The famous “Into the Wild” bus was airlifted from the Stampede Trail in Alaska this June. The abandoned vehicle was made notorious by Jon Krakauer’s account of Christopher McCandless’ deadly trip to the area. But the subsequent book and film only made the dangerous tip seem more enticing to some.
The Department of Natural Resources decided to finally remove the bus to prevent people from entering the perilous woods. Despite “Into the Wild’s” cautionary tale for careless explorers, the “Magic Bus” continued to lure in curious fans. McCandless eventually died after being stranded for months due to a lack of preparation for the treacherous environment, but hikers still treat the hike to the bus as a pilgrimage.
The unmoved vehicle became home to McCandless after hitchhiking to the Stampede Trail in 1992. He discovered the abandoned bus and stayed for three months before attempting to return to civilization. But when he arrived at the Teklanika River, rain and glacial snowmelt caused turbulent waters that prevented him from crossing. He returned to the bus and lived there for another month before dying.
Many hikers who have tried to make the same trip as McCandless have died or required rescuing. Five Italian hikers were recovered from the Stampede Trail by firefighters and state troopers last February after visiting. And that was less than a year after a Belarus woman died trying to cross the Teklania River to get to the bus with her husband.
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