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 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

Friday, May 8, 2020

Make Your Downtime Count

Fun Q&A with Lisa Smith about what it takes to succeed in the travel writing world.
Now is the time for you to position yourself to take advantage when the world re-opens.
Trust may it will! Don't waste this gift of free time.

Get Great Trips for free is available for dowload on Amazon in the kindle store.

I have a host of articles and information about my travel books at

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Building Blocks to Your Dream Destinations

Make your time at home count and get great trips for free!
Successful people position themselves to succeed. In this handbook I provide a road map for “Travel Writer Wannabes.”   Often people tell me I am lucky.  I do feel lucky that I have been hosted on fabulous trips around the globe. But, I worked hard to get lucky!  Because of my travel writing skills I have enjoyed fabulous trips with like-minded travelers to exotic locales around the globe.
Since being gifted with downtime that allows me to focus on my writing, I created this book to help those who have asked me,
 " How do I get great trips?"  This guide takes readers on the fast track to getting their dream destinations.
 Don’t waste this time. Use it to create your writing platform. You need a web page and clips of articles. Use what may be a year before the travel industry is up and running to your advantage. Position yourself to approach tour companies with a professional media kit. They will need ways to re-vitalize their businesses and you could be the answer.
I will be sharing more travel tips on my YouTube Playlist. Presently, there are 5 videos on my Tips for Travel WriterWannabes playlist. Purchase on Amazon. Or on my site

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares travel essays in her book Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, and 32 Day Trips along the California Coast in Lost Angel in Paradise  and Get Great Trips are available on her site and Amazon.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Enjoy Your Staycation with Armchair Travel

Armchair travel at its best is informative, entertaining, well-written, sparks our wanderlust and provides a sense of place. All of these books fill that criteria for me. Enjoy your staycation.
Wilderness: The Gateway to the Soul, by Scott Stillman. Stillman is preaching to the choir in my corner of the world. One of my stories, set in Sedona, Not Enough Said for Solitude, is about taking time to connect with nature. For some time, I have been encouraging people to toss the remote out the window and breathe deeply of our beautiful world. However, it is refreshing to find this younger voice sharing the many ways that nature can be our salvation. I believe people are too concerned about being connected on social media and are so harried keeping up with technology they have lost touch with themselves. I am not able to carry a backpack into remote regions solo like Stillman, but I do enjoy river rafting and hiking in our country’s varied, majestic landscapes. I thank him for taking me into places I can’t go alone and for allowing me to imagine the peace, silence, and magic of these wild places. This is a poetic rendering that will help you become free in your wildness.
The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. The right to pursue happiness is guaranteed to us in our constitution, but it seems most of us have chosen goals that don’t bring us to that blissful state. Weiner made it his mission to understand why and figure out what constitutes happiness in different cultures about the globe. It seems Americans for all their wealth and creature comforts, are among the least happy of peoples. I looked forward to curling up with this fun, thought-provoking romp each night before going to sleep. Weiner admits he falls back on generalizations about cultures, but he does it with self-deprecating humor. “Be here now” is the accepted mantra for happiness these days. The people of Thailand say it more simply, “Don’t think too much.” The Danes, declared to be the most content since there are no expectations in a socialized country, are not included in this journey. Perhaps, Weiner, a self-proclaimed grump, will take us there next time he explores what makes us glow from the inside out.
Talking to the Ground, by Doug Preston. This epic horseback journey across the Navajo Nation is well-researched, informative, and fun. Preston takes his wife-to-be and her nine-year-old-daughter with him on a harrowing trek that turns life-threatening on more than one occasion.  Preston displays a deep knowledge of the Navajo, the ancient ones, and the geography of the Navajo Nation. We visit canyons where ancient cliff dwellings can’t be reached any other way than by horseback, camp under the stars, and feel a deep connection to the land. Preston shares a journey that brings his family together in a very special way. I loved this book and didn’t want it to end.
Baboons for Lunch by James Michael Dorsey. I love a man with a sense of humor. It’s hard to imagine the distinguished James Dorsey I know to be slinging dung balls at monkeys, or bouncing unceremoniously across the desert on a camel, but he does. In his effort to connect with cultures that are rapidly disappearing, he finds himself in some precarious situations. He always handles them with respect for his hosts and delivers insights to his readers. This is a wonderful well-written collection of tales from silly to soul-searching. Obviously influenced by Tim Cahill, my travel writing hero, Dorsey shares his exploits with self-deprecating humor while delivering a deeper message.
A Sunburned Countryby Bill Bryson. The first time I read this book I enjoyed it. The second time I read it a couple of years later, after learning a great deal more about Australia from other sources, I loved it more. Bryson does not take you to the typical tourist stops. Rather, he takes you many places best avoided, but he explains why in the process. His focus is on odd happenings in history, and quirky people he meets along the way. He is always researching museums and reading local papers to ferret out more little-known factoids about the place. He does not spend a lick of time at the Great Barrier Reef except to tell us about the couple that was left there to try to snorkel thirty miles back to shore. Instead, he takes us to the distant shores of Western Australia, a place so vast that it has never been completely explored, to stare at blobs of matter called stromatolites credited with being the first bits of life in our universe. No matter where we are, he always throws in a bit of sly, self-deprecating humor. Fun read chock full of information and insights into the people and places down under.

Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, by Linda Ballou. Since I’m the only woman author in this collection, may I suggest my own book? Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding, writes, “Awaken your senses with thrilling tales of an intrepid soul’s search for beauty in the wilds. Ballou embraces life and draws readers into her adventures with vivid descriptions that make you feel you are traveling alongside her. She brings an intelligent meditation on nature in richly detailed, often poetic stories.”Available on my site and on Amazon. 
My mission is to get to as many beautiful places she can before they are gone! I share a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her articles and books at   

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