Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Six years

Pack training on Black Mountain, descending into the Silicon Valley.
That's how old this blog becomes today. Six years — that's about, what, 72 in Internet years? Arcticglass has become that old woman you see taking her little dog on a morning walk around the neighborhood. She has a bit of a limp and usually wears way more warm clothing than she needs, but at least she's still getting out there. She's the one who still remembers what it was like when you actually had to know some code to post any graphics in your layout, and recalls the days when most of the Blogger templates looked like a mixture of creepy wallpaper and Powerpoint slides. And yet, she misses those good old days, the days before Facebook and Twitter, when the kids had longer attention spans. Back then, she could still impress people with photos taken with a 2.1 megapixel pocket camera and posted as 112x200-pixel graphics, and people would actually read the story behind the photos (yeah, Flickr annoys her, too.) All the kids these days want to read is 140 characters of nothing, or stock images plastered with some kind of vague inspirational quote that will get you unfriended my your more discerning friends. At least those more discerning people still read blogs. Well, at least she hopes they do. She suspects maybe no one reads blogs anymore. But even if she's just sitting alone in her rocking chair, ranting to herself, she doesn't mind. You can do that kind of thing when you're old.

Yes, Arcticglass came on the scene in the heyday of blogs, and has gleaned much enjoyment out of her many prodigious years. Her progeny includes 1,413 posts, 18,293 comments, and beloved photos — almost too many to count. She sometimes wonders what her twilight years will bring, but she's not ready to wind down yet. There's still much blogging to be done, and many adventures to be had, even though November 3, 2005, was a long, long time ago.

Happy sixth blogiversary, Arcticglass.

I spent the evening packing my gear for the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow. I won't be indulging in any of my past lighthearted smack talk because I am starting to feel timid and nervous about the race. Although I rode a snow bike in the White Mountains 100 in March, I haven't raced a mountain bike since last year's Frog Hollow, which I raced duo with Beat. Training for a 100-mile foot race followed by months of injury and travel effectively cut mountain biking out of my summer activities. Adding to my feelings of inadequacy and underpreparation is the current weather forecast for Hurricane, which is calling for temperatures as low as 23 degrees. Jumping from 80 degrees straight into a full day and night of that is probably going to be a decent shock to my system. I can only hope I have some lingering muscle memory to help me cope with a long, frosty night. I did pack a lot of warm gear. To my sister, Sara: I hope you don't mind if I wear a bike jersey and tights to your wedding. I simply don't have room in my duffle for anything else. (I kid, I kid.)

Why is it that every time I visit the desert, I bring a deep freeze with me? I don't even live in Alaska anymore. Ah, well. It's nearly time to stop whining and start riding. I can't wait! Wish me luck.

36 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, Arctic Glass! :)

    Blogs are still where the real content is at, where people put real thought into what they publish and can expound on things in great detail. Facebook and Twitter have sure dealt them a blow, though. I have to admit to succumbing a bit to the immediate satisfaction and ease of Facebook, and I think it has resulted in me publishing less content on my blog than I used to. Still, when I want to publish a real trip report or really talk in depth about an issue, my blog is the only place to go.

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  2. Blogs are probably the most interesting thing on the net. Yours is amongst the best...

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  3. Anonymous3:41 AM

    Luck

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  4. Happy Birthday!!! Keep those stories and photos coming.

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  5. Good luck Jill - I really do enjoy your blog :)

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  6. Some of us still can read more than 140 characters at the time. Keep those posts and pictures coming.

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  7. I am so with you on Blogger vs Twit and FB (which I dislike passionately and don't have on principal)! Mine will be 6 years sometime in December, so we are like sisters:) Nobody wants to read thoughts produced by naked mind while doing something really pure, most just want a 3-character abbreviation stating how many miles, what they ate, how they pooped...who needs to think anyway? Life is at a speed of light, simplify! no readers, even fewer comments, and those that still pop up, are as short as FB status. Good job type of thing. Sometimes I wonder if the post has been read:)

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  8. Congrats on 6 years! I've been reading your blog for almost 5 years now - probably the only single site on the internet I've been reading for that long - and it never fails to inspire me and stoke my senses of adventure and imagination. Thanks! And good luck! Can't wait to read all about it.

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  9. Congratulations on your 6th Anniversary. Blogaversary - whatever you want to call it. I found you because you had the word "Alaska" in your title; I'm an Alaskan born and bred and was just snooping around the internet one day to see if anyone was blogging from up North.

    I should add I am a confirmed couch potato - but I really love seeing your photos, coming along with you on your travels and accomplishments, and just your view on life. The fact that I am an American living in Switzerland sort of balances out the whole picture.

    Thanks for blogging and good luck in your next adventure :-)

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  10. Jill, Congratulations on 6 years of great blogging! I only hit one year on my blog on October 13th. I admit I do FaceCrook (did I misspell that?) but I don’t twit. However I love reading blogs and, yes, yours is my favorite. You have such a gift for making us feel like we are a part of your "Outside" with your words and pictures. Even on my smaller level of blog activity, I know the pressure involved to post regularly (for my 90+ Mom). So I imagine it's all the more for you. Life changes and so will your blog over time. Thank you for all the great posts done and all the great posts to come! -Carl

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  11. Happy anniversary, Arcticglass and Jill! I'm glad the blog (and its author) still have years left in them! Good luck this weekend and I hope to see you next week!

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  12. Just hit 7 myself, and have been reflecting on many of the points you brought up and articulated so well. Blogs are great. Keep it up, I really enjoy your writing and photos.

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  13. Congrats and best of luck at Frog Hollow! Your actually leaving behind some colder weather here as well with this storm moving in. Enjoy the desert. I know I'll miss it as I would normally be making my annual trip to AZ right now.

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  14. Congrats! Been following the whole time, man 6 years blows by fast!?

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  15. I still read your blog from finding the link from Fatty's blog in 2005. I did not realize you had just started then. Your blog is a worthy communication medium and art form. You make the art better! Have a great race and dig down and pace yourself early on...and eat early and often. Look forward to your post-race post(s).

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  16. brent driggers10:02 AM

    It has been fun watching your confidence grow and your talent for writing has always been evident. Keep up the good work and kick some ass this weekend.

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  17. Happy (blog) Birthday Jill! Thanks for putting yourself out there for those of us that enjoy your blog (and your books!). Good luck this weekend, and enjoy Nepal.

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  18. Happy blogiversary!! We're all still reading and you are still putting out great content. Good luck this weekend.

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  19. Wow! You made me go check my own blog and discover I'm already well into year #8. I wonder how many words I've spelled wrong in all that time.....

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  20. Happy Blogiversary. I have only been following along for a short while, but it has been enjoyable.

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  21. Happy birthday Articglass! And good luck in the race Jill...You can dig deeper than anybody I have ever met (well, actually not met (yet) but strangely feel like I know). I rode up Stevens Creek Cyn yesterday, and instead of going up the evil Indian Springs rd, I went past it and took Bella Vista singletrack to the top...that was SWEET, and was WAY fun on the way back)! My mt bike book doesn't mention that awesome piece of trail. I went all the way to the winery...just in case I might perchance run into some looney woman riding a Fatback or a SS.

    Be safe and kick some ASS out there in the desert! And stay warm...brrr..it got kind'a nasty today (by California standards I mean).

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  22. Oh hey..forgot to ask...what trail is that in the pic? Is it rideable (as in 'allowed'?) It's not the main road as far as I can tell...and I can't find it in my trail maps. Just curious.

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  23. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Well, to put things in perspective, Hurricane's 'low' temps will be Central Oregon's 'highs' basically, so consider yourself lucky! I was pelted in the face by stinging hail on my ride to work today.... winter is here.

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  24. Happy Anniversary! Now get out there and kill it!

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  25. Anonymous6:21 PM

    I started reading nearly the day you started blogging - go figure. It is one of the honest things on the internet. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us - don't stop. Wish you the best in Nepal.

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  26. Tom C9:02 PM

    Matt C: To me, that trail in the picture looks like the Upper Meadow trail at Rancho San Antonio which is off limits to bikes.

    Jill, I like reading these long form picture blogs, and your excellent English. Awesome work.
    I'm adverse to Facebook.

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  27. A big happy birthday Artic Glass! I am sure people still read blogs because I follow a large number of different blogs and each of them has their own unique set of followers. Not to mention in the last two years I have seen my family and friends start their own blogs.

    Good luck on your next adventure.

    PS - Oooo pretty picture....what with all the text? Just Kidding!

    Logan

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  28. That's the upper portion of the Black Mountain Trail, which is a fireroad just off Black Mountain, just a less than a mile from the dirt Montebello Road. It's one of my fave trails - the feeling that one dives into the valley is pretty cool. Shortly after this section Black Mountain trail turns into a super sweet smooth singletrack - awesome downhill running.

    Unfortunately all of Rancho is off-limit for bikes ... like so many parks around here.

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  29. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Keep posting, Jill! Congrats on the longevity of your blog. Here's to many more years ahead and a safe race!

    christopher

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  30. Happy anniversary, and congratulations! Still loving it, Jill.

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  31. Your writing persists like your outdoor pursuits...

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  32. I like Twitter and Facebook for keeping up with people I don't see all that often, but in terms of entertainment? No. Blogs are way more interesting. There's something so comforting (and even addicting!) about a good blog that's updated on a regular basis. Good luck in your race!

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  33. Jill, I happened to scan this post mainly because I was scrolling though the first page... I came across where you said people only look at the picture and don't want to read more than 140 characters... I thought I would let you know the reason I was not reading and just scrolling is that I have started reading your blog from the beginning. Yes, way back all the way back. It has been very entertaining for the last month. I am currently in July of 2008. It is really interesting to read about how you are progressing as a cyclist and watch your photography change with your experiences. Keep on rockin' on!

    Caroline in Vancouver

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  34. Wow!!! 3 months later I came across my own comment! I am now up to Nov 2011!!! I must say there are a lot of words in here!

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  35. Hi Caroline, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree there are a lot of words here. I actually recently went back and began a retrospect project for this blog. I just pulled out what I consider my best blog posts, and those alone rack up 130,000 words. This whole blog has to be in the many millions. Yikes. But thanks again for reading. I just checked out your blog and drooled a little at the ski photos. I will have to read further myself.

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