LAKE DELTON – I hear it all the time...
"What's the deal with your obsession with the Dells," my friends often ask me.
Well, I think I might have finally figured it out.
I'm sitting here on the deck outside my room, watching the sun setting over Lake Delton and listen to Bob Uecker and Cory Provus call the final innings of the Brewers-Marlins game and I don't think I've ever been more at peace.
As part of an ongoing series of stories this summer at OnMilwaukee.com about the natural wonders of Wisconsin, I'm up here in the Dells to learn more about the natural aspect of this Midwest tourism hotspot and Devil's Lake State Park, not far down the road in Baraboo.
I brought my roommate along for the ride as he's never been to the Dells, despite 15 years passing since he left his home state of Alabama to attend Marquette University.
We spent the day exploring the area, hiking a good five miles up and down the bluffs of Devil's Lake, taking in the history at the H.H. Bennett Museum and tomorrow, we'll take a tour on the Ducks (one of my all-time favorite Wisconsin traditions).
As I explained all the various things to do and see here, it started to dawn on me that my love for this area has little to do with things to do – of which there are plenty. But more than the scenery, the natural wonders, the waterparks and the bars, the Dells for me is also about memories and tradition.
Sharing stories of previous trips here with either my family (my father and I came up here together 19 years ago this weekend to celebrate my 8th Grade graduation), my friends (I've written many times about my annual "winter retreat" with my guys) or even for work assignments brought a smile to my face.
I've had friends fall in love here (two of my friends have married girls they met during Dells trips), I've had friends break up here (seriously, guys, you have to get your stories straight before you go) and I've seen friends become friends again during trips here.
Through the years, I've also been fortunate to meet some great people. My friend Terry is one of the most loyal and knowledgeable Brewers fans I've ever met. Her roommate, George, is hilarious and never seems to mind a couple of people hanging out to drink his beer after the bars close. The folks I've met behind the various bars we frequent and even the hotel owners/managers/staff ... just a bunch of great people who only add to the fun.
That's why I love it here. It's far enough away from home that it feels like a vacation and it's close enough to home to make a quick day trip incredibly feasible. And whether it's spending three days trying to ride on every slide, putting on every mini golf hole or drinking the city out of Blackberry Brandy (another story for another day), the memories I take back each time are what make the Dells so special to me.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by OnMilwaukee.com Staff Writers
Published Dec. 12, 2013
Last night, LISC Milwaukee announced 16 finalists for the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation, selected from public nominations by an independent, cross-sector volunteer committee.
Published Dec. 11, 2013
It's crunch time now. It's likely the semifinal week of your league's playoffs, and if you win, you're contending for the ultimate prize. We're here to help you reach the fantasy football Super Bowl.
Published Dec. 10, 2013
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is starting a new MBA school leadership program through the Rader School of Business at MSOE. It marks one of the first such fellowship programs in the country, the other launching at the University of Indianapolis.
Published Dec. 9, 2013
The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) was chosen to represent Wisconsin in American-Architects.com's 50x50.
Published Dec. 8, 2013
This week, we asked the Social Circle if it thought celebrating St. Nick was excessive considering Hanukkah and Christmas and other December gift-focused holidays. What are your thoughts on the other jolly ol' chap?
Published Dec. 7, 2013
It's a loaded set of recommendations this week from OnMilwaukee, featuring everything from sporting events to soulful folk songs to fun with fungi and Fischberger's.
Published Dec. 5, 2013
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.'s Chairman of the Board, Ted Kellner, announced today that Summerfest 2013 created a positive economic impact of $226 million for the State of Wisconsin, including $187 million for the City of Milwaukee.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
It's the playoffs, and you're feeling good about it. But maybe you've got that guy stashed on your bench that might be poised for a breakout, or is a coin flip with another starter on your squad, or you're playing the team with Peyton Manning this week. Well, we're here to help you with who to go with if you're looking for maximum points this week.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
Shampriel Morrise, an 11th grade voice major student at Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA), was one of 700 young artists selected from more than 10,000 applicants across the nation to receive the YoungArts Merit Award.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
It's Christmas time, and that means it's time for cinemas and televisions across the nation to overdose on holiday specials. There are seemingly hundreds of Christmas movies scattered across the entertainment world come November and December. Some are silly. Some are serious. Almost are sappy. But a few manage to become true classics, beloved for years. Here are the OnMilwaukee.com staff's personal favorites.