Carolyn L. Braun (

Nature and shopping … all in a day trip

Last Saturday my friend Pammy and I went on a day trip. Our intended destination … St. Croix Falls to see the turning leaves. A few things kept us from reaching our intended destination (until the end of the day). You see, we kept getting side-tracked.

First, we spotted these swans and couldn’t resist a photo op.

swans 1.jpg

swans 3.jpg

swans 2.jpg

Then we spotted a yarn store in Cambridge …

yarn store.jpg

We next headed east on Hwy. 95 toward North Branch and visited a few garage sales and thrift stores. Below are my teapot finds at the thrift stores.


We then headed toward Lindstrom, in search of a yarn store that we heard about from the folks at the yarn store in Cambridge. The yarn store in Lindstrom was amazing ( and connected to a game store and tea shop); the owner was very entertaining. It was easy to spend a lot of time in her store – and she gave us more suggestions for places to stop. After lunch in Center City, we followed her suggestions and …

went to an orchard …


Then to the historic village area of Franconia which contains many of the original homes…

Franconia village.jpg

And then on to the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Mn., a 43-acre outdoor sculpture park. There is also a residence for artists on the site. Access to the park is free.

sculpture park.jpg

The park is interspersed with walking paths, providing access to the sculptures, and large areas of prairie grass. Golf carts are available for those who can’t walk the 43 acres … which was a blessing for me.

golden fields.jpg

The photos below show some of the sculptures. There are many more …

franconia 2 collage.jpg

franconia 1 collage.jpg

Next we headed to Taylors Falls, in search of yet another yarn store. Alas, by the time we arrived, they had already closed for the day. Maybe next time.

As we left town, we caught a marvelous view of the St. Croix River and the city of St. Croix Falls on the other side. But, as you can see, the leaves have fallen and most of the color is gone. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful day. Nature and shopping … you just can’t beat that.

view of St Croix valley from Taylors Falls.jpg

Thanks for reading! I hope you will visit again. 



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