Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country (Hardcover)
Pam Houston’s childhood was dominated by an abusive father and a loving, but alcoholic mother. Home was an elusive concept until her thirties when she purchased a 120 acre ranch in Creede, Colorado, whose population was under 700. The ranch is located at 9,000 feet in high mountain meadows with a spectacular view of snow-covered 12,000 feet peaks. Pam puts down roots and gathers a menagerie of beloved animals, including horses, donkeys, Icelandic sheep, and Irish wolfhounds. In order to pay the mortgage and keep the animals fed and healthy, she must travel to teach around the country and around the world. Ranch hands must be hired and paid to keep everything working. Blizzards, forest fires, sick animals are all part of owning the ranch, but more important is the beauty, joy, hope, and the love for a place to call home.— From Joan's Picks
February 2019 Indie Next List
“I can’t decide if Mineral County, Colorado, is a piece of heaven or if it’s actually heaven. Either way, it is a wondrous Rocky Mountain paradise — a paradise beset by bitter cold, fires, and various degrees of hardship, but always exquisite beauty. Pam Houston has 120 acres of it, and readers get a glimpse of life and death on the ranch in this marvelous combination of memoir and nature writing. Both deeply personal and wide-reaching, Deep Creek is about the human capacity to feel grief and joy all at once for the ground beneath one’s feet and the planet as a whole.”
— Stan Hynds, Northshire Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY
On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston's sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.
In essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Deep Creek delivers Houston's most profound meditations yet on how "to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief...to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive."