Craig Childs - House of Rain
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Photo: Sarah Gilman
Photo: Sarah Gilman
Childs is known for following ancient migration routes on foot, pursuing early Pueblo passages across the Southwest and most recently the paths of first peoples into the Americas during the Ice Age. He has published more than a dozen books of adventure, wilderness, and science. His new book, ATLAS OF A LOST WORLD: TRAVELS IN ICE AGE AMERICA, examines the dynamics of people moving into an uninhabited hemisphere in the late Pleistocene, documenting arrivals from Alaska to Florida to southern Chile. He has won the Orion Book Award and has twice won the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, the Galen Rowell Art of Adventure Award, and the Spirit of the West Award for his body of work. He is contributing editor at Adventure Journal Quarterly, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, and Outside. The New York Times says "Childs's feats of asceticism are nothing if not awe inspiring: he's a modern-day desert father." He has a B.A. in Journalism from CU Boulder with a minor in Women's Studies, and from Prescott College, an M.A. in Desert Studies. An occasional commentator for NPRs Morning Edition, he teaches writing at University of Alaska in Anchorage and the Mountainview MFA at Southern New Hampshire University. He lives outside of Norwood, CO.

Childs is an Arizona native, and he grew up back and forth between there and Colorado, son of a mother hooked on outdoor adventure, and a dad who liked whiskey, guns, and Thoreau. He has worked as a gas station attendant, wilderness guide, professional musician, and a beer bottler, though now he is primarily a writer. He lives off the grid in Western Colorado.

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I travel the interstitial places, cracks in the sidewalk.

Half my life ago I went to a job fair at the University of Colorado. I put on my good boots and a button-down, loaded my arms with papers I'd written and opened the door on the waiting room where intent young men and women sat wearing neatly pressed business outfits. Like me, they were waiting for their future to happen. At that instant, I spilled every paper I had, a beautiful white cascade. Scooping my life's work off the floor as every person sat and stared, I realized I was in the wrong room. I excused myself out the door and promptly exited the job fair.

That's not when it started, but it was one of those turning points where yet again the obvious became painfully clear to me. Roads diverge in the wood and I start climbing trees.

I look for the places in between whether I have a month, a day, or a minute. Pinacate of northwest Mexico, Olympic Peninsula, Manhattan, I find wilderness.

This website is dedicated to these moments. There are periods of silence, of course, unable to find my way back to a computer. But I do my best to always return.


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