Sunday, June 28, 2009

Da Dells Part 3: River of Caramel

On Friday morning we took a boat tour of the dells on the Wisconsin river. It was a beautiful two-hour tour. Cyn said that it felt like home to her as we got off the boat to hike through a narrow gulch reminiscent of the narrows in Zion. It was my favorite part of the vacation.

The weirdest part of the tour? The river itself. It's brown. Not sorta-kinda looks like caramel. So I was relieved when the tour guide started off by telling us it's not pollution. The Wisconsin flows through a tamarack swamp and picks up enough tannic acid from the roots there that it dyes the entire river brown. Tannic acid, when used for culinary purposes, is called 'caramel color'. Who knew? I couldn't help but think of Willy Wonka's chocolate river after learning that.

Here's the trusty vessel we were on. We were inside the boat, which worked out well because it was over 90 degrees.

Above are two sandstone walls around the Wisconsin river. Notice the caramel colored water. Hot chocolate anyone?

Above are two pictures from Witches' Gulch, which was extremely hard to get good pictures of. It was a really pretty area where you're basically walking through a river-cut path in the hillside no more than 15 feet at its widest and only about 3 feet at it's most narrow point.

It may be a little hard to see, but there's a dog jumping between the two rocks here. The rock on the left is called Stand Rock and is probably about 50 feet tall. Silly dog.

1 comment:

  1. Ohh...your vacation looks like so much fun. I wish we had had the money to do the dells when we lived in Wisconsin.