Chris mccandless

Chris McCandless Timeline

  • Starting Place: Detrital Wash, AZ,

    Starting Place: Detrital Wash, AZ,
    Detrital Wash was the first stop on Chris McCandless' journey. In Detrital Wash, he camped out only to have to abandon his Datsun after it was flooded during a massive storm. This stop was significant to the journey, because it forced McCandless to live an even simpler life than he had before, expanding his Transcendentalism. "This piece of sh*t has been abandoned. Whoever can get it out of here can have it." (26) (In reference to Datsun)
  • Person: Crazy Ernie

    Person: Crazy Ernie
    QuoteQuoteThe first important person that McCandless met during his journey was a man called Crazy Ernie. Ernie hired McCandless to work for him, but after only 11 days, McCandless realized that Ernie had no intention of paying him. This stop was important to McCandless' journey, because it showed Chris that he needed to not simply find any job, but find one with people who genuinely cared about him and his well being and were not greedy.
  • Experience: Jan Burres

    Experience: Jan Burres
    Jan Burres and her boyfriend pick up Chris in northern California and take him to their home in Orick. They sit down and have a meal with Chris and get to know him and Chris informed them of his journeys. This stop was important to Chris' journey, because he became very close with Jan and sent her post cards every month or two after he left, showing his true emotion. "I've been tramping around the country, having a big ole adventure." (30)
  • Person: Wayne Westerberg

    Person: Wayne Westerberg
    Wayne Westerburg offers Alex a job at his grain elevator in Carthage. Alex connected greatly with Westerburg during his short time there, until Westerburg was arrested for creating black boxes. This stop was important for the journey, because Alex made an extremely close friend in Westerburg, who was someone that connected with his ideology. "A lot of folks here in town got pretty attached to Alex." (16)
  • Experience: Mexico Struggles

    Experience: Mexico Struggles
    QuoteAlex sneaks across the border of Mexico with a cheap kayak in hopes of finding a waterway to the gulf shores. After failing to find the pathway for many days, McCandless became distraught and lost confidence and experienced extreme rage. This stop was important to the journey because it showed perseverence to complete complicated tasks, as well as a blistering rage that could possibly have led to his death years later.
  • Place: Bullhead City

    Place: Bullhead City
    McCandless moves iinto the desert to live and gets a job as a fry cook at McDonalds. This stop was significant to McCandless' journey because it showed his ability to work hard for his money, and justifies his despise for being given things not earned. This stop further elaborates on his moral of having to earn everything that you get, which brings out his inner Republican. "In any case, when he arrived in Bullhead City, McCandless stopped moving for more than 2 months.." (39)
  • Place: The Slabs

    Place: The Slabs
    The significance of this stop is that McCandless reunited with Jan Burres and Bob, two of his best friends that he met very early in his journey. Chris helps them at a flea market to sell books and works hard, living up to his reputation. He hates to leave when the day is over and will miss Jan. This trip further shows hidden huma connections that Chris had no matter how hard he tried to avoid it. "Alex was big on the classics: Dickens, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, especially Jack London." (42)
  • Place: Salton City, California

    Place: Salton City, California
    This trip is significant because it brings Chris back to the simpler life that he hoped to life. He camps out in the desert just outside of Oh-My-God Hot Springs, and whenever he needed to get more supplies, he would simply walk or hitch hike to wherever he needed to go. His original idea of a simple lifestyle in nature was renewed in Salton City. "When he needed provisions, he would hitch or walk the four miles into town, where he bought rice and filled up his plastic water jug with water."(49)
  • Person: Ronald Franz

    Person: Ronald Franz
    This person was important to McCandless' journey, because Franz toook him under his wing and taught Chris craftsmanship, and even helped him to create a leather belt. Franz lost his whole family when he was across seas, and thus treated Chris like his own grandson. This showed yet another close relationship that Chris formed with an individual, due to a mutual understanding of life. "When Franz met McCandless, his long dormant paternal impulses were kindled anew." (50)
  • Experience: Life of a Hobo

    Experience: Life of a Hobo
    This experience was significant to McCandless' journey because he went through a two week span of jumping trains in order to head north towards Carthage before heading to Alaska. His hitchkiking would eventually bring him back to Ronald Franz only a few weeks after their original departure. This experience brought out another sign of Chris's adventurous side, as well as his desire to live simplistically. "I'm riding the rails now. What fun, I wish i had jumped trains earlier." (53)
  • Place: Carthage Round Two

    Place: Carthage Round Two
    This stop was significant because Alex was introduced to the on and off girlfriend of Westerberg, whom Alex became extremely comfortable around and was able to tell her more than he could tell any other living soul. Alex worked all the off dirty jobs that nobody else wanted to work, and continued to show that one needs to work hard to earn what they get in life. "I offered to buy him a plane ticket to Fairbanks, which would have let him get to Fairbanks by the end of April and work longer."(67)
  • Person: Gail Borah

    Person: Gail Borah
    This person was significant for Alex to meet because she was someone that he could share everything with, in regards to his family and such. Borah claimed that Alex told her things that were very deep and it was evident that he had a great amount of trust within her. "Alex talked a lot when we got together. Serious stuff, like he was baring his soul, kind of. He said he could tell me things that he couldn't tell others." (63)
  • Place: Fairbanks, Alaska

    Place: Fairbanks, Alaska
    This stop was significant because it was Alex's final stop before entering the Stampede Trail. Jim Gallien had offered to take Alex to the trail, as he was already heading north. Gallien had concerns about Alex, due to his lack of material, and offered to let Alex have some boots and his lunch. This was the last city in which anyone had communication with Alex. "He wasn't carrying anything near as much food and gear as you'd expect a guy to be carrying for that kind of trip." (4)
  • Person: Jim Gallien

    Person: Jim Gallien
    This person is important because it was the last individual to have any sort of contact with Alex. Gallien expressed extreme concern for Alex's lack of supplies and offered him tools and food to try to help him get through his journey. Gallien was the last person to connect with Alex on a spiritual level before his departure. "Alex admitted that the only food in his pack was a 10 pound bag of rice. His gear seemed rather minimal for the harsh conditions of the interior." (5)
  • Final Place: Stampede Trail

    Final Place: Stampede Trail
    This place is significant because it is the final destination on the journey of Christopher Joseph McCandless. His desire to become closer with nature lasted over 100 days, but would eventually end in his death, possibly due to lack of preparation and over confidence. "The smiling broadly, he disappeared down the snow covered track of the Stampede Trail. The date was Tuesday, April 28, 1992." (7)