Ghost Trails by Jill Homer

25 Jan
Ghost Trails by Jill Homer

Ghost Trails

When our sons were little we moved to the Chicago area near Six Flags Great America. The good news was that Six Flags had a lot of great roller coasters, the bad news was that our sons were wouldn’t ride them. I finally figured out that a way to get them to ride the roller coasters—I invited a little girl who loved roller coasters to go with us to Six Flags, knowing that our sons would rather face a near-death experience than admit that they were scared of roller coasters in front of a girl. My plan worked and our sons ended up loving roller coasters. I am telling this story for the benefit of those cyclists who spend all winter in the basement riding their trainers because they don’t want to ride their bikes in snow or cold weather. If you are one of those guys it’s time to butch up! If you need some motivation I suggest you read Ghost Trails, Journeys Through A Lifetime.

Ghost Trails is the story of Jill Homer, “a scared little Mormon girl from Salt Lake City,” and her 350 mile race along Alaska’s Iditarod Trail in 2008. Homer is an avid cyclist, trail runner, journalist, winter enthusiast, and endurance junkie. She also writes one of my favorite blogs, Jill Outside.

The story of Homer’s epic ride across the brutal Alaska wilderness starts in Knik, Alaska on February 24, 2008 and ends in McGrath, Alaska on March 1, 2008. During that time Homer rode her bike across frozen rivers, through unbelievable snow drifts and over several hundred miles of snowmobile trails. She spent nights outside when the temperature was -35 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was blowing at 50 MPH. If you rode your trainer in the basement this week because “it was cold outside,” aren’t you a bit embarrassed right now?

Ghost Trails is only 181 pages long so you can probably finish it in one evening. Once I started reading it I just couldn’t stop! The book has 24 chapters, but only half of them deal with the 2008 Iditarod Trail Invitational, the other chapters contain flashbacks of events that shaped Homer’s life and honed her determination. I do have one small confession to make: when I read the book I skipped the “flashback” chapters at first and just read about the Iditarod Trail Invitational, then I went back and read the other chapters.

I highly recommend this to anyone, especially cyclists or endurance athletes who need a bit of motivation. Ghost Trails is available in paperback for $16, but you can also buy a Kindle Edition for only $3 from


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