Journey of Chris McCandless

By truch
  • The Beginning. McCandless leaves Atlanta- Enter Alexander Supertramp

    The Beginning. McCandless leaves Atlanta- Enter Alexander Supertramp
    This is effectively the starting point of Chris McCandless's journey. After he graduated from Emory University, he headed out west and began his new life. This is significant because he would never see his family again. "The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word, an epic journey that would change everything...He was now Alexander Supertramp, master of his own destiny." (22-23)
  • Lake Mead, Arizona

    Lake Mead, Arizona
    A flash flood leaves McCandless without a car after he abandons his Datsun along with the majority of his possesions. " But there was a way to avoid such aggrivation. He could simply abandon the Datsun and resume his odyssey on foot. And that's what he decided to do." (29) This was significant in the journey of McCandless because it is where he faces his first true adversity, and he faces it rather well.
  • Period: to

    Journey of Chris McCandless

  • Crazy Ernie

    Crazy Ernie
    McCandless takes a ride from a man named Crazy Ernie who offers him work on his ranch in northern California. This is important because it is his first theft. "After working there eleven days with six other vegabonds, it became clear to McCandless that Ernie had no intention of ever paying him, so he stole a red ten-speed bicycle from the clutter
    in the yard, pedaled into Chico, and ditched the bike in a mall parking lot." (30)
  • Jan Burres

    Jan Burres
    McCandless is picked up hitchhiking by Jan Burres and her boyfriend Bob. "Alex took a ride from us up to Orick Beach, where we were staying, and camped with us for a week. He was a really good kid. We thought the world of him. When he left, we never expected to hear from him again, but he made a point of staying in touch. For the next two years Alex sent
    us a postcard every month or two.” She is important because she is like a mother to Chris, and she is the first friend he makes.
  • Wayne Westerberg

    Wayne Westerberg
    Importance
    Chris is picked up by Wayne Westerberg, who gives him a job working at a grain elavator in Carthage, South Dakota. They become close friends and Westerberg gives him money and a place to stay. "McCandless stayed with Westerberg for three days, riding out with his crew each morning as the workers piloted their lumbering machines across the ocean of ripe blond grain."
  • Carthage, SD

    Carthage, SD
    Importancearthage is where Chris lives and works with Wayne Westerberg for quite a while. It is probably the closest place to a home that he has during the time leading up to Alaska. "McCandless quickly became enamored of Carthage. He liked the community’s stasis, its plebeian virtues and unassuming mien. The place was a back eddy, a pool of jetsam beyond the pull of the main current, and that suited him just fine. That fall he developed a lasting bond with both the town and Wayne Westerberg."
  • Canoe Adventure

    Canoe Adventure
    Chris tries to paddle to the Gulf Coast by kayak, but the canal he is on is blocked and there is no outlet to the sea. "All hopes collapse! The canal does not reach the ocean but merely
    peters out into a vast swamp. Alex is utterly confounded. " This is important because 1) it probably is a good thing because he may have died on the open ocean and 2) he again faces adversity and this time lays down and cries. This shows that he is not completely invulnerable to becoming negative.
  • Near Death Experience

    Near Death Experience
    ImportanceA storm threatened to capsize Chris and his craft and potentially kill him. "he screams and beats canoe with oar. The oar breaks. Alex has one spare oar. He calms himself. If loses second oar is dead. Finally through extreme effort and
    much cursing he manages to beach canoe on jetty and collapses exhausted on sand at sundown. This incident led Alexander to decide to abandon canoe and return north."
  • Bullhead City, Arizona

    Bullhead City, Arizona
    Chris ends up in Bullhead, Arizona and begins working as a cook at Mcdonalds. "he was holding down a full-time job,
    flipping Quarter Pounders at a McDonald’s on the main drag, commuting to work on a bicycle. Outwardly, he was living a surprisingly conventional existence, even going so far as to open a savings account at a local bank." This is important because it shows how he has become a seemingly normal member of society, even on his pursuit to leave society for good.
  • The Slabs

    The Slabs
    ImportanceChris sends Jan Burres a postcard with a return address and then arrange to meet. Chris, Jan and Bob set off and go the the Slabs, a huge dilapidated navy air base that is a hub for tramps vagabonds and other dregs of society that served as a flea market. "Burres, as one of the vendors, had set up some folding tables displaying cheap, mostly secondhand goods for sale, and McCandless volunteered to oversee her large inventory of used paperback books."
  • Anza-Borrego

    Anza-Borrego
    Importance En route to Carthage for one last stop, Chris sets up camp at the edge of the Anzo Borrego State Park. " He hiked into the desert and set up camp in a brake of creosote at the edge of AnzaBorrego Desert State Park. When he needed provisions, he would hitch or walk the four miles into town, where he bought rice and filled his plastic water jug at the market-liquor storepost office."
  • Ron Franz

    Ron Franz
    Importance
    Walking back to his camp one day, Chris encounters a man named Ron Franz who offers to give him a ride. "Franz grew increasingly fond of McCandless. “When Franz met McCandless, his long-dormant paternal impulses were kindled
    anew. He couldn’t get the young man out of his mind. "God, he was a smart kid.""
  • Back to Carthage

    Back to Carthage
    ImportanceChris heads back to Carthage and begins to work for Westerberg again who has been released from jail. It is here that Chris make his final preparations for his excursion to Alaska. "That spring, however, McCandless’s sights were fixed unflinchingly on Alaska. He talked about the trip at every opportunity. He sought out experienced hunters around town and asked them for tips about stalking game, dressing animals, curing meat."
  • Jim Gallien

    Jim Gallien
    Jim Gallien was the truck driver that picked up Chris and brought him to the Stampede Trail. "“He wasn’t carrying anywhere near as much food and gear as you’d expect a guy to be carrying for that kind of trip." Jim Gallien is important because he is the last recorded contact that Chris has. He also foresaw Chris's fate, noting how he was very underprepared as far as food and gear. Jim may have been the last person to see Chris alive.
  • The Magic Bus

    The Magic Bus
    This is where Chris McCandless died. What he had once called the "magic bus", became the place where he passed away. "I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!” This is important because it is where his life ends and where the Chris McCandless fascination and hysteria begins.