Tag Archives: Dubuque Historic

Winter Beauty

Quiet Walker Lodge
Sometimes God blesses us with the most awesome sign of his presence. This morning I woke up to this beautiful landscape outside my front windows. As much as I complain about plowing, shoveling, driving and freezing in this winter, I am reminded of just how beautiful it can be.

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Mound Bread

Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast DubuqueRecently I traveled to Sinsinawa Mound to tour the Mother House of the Sinsinawa Dominican sisters. This exquisite site is the world headquarters for the sisters and the retirement home for those who are aging. It was a fantastic place to visit. I had heard about their famous breads and I was not disappointed when I tried several of their specialties. The “Mound Bread” became famous for its homemade flavor in the 1960s and ’70s. People who visited Sinsinawa Mound wanted more of the bread to take home and share with family and friends. As word spread about the bread, the demand continued to grow. Today, close to 70,000 baked goods are sold to friends and guests every year. The money from the bread helps support the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters as they continue their mission of preaching and teaching the Gospel.

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New Baskets

“Iowa Lodging at Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast, a Country Inn and Dubuque area bed and breakfast located near Dubuque, Iowa. Quiet Walker Lodge B & B This past week I have been working on some new basket weaving techniques. I have finished two new baskets! I enjoy relaxing here at Quiet Walker Lodge and weaving new designs. I am looking forward to 2012. I will be learning how to weave and use gourds to create some unusual designs. My willow patch produced some great willow. I hope to make a basket using the beautiful orange willow that I have harvested this year.

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Linda Rodrigues

Christmas at the Lodge

Quiet Walker Lodge B & B

The Main Lodge

“Iowa Lodging at Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast, a Country Inn and Dubuque area bed and breakfast located near Dubuque, Iowa” /> Although there is no snow yet on the ground, I am still wishing for a white Christmas. The surrounding area is all aglow with lights and moving reindeer. It is beautiful to drive around and see the various displays on neighbors front lawns. One of my favorite displays is on Asbury Road in Dubuque. A farmer has a huge star glowing on his silo. It is breathtaking!
There are many plays, musicals and choirs entertaining tourists at this time of year. The festival of trees event was awesome and the Senior High Choir gave us all a glimpse of the festive spirit. Vendors lined Main Street with delicious food, warm drinks and one-of-a-kind holiday goodies. Buddy the Elf, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf, and the Grinch also were there! The Dubuque Senior High School Choir performed and the tree lighting ceremony signaled the official start of the 2011 Festival of Trees. It was a great event to participate in.
We have already had a few parties at the lodge. It is always nice to share a meal with friends and family for the holidays. We here at Quiet Walker Lodge hope you have a blessed holiday and a great New Year.

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Linda Rodrigues

Midwest Basket Guild

Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and BreakfastThis Saturday, members of the Quad Cities Guild were treated to an all day weaving workshop by the Midwest Basket Guild. Members enjoyed wine tasting at Quiet Walker Lodge and the beautiful weather! After weaving, the ladies were treated to a tour of the lodge and grounds. I enjoy basket weaving and meeting other weavers. Right now I am working on two willow baskets and planning a trip to the Make it- Take it workshop in Davenport.
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Linda Rodrigues

Summer Time Fun

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My latest baskets

Dubuque Bed Breakfast

This summer I have been busy making baskets. These are three of my new additions and I am learning more techinques to make the baskets personal. The cherokee circles on my bean pot basket were fun to do and I enjoyed the progressive basket where we had one person weave the base, another the sides and the thrird person finished the basket. I was amazed at the ways different weavers applied personal techinques to make unique and fun baskets. Now we are getting ready for the Quad Cities Basket Weaving Guild coming to the lodge to weave the latest basket by teacher Jeanne Dudley. We will be weaving Mom’s Santa Fe Tote and the weavers will be visitng the lodge to weave part of the basket here before moving on to Park Farm Winery. It will be fun to be weaving with all these great weavers from Iowa.

Besides weaving, working in the greenhouses and finishing my flower beds and two songbird garden beds, I have been helping Carol with the innkeeping at the lodge. More and more people are finding us on the net and reserving dates to stay at the lodge. One of the highlights of June was a garden wedding held on a cool summer evening here at the lodge. It was awesome and beautiful to see the bride and groom walk down the rolling hill towards the willow tree to say their vows. After the service, the wedding party and their 50 guests enjoyed dinner, catered by Hy-Vee. It was a great day.

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Linda Rodrigues

Lightening Bugs light up the night

Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast near Galena
In the warm summer nights here at Quiet Walker Lodge, I enjoy how nature displays her own July 4th fireworks show. The lightening bugs hover above the forest floor and flash thousands of little lights to help them find each other for mating.

Whether you call them lightening bugs or fireflies, these little guys are part of the beetle family called Lampyridae. They have four stages of a life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The adults live for one to two weeks and feed on nectar, pollen or other insects. Their main focus though is on mating. After mating, the females lay their eggs in tall grass or under mulch. The eggs hatch this summer and the larva live until next summer when they transform into adults.

The light produced by the lightening bug is a cold light meaning that the chemical reaction to produce the light is nearly all light and very little heat. Each species of lightening bug has a distinctive pattern of flashes so that the males and females can recognize their own species by the flashing.

The light show will not last for long so come on out to the lodge and see this spectacular show!

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Linda Rodrigues

Lasagna Gardening at Quiet Walker Lodge

Quiet Walker Lodge

Our Rose Garden is Beautiful!

Next month a group of my friends will be coming to Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast to help plant a songbird garden. They are bringing slips of plants from their own gardens to put in the new area. I have been busy preparing the ground for planting. I did alot of research and decided to try a new method called Lasagna Gardening. It requires no tilling of the land which can sometimes cause more damage than good. In Lasagna Gardening the first step is to place newspaper down to control the weeds. The next step is to alternate between green and brown materials. I had three large mulch piles from last year that I put down for my brown material. I added some green vegetable and fruit scraps and topped it will another layer of compost and cow manure.

I was able to get birdhouses, rocks and landscape extras in place and now I am ready to wrap around the garden with deer fencing. We have alot of deer here who would love to munch on the new plants that will be placed in the garden next month. So I need to fence off the area and install a gate for guests to enter the garden. I have never installed a gate before so I am hoping the man at the hardware store can give me some tips.

When I am finished preparing the songbird garden, I will move to the vegetable garden I am setting up next to the large greenhouse. During the months of February and March I have been starting my vegetable seeds in egg cartons. I transferred them to larger paper pots and they are ready to be planted outside in May. I bought these new beds that are easy to assemble and will not rot, crack or deteriorate in Iowa weather. As soon as I get the beds in and the deer fencing and gate done for this area, I will be able to plant the vegetables. I can’t wait to get to that point and watch the garden grow!

My blubs I planted last year have made their way through the ground and are beginning to bloom. The daffodils are beautiful and surprisingly the deer do not like them. In the greenhouse, this is the first year I have had a bumper crop of blood oranges and cherries. The roses have also adapted to their new surroundings and we are getting lovely roses for the bed and breakfast guests. Spring is a wonderful season and it is so much fun to watch the garden grow.

 

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The Cheerful Runner

Dubuque HotelsMy daughter-in-law and son came to Iowa to visit me. Both of them are avid runners. Gina even has a blog on her running experiences. She calls herself the cheerful runner! I am not a cheerful runner….cheerful walker yes….cheerful runner no. Both of the kids had a workout running up and down our mile long steep driveway in the country. I think they enjoyed the scenery as they exercised for their next run.
Besides running, my son enjoyed driving the tractor and moving wood to the wood pile. He was a big help with the wood cutting. It is nice to have them come and visit. I think they should come in the winter and run through the forest with 3 feet of snow. That would give them a real workout!

 

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We are on YouTube

Quiet Walker Lodge B & B is on YouTube!Our beautiful rooms here at Quiet Walker Lodge B&B are now posted on youtube and facebook. Come and experience the difference here at the lodge. We offer whirlpool tubs, an indoor Koi pond and solarium and a full breakfast. If you are looking for the perfect getaway, we have the place. Check us out!

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Linda Rodrigues

Videos compiled by Jim Rodrigues

Ice Dams

Dubuque Iowa B&BI have learned something new living here where ice can be a person’s worst enemy. This past week, we had a lot of snow and freezing weather. My home has two dorms where there are valleys between them. When I started having leaks on the ceiling of the enclosed porch, I learned about the dreaded ice dams.

An ice dam is an accumulation of ice that forms at the end of a roof. It prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The water then backs up behind the dam and causes leaks. I researched ice dams to learn how they form. Apparently the way it works is the higher parts of the roof that are above 32 degrees melt the snow and the water travels to the lower surfaces that are still below 32 degrees. In my case, the valley formed by the dorm does not get much sun and so the snow does not melt like the roof above it. When this water reaches this lower portion of the roof, it freezes and, as the water backs up, an ice dam is formed! As the melting snow above continues to run down to the lower portion of the roof that does not get the sun rays, the water backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. The water then has no where to go and finds cracks and openings to relieve the pressure forming leaks.

Since I can not climb up on the roof every time it snowed heavily, I began looking for information about how to prevent ice dams. I learned about heat tape. These are electric heating cables that reduce ice formation along roof edges, in gutters, drains and downspouts to provide a path for meltwater, allowing it to flow off the structure. Apparently you put the cables in the area where the ice dam forms and then plug the cables into an outlet to provide enough heat to keep the ice dam from forming.

Another lesson learned about living in snow country!

 

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Winter is Here!

Quiet Walker Lodge B&B
Yesterday we had the big blizzard that dumped heavy snow throughout the region. I like snow as long as I do not have to drive in it. It was beautiful to watch snowflakes drift down and attach to the trees. In the late afternoon it looked like a winter fairyland. The trees were blanketed with snow and, on the ground, I could only see the hoof prints of deer who were traveling through looking for food.
In the winter I make bird food out of leftover fruit, vegetables, bread and gravy that I store in my freezer during the summer months. I blend it all together and make a bird loaf to put on my bird feeder. The birds really appreciate the extra fat and nutrients during the harsh cold. I also spread corn out for the deer to give them an extra boost during the winter. I am surprised at how many birds travel through the area and come to the bird feeder.
I am learning how to fix internet and the tv on my own. I have a large pole with a brush attached to it so, during the heavy snow fall, I can sweep the snow off the satellite dishes. This works extremely well and so far I have been successful. I also bought some children’s ski poles at our local goodwill store and I use those to walk up and down the driveway to get the mail.
I am so glad I spilt as many logs last fall as I did. I heat the house, as much as I can, using the wood burning fireplace. When it gets down to minus 1, I turn on the heater. But when it is in the thirties, the fireplacer does a good job of heating the house and saving me energy.
I am also fortunate that one of the sheriff officer’s for the county does snowplowing on the side and he makes sure my driveway is plowed and any trees that have fallen are moved out of the way. He is a great guy.
I know most people hate the winter, but I find it very relaxing. It is a time for me to hiberate and reflex on the past year, looking forward to the challenges of the new year. There is beauty to be found in the peacefulness of the land.

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My favorite season

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Coco

I like all of the seasons here in Iowa, but Fall is my favorite. It is not too hot or too cold and the leaves are just beginning the color change before they curl up and fall off the trees. This is the season for harvest festivals, pumpkin bread and hot apple cider. A time to begin preparing for the winter that is coming. The time when my little dog puts on his sweater.

The farmer in the valley below has been harvesting the corn. I find it interesting to watch the method of taking the corn out of the fields and the wagons filled to the rim chugging along the country roads. Corn must be at the greatest ripeness possible. If the corn is not ripe enough, the product will be of high quality. Farmers must determine the ripeness in testing the kernel moisture content. The farmer hand picks several ears of corn, shells them and tests the mositure content. Harvesting of corn should take place at 15 to 18 percent moisture content. When it is ready, the farmer uses a combine that harvests the grain. The corn is threshed by the combine, and the corn husks are discarded onto the ground. Then the grain is temporarily stored in a chamber inside the combine. Once the chamber is full, the grain is dumped into a truck bed or silo until it’s sold. When ready to sell the corn. the farmer takes it to an elevator, where grain is communally stored. At the elevator, the truck is weighed prior to and following dumping the grain into the silo in order to determine the weight of the grain. From the elevator, the corn is sold to feed companies, corn syrup manufacturers and others. This year many fields were damaged because of the rain during the summer causing some fields to be destroyed.

Last weekend I was invited to a sawmill party on Mudd Lake road. Behind the farmhouse was a old sawmill mill where my friend’s husband sawed wood the old fashion way. The engine of the massive saw was an old engine from the Dubuque airport. With 200 horsepower it sawed the wood from the tree trunks as if it was butter. It was interesting to watch how Mark moved the heavy log into position so that the saw would cut it with perfection. As we all sat drinking hot apple cider and watching the wood planks cut I thought it doesn’t get much better than this!

Next week a willow convention will be held here at the lodge. Those registered for the weekend will learn how to collect wild willow, sort and store it. Of course we will also be making rims and learning some new basket techniques. It will be a lot of fun. I have already taken a class using pine needles and this will be my second willow class. In all I have made four baskets for Christmas presents.

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Why Iowa?

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A year ago, my husband and I decided to move to Dubuque, Iowa from the San Francisco Bay Area. All of our friends and most of our family thought we had lost a few screws in our brains! We were constantly asked “Why Iowa?”. People move out of Iowa and come to sunny California. Nobody moves from the land of milk and honey to Iowa! Even our governor put down Iowa in an ad campaign for California.

All I heard from my well intentioned friends and neighbors was that it was humid in the summer and freezing in the winter. They continued to remind me about the Bay Area weather, restaurants, culture and beauty of my native land. Why would you trade this in for corn and tornadoes? You don’t even have family in the midwest!

Even when I arrived in Iowa, Iowans asked me why did you leave California for here? Are you aware of the weather? Have you been through a winter here?

Well I am happy to report now that yes I have been through a winter in Iowa and I survived. So let me tell you why I chose Dubuque, Iowa.

We love the ocean, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, the Napa Valley, Muir Woods and the beauty of the Bay Area. But we do not like visiting these places with 2 million other people. We do not like the cost to park the car, the fees, the crowds, the litter, or the noise of so many people caged together in a limited space.

We do not like the lines at banks, stores, and doctor’s offices. When you finally get to be the first in line the customer service person has been yelled at by so many people that they are unfriendly and robotic.

We do not like the commute traffic day in and day where we are paying more at the gas pump to sit idle on the freeway.

We do not like the shoving and pushing in the malls and the total lack of respect shown by shoppers to sales staff and other shoppers.

In the past 5 years we had to have alarms placed on our vehicles. Crime became a common household word as more home invasions, gang related crimes and muggings occured in the neighborhood. The elderly never came out of their homes. I would not walk at night . We basically became prisoners in our own living room.

The pace of life was becoming more chaotic. Utility fees, housing permits, gas and taxes ate up most of the paycheck. We would come home exhausted from work only to turn on the news and hear more about killings and drugs. We began to question what is quality of life.

Now I am not saying that Iowa does not also have its share of problems. But on scale with California they are no where near as high.

I live in the country on a bluff surrounded by a forest reserve. I drive along the Little Maqoketa eight miles into the city of Dubuque. The birds sing, the bald eagles soar, the river meanders through the limestone and I feel relaxed and well. There are no lines here. I am seen within 10 minutes at the medical clinic. We have some of the best doctors and hospitals around. There are five higher institutions of learning here. People smile and say hello even if they do not know you. Your name is remembered by your banker, store clerks, and business people. It takes less then five minutes to change a license from California to Iowa and you get the license right there! There are not countless housing permits, inspections and fees to build a house in Iowa like in California. Gas prices are lower here. Housing prices are extremely reasonable. Schools are good. There is very little litter or graffiti. We have name brand restaraunts. We have excellent music and arts activities many of which are free. And the crowds of people who go to the large events is very manageable. We are always able to find a parking space.

But what we like the most is the beauty of the northeast Iowan landscape. The beautiful Mississippi River is awesome and not crowded with people or boats. The animals, birds, butterflies and lizard are abundant. Orioles, cardinals, finches, bluebirds, woodpeckers and many more birds flock to our feeders each morning. Red fox, deer, wild turkeys, quail visit me early in the morning and at sundown. I can see the stars at night and hear the crickets outside my window. It is peaceful and serene.

So yes I have to deal with ice for a few weeks. And maybe I might not have the variety of shops or selection that is offered in the Bay Area. But I have online shopping and Chicago is only three hours away. What I do have is a beautiful country setting where I can re-energize each day, a community that takes pride in its town, people who have not forgotten what it means to be respectful, friendly and honest. And a countryside filled with beauty. I am happy and proud to be an Iowan!

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Willow Weaving

Quiet Walker Lodge | Dubuque Bed Breakfast | Dubuque hotelsThere is a book out that talks about the 100 things you want to accomplish before you die. I always have had trouble with that book because I love to learn new things and I can’t seem to narrow it down to 100. I enjoy experiencing life and new things.

This week I explored the art of willow weaving. I love baskets and have always wanted to learn how to do natural baskets. In Dubuque I met some wonderful people and joined the Basket Weaving Guild. There was a teaching seminar being held at Jo Campbell’s place in Monticello and I joined up with Regina and Sandy to spend two days learning willow weaving.

I was a little nervous because I am a green horn and all the other ladies have been making baskets for many years. Jo was the best teacher and the other ladies encouraged me on. My first willow basket turned out ugly and I was not pleased with it. I am realizing how very important it is to get the ribs equal distance and secure. I also learned that I need to get the willow very warm and bendable.

My second basket is the one pictured. I am still working on it, but I am happy with it so far. I am making some of these baskets for Christmas gifts for my children.

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I am also going to grow my own little willow patch so I have my materials right here. I am learning from Jo how to harvest willow and trying to absorb as much as I can. I find it so fascinating that after you cut the willow, you place it in the freezer so it does not dry out. Otherwise you need to soak it and can only do that two times before the willow is not at its best for weaving.

I have made some new friends and have learned much this week. I even appreciate my bought baskets  more and realize the work and art that has gone into them.

Fish flies

Fish flies cling to a riverfront fence Tuesday in Dubuque.Last June when I arrived in Dubuque, I took a walk along the riverfront. It was there I had my first encounter with fish flies. They were clumped together around the lamps and the sides of the building. I asked my new friend what they were and she said flies that come for about a week and make a mess of the riverfront. It was at that point that I decided to learn a little about these interesting flies.

Today they are back again. What I have learned about them is fascinating. They live for only 24 hours. Their technical name is mayflies and they emerge out of the water during the hot summer months. Mayfly nymphs live in water for anywhere from three to four weeks to two-and-a-half years, depending on the species. While in the water, they live on plant material and attempt to avoid hungry fish, salamanders and even dragonflies. After they hatch, they fly around for about 6 hours. They have no mouths so they do not eat.

After flying around for 6 hours, the males form swarms to excite the females and breeding occurs.

Most females fly upstream before laying their eggs. The eggs, as many as 8,000 from each female, drop to the river bottom. This occurs within about 5 minutes after they have mated. They then fly around for another 6 hours usually close to light like a lamp post. They cling to the post and then die.

I wondered about the purpose of the Mayflies and thought maybe it is to feed the fish. If each female fly deposits 8,000 eggs, I would hope the fish eat most of them because if they all hatched we would have invasion of the Mayflies!

I am glad I do not have to clean up the mess of millions of dead fish flies. They are only found close to the river and never migrate this far into the interior. I have even heard of cars sliding around when there are so many of them on the road. People tell me it is like black ice without the cold. Only in the Midwest!

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Red Fox of the Little Maquoketa

Last week, as I was driving to school, a red fox sprung out of the ravine next to the Little Maquoketa and crossed the road. I slowed down and pulled off the road to watch this majestic animal. As he got to the other side he turned and looked at me. His face reminded me of my Pomeranian at home.
Outdoor Wedding | Quiet Walker Lodge | Dubuque IA
I thought about him and wondered about his habitat and how he lives here in Iowa. The red fox is versatile and intelligent. He is a skillful, solitary hunter who preys on mice, rabbits, birds, and insects. But he will also eat fruit, vegetables, frogs and worms and even dog food! I am sure our forest area and meandering streams is a great habitat.

His thick tail helps him balance. He also uses its tail to cover him in cold weather and to communicate with other foxes. Foxes also communicate with each other by making scent posts using trees or rocks to let other foxes know they are around.

In winter, foxes meet to mate. The vixen (female) usually gives birth to a litter of 2 to 12 pups. Red foxes are brown or gray when they are born. After the first month, they grow in a new red coat. Both
parents care for their young through the summer and then the children go out on their own.

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Mother Nature’s frosting

IA Bed Breakfast | Dubuque IA HotelsOur place looks like an enchanted magical forest. A thick coat of ice crystals covers the branches of the trees and tree stumps. This is known as hoarfrost. The frost makes objects appear hoary, or white with age. It forms when there is too much moisture in the air and the water vapor changes from a gas to a solid. It then cools on the surfaces of the trees, leaves and even down the sides of poles. The dew point needs to be below 32 degrees for hoarfrost to form. It is spectacular to see the crystal gaze.

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Bald Eagle Watching Special at Quiet Walker Lodge B & B

Bird Watching | Quiet Walker LodgeQuiet Walker Lodge a Nature ParadiseIt is that time of year for bald eagle watching in Dubuque! At one time, bald eagles nested all over the United states until lead posioning diminished their numbers. Federal and state agencies have been working to protect the bald eagle from extinction. Now there are more than 10,000 nesting pairs and you can see some of them right here in Dubuque.

The American Bald Eagle visits the Upper Mississippi River each year from mid-December through February. Dubuque is a popular wintering area for these birds because of the abundant food and open water. Our Lock and Dam #11 keeps the river from freezing thus allowing the eagles to hunt for fish.

Dubuque Audubon Society is celebrating the American Bald Eagle with the Dubuque Eagle Watch on Saturday, January 23rd at the Grand River Center. Free Trolley Rides from the Grand River Center to the Lock and Dam #11 will be given from 9AM to 3PM. Exhibitors and vendors will be at the center providing educational information and nature items for sale.

In recognition of the American Bald Eagle, Quiet Walker Lodge will be offering a 10% discount on the weekend of  January 23rd (Friday thru Sunday night). Just mention the Bald Eagle Watch Special. So grab your binoculars and come on out to Dubuque to enjoy the majesty of our American Bald Eagles.

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Quiet Walker Lodge Receives 2009 Best of Durango Award

Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast for Your Iowa Vacation Travle Enjoyment
WASHINGTON D.C., June 8, 2009 — Quiet Walker Lodge has been selected for the 2009 Best of Durango Award in the Bed & Breakfasts category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

CONTACT:
U.S. Commerce Association
Email: PublicRelations@us-ca.org
URL: http://www.us-ca.org

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