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If You’re Looking for a Cozy, Friendly Community, With Mammoth Trees, Walking Trails and Whale Sitings, You Won’t Want to Miss Yachats — Gem of Oregon’s Central Coast

July 31st, 2014

By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Yachats (pronounced Yah-hots) is a Chinook name that means dark water. Nestled at the foot of spruce-sheathed mountains overlooking the wide mouth of a bay where the Yachats River meets the Pacific, it was the site of a thriving village. Today, squealing toddlers play in soft purling waves while parents throw Frisbees to happy dogs on a vast expanse of hard-packed sand. I couldn’t resist wading in the clear water and watching the kaleidoscopic bubble lines kiss the sand as white puffs of clouds overhead morphed into streamers across a brilliant... Read More

Get Some Forest in Your Boots: Hiking Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood River Valley

July 10th, 2014

Get Some Forest in Your Boots: Hiking Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood River Valley By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate (Note: Linda offers a special thanks to Greg Vaughn, author of Photographing Oregon for for the photos of the Mt. Hood River Valley and Horse Tail Falls.) Old growth forest and broadleaf trees and shrubs cover Oregon’s Columbia River region in a thick verdure scented with life. The massive river flows 1,200 miles from the Canadian Rockies and is the main artery of this watershed, but the forests are the skin sheathing the mountains and the lungs... Read More

Getting the Shot with Greg Vaughn — Extraordinary Landscape and Nature Photographer Who\’s \’Written the Book\’ on Shooting the Natural Beauty of Oregon and Washington

May 28th, 2014

Getting the Shot with Greg Vaughn — Extraordinary Landscape and Nature Photographer Who\’s \’Written the Book\’ on Shooting the Natural Beauty of Oregon and Washington By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate As an adventure travel writer it is imperative that I take good landscape, action and nature shots while I am enjoying a fantastic outdoor holiday. I am the first to admit that I am a better writer than I am photographer. Getting good photographs takes, time, planning, know-how, the right equipment and a big slice of luck. Greg Vaughn helps make the... Read More

Making Tracks with New England Hiking Holidays.

April 17th, 2014

Making Tracks with New England Hiking Holidays By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Several years I ago I hiked in the White Mountains with New England Hiking Holidays. In my article “Peak Experience,” I detail what an exquisite experience it was to hike in the buttery glow of the autumn sun beneath a canopy of tangelo leaves. Graham, our lead trip guide, told me that the Columbia River Gorge hike was his favorite offering of NEHH because of the dramatic cluster of waterfalls, scent of pine-sheathed mountains, and meadows choked with wildflowers. This image never left... Read More

Solutions for Solo Travelers

February 10th, 2014

Solutions for Solo Travelers by Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate   Boomer women make up the largest segment of the travel population. Freed from the ties of family responsibilities, and with a little extra money in their jeans, they want to explore. Often they have husbands who are not interested in travel, or they can’t round up a friend who shares their wanderlust. Yet, this segment of the population often feels intimated by the idea of traveling alone. Women worry about their safety for good reasons. What is more, society penalizes the solo traveler with the dreaded... Read More

Plug into Nature’s Bounty at Sacha Lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon Basin

December 16th, 2013

Plug into Nature’s Bounty at Sacha Lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon Basin by Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate   Like Jack on the beanstalk, we climbed up a giant wooden stairwell wrapping the kapok tree. A drenching rain set in before we reached a viewing platform above the protective canopy. We stood atop what must be the 9th wonder of the world with our heads tucked into the hoods of our ponchos waiting for the weather to change. Soon, blue skies opened over the platinum Napo River.   Pink flamingo hues softened gray layers of clouds. Shafts of light streamed down upon the... Read More

Saddle Up in Ecuador

August 13th, 2013

Saddle Up in Ecuador by Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate   What prompts a young Brit ensconced in the Parisian perfume industry to flee the continent in quest of creating the ultimate South American riding experience? That was the first of several burning questions I had for Sally Vergette, owner of RIDE ANDES, before joining her in Ecuador this September. I’m looking forward to romps through pastures in the shadow of snow-crowned volcanoes with other experienced riders on Sally’s fit and well-mannered mounts. Each day’s ride ends at a wonderful colonial estate like... Read More

Winging It on the Central Coast

July 7th, 2013

Winging It on the Central Coast By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert   Morro Bay is a sweet coastal town, situated nicely between spectacular hiking and birding opportunities. To the south, Montana De Oro (mountain of gold), at 8,000 acres, is one of the largest parks in the state and one of its best-kept secrets. Fifty miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails wind through wooded canyons and along hidden coves. To the north rugged, untamed coastline given to the state by the giant Hearst Corporation remains a remnant of the natural splendor that greeted early explorers... Read More

Kick Back on the Kauri Coast of New Zealand

May 6th, 2013

Kick Back on the Kauri Coast of New Zealand   By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert   My heart pounded as loud as my mare’s hoof beats on the hard-packed sand as I paced myself to the gait of my leader and occasioned a glance over my shoulder at the sea. The immense surf, cresting in ten-foot faces rolling in fast, met the sand in a crashing fury. Under an intense blue sky the turquoise curls played a thunderous symphony.  I’d discovered the Kauri Coast on the North Island of New Zealand.  On the less-visited beaches stretching from the Hibiscus Coast to Breams Head Scenic... Read More

A Cruise I Couldn’t Refuse

March 25th, 2013

A Cruise I Couldn’t Refuse By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Expert Doing nothing is perfectly acceptable on the 150-foot Safari Explorer luxury motor yacht. You don’t have to jump up for whale sightings or watch bottlenose dolphin ride the bow wave. You can sit on the upper sundeck wrapped in Sky Father’s blue dome cooled by the sea breeze and enjoy your favorite book. Peering into the cobalt blue depths at the amazing adaptations of creatures living in the coral reefs is not mandatory. You certainly don’t have to partake in all the wonderful gastronomic delights placed... Read More