'Northland: A 4,000 Mile Journey Along America's Forgotten Border' With Porter Fox On Access Utah

Jul 3, 2018

Credit Kickstarter

Travel writer Porter Fox’s latest adventure is a quest to rediscover America’s other border—the fascinating but little-known northern one, a journey he recounts in his new book “Northland.”

Fox spent three years exploring 4,000 miles of the border between Maine and Washington, traveling by canoe, freighter, car, and foot, following explorer Samuel de Champlain’s adventures across the Northeast; recounting the rise and fall of the timber, iron, and rail industries; crossing the Great Lakes on a freighter; tracking America’s fur traders through the Boundary Waters; and tracing the forty-ninth parallel from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean.


Fox, who grew up the son of a boat-builder in Maine’s northland, packs his narrative with colorful characters (Captain Meriwether Lewis, railroad tycoon James J. Hill, Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota Sioux) and extraordinary landscapes (Glacier National Park, the Northwest Angle, Washington’s North Cascades). He weaves in his encounters with residents, border guards, Indian activists, and militia leaders to give a portrait of the northland today, wracked by climate change, water wars, oil booms, and border security.