Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Purgatory or Paradise



My mission is to get to as many beautiful places that I can before they are gone! It looks like the climate crisis is putting an even greater urgency on my quest than ever before. I have been working on getting to Australia for a while. Now, that I am booked with Overseas Adventure Travel on their Ultimate Australia tour the place is on fire. I don't know if I'm heading for purgatory or paradise! One thing for certain I'm going! I will give you a full report of what areas are being most heavily impacted and those that are not.
I am touring Tasmania on my own with Air B&B bookings around the Island state. My last stop will be the Blue Mountains which is a two hour train ride out of Sydney. Fires definitely have sullied the air there, but hopefully it will have cleared by the time I arrive in Feb. If so, it will be a great capper to an incredible journey.

Wish me luck! I am wishing you all the best of luck for fabulous New Year!

Linda Ballou, shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com.  You will find information about her novels and media offerings at www.LindaBallouauthor.com.

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




Sunday, December 29, 2019

Kudos for The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon



Take a thrilling ride from the Grand Prix jumping circuit to the wilds of the John Muir Wilderness with Gemcie on her trail to self-discovery.

 In the story Gemcie is on her way to the World Cup when she is injured and has to give up professional riding. She determines to ride solo on the John Muir Trail in an attempt to sort out the confusion in her life. It was quite a leap of faith for me to publish this story.  Writing it was part of my own healing process when I had to give up riding do to my own injury.

 I am so pleased that The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards and the Founder's Choice at the Equus Film Fest.  Cowgirl has received numerous 5-Star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads from horse lovers and general readers alike. Here are some of my favorite comments from readers

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

“ I could smell the leather and sweat, feel the wind buffeting the flags at the shows, hear the whispers of the trees when Gemcie was out in the trail.”

“ Her writing is so descriptive that you feel you are in the saddle and experiencing everything Gemcie does. The words describing the amazing mountains makes you able to feel the wind and smell the rain.”

“Grand Pix has never been more intriguing! Linda Ballou creates a scenario of charismatic characters, beautiful surroundings, incredible inspiration, and horse adventure. “

The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon on   Audible and Amazon.usAmazon.us and Amazon.uk


Linda Ballou is an adventure travel writer with a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales; historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i; as well as her novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.

 Subscribe to my blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.



Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Magic of the Season



















This year I ticked off several of my bucket list adventures. It seemed everyone I know has been to Bryce, Zion and Yosemite but me, so I made it my mission to reach those destinations. Zion did not disappoint, but most of the trails were closed due to heavy snow. The famous “Tunnel Road” to Bryce was closed! I had to take Hwy 14, a circuitous route to Bryce.  Towering snow berms framed the snaking mountain road that took me to the top of world and views to eternity. About that time my car starting talking to me.  It would not let me know exactly what was wrong adding to my consternation. It was a long tow to anywhere, so I just kept the pedal to the medal and breathed a sigh of relief when I finally got to my lodging.
Here is a piece I wrote about Zion  and  Bryce Canyon. 


Watchman Trail -Zion


In Yosemite, I stayed at Tenaya Lodge on the south gate of the park. It was a 35 mile drive to the valley floor where most of the major attractions are located, so I spent more time in the Mariposa Grove, Wawona and Glacier Point. All three are fabulous destinations without the crowds. I feel fortunate to live in such close proximity to the wonders of Yosemite and hope to return again and explore the higher regions John Muir loved so well.
Link Yosemite: You Must Come and See 
Mariposa Grove-Yosemeti

Much of this year was spent defining priorities and taking stock of what I have accomplished thus far in my brief time on the planet. My mission remains to get to as many beautiful places I can before they are gone. With that thought in mind I am heading “Down Under” in January 2020. Wildfires raging out of control, record temps attributed to global warming and a hideous drought that has ravaged the country will not stop me. I will give you a full report when I return from the “Sunburned Country.”
Until then, wishing you a joyous and prosperous New Year filled with adventure.

Linda Ballou, shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com.  You will find information about her novels and media offerings at www.LindaBallouauthor.com.

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

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Heavenly Hikes in Hawaii

Mark Twain described the Hawaiian Islands as the “prettiest archipelago ever to lay anchor in the South Pacific.” I agree, but so do millions of other travelers! Still, you can find serenity in a sublime setting if you bend an effort to get off the beaten track. Here are a few of my favorite less-traveled trails.
Maunawili Demonstration Trail, Oahu
Oahu, the gathering place where millions enjoy the healing waters of Waikiki, is perhaps the hardest island to find respite from crowds. On a recent trip, however, I stumbled upon the Maunawili Demonstration Trail, a high and dry path hugging the canyon wall overlooking Kailua town and the shimmering Pacific far below. It is an Eden-like track framed in lush ti plants, huge fanning tree ferns, kukui trees, wild orchids, and an amazing variety of mosses and frilly ferns. The only sound is the music of thousands of birds flitting about in the tree canopy.
Clearings open to the fluted walls of the Ko’olau Mountain range sheathed in shaggy green verdure. The trailhead is at the first scenic lookout after you leave the second tunnel on the Pali Highway, the main artery from Honolulu to Kailua. There have been closures on the highway in need of repairs. Be alert to traffic signs indicating what days it will be open.
The Sleeping Giant, or Nounou Trail, Kauai
I love the famous Kalalau trail that traces the Napali Coast of Kauai, but it is heavily trafficked.
The Sleeping Giant, or Nounou Trail behind Kapaa town is a nice alternative. The 4-miles in and back is mostly frequented by locals. It can be muddy and is a bit of a climb, but worth it to enjoy stunning views of the coastline.
Tropical foliage abundant with blooms frames the path. Take a breather at the rest stop at the top of the hike to meditate on the beauty before you continue for a longer hike.
The trailhead is located in the Wailua House parking lots at the top of Haleilo Road near the water pump station.
Kilauea Iki Trail, Big Island of Hawai’i
Due to earthquakes and lava flows on the flank of Kilauea Volcano on The Big Island of Hawai’i, the Kilauea Iki Trail was closed in 2018.
When I hiked it in 2014, you could go across the crater floor to the Thurston Lava tube on the other side of the caldera.
It has re-opened, but now it is a 4-mile in and out that takes you on switchbacks down the inside of the sleeping caldera.
When you reach the crater floor, steaming fumaroles warn of impending danger. Stay on the track marked by rock cairn or risk melting the soles of your shoes. The trailhead is at the Volcanoes National Park Visitors Center.
Bamboo forest trail in Hana, Maui
Rise early and drive the Hana Highway through sparkling, dew-laden meadows, stopping to take in splendid Wailua Falls along the way to Haleakala National Park in Hana. The Pipiwai Trail is a root and rock-strewn path that traces a death-defying gorge up to the Waimoku Falls, a 400-foot plunge down a sheer rock face.
A portion of the track goes through a towering wind-whipped bamboo forest that felt like being inside a giant wind chime. At the end of the hike take a plunge in the Seven Sacred Pools.
Spend a night in Hana to avoid the crowds arriving on tour buses around 11:00 AM. There are several budget options listed on airbnb in Hana. This will allow you to enjoy the famous Road to Hana and this very popular trail.
Halawa Valley on Moloka’i
The sacred Halawa Valley located on Moloka’i, the least molested of the Hawaiian Islands, was the home of the first Polynesian settlers around 570 A.D. You may hike to Moa’ula Falls with a Hawaiian guide and swim in the bracing pool beneath the falls.
A shroud of mystery hangs over Moloka’i, the home to priests that could pray a person to death. The great lizard Mo’ guards the pool where Hina the Goddess of the Moon resides in a nearby cave.
At the trailhead, you are greeted by a descendant of those who lived in valley where Hawaiians continue to raise taro and pound it to poi—the pasty purple staple of the people of old.
You are given a welcoming honi (forehead to forehead nose rub) and blessing then assigned to a guide for the walk. This 3.4 mile walk in and out is on private property, so you need to make a reservation to enter. There is a fee, but in my opinion it is worth it; you are supporting the Ohana, or Hawaiian family that resides there.
Alltrails.com, whose trail links I have supplied here, is a handy app that gives information on trails around the globe. Subscription $29.99 annually.
Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai’i
Linda Ballou is the author of Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai’i set in pre-contact Hawai’i. If you purchase Wai-nani on her site, www.LindaBallouAuthor.com, you will receive Wai-nani’s Wayfinder a map of sacred sites on the Big Island, that Linda created.
Linda Ballou shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com. You will find information about her novels and media offerings at www.LindaBallouauthor.com

Sunday, November 24, 2019

We don't save beauty. It saves us!

We don't save beauty. It saves us. Gretel Erhlich



I believe the secret to youth is to fill your mind with beauty. Whether it be the smile of a new born, a touching melody, the perfection of art, the cresendo of crashing waves, or a moving landscape-- the act of filling your heart and mind with what you find beautiful is what matters.

Goat Camp, Tylos Lodge B.C.

There you have it. The answer to the question that sent Ponce de Leon through treacherous mosquito infested jungles on a futile journey to the New World. The quest that prompts millions to spend billions on potions in a jar, or on surgical nips and tucks, ends with this truth. It is the absorption of the beauty, found free of charge, that will keep your heart clear and your mind cleansed.


My mission is to get to as many beautiful places as I can before they are gone( or I am, whichever comes first). It keeps the rust of my soul and my spirit soaring.
Linda at Sierra Retreat-Malibu, CA

Linda Ballou, shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com.  You will find information about her novels and media offerings at www.LindaBallouauthor.com.

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







Wednesday, November 20, 2019

BE FREE IN YOUR WILDNESS-Lost Angel Walkabout interview




Whether you are an armchair traveler, or an adrenaline junkie you will find inspiration in this interview. So much fun sharing with Lisa and Nancy who focus thier travels on National Parks. I really enjoyed sharing my adventures with them. Lisa said my writing made her want to sit down under a tree and let the world go by. It gave her respite from our busy world.. This made me feel that my mission to engage readers and deliver them to many beautiful places I have had the priviledge to enjoy was accomplished.

Take a listen and please comment. Feed back is always welcome.


Linda Ballou, shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com.  You will find information about her novels and media offerings at www.LindaBallouauthor.com.

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





Friday, October 25, 2019

Hooked on the High Country


The sierra is a special place. This is my third time riding through here and every time I fall just a little bit more in love with these mountains.” Gillian Larsen


In 2017 I introduced you to this incredible young woman who is so hooked on the beauty of the High Country she has clocked up 10,000 miles on horseback riding the Pacific Crest Trail. 

  Since beginning her through rides  in 2014 on PCT she has learned many lessons from her horses. She says they were hard earned miles in backcountry that was sometimes too hot, too cold and too wet.

When she hits a damaged section in the trail she the finds a way to back track so she doesn’t miss any of the beautiful scenery along the way. She marches forward in a rythemic stride on trails hugging sheer canyon walls that leave no room for error. If you happen to run into a hiker or another horse pack group you can’t turn around. In forested areas, she has run into downed trees across the trail that she has had to saw through to clear the path. Snow drifts at these high elevations can also be an impassable hazard that calls for long strenuous detours.

I find Gillian to be inspiration for the novel that has been on the back burner for me for about ten years. Isabella Bird rode solo in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in 1873.  Her feet froze to her stirrups as she climbed steadily higher in the ethereal back country. Mesmerized by the beauty of lofty crags framing jade snow-fed lakes she ventured on. Gillian is showing me how she has become addicted to the serenity and being immersed in the mountain grandeur.

Gillian says “It's all worth it though for the mind blowing amount of beauty that is out there." 

In The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon I take you from the Grand Prix jumping circuit to the eastern Sierra's. Think Wild on Horseback.  


Linda Ballou, shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com.  You will find information about her novels and media offerings at www.LindaBallouauthor.com.


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

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Finding Solace in the High Country


In The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon Gemcie determines to ride solo on the John Muir Trail in an attempt to sort out the confusion in her life.  While trying to capture the ethereal beauty of the John Muir Wilderness, I hoped to capture the imaginations of those who have not been privileged to ride or hike in the fragile beauty of the high country.



Nevermore, no matter how weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever. John Muir”- My Summer in the Sierra’s 1869

With this thought in mind I can only feel gratitude that I was able to ride amongst the spires that inspired his musings that touched my soul so deeply. I tried in my own less masterful way to bring this experience home to readers .
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On my recent trip to Yosemite I was once again inspired by the imutable beauty of the Sierra Mountains Muir loved so well.

I am very proud that The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon was a winner at the Equus Film Fest in New York. It has also won the Indie Excellence Award and is receiving 5-star Reviews on the print, kindle and audio Book!


Find a host of adventure travel articles at www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.
 Subscribe to her blog   http://lindaballoutalkingtoyou.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Nature can be our Salvation - Big Blend Radio Interview


Lisa, and her mother Nancy, host a show honoring National Parks about the globe. Several of the day trips in my latest book Lost Angel in Paradise.   They were especially interested to learn more about the Santa Monica Mountains and the effects of the horrific Woolsey fire in 2018. I really enjoyed chatting with them and sharing why I just had to write this book.  Please join us on a journey up the coast of California.




 My travel collection Lost Angel Walkabout is an armchair traveler’s delight. While living in Hawaii, I found nurturing, a spiritual awakening and the heroine for my historical novel, Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii set in pre-contact Hawai’i. In 2015 I published The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon an action-adventure, new-adult novel set in California where I reside today.  Today, I enjoy guest ranches and horse treks with outfitters. In addition, I am the adventure travel expert for the National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Please stop by my site where you will find travel articles, photo essays and more about my books.  www.LindaBallouAuthor.com

Presently, I am focused on getting to as many beautiful places I can before they are gone! That is why I created this web page www.LostAngelAdventures.com dedicated to travel.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Romancing the Soul

                 How about spending some time romancing your soul?

Humans do not “save beauty”; rather beauty saves us. Gretel Ehrlich



The soul craves beauty. It wants to be in the world and to breathe in crisp air, to smell the sweet tang of orange blossoms and to know the happy faces of poppies in the spring.The sight of patches of yellow canyon daisies blanketing the meadows brighten the psyche, lifting the gauze of depression that can set in with too much of doing what must be done.


The soul is refreshed when the body is in motion with blood pumping to muscles awakened in a brisk walk.

 The soul wants to see, to feel, to absorb, to touch, and to be alive. The soul seeks balance and harmony. It wants equilibrium and finds it in nature, in art, and in music. To keep the rust off your soul and your spirits soaring, seek out beauty in each of your precious days.

That is is what my new book Lost Angel in Paradise is all about! 
In it I share the beautiful days along the Califoria Coast that have helped me achieve balance and harmony in my life.
                                                     LostAngelAdventures.com
Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.


  Subscribe to my blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.