We’re Back! Lots of Big News!


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Photo by Robert Hanna

Hi, guys! Molly the Adventure Dog here. We’re back! My girl says thanks so much for all your patience these past few weeks. She’s been really busy! And we’ve been everywhere! We can’t wait to tell you all about our adventures!

Okay, that’s the good news. The bad news is that my girl has decided she needs to re-prioritize her time. I drooped my ears and asked her if that meant no more adventures, and she said, “No, no, Molly! We’ll always have adventures!”

(Wagging my tail.)

But it does mean she’ll only be writing about them once a month here at Embark on Adventure.

Okay, back to the good news. The reason she’s gotta cut back is because she’s working on some BIG projects! Check it out!

  • She has a new author website and blog for her fiction and non-fiction books: www.DanielleHanna.com
  • You can also follow her on Twitter! @DanielleLHanna
  • She’ll be finishing a how-to ebook for writers this year. It’s also part autobiography, because it’s inspired by her own journal: Journaling to Become a Better Writer
  • She’ll be putting out her first novel next year: Mailboat. One of our big adventures this summer was a research trip for the novel! Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

And in case you’re not impressed (I’m so proud of my girl!), check out the interview she just had with multi-published author Tami Lund! Journaling to Become a Better Writer: Author Interview with Danielle Hanna.

In either October or November, she’ll also be in an interview with journaling expert Nathan Ohren on his JournalTalk podcast. We’ll be sure to let you know when the interview is live!

Lots of stuff goin’ on here! I’m so excited, I’m chasing my tail! (What there is of it.)

We’ll start blogging about our big adventures next month. In the meantime, we’ll have pictures on the Facebook page! If you don’t want to miss a single post, the best way is to subscribe to the blog. We’ll put a note in your inbox letting you know when we have new adventures up!

Thanks everybody for being patient while things have been so busy! We love all our readers! (Puppy kisses!)

Snowed Under

DSC01290 (600x800)Hey, everybody! Molly here. My girl asked me to drop in and leave a note for all our friends who read our blog.

My girl says she’s awfully busy right now, and I guess she must be, cuz I haven’t even had my daily bike ride in a while. (Which is okay. It’s been kinda hot, anyway.)

We’ve been traveling a lot (woo-hoo!) and we’re gonna be traveling some more (and camping!) and she’s got paper and pencils and folders scattered all over the living room like cat toys, so she must be up to somethin’ …

Anyhoo, she wanted me to let you all know that there won’t be much going on here at the blog for a while, maybe a week or two or at the worst three. But she’s got photos of our latest adventures pre-scheduled on our Facebook page for a while yet, so it won’t be like we totally dropped off the face of the earth. And we’ll still be watching your comments here and on Facebook. Just no stories for a little while, that’s all.

But when we come back–boy, will we have stories to tell! I can hardly wait.

So she says thanks for your understanding (or something stuffy like that), and I say a puppy kiss says it all. We’ll check in with ya later!

~Molly the Adventure Dog

Have Dog, Will Travel

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Molly on top of the Rimrock overlooking Billings, Montana.

I hardly even go to the grocery store without my dog–but I never realized until last week that traveling with a dog is actually massively inconvenient.

Molly and I were on the road again, this time to Bemidji, Minnesota. Like our trip to Billings, we were visiting family, and once again we were traveling with my brother Robert.

Robert and Molly at Fort Totten, near Devils Lake, North Dakota

Robert and Molly at Fort Totten State Historic Site, near Devils Lake, North Dakota

These past two road trips were (so far as I know) my brother’s first experience traveling with a dog. (We never had a dog growing up.) I was a little bit dismayed to realize just how inconvenient dog travel is, and how much I’d learned to take it all for granted. How far I’ve fallen.

As for my brother … well, it was a learning experience for him, too.


Now, Molly is not what anybody would call a slobbery dog. But she does like to hang her head over your shoulder while she’s sitting in the back seat so she can see out the windshield. I guess I’ve just gotten used to a fifty percent chance of precipitation in the car. But I can’t say my brother was all that impressed with the odd glob of saliva running down his shirt collar.

Two-Lane Highways

Two-lane highways, a staple of American road travel, became a matter of life and death. I suppose I shoulda warned my brother that Molly barks at on-coming traffic. Very loudly. In your ear. Sometimes she throws herself against the rear seat window so hard, the whole car rocks. And you’re never really sure when all this is about to happen.

I tried, years ago, to train Molly out of this habit, but it’s one of her few besetting sins. I finally gave up on it, and now I don’t even notice it anymore. But Robert narrowly avoided swerving out of his lane a couple times. If Molly’s just making sure the driver’s still awake, it really works.

Fortunately, my brother isn’t the sort to apply human standards of behavior to dogs. “Those cars are clearly a threat and they must be eliminated,” he concluded. He assured Molly that the fact she never caught one didn’t reflect badly on her. And on the way home from Bemidji, he began to work on a theory why she barked at some cars and not at others. Black cars (and other dark-colored vehicles) were bad luck.

Road Food

View of Lake Bemidji from our picnic bench in downtown Bemidji, Minnesota

View of Lake Bemidji from our picnic bench in downtown Bemidji, Minnesota

Apparently my taste has hit rock bottom since I adopted Molly. I take drive-up windows and in-car dining for granted. (And you should always save the last bite for Molly.) My brother usually enjoys a more cultured experience. Locally-owned restaurants and dishes he’s never tried before are his big thing.

We ended up with a variety of strategies to get our three square meals a day. Sometimes we called ahead to restaurants with outdoor patios and asked if dogs were allowed. Sometimes we ordered take-out. And other times we broke down, went to a drive-through, and ate in the car or in a park. But never did we lock Molly into a hot car or leave her alone at the hotel.

Sight Seeing

The boardwalk Bog Walk at Lake Bemidji State Park

The boardwalk Bog Walk at Lake Bemidji State Park

Fortunately, my brother and I are both the trail-hiking, bug-swatting, tree-hugger type. And fortunately, hiking trails are pretty much the most dog-friendly tourist attractions in the country.

Museums and interpretive centers … not so much. Which was a problem. My brother thrives on museums. And frankly, I like them, too, when I get a chance to see them. Which isn’t often with Molly.

Interpretive Center at Pompey's Pillar, Montana

Interpretive Center at Pompey’s Pillar, Montana

We again used a couple of different techniques. One involved taking turns going inside while the other one of us dog sat. Sometimes this method only gave us five to fifteen minutes inside any building–but for me, this was five to fifteen minutes I ordinarily never get to have!

Another technique took advantage of Molly’s irresistible cute factor.

I explained to my brother that if there were no signs saying “no pets,” my policy was to walk in–with Molly–smile sweetly, and ask if my dog could come with. Molly would take over from there. Or more accurately, she had usually taken over everyone’s heart the minute she set paw in the building. This is where good training, a calm demeanor, and a winning expression pay off.

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Oh, please, can I come, too?

This technique doesn’t work every time, but you’d be surprised how often it does!

The Payback

And why did we go through all this extra hassle to bring Molly? Because some of the relatives we visited were in nursing homes–and had specifically asked to see her.

My brother had another dog epiphany as we walked down hallways of care facilities and were stopped by almost everyone we passed, residents and nurses alike. “She makes people happy,” he observed.

That’s true pretty much everywhere she goes–and that’s another reason why I love to travel with her. I’ve even gone to some attractions, only to find that Molly became the attraction as soon as she arrived. I love the way Molly can become the highlight of somebody’s day, just by being a dog.

Molly making new friends at Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota

Molly making new friends at Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota

And for not being a born dog person, my brother did an amazing job on his maiden canine voyage. He put up with a lot, and never complained (okay, except for the dog drool). But he even shared the last bite of his last in-car dinner with Molly!

Chocolate Lake

A whole lake? Made out of chocolate??? Yes! At least that’s what it looked like … Good, clean mud never kept Molly from going swim-swim!

P.S. It’s two for one this week! I was invited to guest post on Karen R. Sanderson’s Blog as part of a series of posts about our great state of North Dakota. The irony? The video above features a scoria beach. The post below is all about a scoria road. I guess it’s Scoria Week!


Scoria Road, a guest post on Karen R. Sanderson’s Blog

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Instead of getting me into trouble–like you’d think it would–my bent for aimless wandering keeps turning up new treasures I never would have found any other way.

My dog Molly and I were driving home on Highway 83 one day. The sky was blue and full of big summer clouds and the pastures were the vivid green you only see in North Dakota in spring, before the Indian summers scorch everything brown. …” Go read it!