Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Day Two of our Wisconsin Staycation: The Dells Of The Eau Claire

Have you ever lived somewhere and have always wanted to visit some sight nearby but never did?  Well for me one of the places I've always wanted to go to is "The Dells Of Eau Claire".  I saw so many beautiful pictures of this place and told my husband multiple times, "Someday we have to check it out".  Well, after living in the same area for over 25 years, my wish finally came true and we took a day trip to see the dells!  

Now, even though the dells are named "The Dells of Eau Claire" they are not actually located in Eau Claire but in a small town about fifteen miles from Wausau.  It is a county park, so you don't need a pass.  My husband could not believe this beautiful area was a county park and not a state park.  He said, "This is the prettiest county park I've ever seen!"

If you just want to see the dells, there is a parking lot nearby, and it's just a short walk from the lot to a scenic overview of the dells.  We however, decided to walk the Ice Age Trail, and boy we're we glad we did because it was one of the prettiest trails I ever did see.

The entire trail runs alongside the river, so you constantly have gorgeous river views and you're always hearing the soothing sound of water.  There are multiple bridges that add to the scenic beauty too!

You can leave the scenic view area and scramble down to the rocks, but there are lots of warning signs about swimming.  We did see one person swim in what appeared to be an area that did not have rapids, but most people stayed on the rocks.

If you look at the bottom, right hand corner of the picture below you can see someone swimming.

I loved that we could be up high and get a scenic view of the dells before going down into them to explore some more.

The trail leading to the dells was so peaceful and beautiful.  It meandered along the river, through a forest covered in moss and ferns.  My husband found this unique tree on our way to the dells.

There were plenty of scenic places to stop and take photos.

There were also plenty of spots where you could get off the trail and meander into the river a little bit.

All the bridges also provided lots of opportunity to get up high and see the river from the middle of it instead of the side.

My daughter and son-in-law gave me these walking sticks for Mother's Day.  I was so elated!  I've been wanting a pair ever since hiking in Zion National Park.  They are so helpful to me, I can keep up with "the boys" better with my walking sticks...especially when rock scrambling.

The Ice Age Trail is on one side of the river and the South River Trail is on the other.  I found the Ice Age Trail to be the prettiest trail, but the South River Trail is where you get your gorgeous, high up views of the dells.  We did them both as a 2.5 mile loop.  We started on the Ice Age Trail, the crossed a bridge to the other side when it came to an end and got onto the South River Trail to the dells and it eventually led us back to where we started.

I've always loved moss and ferns and there were plenty of both on this trail.  Look at how the bank of this river is covered in moss.  So pretty!

And I love this moss covered rock and tree.  Can you see the ferns growing on top of the rock?  Amazing!  No soil whatsoever, just growing in the organic matter on top of the rock.

Here is a close up of this beautiful moss covering the rock.

I hope you enjoyed reading about day two of our staycation.  If you're ever in the Wausau area, be sure to check out this pretty little county park.  You will be very pleased!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

June Bible Journaling Pages

Near the end of May I started reading and journaling the book of Psalms.  I am currently about half way through.  I am so glad that I am in the book of Psalms during these difficult times in our nations history.  Reading the psalmists words and his description of human nature has been like reading the headline of a non-biased newspaper article (if there were such a newspaper) of current times.  It is reassuring to read of David's struggles and fears, because I know I am not alone in my fears. 

David expresses his fear and sorrows throughout the book of Psalms, but he also expresses his trust in his God to rescue him.   He also consistently points out the differences between the wicked and those who put their trust in God.  Below is an open book spread of two verses that reflect those beliefs.

One thing I've been learning to do in the past few months is to praise God no matter what.  No matter I hear on the news, I'm going to exalt His name.  I'm going to praise Him.  "Rejoice Always" the Bible says.  Not "rejoice when things are good".  We can rejoice in our hearts because we "Trust" in his holy name.

I created this page by coloring the entire page with gelatos and highlighting some of the verses.  Then I used stickers and stamps for the words, hearts, and flowers.

Here I wanted to show the contrast of the wicked compared to those who put their trust in God.  I colored the background with paint and hand wrote the Bible verse.  I used tear drop stickers to represent the "sorrows of the wicked" and then I emphasized the word "But" with Italics and a long arrow pointing down to those who "trust the Lord".  Lots of heart stamps, and a girl with wide open arms show the happiness of the Christian.  The girl is an old retired Stampin' Up! stamp.

The next few pages are just pre-printed pages that I colored in.  

I love this page.  It's such a pretty image and it was a joy to color.  I kept it in soft, neutral shades.  I colored it with Prismacolored pencils.  

This is always such a comforting verse.  Many Christians have this verse memorized and recite it when they go through troubling times.  Even though so much was taken away from us the past few months, Christians still know that God is their loving shepherd, providing all that they need.  We may not have everything we want, but we always have all that we need.

For this page I used gel pens to color it in.  I chose bright, happy colors to reflect the joy of the verse.  When we take refuge in God, we can have joy through even the most difficult of circumstances.

I know it's hard not to fear, but if we trust in the Lord, why should we be afraid?  He is our light, guiding us through every storm.

I colored this page with pencils and used gel pens for the words.

And finally, I will end on a single word "Trust".  I know, it's so hard.  The world seems like such a scary place right now, the future seems so uncertain.  But we must Trust the Lord that nothing is happening that He is not allowing and there is a reason!  

I used gel pens in similar shades to color this intricate image.

I believe we have many difficult days ahead.  Stay in the word of God!  Don't believe everything you see on the news.  Don't blindly follow preachers, even if it's your own.  Always compare everything you hear from a preacher to God's word.  There is an old saying that if you want to recognize a counterfeit dollar bill you don't study the counterfeits, you study the real bills.  The same is true with preachers!  Study God's word,  read it daily, then when you hear something that doesn't line up with what the Bible says, you will know it.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

My First Travel Post Since Covid!

Like everyone else in the world, our 2020 vacation plans were cancelled.  Dealing with that fact was so difficult for me because last year we only took one vacation for we had too many projects to do around the house.  We were going to make up for it this year, and take a several vacations to places we had never been before.

But Covid had other plans for us, and we were forced to cancel all our vacations.  Sniff, sniff. 

Once things started to open up again, we decided to take a mini staycation!  My son came up from Illinois and we spent a few days bumming around Wisconsin and seeing some sights we have never seen before.  Because we were restricted in our travel choices, we were forced to explore our home state.  

Now,  before I begin my post about the very first place we went to on our staycation, I want to share our 4th of July experience.  Like most of America, most of the fireworks in Wisconsin were cancelled.  Most ridiculous thing ever.  Seriously?  They cancelled fireworks when it is so easy to stay six feet away from everyone, and you're outdoors.  Unreal.  My husband and I were so peeved about it that we decided to go to the fireworks of a nearby small town since our own small town did not have them.  The fireworks were shot over their lake.  Here is our view before the fireworks began.

Having the fireworks over the lake was a breathtaking site!  I loved how the fireworks were mirrored in the lake below.

We were so happy to be able to see fireworks and celebrate the 4th of July!  

Now, onto the first place we went to on our vacation:  Eagle Point, Wisconsin!  This is a spot that was recommended to us by a co-worker of my husbands.  We have lived in this area almost thirty years and have never heard of this place.  It is quite the hidden gem.  I think the best thing about taking a staycation is discovering new spots in your own area you never knew were there.

This tranquil spot is found after a short hiking distance through the woods along the Old Abe Trail.  It's a very difficult spot to find.  There are no signs advertising it.  It's almost as if they don't want people to know about it so they keep it a secret.  

The Old Abe Trail is 28 mile biking trail that connects the cities of Eau Claire, Cornell, and Chippewa Falls.  We joined the trail from the Chippewa Falls parking lot (directions to this lot in Old Abe Trail link),  this is known as Area 178.  Area 178 is a nine mile loop trail (We did not hike the loop. We took the trail only to the river).   There is a trail map in the parking lot.  I took a picture of it with my phone so we wouldn't get lost.

We didn't have to hike long through a mosquito filled woods till we reached our destination!  The view was spectacular.  I could not believe this place was so close to where I lived and I never knew it existed.

The water with the surrounding rock and multiple little rapids was so beautiful.

The Chippewa Falls Dam and Hydro Generating Station can be seen in the distance.  My husband and son rock scrambled to get a closer look, but I stayed behind to just sunbathe on the rocks.

The water is not recommended for swimming.  In fact there is a danger sign right before you reach the area.  As always, I have to remind my son and hubby to stay on the rocks, and don't go in the water, because they are both quite the thrill seekers (which causes me to have anxiety anytime I go anywhere with them).

I loved all the little water falls this area had.  It was such a hot day, I was so happy to find a safe spot to just sink and cool my feet in the refreshing water.

It was a wonderful first day of Staycation and I will be back with more posts of all the beautiful sites we saw in our own home state of Wisconsin.

So what about you?  How have you been enjoying your summer?  Are you traveling anywhere or just enjoying your own backyard?  I'd love to hear from you!

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