Wisconsin Dells- Tacky, Touristy, Cheesy, and Beautiful

After we left Townsend, TN, we made two one-night intermediary stops in Louisville, KY and Carlock, IL. In Louisville, we met our good friends, Beth & Steve and their 3 boys for dinner. It is so great to catch up with friends who live in different places across the country. The next night we stopped in Carlock, IL and found a jewel of a campground. We stayed the night at Kamp Komfort Campground in Carlock surrounded by Cornfields. (I love saying that!) The owner of this particular has great pride. The grounds are well kept and well trimmed. We were quite impressed. I think he must have heard voices that said, “if you build it, they will come.”

In Carlock, convening with our traveling buddies...
In Carlock, convening with our traveling buddies…

The day we drove from Carlock, IL to Wisconsin Dells was fraught with problems. On the way, somewhere on I-39, we were following a flat bed truck hauling large sheets of metal. The interstate is in poor repair in most areas. The truck we were following must have struck a pothole or a series of bumps, as two sheets of metal came flying off the flatbed and headed directly for us. Surely, this was going to be devastating collision. Fortunately, at the last second the sheets of metal bounded to the right of us and struck the side of the trailer. It left some scratches but fortunately no one was hurt. It took about 30 minutes for my heart and blood pressure to return to normal.
We arrived at the Wisconsin Dells midday. We were happy to be at the KOA and were ready to relax after a stressful drive. But not so fast; we faced more challenges. The spot that the KOA brain trust selected for us was a challenge. KOA’s usually have people to escort us to our site. This one was no different. The effort took us to our site. I surveyed the site and thought to myself, “this isn’t going to work”. The escort wanted me to back up our 38 foot, 15,000lb, trailer up a 10-15% incline and then make a 90 degree turn around a tree. After 30 minutes of frustration and digging a rut that was 18″ deep and 5 feet long, I gave up. I could see the trailer pitching over in the rut or worse yet, bending the rear axle of the trailer due to the tremendous amount of torque on that axle. It was the first time in my RVing career that I “gave up” on a site.
When we first asked the KOA front desk people if we could move to another site they refused. After a few harsh words and some ugly faces the KOA moved us to a more appropriate space. Our first impression of Wisconsin Dells was ruined forever! We were not happy campers.

The next day we took a boat tour to the Upper Dells of the Wisconsin River. The scenery along the boat tour was beautiful. We stopped at two docks, where we took short walks to check out the geology and nature.

Wisconsin Dells is the Water Park Capital of the US. It is impossible to describe all the water parks. They are inside, they are outside, and some are both! Wisconsin Dells Parkway is simply corner to corner full of water parks.
We experienced our first Cheese Curds. We had heard a lot of chatter about Wisconsin cheese curds, but Marti and I had no idea what they were. Now we know. We sent a 5lb. of Cheese curds to our friends in Louisville (Beth and Steve; see earlier post) because they are as curious about curds as we were. That is gonna be one stinky box when they get it!
We took in a lumberjack show while in Wisconsin Dells. The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show is well worth the admission. The lumberjacks are extremely athletic and must have tremendous upper body strength.

We enjoyed a couple of restaurants in the Dells. Our favorite was Buffalo Phil’s; a train delivered beverages and food to our table. Our grandkids would love this place. The food was pretty good. It wasn’t 5 star but who cares…it was delivered on a train! Below is a short video I posted on You Tube of our food being delivered to our table.

We made a stop at a cute little winery, called Fawn Creek Winery, tucked in the hills of the Wisconsin Dells. The Winery is a small family owned business. They import the grapes from elsewhere and make all the wine on premise. The Wine Tasting was “free”. We tried 8 different wines and 5 different wine slushies. By the end of the tasting, some in our party were feeling “just right”. Ultimately, we purchased 6 bottles of wine and had a joyous time (so much for a free wine tasting.).

Family owned Winery
Family owned Winery

Overall, after the first day, we ended up enjoying Wisconsin Dells. There is tremendous beauty once you get away from the hustle and bustle of all the water parks and amusement parks. We are glad we visited, but it isn’t a stop we will make again unless it happens to be on the way to where we are going.


  1. I did not use harsh words or ugly faces!! I was very polite. Firm, but polite. The ladies at the KOA office eventually relented, and put us in a lower, flatter spot. Which I later found had been our original spot, anyway. Sigh….


  2. Probably most RV’ers have had a site that is impossible to get into. Sorry the people at the campground weren’t nicer about changing sites. We stayed at Kamp Komfort in Carlock two years ago on our way to Alaska. I agree with you about the campground. It was a nice, clean place to stay and I enjoyed taking our dog for a walk on the country road.


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