Moving through the Twin Cities on the way up to the lake provides a crash course on driving etiquette. Good lord people are in such a hurry! Breathe in and breathe out – relax. This weekend’s destination is a lake home located near Hayward, Wisconsin. This day trip goes through a variety of small Minnesota Swedish enclaves–Wyoming, Lindstrom–(look for the water tower that looks like a giant Swedish teapot), Chisago City, etc. How does one know about the Swedish connection–each town welcomes travelers with signs boasting a connection to a Swedish sister city–a dead giveaway.
Due to an unexpected detour we discovered one of North America’s largest sculpture parks or so the owners exclaimed. The day’s weather provided a lovely backdrop for viewing these larger than life displays. There were plenty of billowy white clouds interrupting the luminous cobalt fall sky with fast paced micro-downpours throughout the afternoon. It was so cool watching the rain fall near and far. Fortunately, the weather was no deterrent to our visit.
The Franconia Sculpture Park does not rely on the traditional outdoor themes so the feeling is not naturalistic; rather the feeling is quite mechanistic in tone and design.
The sculptures are constructed with metals, glass, hoses, building materials, paper, stone and rocks based on designs that are certainly cheeky. Is there always a story to tell? Does there have to be–probably not as long as the shapes intrigue the mind. That the park was both free and entertaining makes Franconia a must see for any midwest traveler! See photos below. The only truly recognizable image is the yellow air sculpture of the “Dear Leader” of North Korea–certainly a favorite of mine!
Upon inspection of the photos of the park you will spot my silhouette in what I like to call my “X-Files” moment.
Entering Wisconsin through Taylors Falls was nostalgic for it had been my first visit in 30 plus years. The fall is a grand time to travel in this area as the leaves are changing into a rainbow of reds, yellows and oranges. The actual change is a slow progression toward the eventual denuding of all trees and bushes in preparation for winter. What is truly beautiful is the stability of the leafy green that elegantly contrasts with the splashes of color resulting in a feast for the eyes.
Moving further northward the air was crisper even as the intensity of the sun made riding in the car warmer than one would expect. Today’s journey ended at the lake–a shiny mirror that shimmered until dusk. Although no one ventured out to the water this afternoon just looking at the lake lowered the blood pressure a notch. In my ear I swore I could hear someone say “the pace would be slower for the next couple of days so let go”!
Ah, this is the life–perhaps that is why people often refer to this part of the world as “god’s country”!
Photos of the sculpture park:
Photos of Wisconsin’s autumnal glory: