Kathy Strong has been a travel journalist, author and celebrity interviewer for more than 30 years, having written or contributed to more than 20 guide books and countless magazine features, covering all areas of the world. Her guide books include Southern California: Off the Beaten Path; Recommended Bed & Breakfasts: California; Driving the Pacific Coast: California; Driving the Pacific Coast: Washington and Oregon; The Seattle Guidebook; and Recommended Island Inns: The Caribbean.
Strong’s centerpiece travel feature, GOING MY WAY, appeared weekly in the USA Today network of newspapers for the last decade. Strong also is a contributor to USA Today’s travel magazine, “GoEscape,” USA Today weekly magazine and Forbes Travel Guide. Through the years, Strong has been a frequent talk show guest on both radio and television, appearing on The Today Show, Talk of the Desert and Valley Views. She also served as magazine editor to three Southern California publications: Desert magazine; 92260; and LQ.
A native born Southern Californian, Strong grew up surrounded by rolling hills for hiking and some of the most coveted beaches on the west coast of California. Falling in love with travel, beauty, history and nature was a natural and has become her joy and passion. Her first guide book, Recommended Bed & Breakfasts: California evolved from her renovation of a historic 1904 home in San Luis Obispo, turning it into the area’s first bed & breakfast inn. Kathy now resides in California’s scenic desert that offers year-round sunshine, dark starry nights and the tranquil beauty that inspires exploration in every direction.
Kathy’s favorite travel adventure is usually the last one, but her real motivation is discovering hidden gems in even the most well-traveled areas. It’s a simple philosophy:
Take the main roads, you’re a tourist. Take the back roads, you’re a traveler.
Featured Photographer: Stan Ford
Stan Ford is an award-winning nature photographer specializing in landscapes and wildlife. He works primarily in the public lands of the American southwest and west. Prior to taking up photography, Stan had a 30-year career in government and public service. It was approximately five years into his retirement he decided to pursue photography.
After he retired, a passing conversation with a friend who is a travel writer with USA Today led him to the Ansel Adams Gallery and a photo workshop on night sky photography and light painting. That workshop convinced him to purchase his first digital camera in 2012. And, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
His formal education led him to earn degrees in Biology (B.S.) and Natural Resources (M.A). His artist style draws upon his knowledge and experience in these fields. At a friend’s suggestion, he started “fotos by ford” in 2013. Because of his interest in presenting the natural world as he experiences it, he does not manipulate his images. This commitment is reflected in the tagline for “fotos by ford” – “Images from a Camera – Not a Computer.”
His work was included in Nature Photographer in his articles “Yosemite: Beyond the Icons” and “Textures, Shapes & Colors,” as well as other publications. The fourth edition of his book – Mother Nature’s Selfies will be available this year. His photographs have been exhibited in numerous shows and can be seen in the Albuquerque Photographer’s Gallery. In July 2017, his image titled “Light from Above” won first place in the international photo contest the “Beauty of Stone.”
Stan was honored in 2016 to be chosen by the National Parks Arts Foundation to serve the National Park Service as the “first-ever” Artist-in-Residence at Pecos National Historical Park. Photographing nature and documenting his experiences has become his raison d’être. He is honored to be able to share his work with others and hopes you will enjoy his images, as much as he did capturing them. View his photo gallery at www.fotosbyford.com .
Contributing Writer: Jan Maguire
Jan Maguire is a seasoned freelance travel and copywriter with a career spanning more than two decades in communications. She currently specializes in writing for the travel and tourism, and health and wellness markets. Maguire has had several feature articles published in print and online. She most recently served as the Film, Arts and Entertainment Manager at the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Prior to launching her freelance writing company, Maguire handled marketing and public relations for a nonprofit cancer wellness organization. She began her career working in variety television production and story development in Los Angeles and Chicago, and on location in New York City, Rome, Italy and Helsinki, Finland.
When she’s not writing or satisfying her wanderlust, you’ll find her somewhere on a beach with a great book! See more of Jan’s work at www.jan-maguire.com.
Contributing Writer: Terry Ross
Terry Ross has covered sports as both a print and radio journalist for more than 35 years, and also has served as a consultant to the golf industry in a variety of capacities.
He has been an Editor for Golf Vacations Magazine and a regular columnist for the Long Beach Business Journal, and is based in Orange County, California.