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!


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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Trail to Big Trees

My brother Robert alerted me to a place he figured Molly and I would like to see: Smith Grove near Cross Ranch State Park. Smith Grove is a wildlife management area, the major attraction being some of the largest and oldest cottonwoods on the Missouri–cottonwoods that witnessed Lewis and Clark on their journey westward.

Yep. Totally needed to see this place.

Molly and I picked a beautiful weekend and traveled several miles of dirt roads to get there. I was humored by the sign just beyond the grassy parking lot:

Sign: Trail to Big Trees

Trail to Big Trees

Need we say more? I’d be honored to shake the hand of whoever penned this.

Molly and I got on the trail with only a vague notion of what we were going to find. I was hoping these would truly be the biggest cottonwoods we’d ever seen and envisioned Molly and me lost in some sort of other-worldly North Dakotan Lothlorien. My expectations demanded nothing less.

The first panorama was promisingly beautiful: A meadow finally turning green after a long winter and a late spring. The relatively small and gnarled trees here were burr oak, on the verge of producing leaves.

Meadow, Smith Grove

The next scene, shortly after we entered the woods, was less promising. The path ended abruptly in a mass of fallen timber and tangled branches. The path vanished beneath the rubble. Not one to be easily dissuaded, I pushed and probed for a route through the obstacle. And then I saw …

Flooded path

The path was flooded. I was stymied. It hadn’t even been raining recently. The surrounding forest floor was dry, but the trail itself was swimming. We had hiked only a few hundred yards, and we had already reached trail’s end. THAT was a let-down.

To one of us. Someone else neglected to see the sorrow in our situation.

Molly wading


Molly wading down a flooded trail

Molly shaking her fur


After the first muddy paw, I figured the rest didn’t matter anymore.

As for the ancient cottonwoods–yes, I did get to see three or four, and yes, they were pretty big. I just didn’t expect to find myself walking on one of them. (Still hopeful I could work my way past the flooded path and find dry land somewhere beyond.)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from hiking with Molly it’s how to make lemonade out of lemons. Frequently, my forays into the outdoors don’t turn out as planned. But Molly never has a plan. She just makes the best out of whatever happens. Hiking? Wading? Mud bathing? It’s all good!

Muddy dog

Really muddy dog

Bath time

My Dog Knows Where We’re Going

Do you follow a map, or just get out and walk the trails?

That was one of the questions at a live Twitter chat for outdoors enthusiasts that I sat in on last week. My answer:


Yeah, oddly, I can make far more sense of a map after I’ve walked the trails. Before that, they’re pretty much just meaningless squiggles on a page.

Some people are micro-planners. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, it would be kind of nice to know, when you walk out your front door, when on earth you’ll be home again.

But that’s definitely not me. I create rough, general, vague plans. That way there’s plenty of room for impromptu improvements. Otherwise, we could be missing out on all the greatest stuff, and never know it. Like one of the coolest photo ops I’ve had so far this spring:

Nature's Cantilever

Nature’s Cantilever

Trust me, the dead log hanging over the river wasn’t marked on the map.

Maybe that’s why Molly and I are such great hiking partners. If I was a micro-planner, I think we’d be at odds a lot. After all, have you ever met a dog who had her route planned from beginning to end before heading out the door? Nah, me neither. They just follow their nose. One interesting scent to the next.

I love that spirit of freedom she has when she’s out exploring. That “Oh, I wonder what’s over here?” It inspires me. I want to copy it. I let the landscape shape my route. And my dog. I trust they have things to show me I never would have discovered on my own.