‘Into The Wild’ Bus Removed From Alaska Wilderness For Public Safety

The Stampede Road becomes a narrow, rutted four-wheel drive trail after eight miles from its intersection with the George Parks Highway in Healy, Alaska. The road eventually leads to the bus where Christopher McCandless was found dead in September 1992. The site has become a popular pilgrimage site for Alaska travelers with the publication of McCandless' story in Jon Krakauer's book "Into the Wild" and the release of the film adaptation by Sean Penn. (AP Photo/Matt Hage) AP Images

The abandoned bus made famous by the book and film Into the Wild has been removed by Alaska authorities from its back country site over fears it was luring the public into danger.

The bus was removed by an Army National Guard chopper on Thursday. It was abandoned on state land about a half-mile outside the Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska Public Media reported.

“I know it’s the right thing for public safety in the area, removing the perilous attraction,” Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker said. “At the same time, it’s always a little bittersweet when a piece of your history gets pulled out.” There has been no decision on what to do with the bus, but Walker said it may be put on display somewhere.

Christopher McCandless, a young philosopher whose tragic end was depicted in Into the Wild, starved to death when the site’s rugged conditions prevented him from getting help. He died in 1992.

Author Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book memorialized McCandless and the bus. Sean Penn made the story into a movie in 2007. Penn wrote the screenplay and directed, and Emile Hirsch played McCandless.

The bus has proved a lure for adventurers familiar with the book and film. Last year, a woman attempting to visit the so-called “Magic Bus” drowned attempting to cross a river to get to the vehicle. About 15 search-and-rescues are required each year to save unwary hikers from the perils of the outback.

The McCandless story tells how, after graduating from college as a top student and athlete, he abandoned his possessions, gave away his $24,000 in savings to charity, and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. The abandoned bus has since become a macabre memorial, with hikers attempting to retrace the adventurer’s footsteps.

Veramika Maikamava and her husband, Piotr Markielau, both 24, were among those hikers. They were attempting to cross the Teklanika River along the Stampede Trail when Maikamava was swept under the water and drowned.

 

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/06/into-the-wild-bus-removed-from-alaska-wilderness-for-public-safety-1202964670/