Friday, January 8, 2016

A Revival....

"I feel like we were left with a cliffhanger and are waiting for the next season's episodes to start up again..."

Those words, from an (unbeknownst-to-me at the time) blog follower and his wife, came completely out of the blue late one night just a few weeks ago. Ok, I have to admit I was about ready to let this blog go. Not due to a lack of "epic" by any means. Just due to the fact that I found myself unmotivated and, honestly, struggling to convince myself I had a reason for sharing. I had a fantastic year filled with bikes, mountains, horses, new friends and adventures in Durango, but the desire to blog about it never really caught ahold of me.

I wasn't pursuing any crazy dreams or riding a bazillion miles taking pictures of it all. Truth be told, I worked my ass off this year. But, slowly in the midst of it, I met a collection of the best friends I have ever known. We rode horses and bikes. We ran trails. We went fishing. We drank whiskey around many a campfire. We made cilantro avocado margaritas. We howled at the moon and danced under the stars in the rain. We climbed to high peaks. We dressed up like fools and sang at the top of our lungs. We rode above 10k' every weekend this fall to see the colors. We smiled. We laughed. God damn, we laughed a lot this year. Maybe I was satisfied being filled with gratitude and appreciation for it all and savoring it in a very low-key way or just too lazy?

Maybe both?

So anyway, our conversation continued and we chatted bikes, adventure and our mutual friends from Back of the Pack Racing. Hearing their kind words of appreciation for my sharing my passion was very inspiring and made me stop and realize for a moment that maybe some were actually still interested in my writing. And maybe sharing the inner workings of my brain and its efforts to understand and navigate  my existence was a good thing? It actually does inspire, motivate and cause some to take action or "live vicariously through..."

 Ok, so with that in mind, let's get updated quickly:

The last post was a cry out for help with a sad situation with my brother. Writing is cathartic and sometimes the words need to bleed out. Without saying too much, I am overjoyed at the fact that he finally did make it home to where our family lives and a new start is looking very possible and real. He has chosen to not speak to me, and maybe never will again. If that is what I must lose for him to regain his life--I will take the blow a million times over. And a million more if my little brother gets to be his passionate, talented and true self again.

 Now....where to start? Highlight reel in pictures? Chronological rundown of a crazy, awesome year? Work backwards from today as I sit and watch the white gold fall out of the sky?

Uhhhh, lets do a highlight reel of all the episodes in 2015:
(in a Morgan Freeman-style announcer voice of course)

I had to say goodbye to my oldest, dearest and most loyal friend of nearly 14 years. I packed my car with all my worldly possessions and cried all the way to Durango, Colorado. Crocodile tears flooded my steering wheel and I drove virtually nonstop. Happy memories of a part of my life I was able to share with her eventually took over. I was headed home. A home I should have never left in 2012. But we all make decisions we think are right at the time. This time it was the decision to pursue a relationship that was just not destined to work. But how do we know? Never one to sit and wonder "what-if", I gave it a whirl. It crashed and burned. But damage is not permanent, the wounds heal and in the end, each is truly a better person without the other. Anger, pain and sorrow fade. Good memories live in our hearts and the hope for the other's happiness minus oneself lives on stronger than any horrid words said. Some things are not meant to be. And we finally see and accept it. And set ourselves free to grow and thrive separately in ways that were not possible together...

I came back to where I feel and have always felt an authentic peace--the San Juans. I rolled into town on January 2, 2015, fed quarters into a six minute shower in the laundrymat on North Main, tried to fix my hair, put on some clean jeans and barely made my job interview in time because I had to take a nap in Salt Lake City. I got the job, checked into a shithole motel that was cheap and began to scour Craigslist for a place to live. I was the happiest I had been in a year. I was done with Denver, done wasting my life sitting in traffic and done with being always in a mad rush of unfulfillment. I was home. I had my bikes. I was in Durango.
Nowhere else do I look at the horizon and not flinch from the twinge of needing something more or hear the faint whisper of something unfulfilled. The San Juans are where I am still and silent. I am truly an alien anywhere else.
I found frozen waterfalls, a mare named Belle, a mare named Storm, rivers full of fish, a town on fire for bikes, a soul sister, a renewed obsession with cowboy boots, a world full of beautiful freaks into which I comfortably fit, a cute boy and a world full of color above 10k'....and this doesn't even scratch the surface of all the adventuring, laughing, loving, lounging, working, storytelling, exploring and just being rather than doing in 2015, but here are a trillion and one words and moments (in no particular order) represented by pictures.
Consider it my hodge-podge of cut and paste attempt to update a bit. My words are ready to come out again. I bought a big plane ticket back in September for some adventuring coming up in 2016.
Thanks to those who read and follow and understand the have given new life to this blog.



So there you have it. Nowhere near a complete representation of 2015 in pics, but a crash course so future writing will make sense. Now that all of that is out of the way, I can write.
 Up next: "Mr. Misunderstood"-- A post about the most beautiful, deep and passionate soul I have ever known (and coincidentally, my best human friend)



  1. Hello My Friend, I loved the recap of 2015! I can't wait to see what adventures and journeys you take this year, I am ready for our adventures when coming back to Durango!
    Wishes & Peace

  2. Jill-
    This statement right here " He has chosen to not speak to me, and maybe never will again. If that is what I must lose for him to regain his life--I will take the blow a million times over. And a million more if my little brother gets to be his passionate, talented and true self again." is the best thing I have heard all year...I just did. the. same. thing. with my own daughter. Ouch it was hard, but hearing others, especially those who I respect deeply, be in the same position does my sole good. You and your blog are amazing!

  3. Jill, your blog is wonderful. Your writing brings the reader along on your adventure in so many many ways, and we get to experience the highs and the lows of these truly epic journeys. Its great to see that you chose to write again with your 2015 summary, and I just wanted to wish you the best of everything in 2016. ( and I am reading and rereading all of your AZ Trail adventures !! )

  4. Yes! I check in every week and was hoping that you would get back on the blog train.

  5. Its been a long time. Glad to see you back.