Archived Story

Faribault reveals local sites

Published 4:44pm Saturday, July 21, 2012

So, where would a bus load of travelers go on a trip that would be a complete mystery to them with only a few clues?

The following clues for this trip this past week,  went like this:

“We’ll  warm you up, don’t look for a cave, its history we’re after, don’t look for a train.”

The second set of clues  were, “We’re not pulling the wool over your eyes. There will be a joyful sound. Another new destination is what Oliver found.”

Our journey began in neighboring Faribault, a town we all drive past off Interestate 35.  Our travelers were in for alot of surprises of what Faribault has to offer, with our tour beginning at the Woolen Mills.

The mill has recently been bought by two Twin Cities families and reopened and modernized  after being closed for the past two years. Guided tours of the factory included wool when it arrives in bundles from New Zealand and many other sources. Our guides took us through the working areas of laundering, carding and to the completed products that are ready to be sent to customers. This company can boast to having JCPenny as one of their largest accounts.

The  Cheese Cave was our seocond stop in Faribault.  We learned about making blue  and gorgonzola cheese in the caves, which are located under the Shattuck School area where it ages in Faribault’s sandstone. Tours into the caves are not available, but a well-done video will show the process. Over 50 cheeses  from across the world were there to sample with platters offered with a glass of wine.

We also stopped at Annabelle’s featured items like jackets, scarfs and small blankets which were all made from wool.

Our step-on guide was informative  as we toured the Shattuck School, State Schools for the Deaf and Blind.

Our evening meal was planned at the restored Depot Bar and Grill. The restaurant still has trains passing by and the walleye  on hoagie was a popular choice in dining.

So, what was the joyful sound, and what did this have to do with Oliver?

We boarded our motor coach and headed south on Interstate 35  to the opening night performance of “Oliver” at the Marion Ross Theater in Albert Lea. A delightful musical with a large cast including many young folks and a outstanding performance by the young Oliver.

This was a fun and busy day, but certainly one that many are talking about revisiting. We know  that they have a lovely restored theater as Austin has in the The Paradise Center for the Arts.

These yearly mystery trips remain popular as it challenges travellers to seek out new places. One of our travelers did pick three of the places we visited to win a prize.

 Upcoming Trips

•July 25: 9 a.m. departure from the Wal-Mart  parking lot  for the Chanhassen Dinner Theater.  We will be seeing their latest production of “Xanadu.”

•Sept. 30 – Oct. 6: Fall tour  to the Smoky Mountains.  Balance is now due.

•Aug. 30: Minnesota State Fair Senior Day bus trip. Departing at 7:30 a.m. and returning between 5:30 and 6 p.m.

•Sept. 6-7: Fireside Dinner Theater  in  Fort Atkinson , Wis.   presenting “Hello Dolly.” Day two will be New Glarus, Wis. Fee is due by Aug 2,

The Travel Office at the Mower County Senior Center will be opened on Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. until noon. The office will be closed on Thursday, July 26. Fees should be sent to the Travel address Evie’s Travel at 1002 16th St. Sw Austin, Mn.  55912.  You may also stop by the front desk at the center.  Phone number is 507-438-3946.

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