Dying to See The “Into The Wild” Bus – Literally!
This “Wednesday Bookmobile” travels to Alaska, the ill-fated location for the compelling story of “Into The Wild”.
Now sadly, history is repeating itself – as fans of this compelling book are going to the site where Christopher McCandless tried to “escape” from society.
The story was told in the best-selling novel “Into The Wild” by Jon Krakauer, and also made into a film directed by Sean Penn.
As The Washington Post reports:
A Belarusian woman was swept away and died while trying to cross a fast-moving river in Alaska in search of an abandoned bus made famous by the book and movie “Into the Wild.”
Situated along the Stampede Trail, the abandoned Fairbanks City Transit bus 142 has become somewhat of a pilgrimage spot in recent decades, sometimes with a devastating ending. The trail is over 100 miles southwest of Fairbanks.
“The river has always been kind of the deadly aspect of that trip,” said Eva Holland, who has written about “Into the Wild” pilgrimages. “It’s fast, and it’s cold.”
As the book recounts, McCandless was unable to cross back over the river, and starved to death…now, fans of the book are crossing that same river with deadly results…
See the rope strung across the river? As The Washington Post explains:
At close to midnight on Thursday, Piotr Markielau, 24, called the Alaska State Troopers to tell them his wife, Veramika Maikamava, 24, had been dragged under the water in the Teklanika River, just outside of Denali National Park.
A rope extended across the river is meant to help hikers get from one side to the other, but the water was rapid and waist-high, Ken Marsh, a spokesman for the Alaska State Troopers told Reuters. The segment the couple tried to cross was high because of recent rainfall, the Alaska Daily News reported.
If people had read the book or seen the movie, they would understand just how dangerous this location is!
The story of “Into The Wild” is tragic:
After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving.
He lived in an abandoned bus, where all of his effects were found.
Krakauer, a contributing editor to Outside and Men’s Journal, retraced McCandless’s ill-fated antagonism toward his father, Walt, an eminent aerospace engineer. Krakauer also drew parallels to his own reckless youthful exploit in 1977 when he climbed Devils Thumb, a mountain on the Alaska-British Columbia border, partly as a symbolic act of rebellion against his autocratic father.
Although this book was a best seller, many also know it because Sean Penn directed a film about it as well – it’s a great book and really good movie, a sad story of a lost soul looking to escape…
Here is the link to the entire story at Washingtonpost.com:
I’ve posted some of these stories in the past: people have “Wanderlust” or more importantly, just want to get away from it all:
This terrific book by Richard Grant explains why people want to “get away from it all” – which is what McCandless was doing – and was ill-prepared for his journey…read more about these “nomads” here:
A sad “Wednesday Bookmobile” – hopefully people will realize just how dangerous that isolated part of the wild is!