Travel writer speaks at Prescott College

By Daniel Roca
Staff Writer

In a tightly packed room, eyes and ears tuned into the stories of a jovial and daring storyteller, captivating them with photos, videos and tales of misadventure. Craig Childs, author, traveler and, in his words, “animal and creature,” spoke at Prescott College on the evening of Feb. 16, 2011.

A native Arizonan and graduate of Prescott College’s Master of Arts Program, Childs makes his way across the world travelling where few dare to go. The Atacama Desert in Chile, the Nef Glacier in Patagonia and the shores of the Bering Sea are only a few of the destinations that highlight his latest book project, “The Ever-Ending World.”

Images of blue ice took over the screen, followed by a roar of laughter and awe as Childs recounted the difficulty of being on the Nef Glacier. “The crew were a bunch of seasoned climbers, and here I was, some old guy who couldn’t stand up on crampons.  But this landscape made of ice, it’s mesmerizing.  It’s like touching wet marble. Out here, we can see that we haven’t forgotten our natural instincts. That there is still hope for humanity.”

Child described the research process of his book. “I’m looking for this extreme. Out in a landscape that is brought down to its bare bones… it’s about going where worlds come to an ‘end,’ where you can see the fundamental processes of the earth.”

He has written over a dozen books and has been featured in several leading publications. Whether on foot, in a raft, or strapped to crampons, his stories emphasize an appreciation for the constant state of chaos and rebirth within our planet, which compels him to test his limits and share his stories.

“This kind of landscape, this kind of power, you gotta get out there and do something.”

Despite the prevailing topic of environmental degradation, it was evident Child instilled hope in the room. With his images and stories of living to the extremes of the natural world, he reminded the audience, “You do not have to travel to the Bering Sea or the Atacama Desert. It is happening here. This landscape is alive. Do not give up on this planet yet!”

More information about Craig Childs and his books can be found at http://www.HouseofRain.com.

This article appeared in the March 2011 print edition of The Raven Review.
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