Linda Ballou: Embrace of the Wild



Big Blend Radio Interview: Travel writer and author Linda Ballou discusses her new novel, “Embrace the Wild,” that’s inspired by the life of equestrian explorer and travel writer Isabella Lucy Bird. It shares the story of raw courage and fierce strength of a plucky English woman’s unflinching desire to be free. Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean or SoundCloud.


Impetuous, strong-willed Isabella defied her strict Evangelical upbringing and the societal expectations of the Victorian age to fulfill her dreams. She redeemed her body after botched surgeries on her spine resulting in years of chronic back pain. She jumped ship on a world tour to spend six months in the nurturing clime of the Sandwich Islands  There she mustered the stamina to ride on the flank of a living volcano in Hawai’i and venture deep into the sacred Waipio Valley. After reclaiming her body she ventured to Estes Park in Colorado. There she herded feral cattle in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and convinced ruffian, Rocky Mountain Jim, to guide her up towering Longs Peak. She finds peace in the arms of Jim her  “dear desperado.”  Ride with this intrepid horsewoman on her 800-mile mountain tour in the Rockies in winter depending upon the kindness of strangers and the stout heart of her mare Birdie to survive on her way to becoming the best-loved travel writer of her time.

For more about Linda Ballou’s books, visit


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