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Wisconsin Dells DUKWs & a Duck Ride


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In July I passed through Wisconsin Dells and after all these years took a ride on a DUKW. There have been a number of threads which have mentioned these things in Wisconsin, I thought I would do a longer one on the topic.


They have quite the DUKW operation there, multiple places have DUKW rides you can take. We went with The Original Wisconsin Ducks, as they called themselves, apparently to clearly distinguish themselves from their competitors. One thing The Original folks seemed to have, as I found out later, was access to a lot of land and a lot of trails.


So the cost was like $22.00 for an adult. The ride was about 50 minutes or so total, about half on land, half on water. You start out on land trails, up hills, down steep hills, around curves fast, I was really, really surprised at home well the thing seemed to handle. I guess not loaded down with combat troops makes the handling better :) So you get in the DUKW with 12 passengers and one driver, you get a quick safety brief and overview of the ride and tour, and then off you go. We went around trails as noted, then eventually ended up entering the Wisconsin River. It was a nice day out, so it was fine being out on the water. The DUKW seemed to handle well in the water too, the river is not all that wide in parts, we slowly cruised by tubers and small boaters, within less than 10 feet, we didn't swamp them, didn't really rock them, we were able to aparrently steer around them with what I thought was ease, having handled boats on a river before personally. The others on the water didn't seem to mind us being close by either. After the water part, back on land off the river, then on trails, then into a lake, then more trails, then back to the barn. It was a fun ride all around.


The operation was massive, there was a constant stream of DUKWs cominng and going, they were departing every 10 to 15 minutes, non stop, and that on a Monday afternoon. I imagine its a great business. At over $600.00 coming in per loaded duck, aside from the fuel and insure costs and all, I bet they do well.


The ride was pretty fun though, as long as you don't mind diesel exhaust in your face (I don't) and the occassional splashed water. I could imagine it must have been a hell of a ride during amphibious assaults and combat operations. They are large, very slow in the water, and have a low freeboard. It gave me an entirely different perspective on those that operated these and rode those in combat.


So I took lots of pics, most are of the ride and all, some at the end are of the display / advertisement DUKW at another of the operations.


You will see some pics of one of the several DUKW graveyards there. Amazing in their own right. It'd be fun to go back off season and speak to the owners about their operations, maintance on the things, etc.


Anyway, thought some might like to see all of this. If you have the chance, get a ride on one of these things, it is worth the money.






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You can see that this DUKW from the same company was not all that far ahead of us, that is how busy these ride places were. It was full with 12 people too, as almost all were. Note how it sits in the water.



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These next pics are of one advertising another DUKW / Ducks business. The display is cheesy, but it does get attention. I wanted to get some pics of one which was not buggered up into a tour-mobile.


Sorry for the poor shots.








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