Tim Cahill was 9 years old and living in what was the "wilds of
Waukesha" in the 1950s, he often dreamed of exploring "the
on the city limits bordered on a cow pasture, beyond which were the
"first woods" that adjoined the exotic and forbidden
"As I got
older, I was allowed into the first woods," Cahill recalls. After
he repeatedly came back home unscathed, his parents permitted him to
realize his dream and venture into the second woods. Little did he
know what travels were to come.
That set the
tone for a career of writing about exciting and sometimes dangerous
adventures. Cahill fell off a cliff while hiking alone in the Queen
Charlotte Islands on the Canada/Alaska border and was chased across
the Sahara Desert by warlords in Northern Mali.
intense," Cahill recalls.
He was one of
the founders of Outside Magazine, which came about while he was
working as a reporter for Rolling Stone, the parent company of Outside
in its early years.
two of us at Rolling Stone who liked to write about the outdoors. We
were appointed to come up with Outside."
Cahill admits he
was a rookie in the wilderness at the outset and soldiered through
initial stories on ice fishing in Wisconsin and looking for ancient
ruins in the forests of Peru. But after spending years writing a
best-selling book on serial killer John Wayne Gacy, being among the
flora and fauna was the perfect literary elixir.
certain type of book sells, the publisher wants you to write another.
I didnít want to write about every whack- job that came down the
pike. Thatís not psychologically good. I made a conscious decision
to stay with the outdoors."
multiple books, which include titles such as "Jaguars Ripped My
Flesh" and "Pecked To Death By Ducks," and articles
feature humorous prose about his incredible excursions. He set the
Guinness World Record for driving the full length of the American
continents piloting a GMC (sponsor of his venture) Sierra pickup from
Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in 23 days, 22
hours and 43 minutes, shattering the old record of 56 days.
"We had to
grease the border guards in 12 different countries," Cahill says.
"You could get held up for days getting passage into those
lives in Livingston, Mont., is "pushing 70" now but still
regularly contributes to Outside and is planning another major
adventure, another foray into "the second woods" for 2014.
"Iíve never climbed Kilimanjaro. I can still do that next