Chris McCandless was born in El Segundo, California to Walt McCandless and Wilhelma "Billie" Johnson.
Chris graduates from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Tells his parents after graduating that he plans on travelling in his yellow Datsun.
Chris hikes around Lake Mead
Chris set out to hike around lake Mead. Suffering heat stroke, Chris was able to flag a car and get to safety.
Chris' parents go looking for him.
Chris’ parents drive to Atlanta, Georgia looking for their son. Find out he has long since moved out five weeks prior to them showing up.
Ticketed for hitchhiking.
Chris gets ticketed in Willow Creek, California for hitchiking. Sends ticket to his parents.
Chris' parents receive ticket Chris got earlier in the month.
Chris’ parents get ticket near the end of August which they end up hiring a Private Investigator to search for their son.
Rangers find abandonded car.
A ranger finds Chris’ yellow Datsun abandoned under a tarp. Damages from a flash flood caused Chris to abandon his vehicle.
Chris heads towards Mexico
Chris catches a ride with a long-haul trucker who brought him into Needles, California. From here, Chris walked to Topock, Arizona where bought a canoe and paddled down the Colorado River to the Gulf of California, crossing the border into Mexico.
Private Investigator finds something.
The private investigator that Chris’ parents sent out looking for him found out that Chris gave away his college fund to OXFAM.
Chris enters Mexico.
Chris reached Morelos Dam and the Mexican border. Chris sneaks into Mexico in his canoe.
Chris gets lost.
Dec. 5th - 10th - Chris gets lost paddling the canals in Mexico, encounters small but dangerous waterfalls all along the canal. Runs into some friendly Mexicans who tow Chris onto a proper canal so he can finish his trip to the ocean.
Chris makes the ocean.
Chris, weary from his paddling hauled his canoe up onto the beach and set up camp. He made it to the ocean! Stayed there in a cave for ten days to avoid bad weather.
Chris abandons canoe.
Chris abandons his small canoe and begins his trek back upto the border.
Chris gets caught.
Chris gets caught by immigration officers and gets thrown in jail for the night.
Chris enters Los Angeles
Chris arrives in Los Angeles, California to get a job and some ID. Chris feels uncomfortable in society and wants to return to his travels immediately.
Camped in the Grand Canyon.
Chris is camped at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a young couple named Thomas and Karin.
Chris recovers personal items.
Chris unearths some of the things he buried when the Datsun was abandoned. Old Virginia plates, and a few personal belongings. After gathering those items, Chris hitched to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chris leaves Las Vegas.
Chris leaves Las Vegas.
Chris sends a letter.
Chris sends a letter to Jan Burres, Chris was living on the Oregon coast during this time.
Chris arrives in Arizona.
Chris arrives in Bullhead City, Arizona. Finds a job working at McDonalds which did not last long. While shaving in a restroom Chris meets an old man that offers Chris a place to stay. The old mans name is Charlie, and he gave Chris an old trailer to stay in while Chris hunkered down for a while.
Meets a new friend.
Chris meets an old man named Ronald Franz.
Chris and Franz talk.
Franz talks to Chris about driving him to Grand Junction, Colorado. Chris reluctantly agrees.
Franz drops Chris off.
Franz leaves Chris on the shoulder of I-70 outside Grand Junction, Colorado
Alaskan Oddysey begins.
Chris departed Carthage, South Dakota in a Mack truck hauling a load of sunflower seeds. His “Great Alaskan Odyssey” just began.
Chris arrives in Montana.
Chris arrives in Whitefish, Montana from a train he hopped on.
Chris arrives at the hotsprings.
Chris arrives at Liard River Hotsprings just in the threshold of the Yukon Territory. Meets a man named Gaylord Stuckey, who agrees to drive Chris halfway to Fairbanks.
Chris and Stuckey arrive in Whitehorse, Yukon. Stuckey changes his mind and agrees to drive Chris the whole way to Fairbanks.
Chris arrives in Fairbanks, Alaska with Stuckey. Gets dropped off at the university and spends his time researching edible plants, and getting ready for his big journey. Buys a gun and sets himself up prior to leaving Fairbanks.
Chris sends out last postcards.
Chris sets up camp four miles outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Also sends out postcards to Westerberg, Jan Burres and Bob. Which would be his last.
Chris meets someone to drive him.
Walking down the highway during the early morning Chris is picked up by Jim Gallien and driven to the Stampede Trail where Chris would start his journey.
Chris has an accident.
Chris falls through the ice, no harm done.
Chris catches his first sight of Mt. McKinley.
Magic Bus Day.
Twenty miles from where Chris was dropped off by Gallien, Chris found a bus. Writes in his journal “Magic bus day.” Decides to stay in bus for shelter.
Saw a grizzly bear, decided not to shoot.
Chris catches a spruce grouse, feasts!
Chris catches a squirrel. Writes in his journal “4th day famine”
Chris forages for lingonberries and rose hips in the dark, moon lighting up the night so he can see.
A crown falls off of one of Chris’ molars.
Chris documents his hunting adventures, writing down everything he has killed in his journal.
Chris shoots a moose, proceeds to take a picture with it and writes in his journal about butchering it and trying to preserve the meat. Isn’t successful as maggots claim the corpse, gives the moose corpse up to the wolves.
Chris is moved by a passage from Tolstoy’s “Family Happiness.”
Ready to leave.
Chris starts packing his backpack, making the twenty mile hike to the river he crossed at the start of his journey. Ready to go home.
The once small river Chris crossed when he first entered the wild is now a raging torrent of water. Adds to his journal “Disaster…rained in. River look impossible. Lonely, scared”
Not so Magic Bus Day
Chris makes it back to the bus after a disappointing journey to the once small river realizing he is trapped.
Chris adds to his journal “EXTREMELY WEAK, FAULT OF POT. SEED. MUCH TROUBLE JUST TO STAND UP. STARVING. GREAT JEOPARDY.”
Chris makes it too 100 days, writes in journal “DAY 100! I MADE IT!” followed by “BUT IN WEAKEST CONDITION OF LIFE. DEATH LOOMS AS SERIOUS THREAT”
Chris posts an S.O.S. note on the bus’ door, pleading for help. Forages for berries nearby. Final journal entry “Beautiful blueberries”
Chris McCandless dies due to starvation
Hiker Samel and his wife find Chris McCandless’ corpse in the Fairbanks bus.