I’m not sure how I initially tripped over Jill Homer’s blog “Up in Alaska,” but I do know why I kept reading. Jill accents her posts with two of my favorite things — stunning pictures of snow… and talk of bicycles. I loved reading about a far away place that was completely foreign to me. Having grown up a city girl, I am still getting used to the isolation of Utah, let alone Alaska. Oh, and that’s the other thing… Jill is from Salt Lake City, so I felt I had something to learn from her.
Jill’s posts appeal to me because she always seems to be exploring the great outdoors, mainly by herself, pushing her own personal limits and definitions of self. I identify with many of her posts as I spend a lot of time doing the same thing here in Utah. Around Christmas time, she appealed to her readers to buy her self-published book, and I decided to support her (since I didn’t want her blog posts to stop).
Her book ended up being way more than I expected from someone who self-published, though I should have guessed based on her determination that she would choose to self-publish. Ghost Trails oscillates between the innocence of her youth in her home town to her experience in the 350-mile Iditarod trail in Alaska years later. She begins with an innocent and wavering self-confidence that blossoms into intense determination. I could barely put the book down. She captured the spectrum of emotions in an exceptional way. It made the difficulty of doubting yourself seem like less of a crutch than a catalyst.
Thank you, Jill.