Tracing the Path of Isabella Bird

Linda BallouBy Linda Ballou

Share Story on:

Tracing the Path of Isabella Bird
BBC chose Travel writer Linda Ballou as the Isabella Bird expert for a documentary on the Victorian Age adventurer to air this fall. By Linda Ballou Isabella Lucy Bird was a Victorian Age adventurer who endured tremendous hardships in her explorations of the Rockies in 1873. She became the best-loved travel writer of her time, and was the first women inducted into the Scottish Royal Geographical Society. In my book, “Embrace of the Wild,” I share her most transformative journeys. Like Isabella, I am fully engaged in the state of exploration. I am soon to embark on a Majestic Mountain Tour tracing the path of Isabella through the Front Range of the Rockies. Fellow author Pat Jurgens, a 60-year resident of Colorado, is helping me plot my course. A fierce spirit trapped in a frail body, Isabella rode through raging waters on the Hamakua Coast, up the flank of a volcano, and into the Waipio Valley in Hawai’i. She lifted herself from the invalid’s bed at the age of 40 and threw off the shackles of her Evangelical upbringing, forging on to explore distant lands where no white woman had dared go before. There are numerous books written about Isabella with three new ones released in 2021, two nonfiction and my historical novel “Embrace of the Wild.” I was in Estes Park in April for the filming of Trailblazers, a three-part BBC documentary about Isabella Bird, the plucky English woman who inspired my book and am thrilled that they chose to cast me as the Isabella Bird expert in the TV series to reconstruct her journey airing this fall. Filming of my interview took place at the Bird & Jim Restaurant. What’s more, Estes Park historian John Meissner is busy working on a celebration of Isabella, a woman with true grit who continues to challenge us to live our best life. “I thoroughly enjoyed submerging into Isabella Bird’s world through ‘Embrace the Wild,’” says Melissa Strong, owner of the Bird & Jim restaurant, Estes Park, Colorado. “Linda did an outstanding job
Linda Ballou with actress Emily Atack from the new BBC TV series, Trailblazers, and Melissa Strong, owner of the Bird & Jim
expanding on Isabella Bird’s story, magnifying her character, and opening a window for readers to look deeper.”

Pat Jurgens is also appearing with me on the “Strong Women in the West” author panel at the Hearthfire Bookstore in Evergreen, Colorado, on Sept. 18th. I am honored to be speaking at the Conifer Historical Society on Sept. 19th, and at the Maude Jellison Library in Estes Park on September 22nd with a PowerPoint presentation that will be the finale of my tour.

I am looking forward to intoxicating air and aspens spinning gold beneath brilliant blue bird skies.
photos courtesy of Linda ballou Linda Ballou with Isabella Bird statue in Estes Park
Linda Ballou

Share Story on:



September 2, 2022

September Events