Surprises in Southwest Wisconsin
Trip Start Jul 22, 2012
42Trip End Oct 13, 2012
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Heading west from Lake Geneva we crossed the state to the Wisconsin Dells area, actually stopping about sixty mile south near Taliesin, home of Frank Lloyd Wright. We stayed at the “Shot House State Park”, which was the spot where an early businessman decided to start a buckshot factory
Another surprise was the House on the Rock. Never heard of it before either. Alex Jordan was one of those crazy eccentrics that had a genius that bordered on insanity…my opinion. He fell in love with a favorite picnic spot and decided to build a house on top of a rock spire. The design of the house was a fabric of his imagination and molded to the shape of the rock, incorporating the raw rock into the floor and walls of the eleven rooms. He eventually had local tradesmen helping him with his “vision”. Well, once he finished the structure the curious public beat a path to his door to see this eclectic structure. One day he decided to start charging an entrance fee…then things really took off. The House on the Rock complex is now a major tourist attraction with three separate tours. The house itself is one tour, with a late addition of a “nose” actually a cantilevered glass room that extends sixty feet off of the end of the rocky spire 160 feet above the valley below, it is quite a structure
The Wisconsin Dells have been a tourist attraction for over a century. Dells is a derivative of Dalles, French for layered rock according to the brochure. The attraction is the rock formations along the river and lakes of the region. After the lake tours became successful an entire tourist trap mecca was built to complete a resort atmosphere. There are countless water parks, fun houses, mini golf courses, ice cream shops, etc., etc. I guess this place is a madhouse in the summer. We took the lake tour upstream and then the “Duck” river tour downstream, the rock formations really are pretty.
After an all you can eat fish fry we headed for Minnesota. Stopping just the other side of the Mississippi River for the night. We nearly stayed in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on the Mississippi River. Its residents were gearing up for the annual Octoberfest parade and parties…lots of drunks in lederhosen stumbling in an out of bars. While it was tempting, we decided to find a campsite at Money Creek Campground in Houston, Minnesota. Another great campfire.....