Walt & Billy McCandless
The finality was permanent but the mystery of his whereabouts was decipherable because Chris had recorded his 2 yr odyssey with a camera, a few cryptic logs, and post cards and letters to people that he had befriended along the way. The camera shown in our photograph and an earlier camera that failed to survive being buried in the desert outside of Las Vegas took 558 photos that survived his many treks through the western United States ranging from the Mexico’s Sea of Cortez to Alaska. During these two plus years, Chris had racked up thousands of miles travelling on foot, hitching rides, riding the rails, and paddling a canoe to many destinations. Along the way he befriended many, learned much, and risked everything for the sake of perpetual new vistas and experiences. Jon Krakauer used the photographic treasure trove to trace Chris’ Journey but although many learned about Chris and his adventures through Jon’s book and Sean Penn’s film, both bearing the title “Into the Wild” only 35 of this vast storehouse of photographs ever made it to media.
The bulk of this photographic treasure remained stored in a bank vault until 4 years ago when an infringement attorney required us to copyright all of the photographs to prevent their use without benefit to the Foundation that we had formed in 1994 to help others with the gains received from the sale of the book and later film “Into The Wild.” Walt was jolted into the realization that these photographs chronicled Chris’ story as it unfolded through his eyes via the miracle and blessing of the camera.
Walt and Billie McCandless.