Sunday, June 26, 2011

Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide by Jill Homer

Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great DivideI am in awe of this woman... not only can she write a good yarn, but her story is amazing. I mean how many of us would ride a mountain bike from Canada to Mexico in rain and over 11,000 foot mountains in just 24 days? With only two outfits and a bag of junk food and a sleeping bag?

Jill Homer did. It's called the Tour Divide and she did it in 2009.. first try. Her narrative begins in Alaska with her long time boyfriend suddenly calling it quits.. and whereas most women would curl up and cry about it, Jill decides to keep going. It's not easy and she doesn't even realize she's going to do it practically till she's at the starting line, but she does it.

She faces bears, rides next to antelope, talks to cows, has flat tires, deals with a broken gps, braves mud and mud and more mud, climbs and climbs and climbs, wrecks, bangs up her knee, lives off sour patch kids candy half the time, runs out of water, loses her breaks in Colorado (YIKES!!!), and even deals with food poisoning and a hurt friend. But she still does it.. she makes it. 

Along the route, she contemplates giving up... but numerous things keep her going, the desire to outdo her ex boyfriend, the fear of public humiliation... 

What I really liked about her story besides her bravery, determination, and gumption is how amazing some people were along the way.. Perfect strangers offered her food, drink, board, opened their homes to her. It's amazing and touching how many people are willing to help others still today. I loved how Ms. Homer acknowledges each and every one of them. I also enjoyed the parts with John, a fellow rider. I wondered what would happen there...

A very good book. My only complaint is at times it was too much repetitive detail. Just too much at times about everything she ate and the details of the trails. At times, I found myself skimming over that stuff.. just wanting to find out what happened next. 3.5 stars.

Laugh out loud moment: "At mile 62, my throat was dry and my drinking bladder still empty, but my own bladder was completely full. The organ bulged and pressed against my abdomen until I was certain I could feel urine leaking out of my eyes. If it was only a need to pee I might have strongly considered just letting it go - after all, I was already drenched in sweat and wetting my shorts in that manner wouldn't be that much different. But there were other way I needed to relieve myself, too, way that I didn't want to end up in my shorts.." (Wouldn't you know, that's when  a vehicle ends up driving by! LOL)

Favorite quote: "I only had myself to rely on in the end. I had to truly trust myself when the going got tough. And when the going did get tough, I dug deep inside myself and I persevered. I had been brave on my own. I had been strong on my own."

Found an awesome picture of Jill Homer on this website.. it's of her at the finish. Check it out.

I won an ebook of this on LibraryThing Member Giveaways.

1 comment:

  1. I love stories about brave women with authentic voices. Am adding this to my TBR.