Authorities in Alaska say they have rescued a 22-year-old man named Matthew Sharp near the abandoned bus made famous by the 1996 “Into the Wild” book and 2007 Into The Wild movie. Sharp was reportedly unable to hike back from the area surrounding the 1942 “Magic Bus” that sits on the Stampede Trail. Rising waters swept the hiker down the river, causing minor injuries. Troopers responded to distress signals set off by an emergency beacon and were able to fly Sharp back to Fairbanks via helicopter where he was treated for his injuries.
Sharp is just the most recent hiker authorities have either saved or recovered near the bus 24-year-old Chris McCandless lived, and died, inside in 1992. McCandless lived in the bus for two months while on a mission of self-discovery, before eventually starving to death. Rescuing hikers from the trail is a common occurrence for troopers. Recently, a woman drowned in the Teklanika River that runs not too far from the area the bus sits.
Sharp was injured as he was swept down the Alaskan river after waters rapidly rose. Crossing the river is necessary to get to where the ‘Into The Wild’ bus sits. In an email sent to CBC News Sharp detailed his account of how his journey up the trail almost turned deadly.
“Once I was about halfway across, the current overwhelmed me and dragged me and my [50 pounds of] gear down stream,” Sharp said. “I got pretty beat up. While being dragged, I was able to grab a fallen tree and get to shore.”
Sharp then wrote of the injuries he sustained, and how they began to get more painful as the adrenaline began to subside.
“At this point I started to feel how beat up I was; bruising to my legs, back, shoulders, and ankles,” Sharp said. “By the next morning I was so sore that I was unable to carry my gear, let alone cross the rivers again and hike the 30km out.”
Sharp then had no choice but to turn on his locator — an emergency gadget that alerts authorities of a life and death situation — and wait for help. The distress signal would save his life.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)