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North Fork Ranch Interview

June 1st, 2012

North Fork Ranch Interview By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert Guest ranches have provided a means for city folks to air out their spirits since the turn of the century, but today they are multi-sport adventures, leaping generation gaps and crossing cultural barriers in a single bound. Selected as one of the top fifty Guest Ranches in the world, North Fork Ranch sets the bar for the other ranches in Colorado. I asked owners, Karen and Dean May, what makes their ranch so special? KM: We are family owned and operated. We raised our family here and love sharing our beautiful... Read More

My Top Six Adventures to Do Before You Die

March 16th, 2012

My Top Six Adventures to Do Before You Die By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert Rafting the Pacuare River in Costa Rica is a little known must. Class III-IV rapids are spaced nicely between peaceful glides through a primordial rain forest populated with colorful birds, grunting monkeys and three-toed sloth dozing in the canopy. Neon blue butterflies waft by on a warm breeze. Clear water invites a swim in deep pools beside a waterfall. All seems perfect in the world as you float feet first downstream. For more, read my article Finding the Real Gold in Costa Rica. Hiking up Soldiers... Read More

Save the Skin You\’re In

January 31st, 2012

Save the Skin You\’re In By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert A glint of jealousy flashed in the eyes of my fellow adventurers on the jet boat ride out of the Grand Canyon when I whipped out my lightweight mask, secured it to the frame of my sunglasses, and turned to face 60-mile-an hour winds This handy defense against the elements helped protect my skin from the wind and intense glare of the sun reflecting on the water. Less than an ounce of protection in my pack prevented me from receiving skin damage with no cure. In Alaska, where I grew up, it is said that there is... Read More

Wild West Wander – Part II

December 19th, 2011

Wild West Wander – Part II By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert The head-spinning stretch of the San Juan Skyway between Telluride and Ouray is flanked by thousand-foot sandstone formations carved by a river lined by willows. I pulled over at the Dallas Divide unable to pass by the breathtaking sweep of rusty sedges at the base of Dallas Mountain. Its flank was clad in velvet green pine splotched with aspens spinning gold and its ghostly peak pierced tender blue skies. I took a moment to breathe deeply of our fast vanishing American Heritage. The promise of the mineral... Read More

Wild West Wander in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado: Part I

October 29th, 2011

h1>Wild West Wander in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado: Part I By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert The San Juan Skyway extends through sage-littered plains, up verdant river valleys to lofty peaks streaked with snow and alpine cirques glistening in the sun. The 236-mile loop in southwest Colorado can be done on less than a tank of gas in a day, but it deserves a lifetime of exploration. In this two-piece series, I share how a person of average fitness can get into the heart-catching scenery without tapping their 401K. The best ways to take in the rugged terrain are on foot,... Read More

Interview with Birding Adventurer-James Currie

September 11th, 2011

Interview with Birding Adventurer – James Currie By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert James Currie is the driving force behind Nikon Birding Adventures TV which focuses on destination and adventure bird-watching. He explores the best exotic birding destinations on the planet; the most unusual, rare and highly sought after bird species; amazing cultures and wildlife. He is the informative, passionate – and sometimes crazy! – host for BATV that portrays a unique blend of information and adventure, making bird-watching refreshing, contemporary, interesting and... Read More

Purposeful Lollygagging

August 2nd, 2011

Purposeful Lollygagging By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert Birding is the second fastest growing sport in America. Sixty-five million of us are rising at ungodly hours to steal through estuaries and woodlands hoping to spy the flash of a wing. Some of us spend fortunes enticing our avian friends to our back yards. Why? (1) Birding is an opportunity for purposeful lollygagging. We must go slowly to catch a glimpse of the vast variety of birds that share the planet with us. A stroll through dew-laden meadows can garner sightings of warblers, finches, bluebirds, and meadow... Read More

Destination: Deep Time

June 29th, 2011

Destination: Deep Time By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert Thirteen strangers piled into the waiting raft at Lee’s Ferry on the Colorado River. It would be our transportation for the next eight days. Adam, our guide, greeted us with his eight-month-old son on his hip. Three generations of river guiding make his family as much a part of the river as the canyon wren, the pink rattler that has taken on the rosy hues of the sandstone walls, and the aloe—sustenance to the Native Americans who have called the Grand Canyon home for 10,000 years. A wren’s lilt echoed through the... Read More

Marty Mathis, of Grand Canyon Expeditions, Welcomes You to Where the Grand Canyon Lives And Explains Why It\’s Best Seen by Water

April 19th, 2011

Marty Mathis, of Grand Canyon Expeditions, Welcomes You to Where the Grand Canyon Lives And Explains Why It\’s Best Seen by Water By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert The charms of the Grand Canyon have captured the imagination of those lucky enough to experience them ever since Powell did the first recorded run down the Colorado in 1869. Marty Mathis, Vice President of Grand Canyon Expeditions, is one of those people so taken by the magic of the canyon he has made sharing the canyon his life’s work. In my previous article “Not All Outfitters are Created Equal” I... Read More

Not All Outfitters are Created Equal

April 4th, 2011

Not All Outfitters are Created Equal By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert The story“Falling in the Footsteps of John Muir” in my book Lost Angel Walkabout, describes the scariest situation I’ve experienced in my travels. I tripped and fell upon a splintered log that broke two ribs. This would not have been so horrific, but I was in the heart of the High Sierras at about 10,000 feet surrounded by even taller granite spires that blocked cell phone transmissions. The total medical arsenal of my guides consisted of one sleeping tablet. I was told the assessment of my medical... Read More