McCandless Journey

  • 1. Annandale, Virginia

    This is where Chris was born, as well as his sister Carine. Here, his parents often fought, driving Chris into a hatred for them and ultimately causing him to leave them for good.
  • 2. Atlanta, Georgia (Emory University)

    Emory is where Chris attended college for four years. His family came to see him at graduation, and that was the last time they saw him. After he graduated, he donated all of his money to OXFAM and headed on his journey.
  • 3. Dallas, Texas

    Chris stays in his car in Dallas, and the most significant thing that occurs while he stays there is the theft of his money. His window was open while he was sleeping, and his money was stolen.
  • 4. Houston, Texas

    This is where Chris has the novel idea to hide his cash after it is stolen. He buries it somewhere in the Houston area.
  • 5. Detrital Wash, Arizona

    Chris drives into the Detrital Wash in his Datsun. Unfortunately, a flash flood hits this desert while he is camped there, causing Chris to leave his car stranded. He buries the plates, however, so that it cannot be traced back to him.
  • 6. Lake Tahoe, California

    Chris hitched to Lake Tahoe after his car was stranded, and hiked into the Sierra Nevada. He then walked north on the Pacific Crest Trail until getting a ride from a guy named Crazy Ernie.
  • 7. Northern California

    Chris is offered a job on a ranch here by Crazy Ernie. Chris realizes after 11 days that he will never get paid here, though, so he hits the road once again.
  • 8. Orick, California

    Chris is picked up by Jan Burres and Bob, who take him to Orick. They feed him, as Chris was very, very hungry when they had picked him up. Sometime before they had picked him up, Chris had received a hitchiking ticket for which he had given his home address, worrying his family deeply.
  • 9. Oregon and Washington

    Chris explores the northwest United States. During this time, his worried family sends out professionals to search everwhere in the world to find Chris and bring him home safely. They are never successful.
  • 10. Cut Bank, Montana

    Cut Bank is where Chris finds Wayne Westerberg. Wayne brings Chris back to Carthage, where he has a grain elevator and needs employees.
  • 11. Carthage, South Dakota

    Chris works for a few months here with Westerberg. They become good friends, and when Chris leaves he tells Westerberg that he’ll be back to see him again. Chris loved his job there but Westerberg was arrested, and Chris decided to continue on his journey,
  • 12. Needles, California

    When Chris leaves Carthage, he hitchhikes to Needles, one of the hottest cities in America. The Colorado River goes through Needles, and Chris follows it to Topock, Arizona, beginning his journey to Mexico.
  • 13. Topock, Arizona

    In Topock, Chris buys a canoe. This allows him to canoe down the Colorado River, a potentially dangerous feat that he pursues.
  • 14. Parker Strip, Arizona

    McCandless passes through a lot of places while Canoeing to Mexico, but Parker Strip is significant because Chris takes a break from his canoe there. He sees a sign telling him he is trespassing on government property, and it is up to interpretation how he gets through, but either way he essentially spits on the government’s warning and their “rules” and continues down the river.
  • 15. Yuma, Arizona

    Chris’s next stop is in Yuma, where he eats and sends a postcard to Wayne Westerberg. It is a relatively quick stay here, but essential and his last stop in the US before crossing into Mexico.
  • 16. Close to the Gulf of California

    The Gulf of California is where Chris tries to reach, but end up making it to a series of canals that lead him to nowhere. Fortunately, some good folks inform him that the canals don’t reach the gulf and are nice enough to give him a ride to El Golfo De Santa Clara.
  • 17. El Golfo De Santa Clara, Mexico

    Here, in the Gulf of California, Chris continues on his journey through Mexico. He canoes for quite a while before he is forced out of the water by strong winds. He never goes back in, abandoning his canoe in the area and going back to America.
  • 18. San Diego, California

    Chris attempts to re-enter the states near San Diego but his caught by one of his biggest enemies, the government. Fortunately for Chris, the feelings of hatred are not mutual and they let him go after one night with no ID.
  • 19. Los Angeles, California

    This is where Chris stays for a little while after returning to the US. He comes here to work and unsuccessfully to get an ID that says he is Alexander Supertramp. He hates the city, however, and though he continues to look for a job, he looks elsewhere.
  • 20. Detrital Wash, Arizona

    Chris leaves LA and heads back to the Detrital Wash. His car is gone, but everything he buried- license plates and a couple ofher belongings- he is able to dig back up.
  • 21. Bullhead City, Nevada

    Chris continues his journey here and finds a job. He works at McDonald’s for a few months, but doesn’t like their rules (most significantly having to wear socks). He makes enough money for more travels before leaving the trailer he lived in here and going to the slabs.
  • 22. Salton City, California

    Chris meets Ronald Franz in Salton City. Together, they travel through California and Franz helps Chris work with leather, which is partly what he dies for a living. Shortly after they leave each other, Franz cones back to give Chris a ride from another area back to California
  • 23. Grand Junction, Colorado

    In their last encounter, Franz (a pseudonym for his real name) drives McCandless to Grand Junction. Chris tells him that he’ll visit after he goes to Alaska.
  • 24. Carthage, South Dakota

    Chris goes back to work for Westerberg and make some money for his Alaska trip. He eats dinner with Wayne’s girlfriend, and they hit it off together. Chris is very social and wants to know more about the outdoors. He enjoys his time here, learns, and leaves when the time comes. Westerberg requests Chris to stay two more weeks as he is understaffed, but Chris declines. He goes on his way to Alaska.
  • 25. Liard River, Canada

    Chris is stuck here waiting for a ride. Gaylord Stuckey saves the day, as he reluctantly takes him to Fairbanks. It was snowing and cold while Chris stayed here, but he was not discouraged and still had his sights set on Alaska.
  • 26. Fairbanks, Alaska

    Chris spends a few days studying up on the outdoors in Fairbanks. He also buys his gun here, a .22 caliber. After he feels he has sufficiently studied for his trip, he sends his last postcard to Westerberg, and goes out to get a ride into the wilderness.
  • 27. Healy, Alaska

    This is where Chris is picked up by Jim Gallien, the last person to see him alive. He gives Chris a ride the Stampede Trail, where Chris aims to conquer the wilderness. Gallien actually tries to convince Chris not to go with so few supplies, but Chris’s mind will not be changed. He accepts some hiking boots and minimum food from Gallien, and goes on his way.
  • 28. Stampede Trail, Alaska

    This is where Chris ultimately came to die. He wanted an adventure, and boy did he get one. Chris made it 112 days in this wild, and came close to getting back but was stopped by the flowing river on the trail. His final note said that he had lived a happy life, and he passed away in August of 1992.