Craig Childs - House of Rain
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May 28, 2014
I, Pothunter
Ancient and enchanting, it is not something that belongs to us. It belongs, rather, to the land itself, its centuries of residence not something we should disturb...


January 25, 2014
The Buying & Selling of Nature
It is an eruption of mostly petroleum-based products designed to get you outside and keep you from dying there...


January 20, 2014
Knowing Where You Are...
Even if you cross continents and oceans for a living, your sense of place is probably tied to a well-defined location. You know the animal trails and trash cans, the culverts and waterways. You have a sense of home...


January 16, 2014
Questions We Should Be Asking
I believe the earth will survive us. It has survived far worse...


March 07, 2013
The Unknown Grizzly
Lifting the skull from its packaging, I expected to see a neat-dime-sized hole, a clean kill straight to the brain...


February 27, 2013
What the Raven Dropped
With flagrant, corvid panache, the raven with the twig transferred it from beak to talons...


February 25, 2013
Waking the Bear
It was a black bear. One suddenly woken from hibernation....


December 30, 2012
Black Bear on the Yukon
Have you ever thought about being eaten alive? In the part of your mind that is still animal, still wild, you remember fight or flight; the fear of paws finally pinning you down, and the hinge of jaws upon you...


November 03, 2012
My New York Times Op-Ed on Hurricane Sandy
We get it: this storm and its impacts are huge. What we may not be getting is why....


September 25, 2012
My Apocalyptic Planet blog for Powell's Books
Water was entirely gone from this place. The ancient bedrock tinajas that held rainwater in the surrounding volcanoes were empty. Life here was over...


September 22, 2012
Above the East Fork of the Gila a Few Days Ago
We'd been seeing old sign, big scat where you'd imagine some large brown black bear rambling, shambling, pawing up and down the canyon breaking branches...


September 06, 2012
The Compass in the Middle of the World
Orion is beginning show. The clock is turning, autumn on the approach...


September 05, 2012
Apocalyptic Planet Excerpt: Tibet
Our purpose here was to navigate a stretch of river no one had yet attempted...


September 04, 2012
Apocalyptic Planet Excerpt: Chilean Patagonia
We were kids in a topographic museum full of ice sculptures...


August 31, 2012
Apocalyptic Planet Excerpt: St. Lawrence Island, AK
Hundreds of exhumed walrus skulls and countless little artifacts lay about; busted sled runners and bone ice scrapers...


August 30, 2012
Apocalyptic Planet Trailer
The earth is a story-teller, and in some places it tells the story of the end...


August 28, 2012
Apocalyptic Planet Excerpt: Atacama Desert
This is how you move across emptiness...


August 19, 2012
Apocalyptic Planet Excerpt: Greenland


August 10, 2012
Apocalyptic Planet Excerpt: Greenland
A space had opened between storms, and I picked up this flight to camp...


March 07, 2011
On Patagonian Ice
Dancing around on the toes of his crampons, he looks off the edge of our iceberg across a jumble of floating, bobbing chunks...


February 09, 2011
In Patagonia...
Its eyes go dim as he pumps out the last of its blood with a governing turn of his wrist...


December 28, 2010
Dry Pinacate
Scattered dead across the flats, they have already turned to bone...


November 15, 2010
After September 11th
The first flight I could get out of New York, the airport had an almost deserted feel...


November 05, 2010
Entering the Dunes
Absolute desolation, not a single living thing to the horizon. Don't panic...


September 11, 2010
An 'antiquities' interview with Zen Master Sheng-Yen just before his death
The easiest way to remove the head of a stone Buddha is to wrap it in blankets and strike it with a wooden bat...


August 15, 2010
What it's like in Patagonia
All you can see is the lightless inside of your small tent, no reference but for the sound of multi-thousand ton concussions echoing from peak to peak...


August 11, 2010
My new book, Finders Keepers, is out!
Beyond what most people think about archaeology--with its cleanly numbered dates, and discoveries--lies a vibrant and controversial realm of scientists, thieves, and contested land claims...


June 04, 2010
Thank you Gulf of Mexico...
For taking the blow for me...


April 18, 2010
In the Light of Iceland's Volcano...
We arrived upon lakes and tongues of molten rock, a bright field hissing and crackling...


March 22, 2010
Nef Glacier, Patagonia...
At night I lay in my tent listening to the thunder of collapsing seracs, multi-ton columns of ice breaking free and falling a thousand feet...


February 27, 2010
Word from southern Chile
Fortunately, for me at least, this was the night before the earthquake. The next morning I took the first flight out of Santiago, 20 hours before the region was hit by an 8.8...


November 16, 2009
Solitary toadness...
I become acutely aware of the piped in sound of chirping frogs.


November 15, 2009
Three mornings in the Adirondacks...
First dawn comes with crisp, clear light, boulders on the lake like granite bergs. Second morning is a fizzling rain on the water.


November 11, 2009
Finding the city's sweet spot...
An old, dusty-eyed buck crosses a footbridge in DC under the roar of traffic.


October 31, 2009
Dispatch from the East Coast
I swear I'm trying to breathe through plastic wrap...


September 26, 2009
Dispatch from Seattle
Nature is an ugly bitch with an asphalt tongue...


September 25, 2009
Water Water Everywhere
You notice we don't go to the moon or Mars looking for gold, we go looking for water...


September 21, 2009
Happy equinox
I found last night's fawn unraveled down the trail this morning...


September 18, 2009
Shooting range...
Sitting at a desk in dry clay hills on a mound of brass caps and shells.


September 09, 2009
Morning...
My boys naked and paint-streaked in boulders twice as big for them as they are for me.


August 23, 2009
A moment with a bear...
Young bear in a trap this morning, moaning like a whale, smelling primeval, like earth and fear.


August 03, 2009
Naming a mountain...
Like many Hopi words, Piestewa is the sound water makes. It means many things: Dark-eye-of-the-city; Prayers-for-rain; Mother-of-two-found-buried-in-the-desert...


July 17, 2009
A brush with a fearsome creature...
Other humans are bad enough, but animals, creatures who do not speak English, whom you cannot reason with, seem to be complete unknowns...


June 26, 2009
The past looking back at us...
The prettier the design, the longer I held it, as if it were an eye opening in my hand, staring out from the other end of time...


June 12, 2009
Artifact raid in the Four Corners...
One prominent pothunter is dead and another couple dozen are under indictment. A culture of diggers who collect and sell human history below the radar is now sharply exposed, and what it reveals challenges the boundaries of right and wrong...


June 08, 2009
Matrimony Spring closed...
Finding out it was closed felt like a stomach punch, and my first reaction was that I should take a hacksaw to it in the middle of the night and let water spatter against the ground once more...


June 05, 2009
Obsessed with the Oldness of Things...
I met an elderly pothunter who took off his bracelet and handed it to me, an inlay of silver and turquoise probably a century and a half old. "You know where I got that?" he asked. "Off a dead Navajo."


February 09, 2009
Chocolate is civilization...
It is the cherry on top of Southwest archaeology...


January 16, 2009
How to Approach Wildlife
Make eye contact, but only for a moment...


January 13, 2009
Giving Birth to the World
Silhouettes wavered as energy rose around the shaman...


December 14, 2008
Map of the Dead
His bucket started coming up with broken pots and bones...


November 29, 2008
The Trouble with Sex
We fled, sprinting through clearings, avoiding stands of oakbrush that ignited with meteoric speed...


October 04, 2008
The Trouble With Cell Phones
It felt much the way I thought it would, the reason I vowed not to do it...


September 22, 2008
Seeing Ghosts
I can see them now, luminous, like mirages...


August 12, 2008
Sand Dreaming
To preserve our water, we practice the art of self-burial...


April 30, 2008
Living in a World of Animals
In April near Big Bear Lake east of Los Angeles a man died when he was attacked by a grizzly bear...


April 24, 2008
Salvation for Air Travel Slaves
On the bright side, I've become an accidental connoisseur of airports...


February 25, 2008
Camp Counselors in Hell
I lifted up a writhing and legless little creature, pale and fat as a baby. I popped it into my mouth. I chewed. I swallowed...


December 28, 2007
Tibet #1
No one has ever tried it before. It is too remote, too unknown...


December 11, 2007
Rez #1
The place smelled of horse leather and sheep. He spoke not a word of English...


November 30, 2007
Digging
The root sought anchorage for its tree, wrapped around a buried vessel, and crushed it in black silence...


November 09, 2007
Malpais
Orion fades over a wilderness of ancient craters, rough lava flows stubbled with tall, bow-legged pine trees...


July 16, 2007
The Stolen Pot
I think about returning it to the desert where it came from, but I can't...


July 07, 2007
Dune Walking
Behind sunglasses my eyes are fixed on nothing, and at times I am dreaming, but awake. I do not know if my eyes are opened or closed. Dunes roll away forever...


February 02, 2007
In the esteem of the jaguar
I feel like a master tracker, expert trickster, just about to make my kill, ready to rush forward at a blinding sprint and dive onto my companion's back. His shriek will be well worth the effort.


January 21, 2007
Canyonlands
There was a canyon, nowhere in Utah. It was November. I don't remember exactly how many days we were out on foot at this point, eighteen, maybe twenty. We didn't use trails. In fact, we did not have a map, a compass, anything of the sort.


January 15, 2007
Trespassing on Mauna Ulu
I walked from Mauna Ulu into its endless fields of lava, ropes of rock braided together, places as curved and gently chambered as the inside of an ear. For miles I carried the fear of the black helicopter, rubbing it between the fingers of my imagination,


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