Who would have known that in the smack-dab middle of Wisconsin, about an hour above Madison, would be the “waterpark capital of the world?” We had no idea when we reserved our RV resort for this area. We considered it just another stop on the way West, allowing us to place the Wisconsin sticker on our map for having stayed in the state. It was also a good location and good timing for our daughter, Rachel, to fly up and visit us for a few days before she started graduate school.
As we drove into Wisconsin Dells, the highway roads were not as smooth as we like and the views were unappealing. Long-range views were obscured by the typical trees, brush, overgrown grass, and not much farmland. As we passed the first exit for the area, we saw a couple of large indoor water park resorts off the interstate. Hmmm, this is unusual, we thought. And, when we exited a few miles down the road to go to our RV resort, there was only one other RV park on our way. Nothing indicating what we discovered a day later.
We stayed at Arrowhead RV Campground, a large RV park. The sites were spacious and relatively level with a fire ring, picnic table, and full hook-ups. The campground itself had an in-ground swimming pool, a large, inflated trampoline for kids, laundry area, and a hiking trail. We had the pleasure of getting to know our neighbors Karl and Brittany, with their three children, Kove, Beya, and Harbor. Carl and Karl played pickleball and a round of golf, and we ate s’mores around the firepit one evening with them. We enjoyed meeting this sweet family.
The day before Rachel arrived, we decided to run some errands in town. And what we discovered was astounding! A few miles of water park after water park after water park, interspersed with hotels and other tourist-y activities such as restaurants, magic shows, zoos, roller coasters, boat tours on the Wisconsin River, duck boat rides, and more. Similar to Myrtle Beach, except in the north in the middle of the state and not next to an ocean!
While Rachel was here, we played the typical tourist family. We did the boat tour (DellsBoats.com/) one morning, the Original Wisconsin Duck boat ride the next afternoon, ate at a family-style breakfast restaurant (not recommended), saw a movie at a drive-in movie theater, and took a stroll downtown—about three blocks of souvenir shops, fudge, candy, cheese, old timey photos, ice cream, restaurants, and bars—stopping at the Riverfront Bar to sit outside and enjoy music and a drink.
The boat tour took us to some interesting rock formations along the Upper Dells portion of the Wisconsin River. Witches Gulch was my favorite stop, and another stop was at Stand Rock with a demonstration of a German Shephard jumping from one rocky outcropping to another—a six-foot jump that he spent a few months training to do. [To learn more, visit Wisconsin Dells’ History.] The Original Wisconsin Duck boat ride was on the Lower Dells portion, and it is more like a fun ride than a tour. The Original Wisconsin Duck boat rides both on land and in the water, so we would zoom through the forest on well-paved paths then dive right into the river for a little while before continuing again on land. It was fun, although the boat mechanics are loud when in the water.
I haven’t been to a movie theater in a long time, much less a drive-in movie theater, but Big Sky Drive-In was just a few miles away, and we decided to go see Aquaman. The local kids know how to enjoy a drive-in movie experience! They park their vehicles with their trunks or truck beds facing the screen, and they bring pillows and blankets and every snack imaginable to be comfortable as the night air cools and the movie plays.
The best part was our time with Rachel, of course. We haven’t seen her since May, which is not unusual since she lives and attends school in Boone, NC. However, we probably won’t get to see her again until November or December. And we hope to see Madeline then as well.
Missing my girls. Missing my family. Missing my friends. Not missing work. Not missing out on new sights, experiences, and people.
The adventure continues!
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