Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Visiting Gooseberry Falls, Minnesota Thirty Some Years Later

This is a continuation of a travel series to Wisconsin and Minnesota's North Shore.  To start at the beginning, go HERE.   Part one of day two is HERE.

As I stated in last week's travel post, we did so much on our second day on the North Shore that I may have to divide it up into two or three posts.  I found that as I started to sort through all my pictures of day two, that would have to be the case, so this week's travel post will only cover our visit to Gooseberry Falls.

As hinted in my title, this was not our first visit to the park.  The last time we were here was over thirty years ago, and it changed so much we barely recognized it.  It used to be located right off the highway, you'd just park your car, get out, and view the falls.  But because of an "incident" they moved the access to the falls to make it safer.

There is no charge to visit this park since now you have to walk in and state parks never charge walk in fees.  The parking lot is located in a safe, wooded area and then you walk a short distance to the Visitor Center which has a little museum, a gift shop, restrooms and snacks.

There are five waterfalls in Gooseberry Falls, but the one below is the most popular one "Middle Falls".  On our visit, we saw three waterfalls:  "Upper Falls", "Middle Falls", and "Lower Falls".

There are hikes for all skill levels at this park.  You can see all five falls in one moderately difficult three mile hike (Fifth Falls Hike), or you can do what we did and hike the one mile loop trail to see three of the five waterfalls from multiple viewpoints.

This is the view if you had your back to the waterfall.

Gooseberry Falls State Park is only thirteen miles from Two Harbors right on scenic highway 61(which I covered in last week's travel post) so it's super easy to find.  In last week's post I also mentioned the "Gitchi-Gami" State Trail which we hiked a short bit of in Silver Creek.  You can access this paved trail in this park...all the highlights of the North Shore are connected by this bike trail.

There are multiple scenic bridges that you use to cross the river that provide amazing scenic shots.

There are five trails in the park, "Fifth Falls Trail" (which I described above), the "Gitchi-Gummi" Hiking Trail which is a 2.5 mile loop with incredible views of the Gooseberry River Valley and Lake Superior (I didn't do this one when we were there, but I sure wish I did!), "River View Trail" a 1.25 mile one-way hike past the fall and downstream to the river mouth, the "Gitchi-Gami State Trail" which is a paved, shared bicycle trail that is 8-15 miles one way, and the one we did while visiting:  the one-mile "Falls Loop Trail", although we also popped across the bridge to see the upper falls too.

The one mile loop trail is so easy, I didn't even bring my walking sticks!

The park trails wind through 1,700 acres of mixed evergreen, aspen, and birch forests bordering Lake Superior.

A view of the river taken from the bridge above.

If you look in the background of the photo below you will see a bridge.  The top part of the bridge is for cars, but there is a middle portion for the hikers to cross over the top of the falls.

This is the lower falls.

A view of the falls from the opposite side of the loop trail.

The next three photos were taken from the bridge at the top of the falls.

To see the Upper Falls, you can view it from the bridge, but if you want a closer look you can access it with a short hike down and turn around and go back the way you came or do a 1.2 mile "Upper Falls Loop".

I just now realized that there are people at the top of the I wish we would have done the "Upper Falls Loop", that would have been fun.  I think we had a big day planned for us, and since we were here before, we just did the one hike.

Selfie time!

We saw two caves on this trail, the one below which is near the Upper Falls and also one near the "Middle Falls" which you can see most clearly in the third picture of this post.

Finally, here is a short video of me waving to the grand babies.  I think you need to see video of waterfalls and hear the sound to really appreciate them.

Next week, I will hopefully be able to complete Day Two with a visit to Split Rock Lighthouse and Onyx Beach.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Bible Journaling Pages using Illustrated Faith Kits

Last month I shared that I finished coloring in all the pages of my Inspire Bible and reading the book from beginning to end.  Once I was finished, I thought "Now what?".  I did buy a new Inspire Bible ( available  HERE), but I didn't feel ready to abandon my current Bible and start a new one.  My old one and I have been through so much together and I wasn't ready to part with it yet.  I decided, there are lots of empty pages left, so I will just start filling up all those empty pages until the book is full or falling apart, whichever comes first.  😀 So from now on, you will be seeing only pages I created myself.  No more pre-printed images I simply color in.

I still was perplexed as to where to begin.  Where do I start reading again?  I didn't want to go back to Genesis and start all over again.  I've always been interested in trying one of those Bible Journaling kits I see advertised on-line so I ordered the "Unyielding Hope" Devotional Kit from Illustrated Faith.  This kit is no longer available in a hard copy, but is still available in the digital format HERE.

Every month a new kit plus add ons are launched. Each kit contains a devotional, lots of ephemera ,  a stamp set, stickers, and a digital download.  You can purchase a kit for $27.00 plus postage and handling, or you can order the digital version, which is much cheaper, but then you have to weigh the cost of ink and the fact that you won't get the stamp set.  For my first try with a Bible Journaling kit, I ordered the hard copy.

I used the kit by first reading the devotional for the day, the recommended scriptures, and then creating a page using the products provided in the kit.  Here is the first page I created.  The flowers and "worship well" are ephemera.  The "Amen" and background dots are stamps from the kit.  The "He is my Salvation" is Washi Tape from my stash.

The devotional writer, Bekah, asked us to take a look at Exodus 15 and asked "How can you remain faithful even when your heart is weary and thirsty?"  I created this page to answer that question,  For me, I  can have hope through difficult times by remembering and thanking God for all the past victories in my life.  If He has been faithful in the past, He will be faithful now, and faithful in the future.  

Next, Bekah had us read Exodus 3 1-17 and asked "How do I get from hopeless to hopeful?"  I replied "When doubt and anxiety creep in, remind myself 'I can't, but He can'".  In the scripture, Moses protested going before Pharaoh.  He said "Who am I to appear Pharaoh?  Who am I to lead my people Israel out of Egypt?"  Moses was overwhelmed, insecure, filled with anxiety over his lack of ability, but God said "I Am Who I Am" and to tell the Israelites, that HE sent Moses to them.

Here is a page I created for Jeremiah 31:33 which is the promise of the Holy Spirit also illustrated in Hebrew 8:8-12.  

In Week Two, Bekah challenged us to "put our faith glasses on and look at each problem through the lens of eternity.  If you knew that all the battles were already won, how would that change the way you approached the situation?"  In 2 Kings 6: 15-19 Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the young man's eyes so he could see the heavenly army surrounding him and that he didn't need to fear the Arabian army.  Likewise, we need to put our faith glasses on and trust the Lord when we're going through scary situations.

In Week Three, Bekah challenged us to read Psalm 121 and meditate on it because "His word keeps our attitude in a state of worship."  I felt the word "peace" so strongly while reading this Psalm, that I mediated on that word and all the ways He gives me peace in my life.

Bekah then said to read Psalm 9:10 and make a list of what's weighing on my heart then sign it with "I Trust You Jesus".  I wrote the Psalm out, using stamps to highlight the words "know" and "trust" then I wrote my list on the ephemera provided in the kit.

Here's an example where you don't always have to use ephemera provided by the kit when following the devotional.  My one beef with Bible Journaling kits is that the images they provide often don't illustrate the Bible passages.  Flowers, butterflies, etc. don't always fit what I'm feeling or what I want to express.  For this page, Bekah had us read Isaiah 43:1-3 and commit it to memory.  I did that, and I hand wrote notes about it in the right column.  But then I read through the whole chapter and I was struck by v. 2 because I could relate to the oppression that the Israelites were feeling in my own small way.  I colored the background of the page with fire colored using gelatos, then I used a flame washi tape to illustrate fire.  I wrote the verse down, using stamps once again for words I want to highlight.  I then hand wrote some personal notes to myself.

By now, I was done with Becka's devotional. It was great, but way too short.  I had so much ephemera left over, so I just decided to follow another devotional using the ephemera from the Illustrated Faith kit.

Here I read the story of how God dealt with the Amalekites hundreds of years later for their sin against Israel.  I wrote significant points from the "Enduring Word" Bible Commentary in the margin, and highlighted the different points with gelatos.  The "merciful love" and "Remember" ephemera is from the Illustrated Faith kit I purchased.

I created this page after reading a devotional from the television series "The Chosen".   Once again, I used my "Unyielding Hope" ephemera from Illustrated Faith.  These are good examples of how you can use the ephemera provided in your Bible Journaling for other purposes other than just with their devotional.  

On this page, I illustrated a point the author of "The Chosen" devotional made, that this was the SECOND time Jesus needed to feed a crowd of people.  Even though the disciples saw how Jesus was able to do that the first time, they questioned it the second time.  They forgot God's faithfulness that quickly.  "Jesus hoped they would regard his past FAITHFULNESS as a promise to meet their present need" the author said.  I thought that was a good point, so I hand wrote it on my page, along with some personal notes to myself.

Well, now that I've used my Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling Kit for a month I wanted to give you some thoughts I've had about it.

1) The kits are very expensive.  They are over $30 after Shipping and Handling.  I only paid $40 for my whole Bible, so it's not like I can order a new kit every month.  They do however have lots of sales, and I actually was able to purchase an older kit for $10, so I'm gonna watch out for sales!

2) Most of the ephemera is very large and doesn't even fit into the margins of my Bible.  The ephemera is mostly used by women who like to journal in a separate journaling notebook.  However, you are provided with the Digital version when you buy the kit, so I just shrank the images down in size, and printed them so they would fit in my Bible.  Unfortunately, the printed versions are never as bright or as bold as the ones in the kit.

3) The devotional was too short!  If they only come out with one kit a month, then the devotional should last at least a month, or have a month's worth of entries.  I did "glance" at the $10 kit I ordered, and that devotional seemed much longer, so maybe it depends on the kit.

4)All your pages look the same style when you use a kit, until you change kits at least.  There isn't much diversity.

5) You can be guided what the devotional writer is saying, rather than what the Holy Spirit may be saying to you.  Or, whatever the devotional writer was dealing with at the moment she was putting the devotional together, you can't even relate to at this moment in your life.

6)  They give way too much ephemera in their kits and I will never be able to use it all.  It seems like a lot of waste.  I wonder if they should put less quantity in their kits and charge less?

7) Many of their kits are "cutesy" like circus images, kiddie stuff, or non-biblical images like typewriters or airplanes.  I just would never use images like that in my Bible.  I wish they had more Biblical images, but when I said that on a Bible Journaling blog someone replied "Those are once and done images", so they must not be very popular for that reason.

So, in summary, will I use a kit again?  Probably, but not all the time.  Honestly, I think my favorite way of Bible Journaling is to create a page based on whatever I gleaned from the passage and if I can't draw the image myself, I google a free Sunday school coloring page on the Internet, and print it out on sticker paper and color it in.  I will have an example of that next month.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Thursday, October 20, 2022

What to Wear On a Fall Hike with Ageless Style

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women of all ages.   Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is:  ""What Would You Wear to a Fall Event?" and was picked by Cathy

This month Cathy challenged the ladies of Ageless Style to pick an outfit that you would wear to a fall event like "taking kids to a pumpkin patch, apple picking, or a hayride;  hiking or driving through places with changing leaves, football games, bazaars and festivals:  whatever happens in your part of the country."

The only activity I do from that list is hiking or driving to see fall foliage, and ya'll know this gal does a lot of hiking!  Hiking is my favorite activity and hiking in the fall in the best:  the weather is cooler, there are no bugs, and the beautiful fall foliage is amazing!

Now, I normally wear active wear when I go hiking, but because of Cathy's challenge, and the fact that we went hiking straight after church, I had regular clothes on for this hike.  I tried to pick an outfit that was both church appropriate (we attend a very casual church) and an outfit I could easily wear hiking.

I opted for loose, lightweight olive green utility pants from Target, a long, loose white sweater with a tank underneath for extra warmth, a lightweight scarf, and some fashionable boots.

I did have jewelry on since I was hiking after church, but I would normally not wear jewelry hiking.  I wore a necklace in case I got warm and had to take my scarf off, but it also peeks out a bit with the scarf on too.  I picked a multi strand bracelet and drop brown stone earrings.

I cannot recommend these Target utility pants enough.  They are so comfy I can't stop wearing them.  I am so over skinny jeans, and although I still have a few pair of skinnies in my closet, I've been slowly replacing them with other styles of jeans.

I was perfectly comfortable hiking in this outfit.  The loose, lightweight clothing allowed me to have plenty of movement underneath and they kept me warm yet not too hot.

The boots I wore are the "Crown Vintage Marley Bootie" from DSW.  Now, I would normally not wear fashion boots while hiking, I always wear my Merrell Hiking Boots.  But, I made an exception since it was a fashion challenge, and I was completely awed by how comfortable these boots were!  They held up well for the entire hike.  They have a really good rubber grip on their soles too to prevent slipping.

Finally, here's a short video showing all the beautiful foliage we saw on our hiking adventure.  Enjoy.

 Be sure to check out what all the other ladies are wearing and link up with below too!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

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Cathy ~ My Side of 50

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Leslie ~ Once Upon A Time 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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Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Sightseeing Along Minnesota's North Shore

Last week I started a new travel series of Wisconsin and Minnesota's Scenic North Shore.  On day one we took a boat tour of the Apostle Islands.  If you missed that post, you can see it HERE.  On day two, we traveled along the North Shore and stopped at so many interesting places that I have too many photos to cover it all in one post, so I am dividing day two into two, maybe three, separate posts.

The Duluth Rose Garden (Leif Erikson Park)

On day two, we woke up in Duluth and had a wonderful breakfast in our hotel.  Our plan was to head out of town toward our next hotel for the night driving along the scenic North Shore enjoying all the sights along the way.  But before we left Duluth, I wanted to stop and enjoy the Rose Garden.  I had been here before (read more about it in this post HERE), but being the flower lover I am, I had to see it again.

It was such a beautiful, peaceful morning.  The perfect morning to stroll through a garden.

The garden sits high above Lake Superior, so you not only have gorgeous floral views, but the beautiful background of the crystal blue lake.  And did you notice the famous Lift Bridge in the background?  I talked about that bridge in last week's post, and even included a video showing how it operates.

The garden has stunning architectural elements.

My favorite is the stone and iron gazebo.

There's a lovely brick walking  path all along the edge of the garden.

Two Harbors (Paul Van Hoven Park)

We continued enjoying views of Lake Superior as we drove along Highway 61.  Within 32 minutes we had our first stop at Two Harbors, Minnesota.

It was still quite early in the morning, and the shops in downtown Two Harbors were all closed, but we saw an old train station down by the lake, and decided to take a look-see.  They had an old train set up for viewing. 

And this is the old train station which is now a museum.  It was built in 1907 and is listed on the Historic Register of Historic Places.  It was the former home of the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad.  It served as a functional station for both passengers and freight until 1961.

Next we stopped at Paul Van Houven park, which is just a short walk from the train station.  They had the cutest vintage tugboats on display but it is here where you get a close up views of the iron ore docs where ships come in and get filled up with iron ore for transport.  There is a viewing area with lots of information explaining how the ore is dumped into the ships. 

Here is one ship docked and ready to be filled with iron ore.

From Paul Van Hoven Park there is a trail you can take to this pier and the Two Harbors Lighthouse, if you're up for a walk.  But you can also just get back in your car and drive the short distance to the lighthouse parking lot.  Here you can walk on this gorgeous, sturdy pier.  I couldn't believe how far out into the lake it goes!  I honestly started to feel vertigo, and had to turn around and walk back when I was about half way out.

There another iron ore ship in the background.

Near the pier is a pretty walking path that takes you through a field of yellow yarrow and onto a rocky beach where you get views like these: 

Aren't these wildflowers stunning?  If I could get wildflowers like these growing in my yard, I would grow wildflowers.  But my gardens would just turn into weeds and not beautiful flowers like this.  I don't know how they do it.

This is the Two Harbors Lighthouse.  It is open for tours during the tourist season, but we were there after Labor Day so it was closed.  We did see another lighthouse that was open later in the afternoon, so it didn't matter to us.  I will share that lighthouse tour in next week's post.

The Two Harbors Lighthouse was built in 1892 and is the oldest operating lighthouse in the state of Minnesota.  It is made entirely of red brick and consists of six structures:  a fog signal building, a skiff home, a garage, an oil house, the lighthouse tower with the attached keeper's home, and an assistant keepers home.

After our stop at Two Harbors, we drove two miles down highway 61 to the "World Famous Betty's Pies". Everyone says you can't visit the area without stopping by Betty's Pies.  They get so busy during the summer that they have an outdoor window where you can just order a slice or whole pie.  

They do have an indoor seating area too because they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It is really cute inside decorated in a 1950's decor with blue and white checkered flooring,  a breakfast bar with swivel stools, and oversized blue leather booths.  We were not hungry at all since we just ate a big breakfast at the hotel, but we did want to try a slice of their famous pies, so we ordered from the window under the blue tent that you see in the background of this photo and we ate at a picnic table outside.

Betty's Pies has nearly three dozen flavors to choose from, so it was hard to decide what pie to try because there were so many choices.  I ultimately decided on a raspberry rhubarb pie because everyone's rhubarb crops in my area were pathetic this year due to the cold, late spring, and I never got any thing made with rhubarb.  It was so sad.  So when I saw they had rhubarb pie I had to have it.  Hubby ordered Coconut Creme.

Silver Creek Cliff

After our tummies were full of pie, we headed back on 61 for 2.8 miles to our next stop:  Silver Creek Cliff.  
To get to the Silver Creek Cliff Overlook, you first have to drive through the famous Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel.  It goes 1,344 feet through Silver Creek Cliff.  It was completed in 1994 to prevent drivers from having to take the treacherous route near the cliff's edge.

It took three years to complete the tunnel because 500,000 cubic yards of rocks had to blown away.

The photo below shows were the old road used to be until the tunnel was constructed.  Pretty scary indeed!  Now that old road has been turned into a beautiful paved walking path.

Shortly after you exit the tunnel there is a parking lot where you can pull in and stop and enjoy the views of Lake Superior and/or take a short hike along the old highway 61.

The views of Lake Superior are absolutely breath-taking here.  But then again, anywhere along highway 61 are stunning views of Lake Superior.

You also get stunning close up views of the cliff rocks.

The trail is actually part of the Gitchi-Gami trail state trail which is 86 miles long and a biker's dream!

We enjoyed stopping for a break at this well placed bench.

When you reach the end of the trail, you are treated to this exquisite view.  I just love that gazebo down there.  What a perfect place for a gazebo.

 Well I hope you enjoyed our little road trip along Minnesota's North Shore.  Next week I will be back with part two of this adventure:  the best is yet to come!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!