Rough Road to the North

Rough Road to the North

A Vagabond on the Great Northern Highway

Tramp Lit Series

by Jim Christy

Published by: Feral House

197 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 28 B&W photographs

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781627310826
  • Published: December 2019


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What is it about the desolate far North American wilderness that calls the intrepid traveler to uncover its sanctifying and deadly secrets? From Jack London (Call of the Wild) to Christopher McCandless (chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild) souls have found solace in the silent, frozen northern kingdom at the top of the world, the Ultima Thule. The forested flatlands give way to the frozen Rocky Mountains over millions of acres nominally in the dominion of both the United States and Canada and accessible by its 1532 mile shared umbilical cord—The Alcan Highway. Legendary vagabond, Jim Christy, a Canadian now but born an American travels this road throughout his life. First as a young man in the early 1960s hungry for rugged adventure then revisiting the journey every few years both observing and reflecting on the growth of Northwest in the Rough Road to the North. Christy vividly describes the history of the indigenous people and the hearty (and often foolhardy) pioneers who built the Alcan highway and opened the northern road. Christy’s lyrical text weaves fulsome magic about the siren call of the last unconquered land of North America. “What is the lure of this great land, this ultimate northwest Ultima Thule? Something other than the sun and its natural wonder and the drama of its history. There is no other place on earth like it, not even remotely, and if you have spent considerable time her as have I, it keeps tugging at you when you are gone. It offers, as few other places do, the promise of flat-out, old fashioned adventure. It is inhabited by a kind of people who just do not exist anywhere else. Furthermore, is heartbreakingly beautiful. It has had its bards but never the epic poet it deserves because before its grandeur and ferocity one can only be overwhelmed, humbled, silenced.” — Jim Christy