The Great NorthWoods Rally

Or what did I find on my last roadtrip?

The Snowdomers Credo...

Tread softly. Take only photos if they're stencilled.

Wisconsin Cow Snowdomes from the Wisconsin Dells.



Tommy Barlett was a radio guy who singlehandedly promoted the Wisconsin Dells into Chicagoland's big vacation spot for the common man. He started it with his Tommy Bartlett Water Show, a water ski extravaganza on the Wisconsin River. If you parked in his lot, they would slap a sticker on the back window. "I went to the Tommy Bartlett Water Show!"

I used to wonder what kind of person left these on their cars. One day I saw one on a friend's car. "Whatsamatter? Was the glue too strong?" I smirked. It turned out he didn't get one when he saw the show, so he went back, complained and had one plastered on his car. There's no accounting for tastes. Look at me. I collect snowdomes.

Another big draw were boat rides including one that ran WW-II landing craft down the highway. They would splash into the river and cross a few sandbars. Today, it's all water slides, miniature golf, and fudge shops. And with the new times, it's very hard to find a traditional snowdome.

I finally went into a gift shop where the clerk was tallying all her sales on a legal pad. She told me her boss didn't trust IBM and NCR machines.

Old fashioned store. Old fashioned domes! I bought several of these iindividually hand painted domes. This has an orange hulled boat. Another has a black hulled boat..

A few more hours on the highway took us into the Land of 10000 Lakes and one huge mall. The Mall of America is so huge that it has its own snowdome.
All kinds of specialty shops. One store only carried refrigerator magnets. It's likely to have folded.

Click for More Northwoods Adventure

Rev 1.0 August 26, 1998