Tuesday, September 29, 2020

GET AN EARFULL








 My travel memoir Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales receives glowing reviews from readers. In the year of the virus armchair travel is a fun way to get around the planet without any risk. Many of us are tired from reading so much online. So,I decided it was time to get my book into audio format. 

LeAnn Pashina did a sterling job narrating my stories. She keeps the energy level up without becoming shrill. I wanted to read the stories myself, but professional narration calls for a skill set I don't possess.



Here is what award winning travel writer James Dorsey had to say about Lost Angel Walkabout.

Lost Angel Walkabout by Linda Ballou takes the reader out of their armchair and into the vast world as few travel writers can. Her eye for detail combined with intimate knowledge of her surroundings sets Ms. Ballou heads above most of the travel writing pack. In this age when everyone with a back pack proclaims him or herself a travel writer it takes a book like this one to re-define the genre. The stories are personal and inviting, giving the reader not only a feeling of participation but leaving them with a memory of where they have just visited. This is just plain great travel writing.


Escape with me to Alaska, Costa Rica, Hawaii'i, New Zealand and parts of the Wild West. The audio book is available on Audible and Amazon

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost AngelWalkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. In her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free she provides a roadmap for travel writing success.  Learn more about her travels at www.LostAngelAdventures.com

 


Friday, September 18, 2020

Here We Go Again- Quarantine Time


 On my visit to Australia in early 2020 I was treated to an unexpected visit to the Quarantine Station in Sydney Harbor created to deal with the Spanish Influenza and more. This was a disturbing experience that made me wonder why I was there. When I returned to the US. I found myself in the middle of a new pandemic.My article Taking a Cue from the Q-Station appeared in Travel World Magazine

Taking a Cue from the Q-Station    


The September issue of Travel World Magazine is dedicated to inspirational stories during the pandemic.

I have not been traveling during the pandemic. But, others who have ventured out to Costa Rica, the Rocky Mountains, Flagstaff and many more destinations share there expereinces in this issue of Travel World dedicated to surving the pandemic. I was a little jealous, but feel I have done the right thing for myself. 

We all have to decide for ourselves what is the best way to cope with this deadly virus.

I have been enjoying hiking in my own back yard the Santa Monica Mountains and swimming in the Pacific Ocean. 







Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. In this issue we learn about her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free.  Learn more about her travels at www.LostAngelAdventures.com


Monday, September 14, 2020

Nature Can Be Our Salvation

 

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.        


None of this is new. The Navajo strive to achieve a harmony and balance within themselves and their society in nature to a state they call Hozho. Ancient Hawaiians lifted their fingertips to the sky in hula in an attempt to pull mana or spiritual energy into their being. They received power from Moana the grand and vibrant sea and believe they are stewards of the land. The act of lying on the forest floor in order to absorb the energy of the earth and the trees called “Forest Bathing” is now popular in Japan. Moderns are practicing “Earthing” that is walking barefoot to re-balance with natural forces to counter act eltro-magnetic fields we are all exposed to.


I find sustenance and solace in nature. My daily walks are a meditation that allows my mind to relax and wander freely. I don’t wear earbuds I leave distraction from my thoughts behind. I want to hear the sounds of the birds twittering and the wind whispering through the trees. I want to let thoughts bubble up from the well of my subconscious. I want to digest all the input I receive each day. My overstimulated molecules settle into place and I find answers to my questions in my writing and in life this way.

Yes, I believe nature can be our salvation. It is for me.

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou’s articles have appeared in Real Travel Adventures, Travel World, Go World and numerous other national magazines. She is the adventure travel expert on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.  Her new-adult novel The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon was a finalist at the Equus Film Fest. She continues to enjoy great trips around the globe! Learn more about her travels at www.LostAngelAdventures.com and her novels at www.LindaBallouAuthor.com


Thursday, August 27, 2020

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR

 




You have to be careful what you ask for.  I have talked about writing Isabella Bird's story for over a decade. I visited Estes Park and hiked in the Rockies in 2017, to get a better feel for the region. My essay, Riding in the Hoof prints of Isabella Bird, won the Traveler’s Tales Solas Award. I have long admired this plucky English Woman whose travel books were best sellers in the late 1800’s.

 I didn’t feel I had time to commit to a novel until the year of the virus. I got the time, whether I wanted it or not. Presently, I am deep into my novel Embrace of the Wild, a fictionalized account of Lady Isabella Bird’s tour of the Rocky Mountains in 1874. I hope to have the first rough draft completed by mid-September. Like my two other novels, it is a destination piece that takes you a place you can’t get to any other way. I’ve enjoyed being in the Rockies while it was still virgin territory. I hope you will find this journey as exciting as I have.


I will come up for air soon, but for now I am focused on finishing a first draft that I can share with beta readers. Then off to my editor for the acid test. I am striving to have it in publishable format by years end.

By then we should have a vaccine and I can get back onthe freedom trail!



Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. In her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free she provides a roadmap for travel writing success.  Learn more about her travels at www.LostAngelAdventures.com


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Romancing the Soul

                             How about spending some time romancing your soul

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


In this year of the virus it is more important than ever to feed your soul with positive energy.
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 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.




Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Best of Times with Bobo

While living on the north shore of Kauai, I got a job as a cub reporter at the Kauai Garden Island
Napali Coast Kauai
News.
  This gave me access to people on the Island I found noteworthy.  Suzanne “Bobo” Bollins, who lived at the notorious Taylor Camp (1969-1978) where young people fleeing the Viet Nam war and materialism of the mainland were living out the ultimate hippie fantasies, seemed a good prospect. It was said that Bobo swam the tumultuous waters of the Napali Coast wearing only a belt with a pouch containing a dry pareau for when she reached the shore. This seemed quite a miraculous feat to me, so I made an appointment to interview her.
She welcomed me in her tree house abode with a glass of Merlot. She told me that dolphin often played with her on her swims from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Valley—some eleven miles away. She said she felt their intelligence when they came close to look her in the eye.  She seemed perfectly at ease in her Spartan quarters, forerunner to the “Tiny House” movement today.  Her brown skin was weathered from the sun and a thick braid of golden hair went to her waist. Stories of the residents cavorting nude were over-stated, she told me. She was wearing a sarong tied at the shoulder in the early Hawaiian kikepa style, and said regular clothes were worn by residents in the evenings to fend off mosquitoes.
 She was highly animated in the telling of her month-long stays in the valley held sacred by Hawaiians, but abruptly stopped short to announce that the lava rocks in the canvas-domed sauna just outside her door were ready. This was to be an evening of sharing with the other residents in the camp. Bobo offered me a hit off of a joint of the most powerful pot I have ever run into in my life, and asked me if I would like to join them in a ceremony celebrating Earth Mother. Curious minds want to know, so I stripped to my undies and joined the group wearing no more than their birthday suits. We sat in a circle around the steaming crimson rocks holding hands while chanting a reverberating Om.  The heat generated by the cauldron of molten rocks combined with the intense communal sharing of energy brought me to a feverish crescendo. I stumbled out of the sauna, and planted myself face down in the frigid mountain stream running through the camp to cool off.  Energy shot through the top of my head like a comet, leaving my mind as clear as the sparkling heavens above.

At that time, the highly romanticized camp of peace and love hippies, glorified in coffee table books today, was nearing an end. Elizabeth Taylor’s brother, Howard who owned seven acres of beach front property had originally allowed a group of thirteen disenfranchised youth from San Francisco to build their camp on Ke’e Beach. Soon, there were over 120 people, including women with small children living at the camp. The residents of Taylor Camp who did not pay taxes, lived on welfare and food stamps, soon found themselves at odds with the locals. What’s more native Hawaiians didn’t like the desecration of the Kalalau Valley by hippies camped there. It was rumored that home boys had put a dead pig upstream the week before my visit to contaminate the water and encourage the tree-house people to move on.

Still, I admired Bobo for her extreme bravery and athleticism.  At the time I did not know that I had found the inspiration for the dolphin that would be the loyal friend of my heroine in Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i.  It is fascinating to witness how life experiences boomerang into an artist’s consciousness and appear in their work. Many Wai-nani readers view her relationship with a dolphin family as fantastic. The truth is that all of the interaction between my heroine, and her best friend--a bottle nose dolphin, is real. That is to say, I researched the behavior of dolphins and their relationship with humans throughout history to bring authenticity to the story.  A documentary film detailing life in Taylor Camp was released in the Islands. Bobo’s granddaughter, Natalie Noble, stars in the film swimming alone in the buff along the majestic Napali Coast. I suspect there are dolphins playing in her wake.
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.


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sharing my Walkabout with Boomer Far Out Adventures





JOIN ME ON MY WALKABOUT


I had so much fun re-visiting my travel stories in Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales.
My travel wings are clipped, but I can still enjoy sharing my past adventures. Craig Koehn loves spotlighting Booming Boomers on his podcast Boomer Far Out Adventures. We are not over the hill, we are in for the thrill of being alive and holding each day precious.

I take you to from the majesty of my Alaska homeland to of  magical beauty of New Zealand, the wild west of America and the romantic isles in the south seas. My theme song is that nature can be our salvation. In this modern age I believe that reconnection with the natural world is critical to achieve harmony and balance in ourselves and with others.

Take a listen. The podcast is also available on your favorite online distribution site.
Podcast interview with Boomer Far Out Adventures

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. In this issue we learn about her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free.  Learn more about her travels at www.LostAngelAdventures.com

Friday, July 31, 2020

Get Big Travel Ideas in GlobeRovers Magazine


A host of travel ideas for you to explore.  Armchair travel for when the world re-opens.


GLOBEROVERS MAGAZINE JULY 2020


Below are the links to the GlobeRovers FREE App with all FREE issues. You and other readers can either search in your App Store for “globerovers” or just click on the links.

APP IN ITUNES

APP IN GOOGLE PLAY



My interview with GlobeRovers is on page 180-181. There is a slider located at th botton of the magazine that allows you to easily navigate the magazine.


Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. In her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free she provides a roadmap for travel writing success.  Learn more about her travels at www.LostAngelAdventures.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sensational Summer Reads Discounted and Free




Fabulous list of Women's Fiction Summer Reads.
 Free and discounted. Don't miss out on these deals.


My Book Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai'i is on the list, but there are lots more for you to chose from. 

                                             Wai-nani: A Voice From Old Hawai'i

Enjoy your staycation with a great book.

Women's Fiction Summer Reads.


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, June 28, 2020

Tasmania: The Devil Made Me Do It!

Tasmania: Australian Adventure - Go World Magazine
Editor’s Note: While we hunker down at home during the current world situation, we still dream of travel. Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state, and this southern island offers plenty of adventure. Enjoy! 
Eager to hike the trails in Eagle Hawk Nest on the Tasman Peninsula, I set out early from Hobart, the largest port and gateway to adventures in Tasmania, an island state off Australia’s south coast. 
The intoxicating perfume of wildflowers drifting on a sea breeze greeted when I pulled over to view of the shimmering blue Tasman Sea far below. 
Tassie, as Australians affectionately call the island, is known for its rugged wilderness areas, which are mainly located within reserves and parks. Tasmania, Australia may be the smallest Australian state, but it offers plenty of adventure.  



Waterfall Bay Walk in Tasmania
Waterfall Bay Walk in Tasmania

Waterfall Bay Walk

The Waterfall Bay Walk was a perfect amble through the forest overlooking the craggy rock formations and aquamarine coves far below. The Three Capes Track, a four-day, 30-mile track skirting the soaring dolerite cliffs unveiled in 2015 draws trekkers from about the globe.
National Parks in Tasmania
I left regretting I had not allotted more time to explore this gorgeous region. I gave myself one week in Tasmania (fast becoming a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts) to hit the top sites of Cradle Mountain National Park, the Cataract Gorge in Launceston, and Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park on the sunny east coast, so it was time to go.

Hiking in one of the many forests of Tasmania, Australia

A 3-hour drive north of Hobart through the arid middle of the country brought me to my friends’ home in Launceston. Proud of the rich heritage of their city, they pointed out the many Victorian structures and remnants of the convict days and gardens that grace their city.
They took me to a gracious restaurant overlooking the Cataract Gorge, famous for hikes into the dramatic canyon carved by the Esk River that is traversed by a striking suspension bridge.
From there I drove the winding road to Cradle Mountain, stopping in Deloraine for a “toastie” (a grilled/panini-like sandwich) and tea. A Wind in the Willows-like river walk in drizzling rain reminded me of the Mother Country.
Its tidy patchwork quilt of pastures on rolling hills dotted with sheep completed the picture; the difference being this bucolic scene is framed in ragged spires.

Driving in Tasmana -- How to get aroundDriving in Tasmania

The country lane soon turned into a corkscrew affair that spiraled upward through mountains sheathed in thick forests. No one had mentioned to me that Tasmania is one of the most mountainous islands in the world.
Accidents on the narrow lanes are common. You are advised not to drive after dusk as that is when the wombats, wallabies, and pademelons come out to graze causing accidents as people swerve to miss them.



The Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial that is now only found in the wild in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial that is now only found in the wild in Tasmania.

Tasmanian Devils

The nocturnal Tasmanian Devil, rarely seen outside of sanctuaries, is coming back from the brink of extinction. The devils suffer from infectious viral cancer in the form of a facial tumor that spreads through biting and has killed 90 percent of them in the wild.

Cradle Mountain National Park

Cradle Mountain National Park is home to the highest peaks in Tasmania with wild, unpredictable weather. Even though it was raining the day I arrived, I attempted to hike the 4-mile Dove Lake Circuit.
The trailhead is also where the challenging 6-day Overland Track begins. Sheets of water shut out the view of the mountains framing the lake and forced me to turn back. I was, however, able to enjoy the Enchanted Woods track in the gloom of a haunting forest ensconced in moss and algae to energetic Knyvet Falls.



Tasmania has many beautiful beaches
Tasmania has many beautiful beaches

East Coast of Tasmania

Another roller coaster road brought me to the sunny East Coast of Tasmania where endless miles of white sand beaches are kissed by turquoise rollers off the Tasman Sea. Sailboats dot the marinas and summer cottages line the shore of coastal villages.
My charming Airbnb in Bicheno was a skip away from a blowhole, and a walk on granite rocks covered with orange lichen that brought me to a tiny marina where the special was a zesty seafood bouillabaisse.
The guide on a glass-bottom boat tour of the marina informed us that the marine creatures here, like squid and seahorses, are endangered due to a warm current coming from mainland Australia that is heating up the waters killing the kelp forests. Yet another imbalance in nature caused by global warming.



Tourville Lighthouse in Tasmania, Australia
Tourville Lighthouse in Tasmania, Australia

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park, home to the spectacular Wine Glass Bay, is the most popular attraction on the east coast. I took the spiraling road up to the Tourville Lighthouse where an easy loop affords mind-expanding views of the blue veil of the Tasman Sea.
The marine preserve below the surface, established in 2007, begins 3 miles offshore and extends for 200 nautical miles to protect migrating whales and all manner of sea life in the submerged mountain range.
The easiest way to experience Wine Glass Bay is to take the water taxi out of Cole’s Bay. It takes you around the peninsula, drops you off on a flat trail across the isthmus to Hazards Beach where you are picked up for the return ride.



Benoche Marina in Tasmania, Australia
Benoche Marina in Tasmania, Australia

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

If you love Kaua'i you will love this book.

Iced in Paradise (Leilani Santiago Hawai'i Mystery, #1)Iced in Paradise by Naomi Hirahara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I looked forward to curling up with this book. So much fun to revisit Kauai and see it through the eyes of a local. I lived there when there were only 35,000 people and few “no trespassing” signs. In this rendering there are 70,000 locals finding it hard to survive and traffic jams. The protagonist like many Hawaiians is multi-cultural. She is torn between living on the mainland in Seattle and returning to her roots on Kauai. There is a mystery here, but I have to say I found the motive for murder a bit weak. No matter, I loved hanging with the locals, visiting places that have changed so much since my time in the Islands. Thank you to Naomi Hirahara for this authentic rendering of Kauai today with some interesting plot twists for good measure.Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii


View all my reviews

Sunday, June 14, 2020

California Coast-A Love Story

Love this interview with Craig Koehns of Boomer Far Out Adventures Fame


With the CDC discouraging international travel this summer due to covid-19 most of us will be vacationing domestically. With our new normal in mind we re-convene with boomer travel adventurist writer Linda Ballou as she reveals her 32 off the tourist grid hidden gems along the stunning California coastline. 
Talking about my favorite stops along the coast from Malibu to Mendocino made me want to do all my daytrips over again! California has so much to offer. 
Take a listen

My books is avaible e-book format on kindle and Itunes and in print on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2Rp2bvM

For more about Linda's books and articles go to www.LostAngelAdventures.com




Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Ready for a Road Trip on the Coast of California?





Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. Her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free tell you how to build your travel writing platform..  Learn more about her travels at www.LostAngelAdventures.com




Wednesday, May 20, 2020

California Coast -A Love Story




Are you ready for a road trip up the coast of California?!

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. 


Kick-start creativity while meandering among flower-infused meadows, listening

to wind voices off a full-blown sea. Get the rust off your soul and find harmony in nature. When you are done with your hike, tuck into tasty treats at a sweatband-friendly eatery that I have tested personally. You have earned your calories!

Download e-book available at I-Tunes, and Amazon Kindle Store $4.99
Companion Print book at all major online Distribution sites $9.95 Signed copy with free shipping at Linda Ballou’s website


Friday, May 15, 2020

Wet, Wild and Wonderful River Trips


The Los Angeles Times recently ran a piece suggesting that river rafting could be the best thing to do this summer “Why white-water rafting could be the safest way to a family vacation this summer.”A doctor from Seattle who has been working with Covid 19 patients feels the need to get into the fresh air to re-charge his batteries. He will be taking his children on a river trip and believes it will help him re-connect with his family. River rafting is one my favorite ways to get out into pristine country. Gliding along following the ebb and flow of a river, rubber necking gorgeous scenery and listening for the rumble of the next rapid ahead is one of my favorite things to do.

Rogue Rivr-Oregon

Tatshenshini River-Fairweather Range

Momentum River Expeditions is a small company with personalized service on some the best rivers in the U.S. They run the Tatshenshini River, a 125 mile run from the Yukon to the Gulf of Alaska. This is for the more rugged outdoors enthusiast as it involves rafting through glacier fields and being totally unplugged. The Salmon River in Idaho is a bit more civilized, but don’t be surprised if you see Big Horn mountain sheep standing on the shore. It takes you through a deep canyon far away from the maddening crowd. Ashland Oregon, of  Shakespeare Festival fame, is home base for Momentum River Expeditions. They run the family friendly Rogue River with small groups and experienced guides that pride themselves on their home cooking all summer.
Salmon River-Idaho
Whether you are a seasoned river rat, an intermediate adventure junkie, or a family looking for a way to spend quality time together there is a river for you. Check out all the river rafting options offered by Momentum River Expeditions


When Linda is not river rafting, hiking or horseback riding in gorgeous country she is writing about her experiences. Her articles appear in Go World, Real Travel Adventures and on her Boomer Column on NABBW.com. She shares her most memorable journeys in Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales. Linda resides in the City of the Angels and takes you to her favorite hikes of the coast of California in Lost Angel in Paradise. Get Great Trips for Free is her latest offering. Learn more at www.LostAngelAdventures.com