Monday, November 02, 2015

Ten years

My blog hits the decade mark today. Ten years! That's close to 145,000 years old in Internet years.

I wanted to do something to celebrate, so for today only (November 3), all of my books are only 99 cents on Amazon. Even if you don't own a Kindle, you can read the eBooks on any smartphone or tablet via the free Kindle app, available here. The books are linked below. Collect all five for $4.95! As always, I appreciate reader support.




It's strange to realize that I've been updating this blog for a decade. Back in 2005, I would have never guessed that I'd still be at this a decade later — still blabbing on and on about cycling, and still preparing for yet another preposterous snow-biking race in Alaska. My jaw also would have dropped if you told me that I'd be approaching five years in the Silicon Valley, yet still working for small Alaska newspapers, and that social media was now so fragmented that blogs had become a dying art — the long-form literature of 2015. Or, in Internet lingo, the tl;dr.

I'm grateful for the time I've invested into this blog — although it remains narrow in focus, it has become a fairly thorough record of my life. Seared onto the digital archive are thousands of observations and images that otherwise would have been lost to the noise of faded memory. Because it's public record, this blog also has connected me to an ever-widening circle of like-minded people all over the world. It's gotten to the point where nearly all of my post-college friendships can be traced back to this blog. (Take Beat, for example. I met him through my friend Danni in Montana, who I met through Keith in Banff, who I met because his wife, Leslie, read my blog and invited me to come stay with them before the 2009 Tour Divide.)

There's also my odd lifestyle to take into consideration. Although I was just starting to take an interest in endurance sports when I launched this blog, I question whether that would have stuck if I'd never established the connection to others, as well as an outlet for this ongoing narrative. And although I often wish my passions were less esoteric, and maybe more comfortable, I maintain the belief that endurance sports can reveal a lot about self, relationships, and the human experience. This is why I continue to write long-winded blog essays about outdoor adventure still — one decade and 1,877 posts later. There's still so much to learn. I take flack for this, of course, but I don't see my love of outdoor adventures as any different from feeling passionate about art, music, dance, philosophy ... Movement through the world is my form of expression, and writing is my attempt to make some sense of these tracks before they fade away.

It's clear that my life would look very different if I never started blogging. I actually can't fathom where I'd be right now if I never launched a free Blogspot site on November 3, 2005. Sometimes the smallest motions make the largest difference. Thank you for dropping by, and for contributing to the ongoing narrative. It's been a wild ride so far.

25 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary Jill. Your blog helped fan the embers of my mtbing passion into forest fire proportions. Thank you and keep it up.
    Dave.

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  2. Happy 10 years Jill. I hope we are graced to have at least another 10 years of your amazing art of words and photos. You don't know how much you have inspired me, as well as countless others through your blog and your books. It makes me sad that the blog is a dying art but I hope you will not let that sway you and you keep on doing it for us readers who appreciate your work so much.

    And thanks for the book discount. I already have all your books, except for the Tim one. And I am going to head to my Kindle now and read that one. (Honestly, I didn't get that one because I love reading about your experiences and thought I would not be interested in a narrative about someone elses. But hey, for 99 cents, what can I lose and maybe I will even be pleasantly surprised.
    Thanks again.
    Laura

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  3. Happy anniversary, and I'm still amazed by the things that you and Beat do. Thats a nice gesture with your books, but an on line version can't compare to the signed one that I have. Many thanks for your posts and here's to looking forward to many many more. And remember getting older doesnt stop you, it just changes what you do.

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  4. Anonymous7:32 AM

    great blog, I've yet to read your books. I'd like to though... how do I order them all? can this be read on an ipad?

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    1. You can read these books on an iPad. There's a free Kindle app linked beneath the image of the cover. If you want to buy all five, you'll need to purchase them individually from each link.

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  5. I get two things from your blog JH:
    1. Great enjoyment from reading your posts due to the high quality writing and photography, and the adventurous subject matter.
    2. True inspiration when I am out there, especially if it is cold, windy or miserable - "Jill would think this was nothing and would just be getting started".
    Thank you for sharing a big piece of your life with us, consistently, for like a decade now.
    Your virtual friend,
    John H

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  6. Tonya S.9:18 AM

    Happy anniversary, Jill! I've loved every post of your beautiful blog and hope you keep it up for a long time to come. You are inspiring to a lot of people. I've always loved the outdoors but your blog has inspired me to get out and love it no matter the weather. :)

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  7. Happy Anniversary! I can't believe you've been blogging for 10 years already. Keep up the great reports. And everybody, all of Jill's books are great. Definitely download them and read them for such a cheap price. You will love them all!

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  8. Without this blog, we would have never met! Grateful to know you and to have had the chance to adventure with you. Looking forward to more stories...

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  9. Happy anniversary Jill. I think I first found you when you were riding the Tour Divide. I was gob smacked then by your achievements and continue to revel in and admire all your exploits.

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  10. Wow! Congratulations on ten years! And thanks for the generous sale on your books! I am just finishing Becoming Frozen and had already read Be Brave, Be Strong, but now I have the whole set. The challenge I have now is how to get your signature on a digital edition on Saturday at Montebello :)

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  11. I'm not sure I've ever commented her, but I came across your blog years ago and have stuck around. I'm a runner (but NOT an ultrarunner) and not much of a biker aside from the occasional triathlon. But I just love following all your adventures! Congrats on a decade!

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  12. Happy Anniversary and congratulations! I've been reading your blog for a number of years now and have read a couple of your books. Actually have a signed copy of Be Brave somewhere in the bookshelf..
    Your stories are an inspiration and although my blog pretty much died a year ago due to some life changes, you were always one of the motivating factors in my writing...keep it up!

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  13. Is there a particular order to read the books in? Thanks for taking the time to write them for us.

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    1. The best order for chronology would be:

      Becoming Frozen
      Ghost Trails
      Be Brave, Be Strong,
      Arctic Glass

      "8,000 Miles Across Alaska" is about Tim Hewitt's incredible journeys on the Iditarod Trail ... it's good to read alongside or directly after Ghost Trails for a bigger (much bigger) perspective.

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  14. Thanks for the gift of $0.99 books. I've read and loved five of them. Your writing is superb. I just bought the sixth. I love your blog, and I hope you keep posting for a long time!

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    1. Thanks KB. I started following your blog as well a little while back. I'm always in awe of your wildlife shots, your personable dogs, and the beauty that surrounds you. Sorry to hear that you have to cope with chronic pain. I admire your positive attitude.

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  15. Jill, I have been reading your blog on and off over the 10 years.I especially remember your snow biking video with the Killers. Every time I hear that song , (and it seems to be always on in my car), I think of you. I have enjoyed going on your adventures with you!
    You are truly "living the dream" !

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  16. Hi Jill, just a happy 10th anniversary from someone you inspire from the UK. The book gift is very generous , I've no need to take advantage because I've read all of them ,(just started 8,000 miles)
    I keep exploring Alaska on Google Earth,probably the nearest I'd ever get to it.
    How about a follow up to "Becoming Frozen"..love to hear some detail of life in Juneau..looks great on Google Earth . Anyway, keep inspiring us and take care.
    Kevin

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  17. Congrats and Happy Anniversary! I've been reading your blog since about 2008 and have read your books. I LOVED reading about your Tour Divide ride. You inspired me to bike more often and even bike commute to work! :)

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  18. I'm so glad you're still doing this blog. Congratulations on 10 years! I check for your new posts every week, if not more, and always enjoy your writing. Yours is the only blog I consistently read. I received your new book. Thanks for sending it. Haven't had a chance to read it yet as I've been mostly traveling since mid-August.

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  19. I think you are spot on about the value of this blog in your life. Makes me consider again how important writing can be to one's life! Thanks for all these years and blog posts...so many! I arrived in Alaska in 2005...and starting reading your blog then. I even had the pleasure of living in Juneau for a while, so understand that brand of wet....and saw you off at the start of the ride to McGrath, the first time. We have moved away from Alaska quite recently but your reflections upon the place help me think through my reflections. Here's to more blogging from you! Good luck on the next journey up the Iditarod Trail! I will be following you from afar.

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  20. congrats Jill, I've reading your blog for a good 5 years or more. It's time to pay you back, so I'll run to order some of your books!

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  21. Hey Jill...happy belated 10th anniv! I'm on work travel and somehow FORGOT my laptop power-supply! FINALLY got up and running again just yesterday (Friday) and had a ton of catching up to do.

    I finished reading Becoming Frozen on the flight into Colo Springs on Monday....LOVED IT! I also have Ghost Trails AND Be Brave, Be Strong (both of those in paper copy, Frozen in Kindle). You are a SUPERB writer....your ability to bring us along and to share your pain, see the beauty, and endure the unendurable blows me away (as does your ability/mentality to keep going when most do not). I love reading your books and posts as I am SO not gifted with your 'keep going' spirit. Well, maybe just a teensy amount...but nothing like what you have. 5 or 6 hours in the saddle is my epic adventure, but thankfully I can read about YOURS. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a rough situation and instead of caving in I think "what would Jill do".... and that somehow gives me the mental strength to suck-it-up and keep moving.

    Keep up the great work and I hope to still be following you in 10 more years! (and btw: I'd love to go for a ride w/ you and Beat someday when I'm up in the Sunnyvale area for work...but you'd have to promise me it wouldn't end up in a 12 hour death-ride).

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  22. Congrats on the anniversary, and thank you for sharing your adventures with us! I've been a long-time reader, though this might be my first comment (blush). Reading your 10-year post here nudged me to buy "Be Brave, Be Strong..." and WOW! I couldn't put it down! As a runner rehab-ing a recently surgery-ed knee, I've been contemplating cycling; your journey was so inspiring to me! Thank you, and please keep sharing your adventures so honestly and colorfully.

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