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Jim Gallien meets Chris McCandless when he spots the young man four miles out of Fairbanks, "standing in the snow beside the road, thumb raised high, shivering in the gray Alaska dawn". Gallien, a union electrician, is driving a truck over to Anchorage, "240 miles beyond Denali on the George Parks Highway", and he stops to pick up McCandless. As they ride along, McCandless introduces himself simply as "Alex", and reveals that he wants "a ride as far as the edge of Denali National Park, where he intend(s) to walk deep into the bush and 'live off the land for a few months'". Gallien is concerned that McCandless isn't carrying "anywhere near as much food and gear as you'd expect a guy to be carrying for that kind of trip", and tries to point out the dangers of his planned undertaking, but McCandless will not be dissuaded. The older man then offers "to drive (McCandless) all the way to Anchorage, buy him some decent gear, and then drive him back to wherver he wanted to go", but McCandless politely declines. Finally, Gallien drops McCandless off as requested at the head of the remote Stampede Trail. He does convince the young adventurer to take with him "an old pair of rubber work boots" he has in the back of the truck, as well as the lunch Gallien's wife had packed for him that morning - "two grilled-cheese-and-tuna sandwiches and a bag of corn chips" (Chapter 1).
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