Been dazed and confused for so long, it's not true.
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you.
Take it easy baby, let them say what they will.
Will your tongue wag so much when I send you the bill?
- R. Plant/J. Page/J. Bonham/J. Paul Jones
Earlier today, I was checking out some of the blogs that I like to read. One of them, hosted by a professor from the university I attended, (circa mid-late '80s) is named "Pharyngula". His name is Dr. P. Z. Myers, and the university is the University of Minnesota Morris. The blog itself is mostly about biological science issues but also has a few other subjects tossed in. I like it, and lately I've been in the habit of visiting the blog daily.
Well, to make this introduction a little shorter, :) one story that caught my eye today was about a new "creationist" museum opening in Wisconsin Dells. I've read about other such "museums" and, to me, it's all a bunch of bullshit. Yes, bullshit. Bullshit and a half. :) I mean, come on, the earth is less than 10,000 years old according to these nutballs. I've studied too much science to agree with that kind of conclusion. Now, don't get me wrong, anybody can believe whatever they want to; but, myself, I'll go with the stuff that's supported by things like physical evidence and other conclusive lines of inquiry. In essence, reality.
So, anyway, I read about this place and I thought that it would be fun to go and see if I could find it, just for kicks. I had also planned on revisiting the Dells area, as I related in a previous post. Plus, I needed a good excuse to get out of the house and out of town for a little while. So I did.
My basic plan was to visit some of the state parks in the area around Wisconsin Dells, plus to drive around in the area and take photos for my blog - to show people. If I ran past the "museum" I was going to stop and take a picture of that, too. With that in mind, I fired up the foxmobile, hit the interstate, and nosed her eastbound. The local radio station was playing a lot of Led Zeppelin, the sky was cloudless, and I anticipated a fun afternoon.
A little over an hour later, I hit the first exit for Wisconsin Dells, aiming for Rocky Arbor State Park on U.S. 12/16. In just a few minutes I was there - only to find a gate across the entrance and a sign that said, "closed". I figured it was because they were doing maintenance or somesuch just after the summer season. Oh well, there was another park to visit and other stuff to see, so I drove on down the highway and into town. Less than 5 minutes later, I crossed the Wisconsin Dells city line whereupon I pulled off the highway at a gas station to get a local area map. I asked the attendant in there why Rocky Arbor was closed, and he said that the state parks in the area close after Labor Day. Suddenly I felt dazed and confused. :) :)
I recovered quickly and altered my plan. I checked the local map for anything I might be interested in seeing, figuring I would spend my time driving around and stopping whenever I felt there was something worth stopping for. From the map, it looked like a loop from where I was at, through downtown Wisconsin Dells, then across the river, go a few miles upriver, recross, and return would do the trick. That was pretty much what I did, with an eye out for any road that would get me close to the river. Along the way, I took photos of where I stopped.
That plan worked pretty well, except for one small thing. I found out that the vast majority of the northern (or "upper") part of the Wisconsin River is either inaccessible to cars or is privately owned - and closed. Off-season means something here. The only exceptions were both on the west side of the river. The first was the public access at a campground, and the second was a pullover on Stand Rock Road. Oh well, you learn something new every day. :)
After I made the loop (about 2 hours later) I hopped back on the interstate and headed back westbound. I didn't return home directly - instead I revisited a few spots that I had been to about a year ago. Ahhhh, but that's for the next blog-entry. :) Below are captioned photos of the Wisconsin Dells area for you all to enjoy. I did have fun, despite having been a bit disappointed. Please let me know what you think!
This is a view of the beginning of the "lower dells" area. Just downriver from the right-hand bend that you see was where the DUKW that I previously blogged went. Just out of view on the left is where the dam/power plant is. The fishing must be pretty good here. :)
Some early fall color for the area.
This is a view the river (well, a loop of it around an island, anyway) from the aforementioned pullout on Stand Rock Road. The previous photo is looking the other way, across the road.
While this isn't a sandstone formation that the area is famous for, this photo does show what the local bedrock looks like. The shot was taken at the parking lot of the gas station I stopped at.
Apparently, I'm not the only one dazed and confused. This sign wouldn't last 5 minutes in Minnesota. And they wonder why we call them cheeseheads. . . . :)
I couldn't figure out if this was a hotel with rides or an amusement park with a hotel attached. I thought it looked cool, though.
Not everything was closed, however. This amusement park, called "Pirate's Cove", was still going strong. Arrrrr, matey! Avast ye swabs! 'Tis the native stone I am 'ere to see, not this bilge!
Downtown Wisconsin Dells. This is the "shopping area". It also has a few attractions, I noticed. This photo was taken by me in the car while stopped at a stoplight. The car is facing east, the photo is towards the west. I still had time to partially roll up the window before the light changed. :)
Labels: geology, weirdness, Wisconsin