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

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Rancho Del Oso – Where Redwoods Meet the Sea

Waddell Beach is a wild stretch of surf eighteen miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway One. I was driving to San Francisco from L. A. when the rust colored meadow with its muted mauve and lavender grasses lacing the winding sea-bound creek called to me. Flashes of ducks, geese, and other shorebirds stirred my birding instincts. I yearned to know the valley that stretches from the beach into the redwood basin better, so when I visited friends in nearby Felton during the holidays, I asked them to share this
treasure.
Rancho Del Oso Nature Preserve turned out to be a local favorite. An easy, wide trail winds through beach, marsh, stream, and a riparian corridor. Self-guided trail maps can be easily obtained at the nature center about a half-mile into the park. Guided walks are provided on the weekends by docents. A horse camp is available for equestrians who bring their own mounts. Along with the equestrian trails in the park are trails for hikers and bikers. Monterey pines, mixed woodland, redwoods, coastal scrub, and mountain chaparral create a collage of color and shapes fringing the broad meadow of the Theodore Hoover National Preserve bordering Waddell Beach Park.
Most hikers are content to take the lower trail from the beach up to Berry Creek Falls, felt by many to be the most beautiful falls in all of the Santa Cruz Parks. Across from the falls is a platform with benches affording fine views and a good place to picnic. The clever hiker can have a friend drop them off at the Park Headquarters at the top of Big Basin and hike about five hours down to Waddell Beach. An afternoon bus from Waddell Beach returns to Santa Cruz. Be sure to check times and schedules before making that commitment. The ambitious hiker may take the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail thirteen miles to the top of the basin and enjoy extravagant vistas. Big Basin is California’s oldest state park, established in 1902 to save the ancient redwood forests. The park has grown to more than 18,000 acres with more than 80 miles of trails passing among streams, waterfalls, and old-growth redwoods.
Redwoods were heavily logged in the basin by William Waddell from 1867 to 1875. Logging stopped when he was killed by a grizzly bear, and the valley became known as the canyon of the bear. Grizzly bears have not been seen in the area since the 1920s. In 1913 Theodore Hoover was able to buy much of Waddell Creek watershed. His Rancho Del Oso encompassed about 3,000 acres, reaching from the ocean to the boundary of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
 Since that time, five generations of his family have lived here. There are still private family homes bordering the parkland. I felt a twinge of envy as we strolled past the neatly trimmed redwood homesteads of his descendants. The sun was smiling on their meadow bright with yellow wildflowers, dotted with persimmon trees heavy with orange globe. Neat rows of purple cabbage and a variety of lettuces fanned across the foothills. A thick hedge of berry bush brambles surrounded the fields to keep the deer and wild pigs from harvesting the crops.
We crossed a wooden bridge and walked beside Waddell Creek where the remains of a cement weir are used in the biological study of fish. During spring and winter months you may see mature steelhead and salmon in deep pools. President Hoover, an enthusiastic angler, fished here when he visited his brother. As a state park, the stream is now closed to fishing.

When we entered the deep redwood forest, the temperature dropped ten degrees. The cool breath of the towering monsters felt like a deep drink of soothing water. Lacy ferns nestle at the base of the trees ensconced in brilliant green moss. A gauze of Spanish moss draped the upper limbs of the evergreens. Warblers flashed through the still forest, illuminated by beams of light streaming through the protective arms overhead. I strained to see the birds I heard chirping. A kingfisher, a red-tailed hawk fat from easy pickings, and the flash of a stellar jay were all I could see.

As we were leaving, a wedge of pelican came in for a splash landing in the estuary. Curlew poked for treats in the mud at low tide. I wanted to stay longer to explore quietly on my own, but the fog was rolling in and it was time to go. I vowed to return to see the wildflowers in the spring and feel the cool forests in the summer. The constantly changing panorama of this natural wonderland is so varied it demands that the hiker come back for more.
Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is within the coastal section of Big Basin Redwoods State ParkYou may park at Waddell Beach Park across from the trail head to Rancho Del Oso. There is parking on the surf side of the Highway. You can explore the wetlands, rocky tide pools, or hike anytime of the year.
Guided nature walks at the Rancho Del Oso Nature Center 831-427-2288
This a list of the hike options at Rancho Del Oso http://bit.ly/2jbSraL
Big Basin Redwood State Park Headquarters, where the Skyline-to Sea-Hike begins, is hosts to numerous trails spiraling throughout the redwood forest. There is also a nature museum with stuffed animal, bird, and inspect specimens on display. 
Big Basin Headquarters http://bit.ly/2ikWjlB
21600 Big Basin Way in Boulder Creek 831-338-8860

Boulder Creek, a charming village nearby Park Headquarters is a good place to stay.


 Subscribe to my blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations. I  share my favorite hikes along the California Coast from Los Angeles to the Lost Coast in Lost Angel in Paradise. Available in print and e-book format.






Friday, October 4, 2019

First Family of Malibu




I am very proud that Lost Angel in Paradise is sitting prominently on a shelf in the gift shop of the Adamson House.  This iconic spanish landmark overlooking Surf Riders Beach in Malibu is often missed by visitors to my fair state. You can stroll the lovely grounds and take the docent led tour to learn about the first family of Malibu
 

  The Adamson’s architects took full advantage of the vistas of the sparkling Pacific. Portholes were placed in the upstairs study to give Mr. Adamson the effect of being at sea.  The home was procured by imminent domain by the state and spared the fate of becoming a parking lot because of the extensive use of the marvelous tiles throughout the home produced in Mae Rindge’s tile factory. Electric blue accents in terra cotta tiles in the fountains and courtyard echo the blue of the sequined Pacific.

This is one of 32- day trips I share in my book Lost Angel in Paradise. A love affair with the coast of Californa
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WANT MORE ADVENTURE?              GO TO WWW.LOSTANGELADVENTURES.COM

Thursday, September 12, 2019


Skirt the crowds and beat the summer heat in Yosemite with a stay at Tenaya Lodge, an all-inclusive resort with hot and cold pools and a complete spa center.
Located just outside the south entrance of Yosemite (1-hour drive from Yosemite Valley) it makes a perfect home base for explorations in the famed 1,169 square mile National Park.
John Muir waxed poetic about billowing clouds mushrooming into tender blue skies forming magnificent cloudscapes. He lovingly described lacy white curtains of water fanning over granite ramparts and the unending beauty of the Sierra Mountains. Muir had Yosemite to himself, but today we share some of nature’s finest handiwork with 5 million visitors annually. It is worth it to deal with the crowds, but you need to make a plan.
Sunset over Half Dome. Photo courtesy of Tenaya Lodge, Yosemite.
Study a guidebook before entering the park and read the newspaper handed out at the visitor center located in the Currie parking lot and in Yosemite Village.
There are a number of activities available, from films sharing the history of Yosemite to a gallery of Ansel Adams’ photographs of landmarks like Half Dome and El Capitan. Lodging in the busy valley ranges from campsites arranged through the National Park Service, to tent and wood cabins and two lux hotels. James Kaiser’s complete guide to Yosemite is very helpful.
Yosemite Valley Tunnel View
Enter the valley through a mile-long tunnel carved through granite that opens to the view of the valley floor. This famous scene has been captured by such masters as Albert Bierstadt who painted a massive 40-foot square image of the scene “Looking Down Yosemite Valley” to inspire Easterners to come to the park. He was one of the White Mountain artists who was dumbstruck by the glistening granite walls streaked with waterfalls carved by the Merced River snaking through the valley floor.
The Yosemite Valley Floor Tour is a great way to see the Park.
If you choose to drive on your own, ditch your car at the first opportunity which is Currie parking lot. (Shuttle stop #1). Hop on the free service with friendly operators who will help guide you to your destinations. There are options for all levels of fitness from rock climbers to handicapped.
There are 20 stops on the shuttle service with Yosemite Falls being one of the easiest hikes. The trails in the valley are paved and family friendly. This easy walk loops to the Yosemite Lodge where, if you are not inclined to hike and want to see as much as you can in a short time, you can catch a tour on an open-air tram with a ranger guide. ($37.50).
Merced River, as enjoyed by Linda Ballou
If you are planning to hike the more taxing Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada falls (stop #16), go there early in the morning. It is a steep ascent for about a mile, sweetened by a breeze wafting off the charging waters of the Merced, aptly called River of Mercy.
This intermediate trail involves 600 rock steps that take you to the base of Vernal Falls, a powerful rush of water sliding over a granite lip creating rainbow sprays and swirling bowls of foaming water.
The second leg of the trail deposits hikers at Nevada Falls. Brave hearts who want to climb Half Dome veer off this path to the John Muir Trail. By noon the sun is intense; hikers need to be careful to hydrate. The air is dry and if you are coming from a lower elevation you especially need to be drinking lots of water. This trail is heavily populated, but I found a quiet lunch stop on a massive boulder with a dead-ahead view of Vernal Falls.
Mirror Lake (stop 17) is a great destination if you are looking for serenity and solitude. It is a short, easy trail that crosses Tenaya Creek Bridge then follows the creek to Mirror Lake. Nearby is the majestic Ahwahnee Hotel built by Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, in 1927 to entice wealthy Easterners. He knew that if the park was not profitable, it would not be preserved. You can enjoy a cool drink on the patio of this elegant establishment overlooking a vast meadow framed in towering rock buttresses.
Halfway between the famous valley and the Tenaya Lodge, a snaking road through a thick forest takes you to Glacier Point with a vista of unrivaled beauty. At the Washburn Overlook, Half Dome dominates the scene with three waterfalls and mountaintops spreading to eternity. From Glacier Point itself you overlook the verdant valley 3,000 feet below. There are many trails fanning out from Glacier Point, but the Panorama trail takes you along the rim for more stunning views.
Linda Ballou Enjoys a Tunnel Tree in Mariposa Grove, at Yosemite National Park.
The recently re-furbished trails throughout the “not to be missed” Mariposa Grove of ancient Sequoias is accessed by shuttle at a parking lot just inside the south entrance to the park. Here is a chance to breathe deeply the tranquility of the forest and admire the nobility of these giants that have withstood fire, flood, and the intrusion of mankind for thousands of years.
Tenaya Lodge offers an all-day tour in an open-air safari vehicle that takes you to all the high points in the vast park including Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove which are both located closer to the lodge than the valley floor. This option saves you time trying to figure things out and leaves the driving to your competent guide. At the end of a touring day, families enjoy S’mores by the fire on star-studded nights.
Yosemite Trail Rides
One mile from the lodge, Yosemite Trails Saddle and Sleigh, located in the Sierra National Forest roadless wilderness, offers rides there and in the Mariposa Grove. A highlight on my journey was the 2-hour Vista Crest ride on a fit, well-mannered mount in the deep shade of tall pines clomping across clear water streams framed in frilly ferns to views forever.
Tenaya has just opened Explorer cabins at the lodge that overlook Big Creek. The scent of pines is in the air and birdsong is your wakeup call. A shuttle from the cabins to the main lodge is provided so guests have easy access to all amenities.
No matter how you chose to explore, “You Must Come and See” Yosemite.
This article first appeared on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women on my Adventure Travel Column
Linda Ballou is an adventure travel writer with a host of travel articles on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com. You will also find information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales from Alaska to New Zealand, and Lost Angel in Paradise where she shares her  favorite  hikes and day trips on the coast of California.
Subscribe to her blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoYou.com to receive updates on her books, travel destinations and events.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I went to the mountains to lose my mind....

I went to the mountains to lose my mind....

 and find my soul. John Muir



Off to explore The Range of Light that John Muir loved so well.  Staying at the Tenaya Lodge just two miles from the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park. It has been a long time coming. I tried once before to go through the front door and was put off by the mobs.  I am going in September in hopes that the crowds will have thinned out.  I know the park is well-loved and  busy throughout the year.
I did a horsepack trip into the John Muir Wilderness on a trip that begins near Bishop years ago. This involved five days on horseback and popping my own tent.  I ended up being airlifted out with two fractured ribs, but that is another story that I tell in my book Lost Angel Walkabout.  It was no ones fault, just a mis-step that made my trip take a nasty turn. But, I never stopped loving the ethereal beauty of the high country in the Sierras.

I loved the mountains so much, I took my heroine in my novel The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon there. That is where she finds solace and sustenance and meets a solitary cowboy who helps her find her way.

Now, I look forward to having all the comforts including swimming pools, spas,hiking guides and easy access to the park. I'm excited to see the granite spires memorialized by Ansel Adams,  Albert Bierstadt and  Galen Rowell whose images capture the etherial beauty of the region. 

 I promise a full report when I return in mid-September 

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, July 12, 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.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

What made me do it? Globerovers Magazine Wants to Know

It is July again and time for the latest issue of GlobeRovers Magazine. Issue 13th, now in its 7th year!
The feature destination is Argentina, from the far north on the border with Bolivia all the way down south to Ushuaia ⁠— the gateway to the Antarctic Peninsula. We also have articles about Cyprus and Mauritius Island, Australia, Canada, and we enjoy a colourful New Year Festival with the Naga people in the remote Nagaland region of Myanmar.
Photo Essays include the proboscis monkeys and orangutans in Malaysia’s Sabah State on Borneo Island, Peru’s Sacred Valley, and a boat trip down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo in China. Furthermore, we have expert opinions about Travel Ethics, traveller interviews, book reviews, and a lot more!.
Outdoor Day in Carpenteria-Baby Cake Beach

Editor, Peter Steyn, wanted to know what made me publish my 32 favorite day trips along the Coast of California In Lost Angel in Paradise.

Peter: What inspired you to write this book?
Linda: I love to hike and wander alone. I am fully engaged when I am in a state of exploration. However, I do love to share my adventures with friends and this is a way that I can. It is my gift to all who have asked me to take them with me. 
 For complete  interview  Answers here


Now, I can get back to enjoying everyone of my days all over again.
Happy Summer!!


Linda Ballou is an adventure travel writer with a host of travel articles on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com. You will find information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales and her latest book Lost Angel in Paradise.


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



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Monday, June 10, 2019

32- Day Trips from L.A. to the Lost Coast of California!

I go to the forest to lose my mind and find my soul” ~~ John Muir

It is my extreme pleasure to share outdoor days that have helped me achieve balance in my life. 

So many friends ask me to take them hiking, but part of my pleasure is hiking solo. Being alone allows me to absorb the beauty of my wanderings and to take time to listen to birdsong and the chatter of the creatures great and small.
Which is why I take great pleasure in inviting you to use my newest book, “Lost Angel in Paradise: Great Outdoor Days From Los Angeles to the Lost Coast” to escape with me as I take you on my favorite power-packed outdoor days along the sun-splashed California Coast from Malibu to Mendocino.
  • Let your spirit free strolling long stretches of sand in solitude.
  • Breathe deeply of the restorative energy of fern forests shaded by towering redwood giants.
  • Kickstart creativity while meandering among flower infested meadows listening to wind voices off a full blown sea.
  • Get the rust off your soul and find harmony in nature.

Linda Beside Solstice Creek
When you are done with your hike, tuck into tasty treats at a sweatband-friendly eatery Linda has tested personally. You have earned your calories!
I implore you to explore and to seize your day in the “Beauty Way.” A state of harmony in nature the Navajo call Hozho. These daytrips can be enjoyed by anyone with a modicum of fitness and a spirit of adventure.

Carpinetria Bluff Walk
Certainly, you can share these days with a friend. In fact, in some instances it is not advised to go alone.
I have added links at the end of each piece that provide detailed maps of a suggested outing and recommended eateries. There are additional hard copy resources at the back of the book.

You can download the book to your phone, or iPad with the free app Amazon provides in the Kindle store. Lost Angel in Paradise is also available in print on all major oneline distriution sites.


It is also available on I-Tunes  for Apple people


Blow Hole Montana De Oro
Finally, be sure to visit – and bookmark – my new website www.LostAngelAdventures.comspotlighting my travels around the globe.

Nicholas Flats Back Canyon"Not all who wander are lost!!” J.R.R.Tolkien

Happy explorations.

Top Senior Adventures BlogLinda's mission is to experience as many beautiful places on our planet as she can before they are no more. Travel tales relating her experiences while kayaking, horseback riding, sailing, birding and hiking about the globe have appeared in numerous national magazines. She had great fun collecting travel stories, and profiles of people she met in “naturally high places” for her book, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales. Go to LostAngelAdventures.com for more adventures.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Q & A about Travel in the U.S. from Down Under

 Kathy Marris of" 50 Shades of Aging" fame wanted to know.
Are you planning a trip to the USA in the future? If so here’s some very detailed and informative information from American author, Linda Ballou. There’s nothing better than getting travel information from a local who really knows her country back to front. I’m sure you will find this Q & A with Linda to be invaluable.

1.Whereabouts do you reside in the United States and how long have you lived here?

Topanga Canyon is an artistic enclave nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains between Santa Monica proper and Malibu. It is as far out of L.A. as I can get without leaving L.A. I have lived in Southern California all my adult life, but only five years in Topanga. I am most familiar with the west coast, the southwest and northwest. I am not expert on the East Coast, so I will stick to what I know best in my answers.
Planning a Trip in USA
Topanga Canyon, Santa Monica

2.What are your thoughts about travel in the US? Do you think that most travellers tend to visit the frequently visited places like LA, NYC, San Fran and New Orleans?

L.A. is a huge tourist destination with Disneyland and Universal City Studios being a big draw for families. Yes, people do visit the cities, but for Europeans and Asians it’s the great open spaces of the wild-west that hold an appeal. I am from Alaska and that is on many people’s bucket list. It is one of the last wilderness areas that supports mega-fauna and abundant marine life. I always tell people who are taking a cruise up the Inside Passage to be sure to visit Glacier Bay. That is an opportunity to get up close and personal to a lot of wildlife. Here is a link to YOU MUST GO AND SEE a piece I wrote about Glacier Bay.
Planning a Trip to USA
Ice Berg in Glacier Bay, Alaska

3.Where would you recommend travellers to the US visit, especially those wanting a different US experience?

The magical formations in the Four-Corner region where Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado intersect is spectacular. The road trip out of Las Vegas to Zion and Bryce that continues on to Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Monument Valley is incredible. The Grand Canyon is also in this region and worth a peek over the rim. I rafted through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River and it was one of my most meaningful journeys.
Planning a Trip to USA
Castles in the sky at Bryce Canyon

4.I notice you do a lot of adventure travel so where would you suggest travellers go in the US to experience some “off the beaten track” activities like hiking, horse riding and kayaking.

Guest ranches are a great way to experience the west. They offer a variety of activities, hiking, river rafting and horseback riding. For instance, the Nine-Quarter circle located outside of Bozeman, Montana offers lots of activates. You can horseback ride, or hike in gorgeous country, take a picnic lunch to Yellowstone National Park, or raft the Gallatin River during your week at the ranch nestled in a valley hidden from time. I have stayed at dude ranches all over the west. Go to my site for ARTICLES on ranches that I have enjoyed. DudeRanches.org is a tremendous resource with listing of ranches all over the U.S.
Planning a Trip to USA
Horseback riding at Jackson Hole Wyoming

5.Describe where you live and what you love about it? What are the must dos and sees in your town/city?

I live in a canyon sheathed in a thick forest. It is part of the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, the largest urban preserve in the U.S. I have miles of trails to hike just outside my back door. Even though I live in L.A. I don’t deal with the traffic on most days. I can roll down to the beach which is only ten minutes from me and take a dip in the Pacific. I doubt Malibu is as lovely as your beach, but I feel I have best of both worlds here. My e-book Lost Angel in Paradise is a collection of 32 day trips along the coast of California that I HAVE PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED AND ENJOYED. It is in the Amazon.au. Kindle store. You can download it to your phone and have live links to trail heads and restaurants that I mention. The companion print book is now available.
Planning a Trip to USA
Linda in Malibu, California

6.Like Australia, the US is a vast country with huge distances between cities. If I were to do a month long road trip where would you suggest I go?

I would not try to do the whole country in one trip. It is just too vast. A road trip through the New England States is wonderful, especially in the fall. I love the San Juan Skyway, a 125 miles loop that starts and ends in Durango, Colorado. It takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado including the trendy Telluride. A side trip to Mesa Verde one of the oldest and best cliff dwellings of the Anasazi on this route is well worth taking in.
Planning a Trip to USA
Found my heart on Mossy Cave Walk in Bryce Canyon
The drive up the central coast on Highway One from Morro Bay, through Big Sur to Carmel is not too shabby. You can keep driving north to Santa Cruz. The stretch of coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco is delightful. Keep on the coast and hit Point Reyes Seashore and many other high points that are listed in my book on the way to the Oregon Coast. But, why stop there? Keep going north to the Canadian border. It is all beautiful.

7.What is the best time of year to travel to the US? Should I avoid travelling in winter (unless I’m a snow skier)?

Spring through fall would be best for the west (March-October). Sticking to the shoulder season is always good to avoid crowds.
Planning a Trip to USA
Jackson Lake-Mt. Moran Jackson Hole, Wyoming

8.In Australia we have strict gun laws, so the vast population is un-armed. Is it safe to travel through the US, considering the fact that we are unaccustomed to guns?

I think the news plays up the worst stories. I don’t see people toting guns, and I don’t worry about it when I go out. I am more afraid of being killed on the freeways by someone texting. That said, I am for stronger gun control and see no need for heavy military guns to be available to private citizens. Terrorists are active all over the world, not just here. Very sad.

9.I love the coastal areas of my country as we have some of most beautiful beaches in the world. Where in your country would you recommend for beach goers?

The beaches in Santa Barbara are lovely and swimmable. In my book LOST ANGEL IN PARADISE I highlight beach stops along the California Coast. However, the Oregon Coast is windswept, dramatic, easily accessed, and not crowded. However, the currents are strong and the waters are a bit chilly for swimming. I suspect it is much like your Great Ocean Road.
Planning a Trip to USA
Hiker on beach south of Pismo Beach on the Central Coast

10.What do you consider are the best cities to visit in the US?

I get misty every time I cross the Golden Gate Bridge over the San Francisco Bay. There is something about the tangy sea air and the brisk wind that captures my heart. The city itself is vibrant, but it is expensive, so you might want to stay on the north side of the bay in Sausalito or Corte Madera. Take the commuter ferry over to the city. It will drop you off in the business district, but it is an easy stroll to Fisherman’s Wharf. You can catch the famous cable cars from there and tour the city that way. Driving there is madness.
Planning a Trip to USA
Golden Gate Bridge, SAn Francisco
Come and enjoy my little piece of paradise. I will be exploring yours in January 2020. Cheers, Linda

About Linda

Linda Ballou is an American author and adventure travel expert for The National Association of Baby Boomer Women who lives in Topanga Canyon, California. Linda’s mission is to experience as many beautiful places on our planet as she can before they are no more. Travel tales relating her experiences while kayaking, horseback riding, sailing, birding and hiking about the globe have appeared in numerous national magazines. She had great fun collecting travel stories, and profiles of people she met in “naturally high places” for her book, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveller’s Tales. In her latest effort, LOST ANGEL IN PARADISE, she shares her favourite day trips along the California Coast.