Friday, May 11, 2018

Return to Freedom

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bringing Home the Gold-Travelers Tales Solas Award

Rocky Mountain Nat. Park and Yours truly

My story “On the Road with the Lady of Rockies” received “Gold” for the best Destination piece in the Travelers Tales 12th Annual Solas Awards!  It is being honored as the “Editor’s Choice on the home page of the largest publisher of travel literature. I have long admired the great travel writers represented in the pages of the Traveler's Tales anthologies, and I am very proud to be included in their ranks. My story will continue to appear on the The Best Travel Writing page on the Traveler,s Tales site. 
Isabella Bird-Lady of the Rockies

Recently, my friend James Michael Dorsey’s book Baboons for Lunch was published by Traveler's Tales. I love a man with a sense of humor and James has me laughing out loud at the ridiculous situations he finds himself in by choice! It is hard to imagine this distinguished gentleman lobbing monkeys with dung balls, but strange things happen to people’s personalities when they hit the road.

You may enjoy my many outdoor travel adventures in my book LostAngel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales.Lost Angel Unleashed. What do you think?
Presently, I am collecting stories for the sequel
Remember “All who wander are not lost.”