Ghost Trails: Journeys Through a Lifetime

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"Ghost Trails" is the true story of an ordinary person - timid, nonathletic, raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City - and her unlikely route to one of the most difficult bicycle races in the world, a 350-mile epic along Alaska's frozen Iditarod trail. Through her struggles and intimate confrontations with her fears and weaknesses, she discovers the surprising destination of her life's trails.

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About Jill Homer

Jill Homer grew up in Sandy, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism in 2000. She began her career working for weekly and daily newspapers in Utah and Idaho. In 2005, she moved to Homer, Alaska, to pursue adventure in the Last Frontier. She never viewed herself as an athlete, but she was searching for a unique kind of outlet that provided both physical and psychological challenges. Endurance cycling fit that description. Two years of (mainly mis)adventures landed her in one of the most difficult endurance races in North America, a 350-mile winter traverse of Alaska wilderness called the Iditarod Trail Invitational. The unforgettable experience was the genesis of her first book, Ghost Trails: Journeys Through a Lifetime. Her second book, Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide is a continuation of what she views as her ongoing challenge: To drink life by the gallon, every day. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor in Los Altos, California.

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Reviews

Review by: njmom3 on Dec. 04, 2011 : star star star
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2011/12/ghost-trails.html

Ghost Trails is a story of a journey - physical and emotional. Jill Homer is an ultra-cyclist, participating in extreme bicycle race events. This book is the story of Jill Homer's journey on a 350 mile race along the Alaskan Iditarod Trail. Yes, a 350 mile bicycle race across the frozen Alaskan wilderness! This book is also the story of how she came to that sport and that race.

I have not followed her blog. Nor am I familiar with the world of ultra-athletes. The courage these athletes show and the challenges they choose to face are absolutely amazing. I do not completely understand it and have no intention of following in her footsteps, but it is an inspirational feat to witness. I commend her commitment to the sport. I commend her ability to pull a reader into an experience that most of us could never imagine.

The first book I read by Ms. Homer was titled Be Brave, Be Strong: Journey Across the Great Divide. That book chronicles her participation in a almost 2,800 mile race along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. It completely immerses the reader in the experience of the race. This book unfortunately fails to do so. The chapters of this book alternate between the race and descriptions of past events that led to her becoming a cyclist. Each is individually interesting. However, the intensity of the race experience is broken at the end of each chapter, and that is disconcerting. I wanted to go along with her on the race and stay with that experience.

***Reviewed for LibraryThing member giveaway program***
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: tjsjohanna on Nov. 23, 2011 : star star star star
The first few chapters I thought, "why is this girl letting the men in her life push her to do things she obviously doesn't want to do" but as the book went on I began to think that maybe Ms. Homer really did (does) want to do all these wilderness things - she just doesn't think she does. I liked the interspersing of earlier adventures with the main Iditarod race. I think Ms. Homer did a great job of capturing the mental ups and downs that many endurance athletes face. Overall I quite enjoyed the book, though my electronic copy could have used a better copy editor.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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