"Border Walk takes readers on a remarkable journey along the front lines of a misunderstood and misrepresented frontier. Check your border hype at the door and discover, as Mark Hainds does, the rich tapestry of life along our border with Mexico." - Keith Bowden, "The Tecate Journals: Seventy Days on the Rio Grande"
"When confronted with the topography, people, and scale of the borderlands, one should realize that erecting a wall the length of the U.S. - Mexico border can best be described as paranoid, delusional, and grandiose." - Mark Hainds, "Border Walk"
When Mark Hainds visited Apalachicola in 2011, he showed up at Downtown Books with the immaculate skulls of two wild hogs. His work with The Longleaf Alliance in Alabama had propelled him on a coast-to-coast hunt for the critters that uprooted his precious native pine seedlings, a mission he chronicled in his book “Year of the Pig.”
In 2014, Hainds left his conservation job and his young family to walk the entire length of the United States - Mexico border. He finished 1,000-plus-mile Texas-Mexico border on Dec. 21, 2014, which became the subject of his new book “Border Walk.”
On the two-year anniversary of finishing the Texas-Mexico portion, Hainds returned to El Paso, Texas and walked west, for another 1,000 miles, across New Mexico, Arizona, and California, finishing about a year ago on Nov. 24, 2017. To date he is the only person to have completed the 2,000 mile trek along the entire US-Mexico border.
Along the way, he endured great physical hardship and ate with, slept on the couches of, and steered clear of people good and not so great, from both sides of the Rio Grande River. These encounters occurred years ago, but they are as fresh and timely as this morning's headlines. They are recorded in “Border Walk,” and also documented in the PBS film “La Frontera.”
Now back home in Alabama, Mark collects, eats, and sells wild fruits, berries, mushrooms, and herbs, and manages a small company that produces specialty wood chunks and chips for grilling and smoking enthusiasts. He is a lifelong hunter, fisherman, and trapper.