Itw map

Into the wild

  • #1 Annandale

    "Chris was the sort of person who brooded about things,' Carine observes. 'If something bothered him, he wouldn’t come right out and say it. He’d keep it to himself, harboring his resentment, letting the bad feelings build and build.' That seems to be what happened following the discoveries he made in El Segundo" (85).
  • #1 Annandale

    #1 Annandale
    Dear Carine, I am done with our parents lies to us. Im delighted to be moving from their evil to the university. In all honesty I hated that place, it was manipulative and conformative; the university will be a good getaway. I plan on completing the last of my schooling here. I hope the home life is good, your brother Chris.
  • #2 Emory University Hospital

    "they ignore what I say and think I’d actually accept a new car from them! I’m going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect"(17).
  • #2 Emory University Hospital

    #2 Emory University Hospital
    Dear Carine, I have cut my ties with the rest of our family after finding out about the infidelities of our fathers past. Any chance i get i take breaks going on trips in my datsun. I plan to try to reconnect with them after i graduate but everything they do angers me. The more they throw money at me they think it will solve things but it does the opposite. I have good grades and decided to take on a double major in anthropology and history. Hope life is good, your brother Chris.
  • #3 Detritial wash

    "As it turned out, the flash flood didn’t have enough power to carry away the vehicle or even to do any lasting damage. But it did get the engine wet, so wet that when McCandless tried to start the car soon thereafter, the engine wouldn’t catch, and in his impatience he drained the battery" (21).
  • #3 Detritial wash

    #3 Detritial wash
    Dear Carine, Today I set up camp in a wash in Arizona, until a flash flood ruined what was left of my datsun. I have abandoned it for whoever wants it. From now on i will only hitchhike to get to where i need to go. This is where my true journey begins. Your loving brother, Chris.
  • #4 Willow Creek

    "On August 10, shortly before meeting Jan Burres and Bob, McCandless had been ticketed for hitchhiking near Willow Creek, in the gold-mining country east of Eureka. In an uncharacteristic lapse, McCandless gave his parents’ Annandale address when the arresting officer demanded to know his permanent place of residence" (23).
  • #4 Willow Creek

    #4 Willow Creek
    Dear Carine, the most atrocious thing has happened to me today, a cop ticketed me for hitchhiking. Hitchhiking!!! What is so wrong with that! anyways, i gave the address of mom and dads house it's their problem now, as if they even cared. I hope your life is good, Chris.
  • #5 Needles

    [Chris] noticed a secondhand aluminum canoe for sale and on an impulse decided to buy it and paddle it down the Colorado River to the Gulf of California, nearly four hundred miles to the south, across the border with Mexico" (24).
  • #5 Needles

    #5 Needles
    Dear Carine, today i tried to paddle down the Colorado river in a canoe, i've never been a good swimmer and quite afraid of the water but what is this trip going to be if i don't put in a little risk to everything. I believe i'll find myself in this trek to mexico. Chris
  • #6 Slab City

    #6 Slab City
    Dear Carine, Jan and Bob Burres are a couple of vagabonds i met on the road. They took me to slab city in california to work for them and relax for as long as i wanted. The place looks like an old military campsite but is now just a single concrete slab, notice the name. This girl Tracy seems to be building a liking for me but it is useless as i will be leaving in two weeks anyways. Your brother, chris.
  • #6 Slab City

    "The Slabs functions as the seasonal capital of a teeming itinerant society—a tolerant, rubber-tired culture comprising the retired, the exiled, the destitute, the perpetually unemployed. Its constituents are men and women and children of all ages, folks on the dodge from collection agencies, relationships gone sour, the law or the IRS, Ohio winters, the middle-class grind" (31).
  • #7 Cut Bank

    #7 Cut Bank
    Dear Carine, I met another man on my hitchhiking journey today. He owns a grain elevator in Carthage and has offered me a job for awhile. I feel at home here, they are good people. I hope to only stay here for a little bit though until i go to alaska. Your brother, chris.
  • #7 Cut Bank

    "If McCandless felt estranged from his parents and siblings, he found a surrogate family in Westerberg and his employees, most of whom lived in Westerberg’s Carthage home"(15).
  • #8 Morelos Dam

    #8 Morelos Dam
    Dear Carine, i made it to Morelos dam Mexico without realising i have no identification i knew they would reject me. So, i took to the floodgates and flew down the spillway where i noticed no signs of trouble so i entered freely. Again, i have beaten the system without contact to government and people. your brother, Chris.
  • #8 Morelos Dam

    "On December 2, [Chris] reached the Morelos Dam and the Mexican border. Worried that he would be denied entry because he was carrying no identification, he sneaked into Mexico by paddling through the dam’s open floodgates and shooting the spillway below. 'Alex looks quickly around for signs of trouble,' his journal records. 'But his entry of Mexico is either unnoticed or ignored. Alexander is jubilant'" (25)!
  • #9 Galvston

    #9 Galvston
    Dear Carine, Instead of making it to the Gulf as planned, I somehow made my way down the Colorado River eastward and eventually ended up here in Houston after making it back over the border. I realize that I like Mexicans much better than Americans, they are much more hospitable. Directions from a few of the people I met helped me make it this far without getting lost in river forks. Eventually I did make it to the Gulf, but after a bad storm and a near death experience in the canoe.
  • #9 Galvston

    "Alex looked down at the swift current and remarked that he was afraid of the water. 'A year ago down in Mexico,' he told Gallien, 'I was out on the ocean in a canoe, and I almost drowned when a storm came up'" (6)
  • #10 Los Angeles

    #10 Los Angeles
    Dear Carine, I have made my way from Mexico to Los Angeles, and I have applied for an ID to get a job in awhile, reconnecting with society for the time being. I believe I can make some money to buy some supplies for my travels, and have some human contact for some time. I have no idea how long I can last, that is if I can even get acclimated in the first place. Oh well, I never really liked having to deal with the troubling people of a massively urban population.
  • #10 Los Angeles

    "[Chris/Alexander] lived on the streets with bums, tramps, and winos for several weeks. Vegas would not be the end of the story, however. On May 10, itchy feet returned and Alex left his job in Vegas, retrieved his backpack, and hit the road again" (27).
  • #11 Grand Canyon National Park

    #11 Grand Canyon National Park
    Dear Carine, I decided to change my mind about living with society. After experiencing life on my own for so much time, I can’t seem to get back to the ignorant mass of people in the city; it gives me a massive discomfort to be in the middle of a bustling city. I have made my way to the Grand Canyon, camping at the bottom with a young German couple for awhile. However, I have lost a lot of weight, over 25 pounds recently, and I need to begin travelling up north. Chris
  • #11 Grand Canyon National Park

    "Six days later, [Chris] camped at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with Thomas and Karin, a young German couple who had given him a ride" (27).
  • #12 Las Vegas

    #12 Las Vegas
    Carine, I decided to bury my backpack in the desert and start from scratch. Nothing wrong with a little reset, right? I am now in Las Vegas, making my way through the heat of the desert. I don’t plan on staying long, and I will keep moving through the country, heading down south to Bullhead City. I got a temporary job at an Italian restaurant while I'm here. Chris
  • #12 Las Vegas

    "Then he hitched into Las Vegas and found a job at an Italian restaurant. 'Alexander buried his backpack in the desert on 2/27 and entered Las Vegas with no money and no ID'" (27).
  • #13 Bullhead City

    #13 Bullhead City
    Carine, I have made my way to Bullhead City as intended, and I used my ID to get a job at McDonalds. In the past couple weeks I have been working, I have befriended my colleagues and the manager, but I still feel out of place. I found a nice place to live, for free sharing some man’s RV, but this still seemed to not satisfy me. What really crossed the line was when my supervisor asked me to shower! This is a simple, remedial job. How can you expect me to have such luxuries.
  • #13 Bullhead City

    "When Chris finally quit,' Zarza admits, it was probably because of me. When he first started working, he was homeless, and he’d show up for work smelling bad. It wasn’t up to McDonald’s standards to come in smelling the way he did. So finally they delegated me to tell him that he needed to take a bath more often. Ever since I told him, there was a clash between us. And then the other employees—they were just trying to be nice—they started asking him if he needed anything" (29).
  • #14 Salton Sea

    #14 Salton Sea
    Dear Carine, I have long since left Bullhead City, after everyone demanded me to take a shower. I did not want to fall back into a conformative lifestyle, so after moving around for a bit in the city, I left and made my way back west into California. Over here, I met a man named Ronald Franz, who seems to be fond of me. We have become great friends, and he has become more of a father to me than our father ever was.
  • #14 Salton Sea

    "An accomplished leatherworker, Franz taught Alex the secrets of his craft; for his first project McCandless produced a tooled leather belt, on which he created an artful pictorial record of his wanderings" (37).
  • #15 Carthage

    #15 Carthage
    Carine, I again find myself in Carthage. My friend Mr. Wayne Westerberg promised me a job working at his grain elevator for a bit. I worked my butt off for the bare funds I needed, but Westerberg still wanted me there until April. I knew I couldn’t spare any time in order to reach the Alaskan wilderness before the frigid temperatures set in. Two nights before I left, I was introduced to Mr. Westerberg’s friends and family. For some reason as I left them, I started to tear up.
  • #15 Carthage

    "When McCandless hugged Borah good-bye, she says, “I noticed he was crying. That frightened me. He wasn’t planning on being gone all that long; I figured he wouldn’t have been crying unless he intended to take some big risks and knew he might not be coming back" (49).
  • #16 Lizard Hot Springs Provincial Park

    #16 Lizard Hot Springs Provincial Park
    Carine, After a long hitchhiking journey, I have finally found a means to get into Alaska. It took forever , but after 2 days of looking for a ride, I finally I met a fellow also on his way to Alaska in the hot springs at the brisk of morning, and he promised to give me a ride in the RV he is delivering for half the distance to Fairbanks. Well, back to travelling. Hopefully I find a fast way into the heart of the Alaskan wild. Chris
  • #16 Lizard Hot Springs Provincial Park

    "Jim Gallien had driven four miles out of Fairbanks when he spotted the hitchhiker standing in the snow beside the road, thumb raised high, shivering in the gray Alaska dawn... Gallien steered his truck onto the shoulder and told the kid to climb in" (5).
  • #17 Stamped Trail

    #17 Stamped Trail
    Dear Carine, I finally begin my journey into the Alaskan wild! I am finally taking the opportunity to go off on my own and experience nature for how it really should be. No more need to have to deal with people, problems or the civilized world. No I just have a rifle, some basic gear, and enough bullets to last me awhile. From now on, I’ll be living without technology and the pressures of the civilized world. Now it’s just me versus the wild. The great white north awaits me.
  • #17 Stamped Trail

    Letter to Jan Burres and Bob "Hey Guys! This is the last communication you shall receive from me. I now walk out to live amongst the wild. Take care, it was great knowing you. ALEXANDER" (49).
  • #18 Stamped Trail

    #18 Stamped Trail
    Dear Carine, I finally begin my journey into the Alaskan wild! I am finally taking the opportunity to go off on my own and experience nature for how it really should be. No more need to have to deal with people, problems or the civilized world. No I just have a rifle, some basic gear, and enough bullets to last me awhile. From now on, I’ll be living without technology and the pressures of the civilized world. Now it’s just me versus the wild. The great white north awaits me.
  • #18 Stamped Trail

    Source: Letter to Wayne Westerberg "This is the last you shall hear from me Wayne. Arrived here 2 days ago. It was very difficult to catch rides in the Yukon Territory. But I finally got here. Please return all mail I receive to the sender. It might be a very long time before I return South. If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again, I want you to know you’re a great man. I now walk into the wild" (49).