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Road Cheese Hypertour: Day 2

Road Cheese Hypertour.Intro | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Suck of The Dells

Wisconsin Dells and Vicinity

The Dells is a mighty gas giant in the vacation solar system. Other attractions hang enslaved in its inexorable gravity, and all roads lead to The Dells, as far as we can tell. Even after yesterday's exhausting whirlwind of daytime sights, the nighttime Dells beckoned with erupting volcanoes, screaming teens bungee-ing overhead, and Tommy Bartlett's Water-ski Thrill Show.

Carousel creatures.House on the Rock

Spring Green, Wisconsin

It's absurd to think you could explore the 75+ Dells attractions in a day, which turns out to be all the time we can afford this trip. And first we must head south to check a nearby mega-attraction in Spring Green -- House on the Rock-- that is promoting a "Titanic" exhibit on local billboards.

We power-walk the entire complex, normally a day's effort in itself, past music machines, sea monsters, and rooms filled with scrimshaw and old armor. Finally we get to the exhibit: a single lame cabinet of Titanic photos and headline reprints that was here on our last visit seven years ago!

It's those little touches of balderdash that make the House amazing. Signs in its restrooms boast that they're cleaned top to bottom every hour (although we didn't hang around to check). Alex undersea.Alex Jordan, who built the place, is long departed, but you can still find little surprises from this original mastermind -- like the "deep sea diver" outfit with the spitting image of Jordan leering from his copper kettle helmet. And although we've been advised by several contractors and House veterans that most of the stuff on display is fake -- the scrimshaw and armor collection come to mind -- it only makes the place better.

We've forgotten how low the ceilings are in the first part of the tour. One of us who is over six feet tall and not paying such good attention decides that Alex Jordan must have been a short man... or that he liked to risk skull fractures.

Dr. Evermor's Forevertron

Nursing our wounds, back on Hwy. 12, we visit Tom Every's Forevertron, a metal hurlant assemblage behind Delaney's Surplus south of Baraboo. [Read the complete report] Then we take Hwy. 33 south to 22 to Pardeeville and La Reau's World of Miniature, a diminutive landscape of public buildings and monuments carved in Styrofoam by the industrious Mr. and Mrs. La Reau. [Closed, but read the complete report]

More Dells

Then it's back to the Dells. We examine a string of mecca mainstays -- reptile displays, a mystery spot, wax museums -- as well as unique sights, such as Tommy Bartlett's Robot World. Robot World bought a Mir Space Station from Russia for a million dollars, and it's right here. You can read all about it on this other page... [Read the Dells roundup report]

Albino gator.The former Haunted Viking Ship has been turned into the world's only indoor alligator attraction. Visitors feed the beasts by shoving meat through gun-portal holes in their giant, bulletproof aquarium tank. The owner, along with everyone else in the Dells it seems, has Alex Jordan tales to tell -- mostly unflattering.

Dinner, which often involves a theme in the Dells, is an all-you-can-eat feast at Black Bart's Buffet, across from Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty (a less satisfying experience). [November 2006: Black Bart's became the the Outlaw Steakhouse]

The night is spent searching out overlooked attractions along the strip, such as Mass Panic, an entertaining haunted house that in all likelihood will be gone by the new millennium. [Read the complete report]

Road Cheese home. On to Day 3... Dells to Duluth, Minnesota

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