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A man setting off to explore the country around the bus would almost invariably follow a trail, as Mc Candless clearly did on his way to the bus, because it makes hiking easier."In the last three weeks of July, (Mc Candless) killed 35 squirrels, four spruce grouse (a bird of which the journal makes no mention, but which is identifiable in some of the photos), five jays and woodpeckers, and two frogs, of which he supplements with wild potatoes, wild rhubarb, various species of berries, and large numbers of mushrooms." The photos published to date document all of those foods, along with providing self-portraits of Mc Candless looking slightly crazed. In others, he poses wild-eyed with dead porcupines.
Where Mc Candless wrote the single word "caribou" at No.
105, Krakauer reported that "On August 10, he (Mc Candless) saw a caribou but didn't get a shot off.'' At No.
The main source -- Jim Gallien -- picked Mc Candless up hitchhiking along the George Parks Highway in late April and left him at the Stampede Road.
Gallien told ADN he didn't and wouldn't have said a key part of what Krakauer reported he said.
From the start, the author had few facts to work with.
He cherry-picked some of those, ignored others, and made things up to fill in the gaps between the few words Mc Candless recorded in what averages out to a four-word-per day journal.German doctors in 2006 reported "prolonged psychosis'' associated with eating those mushrooms.Writing in the Viennese clinical weekly they reported on a patient who "became confused and uncooperative.Twenty-two years after a young man named Chris Mc Candless was found dead in a long-abandoned bus north of Denali National Park and Preserve, a plausible explanation has arisen as to why the 24-year-old man stayed there until he starved to death: toxic mushrooms.A noted authority on Alaska mushrooms who this year examined one of those photos identified some of the mushrooms Mc Candless was eating as "Amanita muscaria.'' Those have been known to make people sick and cause hallucinations.The journal contains approximately 430 words, 130 numbers, nine asterisks and a handful of symbols.Other than this, all Krakauer had to go on was several rolls of film found with the young man's body and a rambling, cliche-filled, 103-word diatribe carved into plywood in which Mc Candless claimed to be "Alexander Supertramp" off on a "climatic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage." Mc Candless' journal contains no descriptions of what he did at or around the bus.Weather records for nearby Denali National Park and Preserve show no heavy rains for what Krakauer specifies as the period of time in question.What follows from there until 50 is a workmanlike description of dismembering the animal he shot and killed out of season.Gallien said Mc Candless wouldn't have seen a "swift current" on the Nenana because the river was frozen.National Weather Service records appear to back him up, as do records for the Nenana Ice Classic, a lottery tied to the ice going out on the Tanana River in Nenana. Mc Candless is believed to have ridden up the highway near the end of April.