I’m Moving!

Molly the Adventure DogHey, guys! Molly the Adventure Dog here again! It’s been a really long time since I posted an update!

Just wanted to let you know, I haven’t forgotten about you! It’s just that I hardly get a chance to get at my girl’s computer so I can write in. She’s always working! Okay, but she walks me every day, too. When it isn’t too cold. Which it has been recently. But she got a new coat for Christmas, so that solved that problem. (Wags tail.)

Okay, I’ve got two big news items for you guys. You ready?

Journaling cover 05 600 02 (400x640)My Girl Published a Book!

Yep! For real! She’s been keeping a journal since she was five years old. That kinda makes her an expert, I think. So she wrote a book about journaling and how it can help you become a better writer.

In fact, that’s the title: Journaling to Become a Better Writer.

She used real pages from her journal to use as examples, so it’s part memoir, too. In fact, I’m in it! And so are some really great dogs (oh, and people, too!) that we met since moving to Washburn! If you’ve enjoyed following our adventures on this blog, you’ll probably enjoy her book. She says it’ll help you get in touch with your emotions and all that stuff – but more importantly, it’s the story of how my girl found her real family. She was really sad for a long time, and I wasn’t even sure how to help her. But everything is all better now!

You can find her book on Amazon. Or if you don’t have a Kindle or the free Kindle app, you can download ANY ebook format on Smashwords. Other ebook retailers and a print copy are coming, too!

Ready for the next news item?

DSC01765 (640x480)We’re Moving!

No, not like for real. We love our little place in the middle of nowhere! But my girl has two more books to write next year, and maybe a couple of business trips to plan, plus marketing …

The point is, despite our best intentions, we’ve been really bad at keeping up with this blog. My girl knows how much you enjoy it! So she came up with a solution.

She’s going to let me write posts now and again at her author blog! So now you can find me at Danielle Hanna: Hearth & Homicide Fiction. In addition to behind-the-scenes stuff about her books, we’ll keep posting about our favorite activity: Being outdoors together! We’ll upload new pictures, too, when we have them.

Those of you who are subscribed to this blog will be getting an email soon with the option to switch over to the new blog. I really hope you’ll follow me over there!

Thanks with a million puppy kisses for following my girl and me (and the kitty!) at Embark on Adventure! We can’t wait to share even more adventures at the author blog!


A Real-Life Encounter with Flesh-Eating Plants


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My brother and I and my dog Molly had the experience of a lifetime during our trip to Bemidji, Minnesota, last summer. We saw a bog.

Bogs, I used to believe, were something that existed in Scotland, Ireland, and Middle Earth. They were places where only creatures like Gollum knew the way through, or where mad naturalists kept gigantic hounds with glowing teeth, and where the evilest of villains sank to their fates in bottomless mud.

So I was pretty excited to learn that there was a bog at Lake Bemidji State Park, just north of the town of Bemidji.

I was even more intrigued when our aunt and uncle informed us that there were, as my uncle put it, “flesh-eating plants” in the bog. Also known as carnivorous flowers.

Bug-eating plants, I used to believe, were something that existed in South America and other remote rain forests and perhaps in steamy greenhouses at academic institutions. They were the kind of plants kept as pets by mad scientists.

My uncle recommended that if we had time for only one stop, we should see Itasca State Park. My brother and I debated it out. We’d both seen Itasca before–the headwaters of the Mississippi–and we loved the place. But …

C’mon. A bog. With flesh-eating plants. How cool does it get?

So, yeah, the bog won out. Neither of us ever dreamed we could see one in person in northern Minnesota.

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Much as I liked being home schooled (I could plan all of my own extra-curricular activities, like … I don’t know … WRITING), I regret we didn’t go on more field trips or read more literature on my own home state and surrounding areas. I grew up thinking that my corner of the world–the upper Midwest–was boring. All the cool history happened in Boston, Massachusetts, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and all the amazing landscapes were in the Rocky Mountains and the forests of the Giant Sequoias.

I remember seeing the mammoth skeleton at the Heritage Center in Bismarck, North Dakota, and wondering what part of Canada or Siberia we had it shipped from. I was an adult when it finally dawned on me that that was a genuine North Dakota woolly mammoth. Why, he probably even wore bib overalls and a feed cap and drove a John Deere and said, “Ja, vell, I s’pose.”

Now, Bemidji, which I’ve visited many times, was already a land of wonders because it had lakes and trees and loons and black bears and moose.

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But a bog! Like I’ve said, these things are only found in Middle Earth.

My brother and Molly and I had to hike a mile through the state park to reach the fabled Bog Walk. When we got there, we found a wooden boardwalk wending through the trees.


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I think I expected the place to be putrid and bug-infested. Instead, we found the bog to be sunny and vibrant. The ground was damp all over, but every inch of ground was teaming with greenery, and here and there a vibrant bit of color.

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However, I did encounter a strange little creature who knew the secret paths through the Dead Marshes. Okay, it wasn’t Gollum. It was a little brown mouse who scampered away without the least fear of being sucked down alive into the swamp.

My brother and I kept our eyes peeled for flesh-eating plants. There were two varieties we had to watch out–ah, look for. It took us a while, but we finally found one.

The pitcher plant.

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At the base of this plant there grows a collection of unique leaves shaped to catch rain water. Insects are drawn in by the pleasant smell the plant produces–and drown in the pitcher. An interpretive sign said that the carnivorous plants in the bog resorted to fly catching to make up for the low nutrient levels in the bog.

Looking around at the abundance and variety of plants in the bog, I’d like to know what they call “good” nutrient levels.

I never really had that thought answered. Nor did my brother and I ever find the other bug-eater, the sundew. Lookling like a sea urchin, it was supposed to trap insects in a sticky residue. However, we did almost see a bug meet its death. It had landed on the lip of a pitcher plant and was thinking about going in. But it must have been suspicious. In the end, my brother and I ran out of time and didn’t wait to see whether or not the hapless bug would plunge to its death.

So maybe the Lake Bemidji State Park bog wasn’t as dramatic as the ones in The Lord of the Rings or The Hound of the Baskervilles, but it was still awesome to discover we didn’t have to go all the way to South America or Middle Earth to find one.

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Biggest Adventure Yet

Dog-Mounted GoPro

Hey, guys! Molly the Adventure Dog, here. I’ve been so excited to finally share my latest video with you! I made it myself!

Last summer, my girl and I went on the longest car ride ever–all the way to Lake Geneva Wisconsin! (You’re almost in Chicago once you’ve gone that far!) My girl was doing research for a novel. I wanted so bad to help. So she gave me her GoPro camera and said I could record her reference footage of the town!

We also camped and hiked in the amazing Dalles of the St. Croix River, on the opposite end of Wisconsin from Lake Geneva. It felt like we were in the mountains! My girl and I had the best time ever.

My Friends Are Out There …

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Hey, guys! Molly the Adventure Dog here again! I had to drop in and write an unscheduled post to share the big news!

Okay, big to me …

This Sunday, September 21, my girl and I are walking for a cause. We’re participating in Shaggy Shuffle, an epic mass dog walk to raise money for Central Dakota Humane Society in Mandan, North Dakota. CDHS is a no-kill shelter that houses about 50 dogs and 70 cats at any given time–but thousands of animals have set paw through their doors since they first opened.

And in case you didn’t know, CDHS is where my girl met ME!!!

The humans at CDHS are THE BEST.

  • We get more toys than we’ll ever know what to do with.
  • We get treats, too!
  • We get to go outside lots every day.
  • We get to play with other dogs and cats (if we want).
  • We get to play with volunteers every day.
  • We get vet care as long as we’re at the shelter.
  • We get to be loved by the staff as if we belonged to THEM.
  • We get to go on to our furever homes, hand-picked by our shelter family.

On top of that, CDHS is honestly, really, truly no-kill. If we’re too sick or crabby to be adopted, we live pampered lives with our shelter family to the very end. Even the crankiest dogs and cats bond with their special staff member or volunteer! (Like my kitty sister Juliean …)

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CDHS gave me a new life–but some of my fur friends are still waiting for homes!

Will you help out? My girl and I would be so happy if you went to our Shaggy Shuffle page and pitched in. Donations go straight to the pets! CDHS runs entirely on donations, memberships, and fundraisers, so your help really counts!

To donate to CDHS in honor of my girl and me …

  • Go straight to our donation page.
  • Or click here and type “Danielle Hanna” in the box on the right where it says “Find and Donate to a Walker.”
  • To learn more about Shaggy Shuffle, go here! If you’re nearby, why not come join us?

Thanks a bunch! If I had a million antler chews, they’d all be yours. (Except maybe I’d keep just one …)

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