I live in a nice small town nestled right on the Mississippi river. Not far, and part of the broader community is where the Mississippi and St Croix River meet. The St Croix River valley is home to several picturesque small towns and little villages that are perfect for a wander. While DH and I regularly are in Afton for wine club, we rarely have had any of the kids with when we've stopped there. On route is a regional park that the high school uses for cross country training and for their meets. In the fall, we have a selection of orchards that we pick apples and pumpkins from, but their not quite as far up the valley as Afton. I decided to take the twenty minute drive along the forested winding St Croix trail rather than the slightly faster county roads. All total, we spent less than three hours out and about, but it feels like much more of a get away. Here's our spring Saturday detour in (rather poor) pictures.
Afton has several boutiques and upcycle repurposed shops, with an eclectic mix of old and new, artisan made items, and a variety of textiles. I feel a little bad as I look for an eye as to what could I try to do myself, if I dedicate to the time, as opposed to actually shopping and buying.
There was an impromptu string trio setting up next to a day spa. Both the girls are violinist so stopped and listened a bit.
Then the girls spotted a "secret garden" behind a fence, so maneuvered their phones to capture a shot or two. I knew the real secret was that it was part of a publicly welcome garden (just down the block a bit), and a garden center.
I found three bulb pots of hostas and crossing my fingers that these will survive the rabbits.
April can be hit or miss. This is the St Croix on a calm day, ice free. Little dots of green are emerging across the and up the shoreline.