After more than a week in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, we’re ready to take a go a bit farther and explore Wisconsin a bit. This state north of Illinois has a diverse geography, with its interior featuring forests and farmlands. The latter is immediately visible as we drive the interstate, while the former takes a bit of getting out of the main roads. Wisconsin overall is a charming place, and it makes for a great weekend road trip.
Wisconsin Deer Park
After about a three-hour drive (lengthened by a stop at a Pizza Hut restaurant, where we chatted with the friendly manager), we first stop at the Wisconsin Deer Park. The name’s self-explanatory: the park features herds of deer, where visitors can feed them. Most of the deer are of the white-tail and European fallow varieties. The deer are tame and approach humans, expecting to be fed (the front desk sells deer feed for $6 a bag).
There are other species as well, but they’re enclosed in cages, including a large, majestic elk, a couple of llamas, and Japanese sika deer (which produces a cute high-pitched noise).
Wisconsin River Boat Tour
Afterwards, we head a bit north at the Dells Boat Tours, where we avail of the hour-long trip down the Lower Wisconsin River. It’s a cold afternoon, but we don’t mind as we cruise along the river, seeing various rock formations. Wisconsin Dells local Gary, our boat driver and tour guide, dishes various information on the river’s ecosystem as well as the history of his city.
Rather than return to Illinois in the evening, we check in at a cheap hotel just outside Wisconsin Dells, with the idea of exploring one more city in Wisconsin the next day.