Thursday, April 18, 2019

Celebrating 100 Year Birthday at Zion NP


After a week of exploring the red rock country of  Nevada and Utah, my wings have taken on a crimson cast. A stop in Red Rock Park just outside of Las Vegas provided a memorable leg stretcher that broke up a long days drive from Lost Angeles.
Red Rock Country outside of Las Vegas
 It seemed everyone I knew had been to Zion except me and that it was high time for me to experience the soaring ramparts with majestic views and the splendor of sculptured slot canyons millions of years in the making. I chose mid- April   for my visit to cash in on wildflowers, cool temps and waterfalls that are fed by melting snowfields and dry up in the heat of summer.
View from Watchman Trail Zion NP

Cotton Wood Trees
 The park is so loved by millions that a very efficient shuttle system has evolved that drops off and picks up hikers at nine trailheads along the 9-mile sandstone gorge. Sadly, the majority of the intermediate hikes were closed due to heavy rainfall that caused rock slides.  However the Watchman trail that is a rock stairway switch-backing up a canyon flush with the white blooms on the service bush, and sprinkled with vermillion Indian Paint Brush to a plateau overlooking Springdale, the gateway to the park was open.

 Happily, the River Walk along the Virgin River that has carved the tallest sandstone cliffs in the world darkened with a waterfall spilling over a 7,000 foot precipice into a foamy pool on the canyon floor was also open. The road into the canyon framed in cottonwood trees flush with chartreus leaves shot through with golden rays of a warming sun could not have been more lovely.
River Walk Zion NP
However, the next leg of my journey to Bryce Canyon was thwarted by the fact that Highway 9, through the Mt. Carmel Tunnel touted as one of the most scenic byways in America, was closed due to damage from the heavy rains.  The park staff is working feverishly to have the road back up and running by April 30th, but if you are planning a trip to the region I suggest you wait until mid-May. Be sure to check road conditions of the alternate routes before going. More on that in my next post as I venture onto to know what voodoo hoodoos do in Bryce Canyon

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. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Earthiest's Creed

In the words of Edward Abbey…I am not an atheist, I am an Earthiest!

Earthiests are people who literally need to plug into the planet to recharge. Whether sitting on a rock warmed by the sun,
or face planted down on the sand at the beach, standing on a mountain top arms spread with palms up to gather energy, or resting against a tree, I am gathering energy from the earth.


 Some people think nothing is happening when they are sitting still because their minds are too busy to feel anything. But, they are receiving nature’s gift just the same.  An earthiest consciously makes themselves more receptive to the bounty by quieting their minds and will not miss an opportunity to plug into the universal gas pump! 

 I have a host of travel articles on my new site www.LostAngelAdventures.com dedicated to travel including my travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales 

My  historical fantasy novel,Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and my latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon  are at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.  


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

Tuesday, April 2, 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! L
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.




Monday, April 1, 2019

Daytripping 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 where you can purchase my book. This way you will have a handy reference with you when you need it!


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.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Travel Resources for Riders


FOR RIDERS WHO WANT TO SEE THE WORLD FROM THE BACK OF A HORSE!


Nancy Brown on Writing Horseback


Equestrian travel expert, Nancy Brown, has created a website that is a terrific resource for riding destinations.   On w.writinghorseback.com you will find Dude Ranch Reviews and links to articles on horseback adventures around the globe.  


My article about riding in Ecuador is featured there. She was one of the first to review my book The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon when it came out in 2015.  Since then she has added and upgraded her site to make it one of the best resources for riders looking for equestrain adventures. 


Linda leading group on Inca Trail Ecuador


In the meanwhile, I published Cowgirl in audio book format and it is getting rave reviews.
This story is full tragedy and triumph. The tragedy of divorce and being hurt. The triumph of healing and working towards want you want! I couldn’t put this down. I stayed up all night to finish it. I will be listening to again. Audible listener

Can’t go on a riding adventure right now? Do the next best thing and ride with Gemcie aboard Marshal her Irish Hunter ont the way to the World Cup!

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.  She is also the author of Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai’i a historical novel set in pre-contact Hawaii. More on her books at www.lindaballouauthor.co

Sunday, March 17, 2019

March is Women's History Month.-I salute Ka'ahumanu.


Chiefess Ka’ahumanu

On March 17, 1768 (some say 1777) Ka’ahumanu was born in a cave at the fortress hill of Ka’uiki in Hana. The fierce Moi of Maui, once her mother’s lover, became so enraged when she chose Ke’eamuoku over him that he set his warriors upon her parents. They chased them through Haleakala Crater, but lost them in thick mountain forests. While Ka’ahumanu was still a baby her parents fled from Hana to Hawai’i where they lived in royal comfort. Wai-nani,A Voice from old Hawai’i my historical novel (1750-1819) is inspired by the life of the precocious Chiefess Ka’ahumanu. To some she is remembered as the” loving mother of the people” and to others she is the “flaw that brought down the chiefdom.”
 Ka’uiki in Hana


Brave, athletic, strong, passionate, caring and centered in herself, I saw her as a forerunner of the modern woman. It was a tremendous gift to be given the opportunity to visit the cave where she was born. It took the entire crew of six members of the Hana Canoe Club to paddle me to her birthplace.  We pointed the tip of the outrigger into the oncoming waves that sloshed over the bow and paddled through the foaming surf to the protected shallow waters lapping at the lava rocks beneath  the cave where she was born. I climbed the jagged black lava to a path that led to a large opening with two indentations big enough to accommodate a human.  Her mother enjoyed a lovely view of Hana Bay and the green mountains floating on the horizon. Offerings of flowers were placed in front of the openings. Before leaving I floated in the waters at the foot of her cave considered to be healing by those who come here for sacred ceremonies. 
 Big Mahalo to friend and fellow author, Lorraine Brodek, for fulfilling my desire to visit the sacred birthplace of the woman that inspired my novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i





Written With Warm Aloha
In the Name of Ka’ahumanu

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Forest Bathing! Really?


."We humans do not save beauty; rather, beauty saves us." -Gretel Ehrlich


What Bill Bryson so aptly called a “Walk in the Woods” is now known as “Forest Bathing.”
The Japanese have over 60 Forest Therapy Camps in Japan alone. We have certified Nature and Forest Bathers right here in river city. The Lost Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic garden offers guided forest bathing walks.

  I need the soothing balm of breathing deeply of oxygenated air. Watching butterflies flit from flower to flower is enough entertainment for me. Putting one foot in front of the other allows my mind to relax and puts an end to repetitive thought. Studies indicate that getting into nature can boost our immune system, improve mental clarity and decrease anxiety. All good reasons to get outside, but the sight of a seductive trail through a shady tree canopy has always been enough for me. So whether you need a docent to steer you to the benefits of forest bathing, or just want to take a walk in the woods, it’s all good.





In my book Lost Angelin Paradise, I take you on 32 outdoor days most of which include a 2-4 mile hike somewhere beautiful. It is on in Amazon’s kindle store and ITunes both offer the ability to download the book to your phone. It has live links that take you to trail maps and a good place to eat nearby.

L.A. County Arboretum & Botanic Garden


 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.


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Our Hawai'i remembered by Charmian London

Our Hawaii (islands and islanders)Our Hawaii by Charmian London
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In spite of the fact that the language is archaic I enjoyed experiencing Charmian’s experiencing Mrs. London’s POV. She and Jack London were hosted by Hawaiian royalty all over the Islands and were privileged to enjoy in a way that few have. They were hosted everywhere they went with lavish luaus and princely accommodations in a Hawaii that does not exist today. When they arrived in the early 1900's Hawaii had been annexed by the United States and the royal families were in decline. The Missionary families owned huge tracts of land and lived as royals themselves. The horse was the favorite mode of transport and the London’s rode throughout the Islands sometimes in less than comfortable conditions, but they were troopers. Their years in the Islands were some of the happiest for the London’s and they both wrote fondly of their time there. I researched heavily for my historical novel Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii. I only saw a few discrepancies in this precious rendering of the Islands by Charmian London. She states that Kamehameha the Great died at 82. I read that he only lived to be 69, but in almost all matters of Hawaiian history and legends she was accurate. This book is not for everyone, but if you are a Hawaii aficionado like myself it is a delight. Note: There are numerous errors in formatting and misspelled words that are very distracting. It might be because it is an old book and hard to translate into kindle format, but I think a proofreader would have helped.Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii




View all my reviews

For More About Wai-nani

Friday, February 22, 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 who will never know those mountain days. 

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Love for the Lost Angel from Globerovers Magazine

Lost Angel in Paradise: Outdoor Days from L.A. to the Lost Coast of California (Lost Angel Adventures)Lost Angel in Paradise: Outdoor Days from L.A. to the Lost Coast of California by Linda Ballou
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Linda Ballou’s travel writing has provided me with hours of captivated reading. I loved her book Lost Angel Walkaboutwhich I could not put down until I finished it. Now she blessed us with “Lost Angel in Paradise“ and her angelic stories about hiking along the sun-splashed Californian coast from Malibu to Mendocino. I have done some of these hikes many years ago and to now read her colourful interpretation of these hikes is pure bliss! She brings to life every aspect of the places she visited because she knows how to appreciate the small things most of us often overlook while hiking or enjoying a day on the beach.

“Lost Angel in Paradise” is the essential guide for hiking and cycling enthusiasts in the Malibu area with tons of practical tips and guidance to get the most out of your visit. However, even if there is no chance that you would find yourself exploring this area in-person, just sit back and let Linda’s writing take you there! She shares her experiences and knowledge of the area in such vivid writing that you don’t even have to go there yourself. A highly recommended read. I’m already looking forward to her next book! Peter Steyn-Editor of Globerovers Magazine


For more travel adventures go to Lost Angel Adventures

View all my reviews

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

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




Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Secret Life of Mrs. London

The Secret Life of Mrs. LondonThe Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a Jack London aficionado, so I couldn’t wait to read this book. I loved getting in between the sheets with Charmian London and her adventuresome husband. But, I hated that the time with them was in the last couple of years of his incredible life when a self-indulgent, excessive lifestyle was taking its toll. He began drinking as a teen when he was an oyster pirate in Oakland California. He hopped freights for a while and ran with a very rough crowd. By the time he was 40, the dreadful effects of alcoholism and chain smoking were evident.
 Charmian describes him lovingly, but can’t help sharing the hurt and disappoint she felt as he became more and more difficult as his health failed. Still, theirs was a special relationship. She was an incredibly capable and intelligent woman, who adored his brilliant mind. He famously said that, “I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me a magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” He got his wish. Whether he died from an over dose of morphine, as this account claims, or of uremic poisoning, his course was set for an early death. I am relying on the author’s research and authenticity of detail in this well-written historical novel. It is one that made me smile, but saddened me at the same time. For all his foibles, I still love Jack, the Sailor on Horseback, who took us on many a wild ride. I have been to his Beauty Ranch many times, and will go there again to pay my respects. In the meantime, I will read Our Hawai’i written by Charmian London describing a happier time in both of their lives. Linda Ballou author of Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii


View all my reviews  on Goodreads

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

Check out www.lostangeladvetures.com my website dedicated to my travel books and articles.


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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Lost Angel in Paradise Coming Soon

To start the New Year off with a bang, I am publishing a collection of my favorite outdoor days along the California Coast. It is my extreme pleasure to have visited all of these beautiful places and to share them with you in Lost Angel in Paradise. I cap off each day with a suggestion for an eatery nearby the trail head, or beach walk. I have also created a new website www.LostAngelAdventures.com spotlighting my travel books, articles.
This post, “Day on the Russian River Road” is a sample of what you will find in my newest book, Lost Angel in Paradise – which is coming soon!
The cool breath of the redwood forest nestled halfway between Santa Rosa and the Pacific Ocean on the Russian River Road greeted me as I entered the Armstrong Reserve.
Light streams though the arms of the giants spotlighting ferns that frame an energetic creek charging through the forest. It rains as much as 55 inches a year here, plus the morning fog keeps the primeval forest floor damp and cool.
The majestic trees that tower overhead were spared the axe by timberman Colonel James Armstrong in the 1870’s. It is one of the last remaining groves of coast redwood trees in California that can live to be 2,000 years old.
The mystical forest encourages reflection and somber thoughts as you consider that these trees have survived centuries of change and upheaval. The Pioneer nature trail is an easy amble that winds though the shady park, but there are a host of trails with varying degrees of difficulty to explore.
There are numerous casual eateries in nearby Guerneville. But, why not make it a fabulous day and take the scenic River Road all the way to the coast? A lovely way to cap off this is day is a repast at the River’s End Lodge where the Russian River meets the ocean blue. If you are really lucky you can stay in one of the four cabins perched on the bluff overlooking a full blown sea.
After a sumptuous seafood lunch, I leaned into the brisk wind and plodded through deep sand to a spit called Goat Rock. A colony of fur and leopard seals lie basking on the sandy spit.
There was an up swell of fur and flesh as the galumphed over the sand to safer waters when I got close. One pup rolled over on his back and stared at me with liquid brown eyes. Others scampered into the icy water.
Upon leaving the beach I spotted trails lacing the bluffs along Highway One that hugs the coast. They called to me for another visit to this beautiful region one fine day.


IF YOU GO:
Note: The reserve is located three miles north of Guerneville on Armstrong Woods Road. From Highway 101 take the River Road exit (in Santa Rosa). Go west on River Road until you reach Guerneville. At the second stop light make a right hand turn onto Armstrong Woods Road.
Note: Guerneville is an unincorporated community in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma CountyCalifornia, United States. The town is historically known for the logging community, formed in the late 1800s. Guerneville is also known for its natural environment, liberal atmosphere, and proximity to wine-tasting and redwood forests. It was founded by the Guerne family in the 1850s.
Located one hour and 45 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, this haven for lovers of the Sonoma Coast and wine country has been around since 1927.
First published at www.nabbw.com on my Adventure Column
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.