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Av EvaLena Hallgren - 11 juli 2020 03:54

Friday morning and Mom feels I've been such a good boy so I deserve a nice run in a park, so before we left Pella she asked the maplady for the closest park. It was a gorgeous park but not fenced so I could run loose(which I prefer)but Mom wasn't comfortable to let me loose in unfamiliar places.We did take a long walk all alone except birds chirping


Next, the maplady sent us through field after field with corn and beans I thought it never end........all of a sudden she had us turn on to a dirt road? This couldn't be correct? but Mom said she trusts her to 100% after learning the hard way for not follow instructions on other occasions


Our car fits in much better with a layer of dust....a windmill park


A tiny sign that we almost missed told us we are in Minnesota now? and that surprised Mom because it wasn't in the plan, but after a look on the map, we will just skim the southernmost part before we get to South Dakota tomorrow.

We stopped and spent a few hours at The Grotto of the Redemption a religious shrine located in West Bend, Iowa, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City. A conglomeration of nine grottos depicting scenes in the life of Jesus, the Grotto contains a large collection of minerals and petrifications and is believed to be the largest grotto in the world

No pictures could do this justice, no matter how hard Mom tries.No charge and no dog restrictions..........


It is also "considered to be the world's most complete man-made collection of minerals, fossils, shells, and petrifications in one place. The total value of all the rocks and minerals which make up the Grotto is over $4,308,000 Over 100,000 people visit the Grotto each year

Father Paul Dobberstein was a German immigrant ordained in 1897. He became critically ill with pneumonia and promised to build a shrine to the Virgin Mary if she interceded for him. After his recovery, he began stockpiling rocks and precious stones. Construction of the grotto began in 1912 and continued year-round for 42 years.


Father Dobberstein used the knowledge and skills gained during the construction of his first grotto honoring Our Lady of Lourdes while training at St. Francis Seminary in St. Francis, Wisconsin. His method was to set fancy rocks and gems into concrete. In 1946, Father Louis Greving began helping Dobberstein with the construction. The grotto covered an area the size of a city block when Dobberstein died in 1954. Matt Szerensce helped work on the grotto until his retirement in 1959. The Grotto has been maintained by Deacon Gerald Streit since 1994


photobomb..................we are at Adrien campsite now and the wifi is so slow so we're using the car's wifi which is super fast bad thing we have to keep the engine running

time to turn in for the night 

Good NIght

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 10 juli 2020 12:22

Goodmorning again, Yesterday was a boring day of driving and driving with nothing to see so I napped a lot. Mom is jealous that she couldn't do that..........we left Iowa and drove through Missouri and now we're in Iowa


Mom read Henry on this license plate???


Traffic through St Louis was horrid and what's up with the roads? I was bouncing around all over........


This was the views from my window miles and miles of nothing but corn and fields without a bend in the road.........yawn


I was hoping the truck would hit a bump so one of those melons would bounce into the road.........Mom said no and quickly passed.............it would make an awful mess she said...........so much for some kind, ANY kind of excitement


Mom thinks these silos that are everywhere are interesting looking.............huh? I don't get that at all..................


Finally, we arrived in a town named Pella, which is a town founded by immigrants from Holland. This windmill The Vermeer Mill is a fully functional 1850s-style windmill, reaching 134 ft (41 m) high. The Vermeer Mill grinds wheat into flour using only wind power and is the tallest working windmill in the United States.


Pella is located forty miles southeast of Des Moines and the home of Central College, as well as several manufacturing companies, including Pella Corp. which makes windows and a factory that makes farm equipment.


We were lucky to arrive on a Thursday because that's the day when there's a party in the park. Unfortunately, no one seems to be aware of the Covid virus since very few were wearing masks, so we tried to walk around it all, but they were playing games with balls that I really wanted to participate in...................but noooooo that was for two legged puppies.


The streets were mostly deserted (everyone was at the park)and Mom loved the old buildings a lot so we did a lot of walking. This is the Opera House, built-in 1900, was renovated in 1990 and is a popular entertainment destination, featuring stained-glass windows and ornate tin ceiling 


The entire town is super clean and as a visitor, you can clearly see the Dutch influence. They even tried to recreate the canals of Amsterdam. Mom said the original canals in Holland are not this clean and definitely not blue



this town has a very interesting history and is the home to one of the most famous (or infamous?) characters of the Old West. Wyatt Earp moved with his family to Pella in 1850, when Wyatt was 2 years old, from Monmouth, Illinois. For 14 years the Earp family farmed in the Pella area, and Wyatt’s father, Nicholas Earp, worked as a recruiter for the Union Army.  here's a link to more stories https://www.pellahistorical.org/wyatt-earp


Mom couldn't get enough of these fabulous buildings but I have nothing to say about them so ........................



The artwork is very Dutch and not much of an interest to me either.............I did find a lot of interesting scents though 



Is this a crackhouse?  


It's 6.30 AM and it's time to pack up and continue on North, and I'm hoping roads will get more exciting and that we don't need to drive as many miles before stopping again....................Oh, I forgot to tell you there was a band playing and before that, they had some kind of quiz going on. 



we kisses to you all



Av EvaLena Hallgren - 9 juli 2020 13:09

Mom early bird dragged me out for a morning leak but I refused to go on her command because I wanted to sleep at least another hour and I told her if she would too she wouldn't get so tired while driving. As usual, there's no talking to her

She made her coffee and while she waits for the caffeine to kick in I'm napping.

Yesterday was a very exciting day, we were at Mammoth Cave National Park, which is an American national park in central Kentucky, it's the longest cave system known in the world. The park was established as a national park on July 1, 1941,and a World Heritage Site on October 27, 1981


This was the cave Mom had in mind, but "no dogs allowed even if I sit in the backpack" The person that said it was ok when Mom called isn't there any more...............what's the odds of that happening? Like I said before"you have to call several times to confirm the dog rules with more than one person.

Still, we lucked out and found a privately owned cave called Crystal Onyx cave (there are two with the same name) who had no problems about me coming along as long as I stayed in the backpack. Even the aliens have to wear a mask here


There was a lot of great sculptures on the property made from metal scrap


and some big ass bugs............luckily they do not bite and Mom didn't freak


we had a guide named Shawn that walked us down into a cave and it was a very nice and cool place...............but woooha Mom, are we really going down those stairs? that looks steep and I'm going to get heavier on the way up...........

Mom is a stubborn animal so down we went


I had the best view and didn't have to take one step


Shawn was a great guide and very passionate about his cave and he named many of the shapes we saw..........like this is a wedding cake..........pretty, but a little hard to digest though


this is Bullwinkle a moose, and yeah I can see that too


when we got to the end of the cave, we all sat down and Shawn told us a spooky story and then turn the lights out.........THAT scared me so much Mom felt me shaking, good thing it didn't last long. The darkness was darker than I could even imagine. I couldn't see my own paws????


at one place it was so tight and ceiling so low I felt Mom getting a tad worried too, and a much larger man in our group just about managed to squeeze through.


This looks like a giant jellyfish said, everybody................Whatever that is ? 


we did get out of the cave and back to the scorching heat of 92F (33C)...........we're both hoping for it to cool and that's why Mom wants to get up the mountains faster so we're doing a lot of driving every day. Who knew this country is so big??

So far we made it through 

South Carolina
North Carolina

we just about missed Indiana and the next state will be Iowa. At the moment we are in a town named Mt.Vernon which is south of St.Louis a big city Missouri state. Mom has been there before and we're skipping ALL big cities on this trip.

We had great big rainfall that made the temperature to drop to 75F (23C) Unfortunately that didn't last.


It's now 7.05 AM and MOm is ready to get back on the road.................I'm not but luckily I don't have to navigate today, there are people in a button by the rearview mirror that always knows exactly where we are and tells Mom where to turn.

she's also listening to the book "The Giver of Stars" which is a great story and fits in perfectly with the scenery around us at the moment.

wet kisses to y'all 

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 8 juli 2020 12:53

Good morning, yesterday I spent a lot of time in the car Mom driving through an entire state 


We didn't explore any places in Tennessee because Mom really wants to get further North to the places she had in mind, to begin with. Hopefully, the weather will cool down a tad so it's easier to spend time outside.

At a rest stop, we met this guy that had a bird that talked ............in my life I have learned that birds chirp, not talk like a human...........it freaked me out. Mom thought he was funny

A nice house with a great porch and it reminded Mom of a movie, but as usual she couldn't remember the title........... 


Driving on highway 40 most of the time make us both sleepy and it's fine for me I can take as many naps as I want. I have a great front seat, but occasionally I jump in the back to stretch out on the big bed. Mom, of course, has to stay awake and drive, but when she feels too sleepy she'll try to find a spot to park and come back with me to nap.

Unfortunately, the rest stops are far between so we exit the highway, and this time we snoozed by a stadium with these signs.


Driving along on country roads we are often passed by loud trucks that let off a big black cloud as they're passing us.

I'm wondering if they're sending us a message? ..........Mom thinks they want to tell us that we are in Kentucky now.....maybe?


Riding shotgun I have a great view of everything and I see a lot of unusual and sometimes strange things, like these striped horses for instance........


looking ahead we may have a rainstorm coming...............


driving on country backroads takes much more time but it's more to look at and keeps more alert.


we arrived at Mammoth cave too late for the tour, and it's still 91F (33C) so we decided to rent a little cabin nearby to spend the night and visit a cave in the morning. Mom thought this little stone house looked interesting but there was this peculiar smell that set off Mom's allergy so we had to find a different place.


Interesting rocks and you have to pay money for these? They are geodes

Most geodes contain clear quartz crystals, while others have purple amethyst crystals.There is no easy way of telling what the inside of a geode holds until it is cut open or broken 
this is all from a rather uneventful day, maybe today will bring more excitements.........I hope so
sloppy kisses ya'll

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 7 juli 2020 10:47

Good Morning all, it's 4 AM and I think Mom has trouble sleeping because today is the day we'll be giving up this awesome stay and get back on the road to continue our adventure. It's sad to say goodbye to friends but we have to stick to our plan, and maybe we can come back here another time?  Right, Mom? Right? ???


Yesterday our hosts took us out on their boat and we had a fantastic day out on a lake named Lake James, Mom asked me if I wanted to go for a swim, but I don't even know if I know how to, so I stayed safely on the boat with Pam.

There were many gorgeous homes surrounding the lake and the water had a greenish color 


Mom and Rick decided to jump in the water to cool off and they both said the water was amazing..........still I had no desire to find out if they were telling the truth..............I just took their word for it.


 Lake James is 1,200 feet above sea level located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains The lake was created between 1916 and 1923 with the construction of dams across the Catawba River and two tributaries, Paddy Creek and Linville River. These impoundments were connected by a broad canal to form a 6,812-acre body of water. Lake James has been a hydroelectric unit for the power company since the early 1900s   


The motion of the boat and wind made me sleepy, so I napped most of the time


Back at the shore as we were waiting for Rick and Pam to cover the boat Mom tried to create a picture of us by using rocks..........you guys see any resemblance? 


All is well, and we're off to new sights and experiences......................

wet kisses to you ya'll

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 6 juli 2020 14:30

Good Morning, we're still living in luxury (Mom said. don't get used to it because it'll come to an end soon)

It was foggy and very quiet when we got up except this strange bird that never seems to get tired of singing. He's a Whipporwill not very pretty but a diligent singer   


Yesterday Mom thought it would be a good idea to throw me a ball to suppress some of my energy but as the house is on a hill and Mom didn't want me in the woods (ticks) she decided I could play on this big porch. 

Unfortunately, the ball rolled down the stairs and I managed to squeeze through and got hung up which ended the game rather quickly.


These bright yellow patches seemed to develop out of nowhere and people call it "dog vomit"?? I swear I didn't do it

.. It is commonly known as the scrambled egg slime, or flowers of tan because of its peculiar yellowish, bile-colored appearance. Also known as slime mold, it is common with a worldwide distribution, and it is often found on bark mulch in urban areas after heavy rain or excessive watering.


I think we should come here in the winter so we can sit by this bonfire and grill sausages..... (hot dogs is something totally different in my world)  

I made Bode a proposal..................." how about if I move here with you and we become brothers?" He never answered

but the look on his face told me exactly what he felt about that. 



oh well, can't win them all and Mom would probably not let me anyway, so don't worry Bode 



I do like his squeaky toys, and I managed to destroy 3 of them (sorry Bode) and I heard I'll be receiving a couple as presents for my trip. 


I dragged all his toys one at the time out to the living room and tried really hard to get Bode to play a game of tug of war, but all he did was laying down on top of them all to take a nap? I don't get it, but Mom said I will be like that too when I get older..............



I heard we're in for a new (for me) adventure today, and I can't wait to find out what...................I'll get you all updated tomorrow.............

sending morning breath kisses to y'all




Av EvaLena Hallgren - 4 juli 2020 20:55

As usual, we were up really early and got back on the road driving Northwest towards our next destination and I was riding shotgun looking at the beautiful surrounding which now are becoming rolling hills.


The first stop was a city named Asheville and is located in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for a vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, which would be Mom's favorite thing but we made a very short stop because there were big crowds and Mom worries about the virus that neither one of us wants.

This looked like the main square, and Mom admired the Glass sphere but I wanted to get back to the car.



Not sure if eyes on a pigs butt are art but Mom thought it was funny?


Not sure if this is the kind of art they are referring to when they claim an artsy town? 

Anyway, we didn't stick around in town because we had a very different goal in mind................ I had no clue but Mom

said we're going to a place where I'll meet a friend and have a great time...............I can't wait


The roads are getting narrower and more winding and hilly ...............this is going to be quite interesting  

Finally, we were at an iron gate and behind it was a gorgeous view.



There was a welcome sign at the door?  



Wow, MOM lets move here this place is awesome and a Chinese crested powderpuff named Bode lives here. He is a little older than I am so not as willing to run around and play as I am but he is very nice. His Dad's name is Rick 


and his Mom's name is Pam and they all used to live across the street from my house in Florida

Bode has a huge toy box and he let me play with them all. I LOVE this place Mom can we move in? 

Mom loves it too and she agrees it would be awesome, but our hosts may get tired of us in a few days...



The view is breathtaking and this is from the bedroom that we're staying in.................no televisions are needed here for sure.


Mom and Rick went for a walk and they left me at the house which wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but Bode's Mom was still home so I was ok after all, and Mom did come back so maybe I don't have to worry about her so much anymore..............................She HAS promised to always come back, but sometimes I don't know if she really really means it.........


This place is so gorgeous and is a part of the Bear Cliff and Pisgah National Forest and the lake below is Lake James.........

slobbering wet kisses to everybody and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY.


Av EvaLena Hallgren - 3 juli 2020 12:32

Good Morning from somewhere on the road, (not sure Mom knows exactly where we are either so it's a very good thing the people talking to her via satellite knows), We just woke up(read Mom) once again staying at a Motel since the pole to the tent broke AGAIN. As soon as we get to a city we'll be sending this entire thing back for a full refund. 

As Mom is getting dressed she found 2 things she didn't need and thought it'll be a great look for me......NOT


Today we went to Charleston which is South Carolinas largest city

the city was founded  1670 as Charles town honoring King Charles of England,

Travel Leisure magazine has ranked Charleston the best city in the US for years.
I can see why, because there are gorgeous houses and alleys all over town


There was a lot to explore here but first, we went to a dog park so I could play and do my business. It's too hot and dogs I didn't know so I wasn't in the mood to even chase a ball or do anything. Mom understood because she felt the same way. I have a feeling these guys must feel a lot worse than I did with their thick coat who's supposed to withstand a snowstorm says Mom..................(I have never seen snow)


What about these poor mules that have to walk and walk to pull tourists around and listen to the same stories all day long....I do feel sorry for them


This is a picture of a picture of The rainbow row, because it was impossible to get a decent picture since all houses was behind trees and some covered in construction tarps. Supposedly it's the most photographed in all of town, Mom don't understand how?


The pink house is the oldest stone building built of Bermudan limestone but we couldn't find it so here's a yellow house instead


Contrasts of new and old


MOM,,Mooooommmm I'm being kidnapped, Heelllllp.................Don't be so dramatic she said, the lady only held you up to show her husband she found the dog she wanted, AND she was wearing a mask


Pineapple Fountain- Located in Charleston's Waterfront Park, the fountain was placed here in 1990 during the springtime after Hurricane Hugo had hit. Pineapples are popular in Charleston as they are used as symbols of hospitality.


Mom wanted me to skip this picture for two reasons. The building in the background which is an art gallery doesn't seem to fit in with everything else in town, AND she is upset she didn't take 2 steps to the left so the building would stand straight,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,picky picky 

There was a sign that you were allowed to wade in the water, so Mom tried to cool me off but it spooked me


The new Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, constructed in 2005 and named after former U.S Representative Arthur Ravenel Jr., who pushed the project to fruition, was at the time of its construction the second longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere


Charlestown played a major role in the slave trade which lay the foundation for the city's size and wealth

the city has also been a hotspot for pirates blamed on a weak government and corruption.

Despite that grim history, the towners have a great sense of humor,


here's another fountain to cool off, but still of no interest of me

Considered the most haunted building in Charleston, The Old City Jail has been featured on nearly every major ghost program on TV.

Home of Charleston’s most notorious criminals during the 1800s and early 1900s, the Old Jail is now said to be haunted by the more than 13,000 prisoners who were executed on site. Denmark Vesey, a carpenter, community leader, and enslaved African was accused and convicted of being the leader of "the rising,” a major potential slave revolt planned for the city of Charleston. Local history indicates Vesey spent his final days locked in one of the jail's towers before his execution in 1822.


all this walking was getting so exhausting so we hired a bike taxi to take us back to the car. I loved the ride


This young lady who was from Serenity outreach sisters handed Mom a free sunflower...........they were sowing seeds of love, and Mom felt it for sure


The entire group was working on a presentation movie, and they included us and asked if they could pray for our continued trip. Sure Mom said it could be a good thing. They were a GREAT group of young ladies who had us smiling for the rest of the day. Their shirts are nice and Mom just got a message that they will send her one too



so much green and beauty everywhere, so as far as we can see the grim history is all gone


Finally when we are about a half a block from the car this mockingbird was singing so loud it made us stop to listen

Believe it or not, but the bird was following us and serenaded us from a safe distance all the way, and finally sat down on the car parked next to us watching us get in and leave.............was he/she trying to tell us something?

back in the car and comfortable AC I thought Mom was lost because she drove in circles and into narrow alleys, but she explained we were still sightseeing............ok but I don't care I took a very deserved nap.


Mom really fell in love with this city and asked me how I would feel about moving here ...........here's my response  zzzzzzzzzzzz 

We're now on our way Northwest on a highway which hypnotizes and made Mom very sleepy so she just pulled off an exit despite what the satellite people said. We now drove through farmland where there were fields of corn as far as your eyes could see, and the houses are huge and with gorgeous wrap-around porches. It helped Moms sleepiness for a while but soon enough she pulled over and we took a well-deserved nap in the car.

Today is a new day for more adventures...........sloppy kisses to y,all as they say here 








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