Jill Dunbar

Name: Jill Dunbar

Hometown: Meeker, CO

Occupation:  Dental Assistant/Front Desk for Charles E. Vandiver, DDS (for 21 years now!), Executive Director of Smoking River Studio Arts Foundation, Inc., known as Smoking River Studio Arts; wife, mom, Grammie

Favorite place to hike: Colorado Rockies; specifically, the Colorado Trail

What’s one book you’d recommend to a friend and why: To Kill A Mockingbird ~ it’s my very favorite book, EVER!!~ I first read it in junior high school as a literary assignment.  This suburbia-raised kid then realized there was a whole world I didn’t know existed ~ the deep south, racial issues, rape and good guys who put their lives on the line to fight for what they believe in ~ all from a 10 yr old’s point of view.  It made a profound impact on me. I love Atticus Finch and what he stands for: justice, equality, morality and wonderful parenting skills.  All traits I find most admirable in people.

What’s your favorite thing to cook for dinner: Fajitas!!!!! You can do anything with them ~ chicken (marinated in tequila), beef, or seafood.  Or all three!  It’s the perfect combination of protein and veggies.  Over the grill is the best. I love to serve fajitas as leftovers the next morning mixed in with scrambled eggs wrapped in a flour tortilla.  They are also my “first night” backpacking dinner and my next morning meal.

What’s your favorite quote:  
“Life is either a great adventure, or nothing” – Helen Keller

If you could hike with anyone, dead or alive who would be and why: My husband, Dale.  He is my protector, my partner and my voice of reason ~ we’ve been together for 36 years – every hike we go on is a new experience for us both.  After 36 years of being together, we still find it exciting to hike new trails, point out new flowers, admire the sunsets and listen to the wind go through the trees at night. We enjoy each other’s company so much ~ On our hikes, we enjoy making decisions together as a team ~ which way do we go, where to pitch the tent, when to stop and eat a snack, analyze weather patterns, etc..  He knows me better than I know myself!

What”s the one piece of gear that always has a place in your backpack: My compression gloves ~ they keep the sun off my hands, they keep me from getting blisters from my hiking poles (I lean on the poles a lot!), and they are mostly a security for me.  Kind of like taking a favorite blanket along… 🙂

If you could drop what you’re doing right now and had unlimited funds what’s the one place you’d go hiking:
I would finish hiking the Colorado Trail  That is my life goal.  Work has been getting in the way of thru-hiking it, so for now, I have to be content with just hiking 50 miles at a time.  So, the way I figure it, I’ll have it completed in 10 years.  And then I’ll get a tattoo of the logo on my left calf.  But, I have a feeling Machu Picchu is on the near horizon.  And then New Zealand…

Where can we find you on the internet:


Is  there anything else you’d like to add: I love hiking and backpacking ~ it gives me a chance to shed all the negativity in my life and it recharges my batteries.  I love living the simple life and having to depend on my skills for survival.  I’m really excited and humbled by my addition to the HLAW Ambassador group.  Through the FB page, I’ve already met a kindred spirit whom I can’t wait to meet in person! I cannot wait to interact with everyone else and meet you all in person.  I feel we all have something to contribute and that we can learn from each other ~ This is so very exciting!!! It’s like having Christmas in July! Screaming!!!!