Christopher McCandless

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Christopher Johnson McCandless (17. februar 1968 i El Segundo i Californien18. august 1992Stampede Trail i Alaska) var en amerikansk vandrer, som tog navnet Alexander Supertramp.

McCandless forlod uvarslet sin tilværelse for at rejse rundt i USA. Han rejste gennem Arizona, Californien og South Dakota og stiftede venskaber med en del mennesker på sin rejse. Siden vandrede McCandless ind i vildmarken i Alaska med lidt mad og udstyr for at bo en periode i ensomhed. Næsten fire måneder senere døde han nær Denali National Park and Preserve i en bus, han havde navngivet "The Magic Bus." McCandless vejede kun 30 kg, da han blev fundet.
McCandless havde længe drømt om at leve i Alaskas vildmark, borte fra civilisationen. Undervejs skrev han dagbog om de psykiske og fysiske udfordinger, han oplevede, da han konfronterede den vilde natur.
Forfatteren Jon Krakauer blev inspireret af detaljerne i McCandless historie og udgav bogen Ind i Vildmarken i 1996. I 2007 instruerede Sean Penn filmen Into the Wild, der er baseret på bogen. Emile Hirsch spiller McCandless. McCandless historie er også emne for en dokumentarfilm fra 2007 af Ron Lamothe, navngivet Call of the Wild.


Citater

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, comformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun." – Uddrag af et brev McCandless skrev til den ældre mand Ron Franz i april 1992. Franz og McCandless mødtes tilfældigt under McCandless rejse og blev varme venner.


"Greetings from Fairbanks! 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. Alex." – Fra et postkort sendt til Wayne Westerberg d. 27 april 1992. McCandless mødte Westerberg under sin rejse, og også de blev gode venner.


"Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. Alexander Supertramp May 1992." – McCandless skrev dette i "The Magic Bus."


"ATTENTION POSSIBLE VISITORS. S.O.S. I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH, AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE. I AM ALL ALONE. THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU, CHRIS McCANDLESS. AUGUST ?" – Da McCandless indså, han var i fare, skrev han et nødråb og placerede det udenpå "The Magic Bus."


"I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!" – McCandless sidste ord.



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