Continuation of a previous post
Note: Most pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.
The pools at the hotel didn’t open right away in the morning. But at the middle pool, Klondike Kavern, they had a duck race (the “Ken-Ducky Derby”) for the kids a half hour before the pool opened. Klondike Kavern had the race because it has the lazy river feature, which the other pools do not have.
The duck race works like this:
- Each child chooses a small rubber ducky and a staff member writes his name on it
- The starter staff member dumps all the ducks at once in the lazy river
- The finish-line staff member waits about 30 feet down the lazy river and grabs the first 3 ducks to reach him. Those are the winners.
They ran about four races, and each of our kids had a duck, so we ended up winning twice. The prizes were all the same, I think – plastic duck calls.
Duck Tour 1
We decided the night before that we should go on the duck tour. Otherwise, our trip to Wisconsin Dells would not be complete. The Tommy Bartlett show would have been fun to watch, but they hadn’t opened for the season yet. There were some other things, but we were planning on stopping at the museum and aquarium in Chicago on our way back home, so we didn’t look at anything museumish or aquariumish (or zooish).
That left waterparks (been there) or hiking (done that) or the duck tours. The first one we saw, brochure-wise, was the Original WWII Dells Army Ducks. So we decided to go there. I pulled into the parking lot. It looked rather sparse, but it was the off-peak season. My wife got out and asked the ticket booth about times and availability.
She came back shaking her head. “They are running only at noon and 3:00“. If I were running a place with the word “Army” in it, then all times would be in military format: 1200 and 1500, not noon and 3. It was only 10:10. We didn’t have any other plans to fill almost two hours of waiting, so we drove to the other duck tour place.
Duck Tour 2
It turns out that they are also original – the Original Wisconsin Ducks. It was my turn to get out and walk to the ticket booth and ask about times and availabilities. So that’s what I did.
The lady there said they ran every half hour. Every half hour? No waiting? By the time we got the kids out of the van and loaded into the duck, that would use most of that half hour. “I’ll be right back, with the family” I told her.
Now they said they ran every half hour. The key part of that is “said”. They didn’t start for about 45 minutes. I think they meant that the tours are scheduled for every half hour, or they would like to run every half hour, or they’ll run every half hour that there are enough people. But it was a little misleading to say they ran every half hour. Because I’m sure if no one was on board, they would not take out the duck.
The duck tour itself was 1 hour long. It was a nice warm day, the breeze was blowing gently in our faces and the engine was humming along. It was a good way to spend an hour. Gamma napped for about 50 of the 60 minutes. It’s okay because his ticket was free.
Here is my view during the land part of the tour:
And here is my view during the water part of the tour:
Of course, that was the straight-ahead view. Most of the time I was looking out one side or the other.
Note: take a few dollars cash because the drivers do take (and ask for in a roundabout way) tips. I did not bring any cash on the duck tour, otherwise I probably would have given him a tip. So, Pat, the duck tour driver who attends University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse and plays football there, don’t take it personally that I didn’t leave you a tip. You did a fine job, but all I had was my credit card and you were not getting that.
Side Note: the duck tour place is across the street from Mt. Olympus. That is a water park/theme park/resort thingy. It is noteworthy because of the Trojan horse. It is about 5 or 6 stories high and is a fairly accurate replica, at least if all the drawings I’ve seen are close. It is, I think, the one item that represents how touristy the area is.
The website’s description of the horse is amusing: “the horse, where brave men once lay in wait to attack the Trojans“. Makes it sound like they have the original.
The afternoon and evening were spent in the pools and playland. I already posted some pictures of the pools, so this post will contain pictures of the playland.
The playland was next to the arcade and was in the section close to our room. The playland was a large version of the play areas that are not uncommon in certain restaurants or as stand-alone businesses – kids climb up stairs and cushioned passageways and everything has netting around it to prevent escapes.
But this one had a large open area in the middle. And that area contained hundreds of foam balls. And it contained hoses and blowers and compressed air and switches.
The kids could load the balls into a cannon and shoot them across the room. The second story of this place had several air cannons, spaced around a circle. And you could aim them. Put a ball in the side, aim the cannon, press the red button on the end, and the ball would fly fairly accurately across the structure. Some of the cannons were larger and could handle multiple balls at once, if you wanted to get all MIRV-y on people.
Most of the foam balls were on the ground floor. The kids started by picking up as many as they could and taking them up to the second story (there were no “shooters” on the ground floor – only fixed cannons that aimed up) Eventually they discovered that there were a few “stoves” that just blew the foam balls up to the second story. But it kept them busy and they were usually upset only when we had to leave.
The playland was nice because the kids didn’t require constant attention, like they did at the pool. We could sit and watch them. We could relax (and not worry about swimming skills) and they could have fun.
Only the trees which you know are not fruit trees you shall destroy and cut down, that you may construct siegeworks against the city that is making war with you until it falls.