Available in Kindle format (with free app)
Author: Linda Ballou
Reviewed for the NABBW by: Anne L. Holmes

Now you can delight in day tripping adventures along with adventure travel writer Linda Ballou, who’s long been known for her enticing articles about her power-packed  outdoor days along the sun-splashed California coast from Malibu to Mendocino.

For years, Linda’s many friends have asked her if they could come with her on these adventures, and she’s always declined. Not because she is unwilling to share, of course, but because, for Linda – as for many of us –  a big part of the  pleasure of the trip comes from the experience of solitary hiking.

As anyone who enjoys solo treks knows, being alone with nature not only allows you to totally absorb the beauty of your surroundings, but also gives you a chance to ponder life’s issues and work out creative solutions.  Somehow, with the physicality of the hike absorbing your primary focus, your brain has a chance to take on some free-range creative solution development in the background.

Actually, research suggests that aerobic exercise helps create new brain cells and improves brain function. Tough workouts become meditation, as they naturally boost your powers of decision-making, higher thinking and learning.

And yet as powerful as solo trekking is, if you’re heading off to some where you’ve never been before, we all know it’s great to travel with a guide – especially if you’re venturing off to new places.

Which is why – if you’re considering any day trips along the California Coast – from Los Angeles to the Lost Coast – you’ll be delighted to know you can now take Linda along with you. Not in person. But the next best thing – a Kindle-formatted book with an app. (So: Linda Ballou, talking to you at your convenience, from your smart phone.)

Linda’s latest book, Lost Angel in Paradise: Outdoor Days from L.A. to the Lost Coast of California (Lost Angel Adventures) offers readers the essence of the experience for 32 wonderful day trips. Each chapter comes complete with her commentary about the trip: what to look for, general directions, a bit of background history as well as suggestions for where she suggests you stop afterwards for a great bite to eat. (After all, you’ve burned a bunch of calories and deserve an opportunity to refuel.)  

One of my favorite chapters is the third one,  on Solstice Canyon. Linda describes the visit, but mentions that this venue was damaged during the Woolsey Fire of 2018. Regardless, she assures readers that, as it is one of the most scenic and popular trails in Malibu, it will be one of the first fire-damaged trails to be re-opened.

Linda Beside Solstice Creek

Meanwhile, as you travel with Linda Ballou from the beaches of Malibu to Topanga State Park, to Satwiwa, (also known as Rancho Sierra Vista) and the Ray Miller Trail, (which marks the beginning of the 69-mile Backbone Trail that takes hikers across the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains all the way to Will Rogers State Park on Sunset Boulevard), you’ll be traveling Southern California in the company of a knowledgeable friend.

Your best plan: keep Linda Ballou and her book, Lost Angel in Paradise, close at hand. It’s easy now: Just install her free app on your phone. Then you and Linda can hike together in companionable solitude.