Into the Wild

Timeline created by alexbaugh
In History
  • McCandless's parents drive to Atlanta looking for their son and discover that his apartment was vacated five weeks earlier.

  • The private investigator employed by McCandless's parents discovers that their son donated $24,000 to OXFAM

  • Christopher Johnson McCandless graduates from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He tells his parents that he is going to spend the summer traveling in his car, a used yellow Datsun.

  • Arrives at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada.

  • Abandons his car after it is damaged by a flash flood. Loads his belongings into his backpack and sets out on foot.

  • In Needles, California, reaches the Colorado River. Walks south through the desert, arriving in Topock, Arizona, where he buys a second-hand canoe.

  • Reaches the Morelos Dam and the Mexican border.

  • Realizes that he will not reach the Gulf of California traveling this route. Meets duck hunters who drive him there

  • Seeking refuge from high winds, discovers a cave on the face of a bluff, where he stays for 10 days.

  • Arrives in Bullhead City, Arizona, where he works for two months at McDonald's and lives in an empty RV overseen by an old man named Charlie.

  • Caught by U.S. Immigration officials when he tries to slip back into the country from Mexico. Spends one night in jail.

  • Applies for an ID and a job in Los Angeles, then changes his mind and returns to the road.

  • Camps at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a young German couple. Notes in his journal that he has lost over 25 pounds.

  • Buries his backpack and hitchhikes into Las Vegas.

  • sends a postcard to Jan Burres in Niland, California, including a map so she and boyfriend Bob can visit him in Bullhead City.

  • Meets Ronald Franz while hitchhiking near California's Salton Sea.

  • Dropped by Franz at the San Diego waterfront. Mails Jan Burres a postcard telling her that he has been living on the streets in San Diego for a week.

  • Leaves Carthage, bound for Alaska.

  • With only four hours of darkness each night, can forage for edible plants. Feasts on lingonberries and rose hips.

  • Regularly eats squirrel, spruce grouse, duck, goose, and porcupine.

  • Hikers and hunters discover McCandless's S.O.S. note, then his body in the bus.

  • Calls Franz from Coachella, California, in the desert not far from the Salton Sea and asks Franz to pick him up.

  • Spends one night at Franz's house.

  • Driven by Franz to Grand Junction, Colorado.

  • Works at Wayne Westerberg's grain elevator in Carthage, South Dakota.

  • Hitchhikes north. Takes a photo of the sign that marks the official start of the Alaska Highway.

  • Reads up on edible plants at the University of Alaska's Fairbanks campus. Buys a used gun and sends postcards. Leaving the campus, hikes west.

  • Waking down the highway, is picked up by Jim Gallien, a truck-driving electrician on his way to Anchorage. A three-hour drive brings McCandless to the Stampede Trail.

  • Finds an old bus beside the Sushana River and writes "Magic Bus Day" in his journal. Decides to stay for a while, taking advantage of the bus's ". . . crude comforts."

  • Kills a moose and takes a photo of himself with the carcass.

  • Amid hordes of flies and mosquitoes, butchers the moose carcass and tries to preserve the meat.

  • Discovering maggots on the carcass, abandons it to the local wolves.

  • Prepares his backpack and sets out on the 20-mile hike back to the road.

  • What had been a series of frozen beaver ponds in April has become a lake. What once was an easily fordable river is now a raging torrent that McCandless cannot cross. Heads back to the bus.

  • Writes in his journal, "EXTREMELY WEAK, FAULT OF POT. SEED. MUCH TROUBLE JUST TO STAND UP. STARVING. GREAT JEOPARDY."

  • Writes "DAY 100! MADE IT!" and "BUT IN WEAKEST CONDITION OF LIFE. DEATH LOOMS AS SERIOUS THREAT."

  • Posting an S.O.S. note on the bus door, forages nearby for berries. Writes his final journal entry: "Beautiful blueberries."

  • Dies, apparently of starvation, in his sleeping bag in the bus along the Sushana River in Alaska.