Thursday, July 2

Mama Kat Thursday: Baraboo

Today's Mama Kat blog writing topic is:
 "Share a memorable road trip."

When I was growing up in the 60's and early 70's in Indiana, we took a family trip every year. That's what our Dad saved his precious vacation days for. The trip. Usually it was to Minnesota to visit the grandparents, but because we camped along the way, there was always an adventure to be had!
The every state is full of fascinating State Parks and there are always local sights to see!
Traveling to Minnesota from Indiana generally meant driving through Wisconsin and on one trip, we stopped at Baraboo, Wisconsin to visit the Circus World Museum!
Baraboo Circus Museum Grounds 
Back in the day, Baraboo was the winter quarters for the Ringling Brothers Circus during the late 19th & early 20th centuries, back in the glory days of the traveling circuses! There, the circus would repair & paint their wagons, care for their animals and prep for the next season. 
The Circus World Museum was established to preserve the history of this sort of traveling entertainment, particularly the ornate wooden wagons.
I remember walking through the museum, looking at those wagons. Many had a photo display showing them in their original deteriorated state when found and the process of restoration. 
Since the museum has only been operating since 1959 and so many wood wagons date pretty far back, it's amazing they have managed to preserve as many as they have! (200)
They also had train cars to walk through, so you could see how circus performers lived and had a one-ring circus performance several times a day.
I remember I really enjoyed that place. Definitely worth a visit with the kids if you're ever traveling through Wisconsin!

We camped here, at Devil's Lake State Park.

The other memorable portion of the trip was the boat tour of the Wisconsin Dells.  The Dells are full of amazing rock formations, which are really best seen by boat.
 We took the Upper Dell Tour and back in those days the tour still included a stop where we left the boat to sit in an a stone amphitheater to watch the "Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial Dance."  It was cool. Full regalia, head-dresses and so on. Gorgeous.
Unfortunately, the tribe apparently discontinued that performance in the late 90's, which is too bad.

I suppose we stayed two days, then headed on our way to Minnesota. But that stop at the Circus Museum and boat tour of the Dells stand strong in my memory as fantastic.
In fact, Mother and I were reminiscing about this very trip on my last phone call!
I remember our Dad telling me one time that he thought it was really important to take us kids on trips to see things. He remembered his folks doing so and wanted to do the same and I have to say those family trips are some of the best memories of my life!
So, give your kids memories! Take them to see stuff, even if it's just stuff in your own state!
What's your favorite road-trip memory?

Thanks for Visiting!


Jennifer Engelbrecht said...

That's so cool, I went thru a phase where I devoured everything to do with circus life. I've never been anywhere in the midwest, but WI has sort of been calling my name lately. Probably because I'm so hot ;)

Funkidivagirl said...

I lived in Chicago growing up and I used to go to Wisconsin Dells with my parents and extended family in the summers! I loved it! We all rented tiny cottages and fished and enjoyed all the Dells had to offer. Those were some of the best memories of my childhood.

Tara Gauthier said...

We do a lot of the same, road trips to go discover things close to our city but some years ones a bit farther to destinations we want to check out. We like to do lots of camping trips in the summer. We only have to go a few hours to see family but usually make one trip a year, sometimes two as stop travelling there in the Fall due to weather conditions as it typically starts snowing in October.

Spazington said...

I agree with your dad!

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