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Chris McCandless's Journey

  • Revisiting His Old Home

    Revisiting His Old Home
    Chris visits his old home in California and learns that the life he had been living was a lie. Chris’ father, Walt McCandless, had another family which drives a wedge between Chris and Walt. This divide motivates Chris to leave his family and the life he was supposed to live according to his father thus beginning his journey.
  • 1) Graduating Emery

    1) Graduating Emery
    Chris leaves Emery University after his graduation to pursue his life away from his family and society. After learning of his father’s other family Chris feels that he needs to get away. This is when he establishes that for him to be happy, he has to disconnect from the path his family has put him on so he donates 25,000 dollars and disappears without notifying his family. He begins to display his personal philosophies of living freely and creating his own path.
  • 2) Losing the Rest

    2) Losing the Rest
    After his car is caught in a flood and subsequently destroyed, Chris rids himself of the very few possessions he had with him so he could start new. This journey was meant for him to disconnect and by going with little to nothing, he felt satisfied with losing his car. Shortly here after, Chris becomes Alex Supertramp which is representative of the life he will now make for himself.
  • 3) West Coast

    3) West Coast
    After receiving a job in California that turned out to be pay-less, Chris stole a bike and traveled the state. He met a couple who he stayed with and stayed in touch because he realized that he reminded them of their son. Due to his new nomadic lifestyle he turned down the offer for money because he had no need for it; money was another attachment to society. He then travels to Seattle for a while.
  • 4) Carthage, South Dakota

    4) Carthage, South Dakota
    After hitchhiking for a while, McCandless found himself in a small town in South Dakota named Carthage. Chris was drawn to its small population size because of its near isolation from modern society with 247 some people being residents of the town. Wayne Westerburg gave Chris a job where he displayed his high moral code of not stopping a job without being done with it, quite the hardworker. His strict ethics have a positive effect on Wayne.
  • 5) Mexico

    5) Mexico
    Chris is overjoyed when he purchases a canoe. He departs down the Colorado River and is captivated by the landscape where Chris discovers what true beauty is. Life seems to be better for Chris when it is changing, whenever he is somewhere too long he is unhappy.
  • 6) Bullhead City

    6) Bullhead City
    Chris returns to the wilderness in Bullhead Arizona because he liked how different the trailer park community was to the modern American landscape. His love for the nature and land kept him there for two months proving that the natural beauty was something he could not leave seeing as he considered settling there. He started to creep into established life with a job and a bank account but he left shortly after feeling too attached, he was always “looking for something.”(42) He stays nearby.
  • 7) Anza Desert

    7) Anza Desert
    Back into the desert for Chris where he meets Ron Franz. He gave Chris advice to get a job and an education but Chris tells him that he was out there in the desert to avoid the requirements of current society. Chris offers that Franz should take to the road to be happy again. Franz then becomes so attached that he offers to adopt Chris; however, Chris wants to continue his journey and realizes that he may have a new life if he chooses to return to society.
  • 8) Back to Carthage

    8) Back to Carthage
    Ron takes Chris to Colorado Soon after, Chris found himself back in Carthage, South Dakota where he continued to contacts the many friends he has made throughout his journey. In many of his letters, he explains that the lives they live are not going to make them happy and the only way to change that is to leave it all behind and just begin walking a path that has not been chartered. Chris feels morally obligated to inform his new friends of his well-being and enjoyed their company.
  • 9) Fairbanks

    9) Fairbanks
    Chris leaves his job in Carthage early April and begins his final track to Alaska. Two trucker drivers take him to Fairbanks and the Stampede Trail respectively and both offer many things to Chris which he declines. Chris only picks up a few extra items to which reveals how stubborn and determined Chris is to survive off of the land in Alaska away from modern influence. His philosophy clouds his sense in picking up vital survival gear for Alaska like an ax and a large rifle for large game.
  • 10) The "Magic Bus"

    10) The "Magic Bus"
    Chris spends 113 days in the wilderness where he documents the hunger and reflects on his final days. He found a bus to stay in and seemed overjoyed he had made it to his "Alaskan Odyssey." Through the hunger Chris was so happy he had lived this new ethical life but he missed sharing his joy with others contradicting the point of his journey. His lack of preparation seemed fatal but Chris concluded that the experience was worth it and he had truly lived a happy life which was all he ever wanted.