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.


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 .
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.

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
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

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.

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.