Looking Back Into the Wild

For those of you who read my last post, You are aware I’ve been looking for some inspiration of sorts lately. I looked back last week at an author who has inspired me from the start, Helen Hoover. This week I’ve looked back on a story that inspired me long ago as it has many other people, the story of Christopher McCandless also known as Alexander Supertramp. Chris’ story was brought into the public’s eye with Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book “Into The Wild” and the 2007 movie of the same name written, co produced and directed by Sean Penn.

Instead of rereading the book I picked up a copy of the “The Wild Truth” by Carine McCandless at the library. Carine is Chris’s sister and gives another perspective on Chris’ two year venture off grid that led him to that now famous bus in the Alaskan Wilderness. Although I am still in the middle of reading her book, I have found it very eye-opening. It seems that every story has multiple sides and Carine tells a side that most people will not like to hear.

Just when you thought your family was screwed up, Carine introduces you to hers and the emotional roller coaster that was her and Chris’s upbringing. Their story really made me appreciate the love and support I receive from my family. They may not always agree or understand me but I know they are there if I need them. Every family has their issues and most work through those issues the best they can, this was not the case for Carine or her siblings. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse seemed to be the norm in their childhood.

When Darwin and I left to travel and hike the Appalachian Trail we knew we were looking for something but not really sure what. We chose to leave our known comforts for the unknown. Carine presents her and Chris’s lives as a series of choices  made as more as an escape from their destructive parents and home life. The life she describes in her book gives the reader a better understanding of who Chris was and why he was.

On the AT you would see graffiti of “Alexander Supertramp was here” on shelter walls or quotes from the book written in the shelter and campsite logs. Chris’ story has inspired so many people but none of us really know him and we never really will. In The Wild Truth, Carine tells a side of the story that was not presented in Krakauer’s book or the movie. She allows you in to see the dark and personal secrets that made Chris into the man he was and why he started out on a path that would unknowingly lead him to the bus.

Chris was not some spoiled brat, he wasn’t selfish, he wasn’t a myth, or misguided, it seems to me that he was just like us, a human being that forged his own way. A person like most of us that sought out the solitude of the wilds to find peace. His story and Carine’s helped remind me that we should be grateful for the positive people in our lives and ditch the negative ones. Her book will give you perspective on how unhealthy relationships (which come in different forms, not just a dating relationship) and negativity can affect your life. How we allow these influences to affect us is up to us. We can use them as a motivator or be bogged down by them; neither options are easy ones.

If you would like to check out Carine’s book “The Wild Truth” and discover more about Chris McCandless and his family, you can find it online using the link provided on Amazon- http://amzn.to/2p1vOVB or you can utilize your local library!

 

“The constant misconceptions about my brother made me want to cry out the real reasons why walking in to the wild was far from crazy, but the sanest thing Chris could have done.”                                

                        – Carine Mccandless 

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6 thoughts on “Looking Back Into the Wild

  1. I only saw the movie. I’m glad she wrote the whole story. His story can only be more inspiring knowing that it was more than wanderlust.
    Great post! I guess I have some reading to do. (I’ve place a hold on both books at the library.)
    Thanks

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  2. Snuggles: You are on the mark–we are all looking for something in this life. How we seek it is entirely personal, unique to each of us. Some find it on the trail, others find it in a sport or perhaps a high risk activity. For the trekking crowd, we are fortunate that the outdoor environment fulfills our needs. It offers something that fills a gap. I hate when bloggers stop thru hikers and ask, “Why are you hiking the AT/PCT/CDT?” Usually, there is some answer that is made up by the hiker, caught off guard. They normally can’t actually pinpoint a reason. It is just something they know they need to do.

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