We always come up for the colors, the fall colors. Who is we? My family and another family, basically our bestest friend family. haha. They really are though, we do everything with them and they ARE my family, blood has nothing to do with it. Where do we see these colors? Baraboo, Wisconsin, better known to the rest of the world as the Wisconsin Dells. Yes, the Tommy Bartlet, Water Park infested Wisconsin Dells. We don’t do much in the Dells except stay there though, in a lovely condo that has fantastic discount rates during the fall color season.
I’ve been coming up here to hike and rock climb and swim since I’ve been little. It’s really like my second home. I know the road, maybe not by name, but where they all go and how to get around. I know where to find those hidden gem preserves that most tourists don’t hear about. I love it here. Most tourists come for the water parks and miss out on the natural beauty, they replace a city of building for a city of plastic structures with chemical water, instead of sunshine and clear lakes.
We go to Devil’s Lake, which is a must. Everyone has to go there once. Devil’s Lake is so beautiful around this time of year and I just feel so at peace here. It gets really crowded, but it is still beautiful. You can find everything about it online.
Even though it’s just for a weekend we try to do as much as we can. Horseback riding is so much fun and there are so many places to hike and bird watch. One of our favorites is Parfrey’s Glen which, a few years ago, was damaged by the floods and the tpath was torn our. Now, you are supposed to stop at a certain point, but that never happens. It is just as beautiful without steps, but you just have to be much more careful. Before the flood damage, winding steps carved out of the moss-covered rocks took you through the gorge and honestly it was like you were walking through a scene from Lord of the Rings. The green was so green, almost unnatural and so vivid you just wanted to be swallowed up by the softness of its color. You can see little trout in the shallow stream and the frigid temperature of the water matches how clear it is, you really almost expect it to be that cold.
Anywhere around here, when you pick the right paths, the ones tourists don’t know about or don’t want to attempt, makes it seem like you’re in a movie. Everything is too colorful and it’s like your brain just can’t even begin to process the beauty so no matter how many times you’ve been here and how many times you’ve seen it, you still just have to stop and stare in the freezing cold while your fingers and toes go numb because, since there are really no words to actually describe what I see, it’s so freaking beautiful.
Even driving, you see the trees and they just make a patchwork quilt of colors, greens, reds, oranges, yellows, all different shades and variations, like the cool kindergartener, you know, the one with the 64 pack of crayons, just dumped them out and took all of those colors and made their own picture. The only problem is, nothing, no crayon, pencil, marker or picture could ever do justice to the pure, unedited, unadjusted, beauty of the real thing.
People oftentimes miss these things or don’t think of how beautiful they are. Even that single tree in the middle of Chicago, the one that turns yellow and is probably the only one on the entire city block, that tree is beautiful and you should stop to look at it. Look at its color and texture and breathe in its smell over the gasoline and just travel to someplace else, one that’s not tainted with man-made noises, let the bird be your car horns, let the sweet air smell be your gasoline, let the falling leaves be the people bumping your shoulder in the street. Let nature be your city and soak in it’s beauty, a beauty that didn’t have to be built.