Into the Wild - Study Guide Chapter 4, Detrital Wash Summary & Analysis

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Paul Shepard's work, Man in the Landscape, is quoted at the beginning of Chapter 4. The quoted passage speaks of the spiritual pilgrimage, which the desert climate offers, and how one can find reality by retreating from it for a time.

In October of 1990, National Park Ranger, Bud Walsh, discovers an abandoned vehicle on the bed of the Detrital Wash, on the Arizona side of Lake Mead. The car is an old yellow Datsun with no license plates. A note on its windshield reads, "'This piece of shit has been abandoned. Whoever can get it out of here can have it."' (pg. 26) Inside the car is a Gianini guitar, some old clothes, loose change, twenty-five pounds of rice and the keys to the ignition. The vehicle is jump-started without difficulty and, at the time of publication, is still in...

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