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Chris's Journey

  • The journey starts

    The journey starts
    Chris took his old Datsun and drove directly West. Without a choice, Chris abandoned his Datsun in Arizona after a flash flood soaked the engine and it would no longer start. Chris attached a note to the car saying if someone could get the car out they could have it. Along with his car Chris also left most of his belongings behind.
  • Period: to

    Chris's Journey

  • Alexander Supertramp

    Chris started going by the name of "Alex Supertramp". Chris also began keeping a journal, documenting his travels and experiences.
  • Jan Burres

    In Northern California, Alex hitched a ride from Jan Burres who lived just like Chris except that she had a car. She was around the age of Alex's mother, and took an instant liking towards him. Alex grew very close to Jan in their short time together, and after he left, he sent her postcards as often as possible.
  • Wayne Westerberg

    Wayne Westerberg
    Alex hitches a ride from Wayne Westerberg in South Dakota. Wayne offers Alex a job, working at his grain elevator in Carthage. Alex accepted this job because he did not have much money and became close friends. Alex stays with Wayne until Wayne gets in trouble with the law, at this point Alex decides to go to mexico.
  • Mexico

    Alex sneaks across the border in a kayak and tries to paddle to the Gulf Coast, but the coast is blocked by swamps. Some Mexicans give him a ride to the Coast in the back of their truck, and he spends a long time there, exploring all of the places in the area. After a particularly rough patch of water, Alex abandons his kayak and tries to return to America.
  • Bullhead City

    Bullhead City
    Chris arrives in Bullhead City, Arizona, where he settles down in a trailer and starts his job at McDonald's flipping burgers. He stays there for a couple of months working under his real name Chris McCandless and opening a savings account, even giving out his real social security number.
  • Ronald Franz

    Alex set up camp outside Salton City, California. When hitch-hiking into town for supplies, he was picked up by Ronald Franz, an eighty year old man. The pair instantly bonded, and Alex delayed his trip to Alaska for a while. Franz, having no relatives of his own, treated Alex like a grandson and also taught him some of his skills.
  • Returns to South Dakota

    Alex, being a hobo who would hop trains, was able to get close to Franz's house again. He then calls Franz and asks him to pick him up. Franz picks up Alex and drives him as far as Grand Junction, Colorado. Alex arrives three days later in Carthage, South Dakota, and resumes work for Wayne, who is now out of prison.
  • Alaska

    Chris finally decides that he is ready to go to Alaska. After very difficult hitch hiking, Alex finally arrives in Fairbanks.
  • Jim Gallien

    Jim Gallien
    While Alex is hitch hiking, he meets Jim and instantly become friends. Jim is intrigued by the young man who is venturing out into the wilderness. Jim wants Alex to get better equipment, but Alex has his mind set on going as he is. He accepts a pair of rubber boots and arrives at his final destination, the Stampede Trail.
  • Magic Bus Day

    Magic Bus Day
    After crossing the Teklanika River, Alex arrived at an abandoned bus sitting on the trail. His journal entry for that date says , "Magic Bus Day!"
  • Alex's accident

    Alex had been eating wild potatoes since he got to Alaska with no harsh effects. However when the root of the potato became bitter and inedible, Alex began collecting the seeds. What Alex did not know is that the seeds went bad and they ended up getting Alex sick, and made Alex unable to get any nourishment from food he ate, leading to Alex starving.
  • Alex's death

    On day 112 Alex dies, the last note that he left says: "I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!" Only nineteen days later, six people found themselves at the bus at the same time, to find Alex dead inside his sleeping bag.
  • Theme

    Chris's story talks about the dangers of conformity. When someone like Chris, who reads the works of Henry David Thoreau, lives in a society where he is expected to meet the standards of the people around him he will strike back. Chris took those books very seriously and died because of it. I wanted to make this timeline as a reminder to you, Chris's family, in the hopes that you can realize what he was trying to do and find peace.