Growing in up in Chicago, most families took vacations to the Wisconsin Dells when I was a kid. My dad died when I was very young and somehow we just never did get to the Dells although years later my mom and I talked alot about going just before she passed away. When I was a kid we occasionally went up to Lake Meta (now called Meta Lake) near Eagle River, where my great grandmother lived, but never to the Dells.
I finally got my chance to visit the Dells this weekend - the brother of a friend of mine has a farm that encompasses Louis' Bluff, and they were there for vacation and invited me up for a couple of days.
There is a big part of me that thinks I could very easily live in a small town - and then the other part of me usually smacks me awake - but I seriously could have laid in a supply of Cutter and just stayed there. There is a great peace and serenity along the water of the Wisconsin River, and Louis' Bluff is up at the North end of the Dells.
This is the real Wisconsin Dells - not the waterpark, tourist haven that it has become - you can almost imagine that you're all alone in the forest, and although I didn't see any, it's quite likely that deer and other wild animals would cross your path here. We had planned to hike up the Bluff, but poison ivy is rampant there - I mean everywhere, and there are no cut trails. I decided not to take the chance, particularly since my neighbor just had it from her yard, and a work colleague had it from petting a dog . . . I contented myself with rides around the property in the Gator. It's a pretty wild ride, but other than narrowly escaping contact with a tree once, it was really fun :-D
If you've only ever been to the commercial part of Wisconsin Dells, you haven't really seen the Dells at all. We took the Upper Dells boat tour, and it was great. You can see the landscape and its many amazing features better from the water.
I'm in the process of making a photo book similar to the one I made for Iona, and will link it here soon to share some of what we experienced - in the mean time, I'll leave you with this . . . Yes, it's really that beautiful. :-) This is the North side of Louis' Bluff - It was like a step back in time . . .