Saturday, January 13, 2018

Buenos Aires to Splendid Bariloche

As promised, here is the first article Buenos to Bariloche in the heart of the Lake District in Argentina posted on my "Boomer Column" at

First Stop: Buenos Aires to Bariloche, Argentina

Church bells ring outside my window and remind me that Buenos Aires is a strongly Catholic town.
You may recall that Pope Francis is from Buenos Aires and and he often returns to speak at the Metropolitan Cathedral, considered the heart of the city—a city that is a frenetic beehive of activity. 

Enjoy learning more about this diverse region full of outdoor adventures.

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of articles on her site along with information about her novels and articles at

Subscribe to Linda’s blog to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sojourn in South America

My sojourn in South America began and ended in Buenos Aires. Like most Americans my knowledge of the geography of the South America was a bit fuzzy. This journey took me to less-traveled parts of Argentina and Chile providing me with an over-view of the landscape and high points I want to share in a series of pieces on my “Boomer” Column at I will share the links of the pieces as they are published.

First Stop Buenos Aires

to Baraloche Lake
District-the chocolate capital of Argentina.

Second I take you across the Andes to Puerto Varas nestled on the shores of the largest lake in Chile where I hiked the flank of Orsono Volcano.

Not last, and certainly not least, Punta Arenas to Torres Del Paine the wild land at the end of the Earth.

 Finale: Christmas dinner in El Calafate and hiking the maze in Los Glaciares National Park

I hope you will join me on this epic journey orchistrated by Overseas Adventure Travel
Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of articles on her site along with information about her novels and articles at

Subscribe to Linda’s blog to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Heart felt thanks to my readers

I have been on the journey of a self-published author for nearly a decade. In this time of year end reflection it dawns on me that I owe a debt of gratitude to my readers. The collateral goodness of writing is connection with the hearts and minds of kindred spirits. Making a buck is always a good thing, but that is not why writers write. They do it because they want to share experiences in a way that engages and inspires others.
 The act of writing our thoughts comes back to us in strange and mysterious ways.

While I was at a guest ranch a man took a tumble off his horse. He bounced back up smiling and said" I want to thank you little lady. You just saved my life! I read you article the "Art of Falling" and I knew just what to do to break my fall and keep from getting hurt." That meant more to me than I can express here.
Fun Night Sharing Wai-nani with Book Club

It has been so wonderful meeting people online who have read one of my books and have found it worthwhile, even rewarding to travel with me, and my characters. Even though my books are in different genres, a common theme is that they are all destination pieces. They all take you to a places you can't get to any other way. It is my extreme pleasure to give back to the world in this way.

This a note of thanks to all of you have purchased my books and posted reveiws for them. That means so much to get feedback and to know that people have enjoyed my work. I hope there will be many more readers who want to see the ancient Hawaiian culture through Wai-nani's eyes, or will take a thrilling ride with Gemcie in the Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon, or become a stow away in the " Lost Angel's "backpack for more wonderful outdoor adventures.

I am busy gathering more tales for my second travel collection. You can help me by selecting the title you like best.

(1) The Lost Angel Rides Again
(2) Wild Ballou Wander
(3) 50 Shades of Ballou

Please leave a comment letting me know which one you like the best.

Wishing you a Bountiful New Year filled with love and laughter!!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Last Blast for 2017

Rocky Mountain National Park

It's been a wonderful year for me filled with exciting journeys. Here are some of the articles I published that give you details on how to walk in my footsteps if you get a yen for adventure.
It's not over yet! I am leaving for Patagonia in a couple of days and will return with articles about the exotic locales I visit with Overseas Adventure Travel.

Morro Bay
Highlights of the year include attending the Bird Fest in  Morro Bay that takes place in February and kayaking in the estuary.

Exploring Discovery Highway 1 through Caycos, Cambria and points north. This piece details points on the Whale Trail for your viewing pleasure

Hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park just outside of Estes Park.

Riding in the Hoofprints of Isabella Bird at Sylvan Ranch The Lady of Rockies first stop when she rode solo here in 1873.

Getting a real horseback riding experience at the Laramie River Ranch located on the border of Colorado and  Wyoming.

Hiking in the Jack London Beauty Ranch two weeks prior to the dreaful fires that scorched the area.
Linda at Jack London Beauty Ranch

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of articles on her site along with information about her novels and articles at

Subscribe to Linda’s blog to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Horse Book Holiday Giveaways from 4 Great Authors.

Gifts and Giveaways for Horse Lovers


Looking for the Perfect Christmas Gift?

Adventure. Romance. Action. Drama. Inspiration.

Check out the Christmas giveaways from these
4 amazing authors!

Let these equine adventure stories by Laura HesseLinda BallouCarly Kade and Carole T. Beers, help keep you warm this holiday season.

Author, Laura Hesse
One Frosty Christmas is a heartwarming, hanky-waving Christmas classics for girls 8 – 14.
The River Bend Trilogy includes the inspiring and action-packed Walt Disney type of Young Adult equine novels in The Holiday Series: One Frosty Christmas, The Great Pumpkin Ride, and A Filly Called Easter.

Where do I get my FREE copies?
One Frosty Christmas - E-book — FREE worldwide on  Amazon UK  Amazon Australia  Apple Store Kobo  Barnes and Noble  Audible—Free to subscribers, December 10, 2017
The Holiday Series: The Complete River Bend Trilogy – E-Book only FREE on Kindle Unlimited, but only until Christmas - Amazon.comAmazon.ukAmazon.caAmazon.australia

Author, Linda Ballou

The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon: "An adventure that captivates, from show arena to back country wilderness. Inspirational in the power of the human spirit.”  Charisse Glenn - International Endurance Rider and Trainer
Where do I get my FREE copies?
Enter for a FREE book and Audio Book giveaway of The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon via email to
Available on Amazon
Visit Linda Ballou (website)

Author, Carly Kade

In the Reins is a story of mystery, suspense, romance (enter handsome cowboy), and self-discovery as a woman returns to her horse riding roots.
Where do I get my FREE copies?
Enter to Win a FREE copy of In the Reins:
In the Reins (Sequel coming soon!) on Amazon
Visit Carly Kade(website)

Author, Carole T. Beers

Saddle Tramps: Meet Pepper Kane … a sassy ex-reporter, cowgirl, mother of wayward adult kids and daughter of aged parents, who’s putting her brand on a new career in the romantic, mystery-filled modern American West.
Over the Edge (book 2): Danger and desire swirl about modern cowgirl-sleuth Pepper Kane as she uses her ex-reporter skills to solve mysteries she suspects are related.

Where do I get my FREE copies?

Enter to win a FREE copy of Saddle Tramps and Over the Edge on Goodreads:
Saddle Tramps on Amazon
Saddle Tramps on Goodreads
Over the Edge on Amazon
Over the Edge on Goodreads
Visit Carole T. Beers


Friday, November 24, 2017

Winnie Award for Cowgirl at the Equus Film Fest

On Thanksgiving eve I was thrilled to learn that Lisa Diersen, the director of the prestigious 2017 Equus Film Festival selected The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon for the Founders Choice Winnie Award. To receive recognition running in such good company was beyond my expectations.

The response to the book has been extremely gratifying. I wrote the first draft twenty years ago. It was part of the healing process that ensued after an injury that forced me to give up the riding world that I loved. In 2015 I polished and expanded the story for publication.It’s been a tumultuous journey with a very happy ending.

2017 was a wild ride for the Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon.  The first half of the year was dedicated to producing a quality audio book.  Narrator, Scott Glennon, delivered an energetic, authentic rendering of my story that is receiving ALL-STAR REVIEWS on audible.  I had the pleasure of meeting Scott in Denver after my horseback riding adventure at the Laramie River Ranch. He is a part cowboy, part actor and 100% fine human being. I feel so lucky to have him giving voice to my characters.

I still have a few coupons available if you would like to provide an honest review in exchange for a free copy of the audio book email me at

I am an adventure travel writer with a host of travel articles on my site, along with information about my travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, my historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i, as well as my latest novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon
 Subscribe to my blog to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Great Outdoor Day in L.A. - A Trail to Share

Trail mates come in all shapes, sizes, and attitudes.  Get outside of your career coop and hike with someone that gives you fresh points of view. Learn while you burn unwanted calories on this easily accessed 2.5 mile loop.

The Sara Wan trailhead located on Pacific Coast Highway at the foot of Corral Canyon is one of the Santa Monica Conservancy’s newer acquisitions. The well-maintained path is wide enough for two and switches back and forth to heavenly vistas. Bear to the left on your way up canyon and enjoy the murmur of Corral Creek as you begin your hike. Fog chased by a cool breeze off the Pacific drifts through stands of eucalyptus, alder, Coastal Live Oak and willow tracing the path of the creek and keeping things comfortable. Soon you will be in mountains frosted with pink bush mallow and lavender Chia sage, so bring a hat, water, and sun block. Once aloft, you enjoy an easy stroll with sweeping views of the coast all the way to Point Dume. It is hoped that one day the path will connect to  trails across adjacent coastal bluffs, but for now it takes you to a vantage point with stunning views of Catalina and the Santa Monica Bay before leading you back to the parking lot.

The best ahi burger on the entire 27-mile stretch of scenic Malibu Coastline awaits your return at the open air Malibu Seafood Café adjacent to the parking lot. You can treat yourself to lobster live from the tank, or be happy with scrumptious fish and chips. From the upstairs covered patio, dolphins are often seen cavorting in the deep channel. A flock of wild parrots, migrants from Mexico, have made homes in the palms swaying overhead.

A siesta on the Dan Blocker beach on the other side of PCH is a wonderful way to cap off this outdoor day. Bring your swimsuit, umbrella, and a good book and wait for sunset.

You can park in the Santa Monica Conservancy lot all day for seven bucks—such a deal!

Your friend will thank you for bringing them here.

Directions: Malibu SeafoodMarket 25653 Pacific Coast Highway is about 11/2 miles up the coast from Pepperdine University between Malibu Canyon and Kanaan Road. An MTA bus stop is there for those who prefer not to drive.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Over the Moon with Audio Book

Lend me your ears!!

The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon is now available in audio book!! Take a listen 

What readers say about the story.....

There's heartbreak, deceit, courage, loss and redemption. And yes, there's romance. From the glamorous world of California Eventing to the freedom of riding the trails in the mountains, the descriptions make you feel you were there.

Horses. Romance. Adventure - who could need anything more from a book?

Her writing is so descriptive that you feel you are in the saddle and experiencing everything Gemcie does.

 Linda's story of betrayal and loss was beautifully set in the California horse community. Her characters path to healing and redemption will cheer you!

Available on, Amazon and Itunes

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of articles on her site along with information about her novel The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Longest Ride-Pacific Crest Trail

Topanga’s own, Gillian Larson, is the youngest woman to ride the entire Pacific Crest Trail form the border of Mexico to Canada. Not just once, but twice, she met the challenge  on the 2,660 mile journey that include snowdrifts, downed trees, trails eroded from avalanches, bone-chilling temperatures, adjusting to altitude, landslides and rattle snakes. But, the greatest concern for Gillian was providing enough nourishing feed and water for her two horses. All of these challenges were met with a pragmatic and well-thought out approach that she shared in her talk at Malibu Creek State park hosted by ETI Corral 36.

Although 1500 hikers yearly attempt the entire PCT, only a handful of riders have succeeded. The logistics for equestrians are complicated.  Gillian bought a pack saddle and learned how to pack, weigh and tie the panniers to her pack horse. She studied maps and downloaded GPS guides. But, the real learning curve took place on her first attempt in 2014 when she was just 22. In 2016 she applied her hard-won knowledge of the trail and made notes about the best grazing and watering stops she hopes to share in a guidebook for equestrian.

The first 700 mile of the trip from Mexico to Kennedy Meadows on a narrow track tracing a ridge overlooking Anza Borrego desert is dry, so water is the main concern.  In the High Sierra’s where the John Muir Trail, and the Pacific Crest are the same, for 211 miles snow drifts were a major challenge. I was especially interested in how she handled this part of her trek as I took a horse pack trip into “The Range of Light” that inspired sections of my novel The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon. I suffered from altitude sickness and temps that dropped into the 20’s at night in this celestial region where spires poke 13,500 feet into azure skies. Gillian said altitude had little impact on her, or her horses as it is a gradual climb from the floor of Owen’s Valley and she gave her horse’s day lay-overs along the way.
Brave and Bold Shyla

When she entered Oregon over the Bridge of Gods she ran into fickle weather and more snow pack. Washington proved to be magnificently beautiful, but brutal with many log jumbles blocking her way. Still, she pressed on making friends with hikers, and other generous folks along the way. I admire this young woman for having done something that I only dreamed of doing. I tried to capture the celestial beauty of the rugged spires in my writing, but Gillian is the real deal.
Gillian and Shyla

Linda Ballou, author of The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon, loves seeing the world from the back of a good horse. Read articles about horse treks, guest ranches she has enjoyed and more about her book at

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Freedom Trail

To see wild horses roaming free across the rolling green hills of California makes me smile. There is a long standing battle taking place to save the herds of wild horses emblematic of the American west from the slaughter house. Presently, fifty-thousand horses are being held in Bureau of land Management holding pens awaiting their futures. Sadly, they will most likely be destroyed if an answer to their dilemma does not come soon.
The Return to Freedom organization with two central California locations, one in Lompoc and one on a 300 acre ranch in San Luis Obispo give safe harbor to 400 wild horses. You can see from this video that they have a good life, are fit and roaming free in this bucolic setting.

The plight of the wild mustangs in America is not new. The cattlemen want the range land owned by the government for their stock. The Bureau of Land Management contend that the wild herds are over-grazing federal lands and must be culled. They continue to use helicopters to round up thousands of horses each year. Only 32,000 wild horses out of the 2 million that once roamed the west remain.  Meanwhile, the battle in congress to pass a bill that would protect the herds and provide a budget to handle the situation humanely continues.

Return to Freedom is a non-profit organization provides some fun and informative ways for you to support the cause.  They offer a docent guided walking tour of the sanctuary with some time for quiet observation of the herd. You will meet some of the mustangs that live there and learn about the horses as a native species with it’s origins in American history.

They also offer a photo safari on the San Luis Obispo property
On 2,000 acres of horse heaven in Central Coastal California, 70 wild horses and 16 burros roam free. Safaris last 3 hours and can be scheduled for early morning or late afternoon. Picnic basket with healthy snacks and light meal provided – end your Photo Safari with a pre-arranged picnic lunch or dinner in the hills with mountain top views to the sea! 
On the Return to Freedom site under “Issues” tab you can sign a petition to let your representatives know that you care about the future of the wild herds, or you can simply donate funds to this very worthy cause.
Photo Credit: Tony Stromberg 

 Visit the www.returntofreedom for more information.
Linda Ballou is the author of the Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon.