Monday, July 8, 2013

Exploring the Caves

Well, hello.  How are you all?

I hope all of our American readers had a fantastic 4th.  I hope all of our non-American readers had an awesome first week of July.

We had a great 4th.  I love Independence day.  It’s a holiday that it isn’t accompanied by a lot of obligations and “rules”.  You just celebrate as you please.  Nate and I decided that we would use the 4th of July for a fun day.  No housework. No yard work.  No grown-up stuff.  No “fun” activities that we do on a regular basis.  (AKA watch a movie at home, walk in town, DIY crap.  Party animals.)

We started celebrating on Wednesday night by enjoying caramel corn and fireworks by the Mississippi.  The Mississippi has flooded at least 100 times over the past two months so we didn’t have a great viewing angle. And it smelled raunchy. Eh. Still pretty.  (If you want to see all of our fireworks photos, check out our Flickr!)

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On the 4th, we decided to hike at a park we hadn’t been to.  We decided on the Maquoketa Caves State Park. It’s about 30 minutes from our house.


We decided to take the fur ball too.  I made him take his tie off for the occasion.   He told me celebrating was his job and he takes it seriously.


We arrived at the park.  We were assuming Ike wouldn’t be allowed in the caves but the Park Ranger said he could go anywhere he wanted to go.  He might, however, come out a brown dog instead of a white one.  Ike told us “YOLO” and we headed into the park.

The trails were great. 

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The place was beautiful.  And Ike LOVED hiking.  He smiled the entire time.  Everyone (seriously, everyone) laughed when we walked by with him.  He was hopping over downed trees.  Climbing rocks.  Loving life even more that usual.

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In the park some kid was like “Hey, Mom.  Is this free?”  The mom said yes.  The kid was all like “Are you sure?  Because it’s fun.”  Youths.  But the kid was right.  Free and fun.

You have to crawl to get into most of the caves. My claustrophic self wasn’t really into that.  We did enjoy a few caves you could walk through.

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We felt like we were on vacation at the park.  Probably because we hike on a lot of our vacations and we, obviously, don’t do it enough at home.  We’ve decided to check out one new place each month during the Summer and Fall.  Let’s hope being adults doesn’t hold us back!  I’m pretty sure this guy won’t let that happen.

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Have you ventured somewhere new in your area recently?  Did you enjoy the 4th?  Does your dog smile when he hikes?


  1. it look so pretty!! and Ike, of course, is a handsome devil as usual.

  2. Ike always looks bigger than he actually is & then Nate holds him and I realize just how small he is - so cute!

  3. WOW! that looks so beautiful and amazing! and i agree with melanie about ike! he stands tall. ;)

  4. I haven't been to the caves in years. Maybe elementary or junior high.

  5. That picture of Nate and Ike is such a keeper. I love it. Sounds like a super fun day, and I'm guessing you had a sleepy pup on your hands at the end of it, which is always a win. That looks like such a fun park!

  6. Ike cracks me up! Glad you guys had a wonderful 4th :)

  7. awe Ike the hiking wire fox terrier!
    scout loves hiking too! we usually take him to starved rock when we are home visiting my parents. his fav part is wading in the pools under the waterfalls.

  8. We live in Bettendorf and now I want to go to that park! I used to drive past it all the time driving to college years ago and always wanted to go. Love Ike - I don't think he can get much cuter! What a sweetie. We watched the fireworks from Schweibert Park and we didn't have the bad river smell! Another fun post!

  9. I love that Ikey was smiling. I also love the fact that the park ranger said YOLO. DId he seriously say that? Because that would make my life.

    I'm terrible because I have wanted to go to Maquoketa caves for YEARS. YEARS, I tell you. And I never have. Do you think it's too hilly to put Henry in the carrier on my back? If it's not terribly off-road terrain, I think he'd actually love it.

    You should go to Starved Rock, too. It's really pretty and has some great hikes. Ryan and I went there a few summers back and loved it.

  10. Love that you guys had a staycation of sorts! That place looks super awesome!

  11. I wish I could say our weekend was as restful! Looks like a blast. Ike is ridiculously addable (and he didn't end up brown!)

  12. How fun! I don't doubt Ike was smiling the whole time - it looks like he had a blast! Yay for no grown-up stuff :)

  13. aww look at that happy dog. Glad you guys had a good 4th!

  14. Your firework pictures gave me chills all over my body! And that Ike.... such a heart stealer.

    Glad you all had a great time!

  15. Ike's smile should be insured. So friggin' cute.
    Our dogs smile in/around water but we don't bc they end up reeking like algae (or fish or worse).

  16. Looks like a great day trip. I'm with you on not wanting to crawl through caves. What if there was an earthquake?

  17. Looks like an awesome time. My kids would love this! And Ike really looks like he is smiling in all the photos.

  18. Ike's smile should be insured. So friggin' cute.healthy dog food

  19. I swear my dog laughs when she hikes. :) It's good for their soul. I love seeing Ike having the time of his life!

  20. It looks gorgeous! Nick and I have hiked a total of once. We were in Portland for our first vacation with Ramona. Clearly we are also party animals! :)

  21. Ike is SO cute!! I love that he was smiling the whole time. Stewie is out of shape so he would probably have a heart attack.
    What a beautiful park!!


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