Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Day Three Of Our Wisconsin Staycation: Kayaking On The Kickapoo River!

Like everyone else in the world, Covid has affected our lives in many ways, one of them not being able to travel.  We normally take at least two major road trips across the country in a year and multiple smaller trips.  This year, we cancelled our major road trips and decided to stay closer to home.  We went on several day trips to go hiking, but we also did an overnight trip to Ontario Wisconsin so we could kayak on the Kickapoo River.

Ontario, Wisconsin is known as the "Canoe Capitol of the Kickapoo".  People come from all over to canoe, tube, or kayak this shallow, gentle river with gorgeous scenic views.  

Now I can not swim, and I am terrified of water, so I was pretty nervous about getting in a kayak.  I've only been in a canoe once in my life, and never in a kayak.  So my husband rented us a tandem kayak and he did all the paddling and steering.  I just sat in front and enjoyed the ride.

And quite a view it was!  The scenery is very diverse so you are never bored.  Sometimes you are in an open, sunny area surrounded by prairie land, then you paddle a little ways and you're seeing forests and amazing rock formations.

We rented our kayaks from Drifty's Canoe Rental, but there are multiple rental agencies available in the area.  You can choose how long you want to kayak ranging from  two and half hours to two days.  We chose the four hour trip, which was just the perfect amount of time for us beginners.  If you have your own canoes/kayaks, you can just pay to be picked up.

There are multiple bridges on the Kickapoo River and they are all labeled.  When you rent your kayak, they tell you what bridge to get off and then a bus or van picks you up and takes you back to your car.

We first heard of kayaking on the Kickapoo River when we went on a fall hike to Wildcat Mountain four years ago.   It was on that hike that we saw all the kayakers in the river and thought how fun that would be.  My husband has wanted to go ever since, but it took Covid to make it all possible because we were always headed out of state for vacations before that.

I just loved all the gorgeous, moss covered rock formations.

My son vacationed with us all week.  He really enjoyed this experience too.  He had his own kayak and like us, he never did it before either.  He managed pretty well and said "Either this is really easy, or I'm just naturally good at this!". 😂 Of course we were in the most shallow, gentle river possible.  There was only one small rapid part...that was my son's favorite.  He wished there were more of those.  I said "Well, we've never been kayaking before,  and I can't swim, so we wanted a safe river."  We did make a lot of mistakes.  If I ever go kayaking again, I'm gonna study up on it.  We almost tipped over once, but re-steadied ourselves.  And it was super hard to stop and land our canoe.  We almost missed our bridge stop!

We had so much fun!  The only bad part of the day was that my son left his sun hat in the car.  He just shaved his head and was worried about burning it so he took his shirt off and put it on his head.  He ended up getting the worst sunburn of his life on his chest.  He put sunscreen on his back, and he thought he put enough on his chest/stomach, but apparently he did not.  I was really worried about him for days and didn't know if we should take him to the ER.  We just read on the Internet what caution signs to look out for (blisters, fever, etc.) and he never had any of those so we just self treated at home.

I just bought a new Phone and I was really worried about dropping it in the water.  I had a waterproof case that I purchased when we hiked The Narrows at Zion last year, so I kept my phone in that around my neck.  It worked out really well!

I thought it was so cool to be kayaking and end up in the back of someone's farm land.  So picturesque!

It was so nice to see my such a big smile on my son's face!  He really appreciates coming home and being in nature now that he lives in the Chicago suburbs.  He always says about where he lives:  "Theres just too many people!" 😂

There were these beautiful tall yellow blooms everywhere on the river.  They were so stunning.

Finally, I want to leave you with a very short video of the trip where you can hear nothing but the sound of the water and the birds, and my own voice.  It was so peaceful.  We went on a weekday and started early in the morning, so there was hardly anyone there.  When I read the reviews on-line the only common complaint was that the river was too crowded with kayakers, many of whom were loud and rowdy.  We did not experience that.  Our bus driver said to always come during the week, because it's a lot less crowded.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up With These Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Ageless Style Link Up "The Heat Is On"

The Ageless Style Link Up-  The first Monday of every month a group of over forty fashion bloggers pick a monthly theme and show different ways of styling it. 

Welcome ladies to another Ageless Style Link Up.  This month's theme "The Heat Is On" was chosen by Debbie.  Debbie said "Do with it what you will...enjoy!" so I decided to feature an outfit  that I wore on a hot day visiting friends:  A day I really did "enjoy!".

Now if this outfit looks familiar to you, it's because it is!  I've shown it to you before HERE and HERE.  You will be seeing lots of my clothes on repeat, because I am just not buying new clothes during matter how good the deals are.  I did buy a few pair of shoes, but that is all I've purchased the past five months.  Fashion just seems an unnecessary luxury during these trying times.

Now we've been having a lot of hot weather in Wisconsin this summer which is quite unusual for us.  When the weather gets warm, I like to wear lightweight clothes with the least material possible but still stay modestly dressed.  Skirts are my go-to item all summer long.  I wear shorts at home, but rarely wear them outside the house.  I prefer skirts or skorts to shorts anytime, and I enjoy off-the-shoulder tops like this one for keeping cool.

I also prefer comfortable sandals over sneakers or shoes.  They are so much more cooling than shoes that cover the entire foot.  I also have issues with my feet swelling on super hot/humid days, and sandals are more suitable footwear for that problem.

Now if you're wondering where all these beautiful photos have been taken and who these adorable pet animals are, they are all my dear friends.  She has lots of sun on her property, so she has the most beautiful flower gardens.  I am a lover of animals, especially cats, and I just went ga-ga over their kitten.  They also have two dogs, both of whom are as sweet as can be.

I will close this post with more pictures of my friend's beautiful garden.  Enjoy!

And now, be sure to check out the other ladies of Ageless Style and see how they interpreted the theme "The Heat Is On".

Amy ~ Amy's Creative Pursuits BlogFacebookInstagramGoogle+Pinterest
Bettye ~ Fashion Schlub BlogFacebookInstagramYouTube
Daenel ~ Living outside the stacks BlogInstagramPinterestTwitter
Debbie ~ Fashion Fairy Dust BloglovinBlogInstagramPinterestFacebookTwitter
Jennie ~ A Pocketful of Polka Dots BlogInstagramFacebookPinterestTwitterBloglovin
Jodie ~ Jodie's Touch of Style BlogFacebookInstagramPinterestBloglovinTwitter
Julia ~ When the Girls Rule BlogFacebookPinterestInstagram
Kellyann ~ This Blonde's Shopping Bag BlogInstagramBloglovinTwitter
Shelly ~ The Queen in Between BlogInstagramBloglovinPinterestFacebook
Shugunna ~ Nzuri N* Simplicity BlogPinterestInstagram

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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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

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!