Tuesday - June 19, 2018
 

Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Island National Park: Power-packed outdoor days restore the soul, rejuvenate the body, and clear the mind.

June 13th, 2018

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate About an hour north of Los Angeles a spectacular day trip to the Island of Santa Cruz awaits you. Turn up at the Island Packer dock in Ventura Harbor about 9 AM with a lunch in your backpack and leave your worries behind. After an hour-long cruise across the channel, passengers are dropped off at Scorpion Anchorage and admonished to be back by 4 PM, or plan on spending the night on the island. Some choose to do exactly that, but most fan out on separate day hikes. Santa Cruz, the largest of all the Channel Islands, offers the most varied... Read More

Linda Ballou is Remembering Days in the “Bu” (Malibu, California)

May 13th, 2018

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate I hiked the half mile around Malibu Lagoon to what is famously known as Surf Riders Beach, aka “Buns Galore” Beach. Barefoot surfers joined me on the shade-less path carrying their boards tucked under their arm or over their heads. Unzipped wet suits, folded down on slim waists keep them half-way cool. These are real he-men if you ask me. I wear sneakers for the trek and carry supplies of water and fruit for when I get dry. At the entrance to Malibu Lagoon State Park I was snagged by a couple of gay caballeros from Italy who wanted their... Read More

Lollygagging at the Olallieberry Inn

April 4th, 2018

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate The Olallieberry Inn is located in the East Village of Cambria on the Central Coast of California. This quaint Victorian-style inn nestling on the sunny side of the Santa Rosa Creek offers all the comforts of home, and then some. The Inn, in service for over 40 years, has received a facelift by new owners providing modern amenities without losing its charm. Cooks in the sparkling new kitchen deliver gourmet breakfasts at two settings each day. One at 8:00 for those eager to get out and explore this gorgeous region, and one at 9:15 for those... Read More

Linda’s Fantastic South American Adventure Concludes: Wet, Wild and Wonderful – Patagonia

February 26th, 2018

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate NOTE: My sojourn in South America began and ended in Buenos Aires where half the population of Argentina reside. Like most Americans, my knowledge of the geography of South America is a bit fuzzy. The journey took me to less-traveled parts of Argentina and Chile providing an overview of the landscape and high points, which I have shared in a series of pieces. This is the third and final article in the series: I am sipping coffee at Hotel Lago Grey in Torres del Paine, Chile before everyone arrives for breakfast. An exquisite rainbow is... Read More

Let the Adventure Find You in Puerto Varas, Chile

February 3rd, 2018

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate NOTE: My sojourn in South America began and ended in Buenos Aires where half the population of Argentina reside. Like most Americans, my knowledge of the geography of South America is a bit fuzzy. The journey took me to less-traveled parts of Argentina and Chile providing an overview of the landscape and high points I will be sharing in a series of pieces. This is the second:  Puerto Varas, nestled sweetly on the south shore of Llanquihue (“yan key way”) the largest lake in Chile, is the adventure hub of the Chilean Lake District. ... Read More

Linda’s Fantastic 17-Day South American Adventure: First Stop: Buenos Aires to Bariloche, Argentina

January 10th, 2018

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate NOTE: My sojourn in South America began and ended in Buenos Aires where half the population of Argentina reside. Like most Americans, my knowledge of the geography of South America is a bit fuzzy. The journey took me to less-traveled parts of Argentina and Chile providing an overview of the landscape and high points I will be sharing in a series of pieces. This is the first: First Stop: Buenos Aires to Bariloche, Argentina Church bells ring outside my window and remind me that Buenos Aires is a strongly Catholic town. You may recall that... Read More

Jack London’s Beauty Ranch Spared

November 6th, 2017

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate About twenty years ago, I followed Billy and Saxon, characters in Jack London’s novel The Valley of the Moon, on their journey in a buckboard wagon up the coast of California on their search for the perfect place to land. They put down roots in what is now the Jack London Historic Park in Glen Ellen.  Jack purchased the land in 1905 and dubbed it his “Beauty Ranch.” In my essay Jack London and Me, I detail how my life and the master of adventure writing have intersected. I yearned to be closer to him and had to visit the haven he... Read More

Haines, Alaska: Gateway to Alaskan Adventures

September 5th, 2017

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate I have been migrating from Los Angles to Haines, the prettiest little town in Southeast Alaska, for the last 40 years. Like the arctic tern in its epic 25,000- mile round trip journey and the salmon’s primordial yearning to return to the clear waters of its birth, I come home. When snow-frosted peaks of the Coastal Range that hug the tiny berg and Port Seward come into view, I mist over.  Alaska is to me austere, rugged and moody, yet thrilling in its unrelenting beauty. Haines, population 2500, was once a homely pioneer town; now Main... Read More

Riding in the Hoof Prints of Isabella Bird at the Sylvan Dale Ranch

July 26th, 2017

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Fired by the rapturous descriptions of Estes Park and surrounds by Isabella Bird, a plucky Englishwoman who rode 800 miles solo in the Rockies in 1873, I headed to Colorado to breathe in the beauty of the region for myself. Isabella, like many people suffering from England’s damp, came to Colorado for “the pure dry air.” With religious fervor, she waxed poetic in her travel memoir Lady of the Rockies about the granite faces of the peaks flushing crimson at day’s end. Her first stay in Colorado was with the Alexanders, squatters... Read More

Lose your Heart at the Laramie River Ranch

July 9th, 2017

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Krista Burleigh, leading my ride, dreamed of owning a ranch and spending her life sharing her love of the outdoors and horses with her guests. She and husband Bill, roamed the West to find the perfect spot. They picked the Laramie River Ranch for its isolation and endless miles of trails that fan from the ranch and offer a variety of terrain and great footing for the horses. I have sampled many dude ranches and the LLR offers an unrivaled, rustic, authentic western experience on the back of well-trained, fit horses. From a distance the sage-covered... Read More