is now on display in the Smithsonian. It was a particularly interesting piece of history to me!
The town was a major tourist trap, with lots of activities and stores. There was also a really neat looking interactive experience called Wizard Quest. We went in, wands and trinkets were oogled over, but we didn’t play. It was a long walk back, and we were all hungry. We had our picnic lunch beside the camper. Ethan was sad we didn’t go to the paintball range, and said he wanted to go home.
We headed down the road and forgot to get Wisconsin cheese. Ethan took a nap and missed when we crossed the Mississippi River and into Minnesota. Andy has sunburn on the top of his knees. We drove past more wind turbine fields, beautiful working farms, and mountains. I thought we’d head out earlier and make it to Sioux Falls tonight, but alas…we were running out of daylight. We needed to make dinner, and I’ll certainly need a shower, so we pulled off into the KOA in Hayward, MN.
They were full, and offered for us to park next to the office so we can plug in but we decided to just fill the water tank and park out in the lot. After making dinner, we messed with the WiFi, but ended up using Andy’s phone as a hotspot. So…tada. I’ve blogged today.