At Salmon City, California, Chris met an elderly man named Ronald Franz. Over time, they became very close, so far as Franz gave up drinking as he listened to the advice Chris gave him. Prior to meeting Chris, Franz had lost his grandson which caused him to see Chris as his grandson. They both learned new things from each other as Chris made himself a belt. This bonding caused Alex to delay his final trip to Alaska once again. However, he would eventually continue a few weeks later.