CNN has reported that the abandoned bus on the Stampede Trail in Alaska– best known from the Into the Wild memoir and movie– has made its first trek in decades. But this time, it was in the sky! Alaska National Guardsmen lifted Fairbanks Bus 142 Thursday afternoon, after the Department of Natural Resources voiced the trek hikers were taking to see it, is extremely dangerous.
In April 1992, Christopher McCandless, a man from a well-to-do family, hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness, north of Mt. McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself.
Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and, unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he was dropped off at the start of the Stampede Trail. He came upon abandoned Fairbanks Bus 142, where he proceeded to try to survive. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild .
When McCandless’s innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Jack Krakauer brings McCandless’s uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity, and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding–and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer’s storytelling blaze through every page.
Pilgrimages to the battled vehicle through the dangerous Alaskan wilderness began when Jon Krakauer’s book was first published in 1996. But, the trek into the wild continues to be dangerous. According to CNN, last February firefighters and state troopers from Alaska rescued five Italian hikers after they were returning from visiting the bus. A year before, an Italian woman died on the trek across the river trying to visit.
If you want to experience the wild safely, pick up your copy of the book today!