Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Hiking Frontenac State Park

Now that I finished my travel series of last fall's vacation to the Great West, I can go back and share a few local staycations we did in the fall and winter.

Usually my husband and I do a lot of hiking in the fall.  This year we didn't do too much.  One reason was that we just returned home from a vacation out west which involved a lot of hiking.  Then we took a quick mini vacation to Indiana to see our newest grandson.  But probably the biggest reason of all was the fall color was terrible this year.  I know you won't believe me, because these pictures are gorgeous, but this was the only weekend in the fall where we had a lot of color.  The colors were very late this year, and by the time they did arrive, it quickly got cold and all the leaves dropped to the ground.  

For this trip, my husband stayed back at the house to get some work done, and my son and I went hiking alone. I can't even begin to tell you all the envious friends I had who saw the photos on FB and thought how wonderful it was that my son and I went hiking together.  "My son would never do anything with me!"  several women commented.  I had to reassure them that this was the first, and probably last time, that my son and I ever did a solo hike.  Don't get me wrong.  We had a wonderful time, but this is not usual for us.  We are either hiking as a family, or Jordan would hike alone.    All summer long, he drove to any state park within two hours from home to go hiking.  But he knew this was probably going to be his last hike of the year and the colors would be at full peak and I would want to see them, so he asked me to join him.  Isn't that sweet?

This week we decided to try a Minnesota State Park.   I live in Wisconsin, but I'm very close to the border of Minnesota, so we can enjoy a lot of their parks too.

Frontenac State Park is located on the Mississippi River in Frontenac, Minnesota, about ten miles from Red Wing.   It is known as a "Birdwatcher's Paradise" because of it's location.  We saw a huge flock of white birds sitting in the river while we there.  I'm not sure what they were as we didn't bring binoculars.

Frontenac State Park has 2,300 acres of diverse landscape:  prairies, bluffs, floodplain forests, and hardwood forests.

There are so many trails at this park it was hard to choose.  We decided to hike both the Lower and Upper Bluffside trail.  They both have amazing views of Lake Pepin and/or the Mississippi River and run perpendicular to each other, but the lower trail is closer to the water's edge.  When hiking the lower trail it can feel like you're constantly walking on slant (as pictured by my son's posture in the picture above) because the trail is in the middle of the bluff.

We found this tree that fell over and formed this amazing shape.  I said "Oh, I would love it if this would have happened in my yard! I would create a secret garden with it!"

Most of the views of the water on the lower trail look like this.  That is water you are seeing through the trees, not just sky.  I couldn't help but wonder if one would be able to see the water in the summer when there is more foliage.

The trail could be hard to follow at times with all the leaves on the ground.  Thankfully they had markings on the tree and not just the ground to lead the way.

In this photo you can see the water better along with the famous Driftless Region Bluffs in the distance.

I think we did it the right way doing the Lower Bluffside Trail first starting from the South end, because there were a lot of stairs on the north end and it would have been tricky coming down this way.

The Upper Bluffside Trail has the most incredible views with lots of viewing decks.

If you have walking sticks, I highly recommend bringing them on this hike as there are lots of rock steps, steep slopes, and many staircases which can be slippery when it rains or covered with leaves.

I could not get over how beautiful this hike was.  It was the perfect combination of fall foliage with water, scenic bluffs, and the most pure blue sky.

This rock is famous in the park.  It is named Yan Teopa.  You can read more about it in the second photo.

The two trails form a loop that is four miles long.

Yellow was definitely the prominent color when we were there.

There are so many viewing decks on this trail that we didn't even stop at all of them.  In the picture below you can see one of the decks.

I think I always drive my son nuts when I go hiking because I'm always stopping to enjoy the beauty and take pictures.  I also thinks that's why he normally hikes by himself. 😀

I love the photo below.  I remember when we were hiking I was just awestruck with how blue the sky was and the beauty of the sun peeking through the leaves onto the trees.

There were so many more trails I wanted to take in this park, but my son was getting hungry and didn't bring snacks like I did (I offered him some of mine, but he didn't like what I had) and wanted to go into town to get some lunch.  We did however hike back to a couple of look-out-points on the map and we sure glad we did because they were breath-taking!

This spot is called "Old Frontenac Overlook" because it overlooks the old town.  

I really enjoyed this park and I would like to go back again but this time with my hubby.  There were quite a few trails left to explore, and I know he would like to try this one too!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"You Are Precious To God" Handmade Card

I made a birthday card for my friend using a card front from "Colorful Blessings".  "Colorful Blessings" are card fronts available from Amazon .  You simply color them in and glue them to a card.

My friend's favorite color is purple so I colored the flowers in purple and used purple as one of the mat colors.  I matted the card base onto black card stock, then purple, and finally onto a white card base.  I put purple glitter glue in the center of the flowers.

I used Copic Markers to color my card.

 Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

How to Style Pantone's Color of the Year "Very Peri" with Ageless Style

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women "over a certain age".  Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is "Pantone's Color of the Year: "Very Peri" and was picked by Daenel

Every year the Pantone Color Institute picks a "Color of the Year".  The Pantone Color Institute is the business unit within Pantone that "highlights the top seasonal runway colors, selects the Pantone Color of the Year, forecasts global color trends, and advises companies on color for product and brand visual identity."(click on the links "Photo Credit" to read more about Pantone).    This year Pantone picked the color "Very Peri" or "Periwinkle". 

This is Pantone's description of the color "Very Peri":

Photo Credit

Periwinkle is a beautiful color, and is actually one of my favorites.  But it can be a tricky color to identify as it is in-between a violet and a blue.

Photo Credit

Even though Pantone has picked this color as the "Color of the Year",  I actually had a really hard time finding anything in new in this color, so I decided to show a couple of old outfits .

First up is a lighter periwinkle.  This is a soft, boxy jersey knit top from Stitch Fix.  Dark Blue and White are my favorite colors to pair with Periwinkle.

For my next outfit, I am pairing a periwinkle chiffon top with white pants.  I love the "spring time look" this color combo brings.

And for a current winter look, I am showing how you can wear periwinkle as an accent color with jewelry.

My earrings are probably more lavender than periwinkle, but there is definitely a periwinkle color in the necklace beads and bracelet.  I thought the periwinkle jewelry coordinated nicely with the lavender sweater.

In the close up photo below, you can definitely see the periwinkle colored stones alongside some lavender ones too.

So what do you think?  Do you like Pantone's Color of the Year?   I certainly do, but like many of the colors that Pantone has picked in the past, I always feel it takes awhile before the color becomes readily available in clothing to purchase.  Hopefully by spring, there will be plenty of new "Very Peri" clothes for me to choose from.

Now be sure and see how the other ladies in the group are styling their Periwinkle clothes.   Hopefully they had better luck than I did in finding something.  And be sure to link up with us below too!

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

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Carrie ~ A Simple Lovely Life

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

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Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Robin ~ Hello I am 50ish

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Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Exploring the Chateau de Mores in Medora, North Dakota

This is a continuation of a travel series to The Great West.  To start at the beginning, go HERE,, HERE, and 

This week's travel post will be the final post of my travel series to the Great West.   For my final post I am covering the Chateau de Mores and the history of the sweet town of Medora.

On our last day in Medora we had a more civilized day.  After an early morning hike in Theodore Roosevelt National Park we went back into town to freshen up, grab some lunch, and explore the sweet little town of Medora.  We visited all the sites that were still open late in the season and some of the gift shops, and there was still some time left in our day so I suggested to my husband that we check out the other historic home open for tours in town.  Little did I know that we should have done the Chateau de Mores experience first, because it was far more than just a home tour.  For the price of admission there is a museum explaining the history of the area and the Marquis family including a short film.  By the time we arrived, we only had time to run through the museum quickly to catch the highlights and then tour the house.  We never had time to see the movie.  

The chateau is a hunting lodge and summer home for the Marquis de Mores family and guests.  It was built in 1883 and is a 26 room, two story frame building.

Today the home is now part of the 128 acre Chateau de Mores State Historic Site which also includes Chimney Park and de Mores Memorial Park.

The house contains many of the original furnishings and personal effects of the de Mores family.

The Marquis de Mores was a man of immense wealth so it was a surprise to me how simple the chateau was in both design and furnishings.  After I spoke to one of the tour guides she reminded me that this was the Marquis "cabin" where he came for a rustic getaway to hunt.  When I think of "cabins" most American's have today, I guess this "chateau" was pretty large and luxurious in comparison, especially for the time period.

When the Marquis arrived in the area and built the chateau he named the town "Medora" after his wife.  Isn't that the romantic act ever?  Can you imagine your husband naming a town after you?

The Marquis was a French aristocrat and entrepreneur.  He arrived in the area to establish a new kind of cattle operation.  He planned to slaughter and cold pack his cattle to ship it out east in refrigerated cars.  He built a slaughter house in town which could be seen from the chateau.  It burnt to the ground in 1907 but the chimney still remains to this day, and is now known as Chimney Park.

For three years, the town of Medora did very well.  His family occupied the chateau seasonally from 1883 to 1886.  During the winter months they would go back to their home in France.

In 1886 the slaughter house collapsed due to a drought, competition from other meat packers, and the Marquis lack of business experience.  The Marquis family returned to France when the slaughter house closed.  The Marquis visited the chateau twice more once in 1887 and again in 1889, but Medora and the children only returned after the Marquis death in 1903 and spent six weeks here.

Although there are tour guides in the building to answer any of your questions, it is a self guided tour with plenty of signs to read explaining what room you are viewing, and notes on personal effects within the room.

The bedrooms on the second floor were all very simple and were used for the children, their nurses, and guests.

The front of the house was an enclosed porch.  This space was used for guests to drop off their large trunks and hunting equipment.

The chateau did not have indoor plumbing as you could probably have guessed by all the pitchers and wash basins in the bedrooms above.  The Marquis however did have a make-shift indoor toilet (or shall I say an indoor outhouse if that makes sense).  You can read more about how it operated in the second picture below this one.

Like most wealthy couples of that time period the Marquis and his wife had separate bedrooms.  They were both located on the lower level of the house.  This is the Marquis' bedroom.

And this was Medora's bedroom.

This is Medora's study.  The fireplace in the corner is very unique for it is the same fireplace in four different rooms of the house.  Each room has the fireplace in the same corner and occupies one chimney.

On the other side, is a living space, and you can see the fireplace in the corner.

The home has a beautiful wrap around porch with gorgeous views of the buttes and the town of Medora below.

And finally, see the chimney in the low-mid section of the photo below?  That is what remains of the slaughter house after the fire in 1907.  The Marquis could see his plant from his office window in the chateau.

The Chateau de Mores is open for tours May through October 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Admission is $10.00 per person, $3.00 for children ages 6-15, and Free for kids under 6.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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