Discuss the healing powers of ranching at the Bookworm | VailDaily.com

Discuss the healing powers of ranching at the Bookworm

Daily staff report
Pam Houston's book, “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country,” chronicles her abusive childhood and her journey through healing.
Special to the Daily


What: Pam Houston, author of “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country.”

When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards.

Cost: $10, includes appetizers.

More information: 970-926-7323, or http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.

The town of Creede is a place not many have ever heard of. With a population of just 312, and sitting at almost 9,000 feet in elevation, it is the quintessential Colorado mountain town. Not many people would venture that far off the beaten path and find a home. Then again, not many people are like Pam Houston.

The beloved and best selling Colorado author of “Cowboys are My Weakness” will be at The Bookworm of Edwards Tuesday night for the launch of her new book “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country.” The book chronicles her life and her love affair with the land.

It is easy to see that Houston has lived a very colorful and adventurous life. She has been a licensed river runner, hunting guide, horse trainer and ski instructor. In the early 90s, fresh off the release of her first story collection, Houston went from living in a tent and carrying everything she owned on her back, to using her royalties to buy a 120-acre ranch. It was a property that she had no idea how to care for, and definitely could not afford. But something indescribable drew her to the property.

“It was the one I fell in love with. It could have been five acres or a thousand, but I felt this was the one,” Houston said. “Sometimes I think it was a kind of a calling, like the ranch had maybe more to do with my buying it than my own free will.”

Looking back, it appears that buying the ranch tied in to her other interests in a way that may have not been obvious when it happened.

“I was, at the time addicted to adrenaline sports,” said Houston. “And buying this ranch for five percent down with no job was kind of another adrenaline sport. I wasn’t known for my practical decisions at that time.”

As a child of abuse, Houston needed a place to settle and a place to heal. The ranch has been instrumental. Houston believes that the healing power of the ranch needed to be the focus of the book, but her history with abuse needed to be a part of the story.

“I do believe that every time we get those skeletons out from under the bed and into the light of day they lose some of their power,” Huston said. “And the book seems proof that my childhood, ugly as it was, led me to a life I love so much I can hardly believe it.”

The ranch has changed so much for Houston, and that is ultimately what “Deep Creek” is all about.

“It has helped me realize that gratitude is an appropriate response to everything” said Houston. “It has taught me a lot about how to be with the dying. It has taught me a lot about how to be my own cowboy.”

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