Boat Trip on the Lower Dells

August 12, 2003

We boarded the first tour boat of the morning for an exploration of the Lower Dells. The image above left can be taken as an illustration of the word "dell", a collection of flat plate rocks. The guide was keen on pointing out identifiable shapes in the rock, and above right is the "milk bottle" with the cow Elsie's head superimposed upon it.

The Lower Dells tour was more relaxing, a ride down the pleasant river viewing the rock formations.

At the south end of our tour were a couple of rock islands seen into the sun at upper right. The guide related an Indian story of "big ugly fish" living there. This river is home to large "muskie" fish.

On one of the rock islands was a collection of mud bird's nests.

As we headed back upriver, we were passed by one of the jetboats on tour.

Then we encountered the "Ducks" on tour. These old World War II military amphibious vehicles were one of the popular tour attractions.

We watched our tour boat load for the next tour and were glad we got there early for the first tour. The second one was packed. It left the dock with a background of the Kilbourn Dam, the first dam built in the Dells region. The town of Wisconsin Dells had originally had the name Kilbourn. We watched the loaded tour boat disappear around the first bend in the Wisconsin River below the dam.

As I watched one of the jetboats leave on its tour, I got an unexpected perspective of the two Dells. As the jetboat approached the dam, a tourboat on the Upper Dells came by, showing the difference in level between the two Dells. There is a highway bridge and a railway bridge across the river just above the dam. After that brief pause, the jetboat roared off down the river and disappeared around the bend.

For the most part, the town and surroundings were just too "touristy" for our taste, but there were nice flowers in locations like this at the boat dock. Everything was in good repair and cheerfully painted.

On to Wildcat Mountain

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