Craig Childs - House of Rain
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Field Notebook
Field Notebook

Green River, Utah
You find a cadence in breathing and motion, the way the sun glides, shadows shrinking and growing.

Lower San Juan
Paddling the San Juan River into Lake Powell
The river has jumped its channel and now flows across open country. It has hit a bedrock ridge and is pouring over into a fresh waterfall...

Salar de Atacama
Salar de Atacama, Chile
It is awful ground for walking, slabs breaking, cutting, shattering...

Cordrillera de la Sal
Atacama Desert, Chile
I go down on my knees licking a clear, wildly-eroded boulder, biting off bits of it...

Baker Dam Site
Rio Baker, Chile
Gray tongues of the Baker heave over an edge with steel-bending force, sheets of mist ripping into the air...

Nef Glacier
Nef Glacier, Patagonia
The blue of ice deepens. Baby blue at first, it descends into a shadowy, saturated sea, a color so agonizingly rich it seems perilous...

Tracking lava
East Rift Zone, Hawaii
Shadows tear open and spill out bright, ropey intestines. Liquid suns. Spreading, luminous bellies...

Looking for Shelter
I keep rehearsing in my head what it will feel like to walk straight to these cave-arches, congratulating the compass of my body, but poking down one bedrock draw after the next I see my compass is off...

Running with Fire
Late that night JT and I are running through the dark with torches outstretched, boots crashing through wind-hardened snow. We move fast, as if we had stolen this fire from the gods...

A Selection of Tibetan Rapids
Jason shouts with boat-captains authority, "Everyone got their lines? Smiles everyone. Vomit now if you need to."

Eating Chengdu
Chengdu, China
We moved in like lumberjacks, shouldering through Chinese men in white t-shirts. They regarded us with expressionless suspicion. Look what the Free World dragged in...

Running the Gyel Chu
In the morning, sun angles through the canyon, opening holes in the fog and the last of the night's rain. A contingent from the village gathers on a balcony rock across the river...

Debate on the Gyalmo Ngulchu
Shit, it doesn't make any difference to me. Water keeps running downhill, curving through unseen canyons and if one more mystery is left unsolved in the world, all the better...

Horse Bells in Tibet
It is an ensemble of silvery notes like wind chimes, or the bells of a monastery...

River of Shoes
I was a fool, dressed for the morning in a bunker of a life vest and a day-glo drysuit. I was all loops and buckles and straps, a creature from the future with my head sticking out of a rubber gasket...

Eight Months Pregnant in New York
New York
She leans back on her palms, bracing herself on years of dog piss and chewing gum. No one stops to see if she needs help. All it takes is a quick glance to see this woman needs help from no one...

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