‘Dal’ in the wild’: why do people risk their lives to see the old bus in the woods of Alaska

In 1992, the us senior student gave away all his money to charity and went alone into the wilds of Alaska, to start a new life, tells the BBC.

'В дикую даль': зачем люди рискуют жизнью, чтобы увидеть старый автобус в лесах Аляски

Photo: Shutterstock

Arriving hitchhiked to Fairbanks, 24-year-old Chris McCandless lived in an abandoned bus, where sometimes spent the night by the local hunters.

In the diary of McCandless, who took the pseudonym “Alexander Superbridge”, was recording for 189 days.

And 6 Sep 1992, a random hunter I found in the bus his body.

Probably a fugitive from civilization mistakenly ate a poisonous plant.

The life and death of McCandless, was inspired by writer Jon Krakauer in the book “Into the wild” (Into the Wild), which in 2007 took the same film.

And it is also inspired by the traveler’s Gavin Brennan to take the book, of Course, and go to Alaska.

Somewhere in 2002, especially after the release of the film, the bus McCandless became a place of pilgrimage for his ideological supporters. People who despise routine life with a nine to five job, and just adventurers.

Dangerous river

The problem is that the journey to the bus is really dangerous. In this a few days ago I have seen once a group of tourists. But a clear warning to local authorities of people do not stop.

The bus costs about 50 kilometers from the nearest settlement, in the Northern part of Denali national Park. To reach it, you have to Wade across the river Teklanika with a rapid flow.

Aware of two deaths there. 24-year-old actress Veronica said in July last year, was pulled underwater and killed in front of her husband, who was unable to save her. It was their wedding journey.

And in the beginning of last week, five tourists who tried to walk to the bus, got lost and were found twenty kilometers from the bus. One of them got frostbite.

Only from 2009 to 2017, the government had 15 times to conduct operations to rescue the people who were trying to get to the bus.

What motivates people to risk?

“It’s the idea of escaping from society,” says Martin Treskova, which visited the makeshift memorial with her fiance, and now husband.

“Don’t feel obligated to do what others want you to get lost in the wilds and to reconnect with yourself. I think sometimes I have such a desire. It seems to us that we are his [McCandless] understand,” she adds.

“My father said,” That is, in fact, you slept on the bed, where a man died? “. I said, “Yes”, but at the time never thought about it. We felt a connection with him, and was happy there, ” says Martin.

“Magic places”

According to her, she and her husband knew that the path to the bus is dangerous, but well prepared, and would not go if I thought that serious risk.

However, Chris McCandless is also no stranger to travel. Before heading to Alaska, he floated in a kayak on the Colorado river, walked and hitched Arizona, California and South Dakota.

Before you take on a film about him, directed by Gavin Brennan held a three-week trip to Alaska and spent a few days in the same bus.

“I wanted to feel the risk and the magic of the place. I had various adventures, fell in storms, met a moose, saw bear tracks. Before leaving, I left on the bed of Chris’s book by John Krakauer. I promised myself that this is my journey into the wilds of Alaska is over and I’m never going back, ” he says.

Some locals are not happy with what is happening.

“To be honest, most of those who live here, wanted the bus removed, said hunter John Nirenberg journalist of the newspaper “anchorage daily news “. Although I slept in it, and in principle, it’s good to have this here asylum just in case”.

Copy enough?

“I think we need to get it out and put it in Healy [the neighboring town] or somewhere else where people could see him and not be at risk”.

The mayor of Denali Clay Walker doubts that the movement of the bus solve the problem: “there are Always people who will draw this place and the opportunity to experience the nature of Alaska”.

According to the mayor, set on the banks of Teklanika shield with detailed instructions on how to cross.

“We tend to think that everyone who goes there — convinced followers of the ideas of McCandless. In fact, it is not, — said Paxson of Veblen, author of the blog on Hiking trips to Alaska. — The debate will go on forever, until someone will take matters into their own hands and destroy this bus alone. It’s Alaska, after all.”

But the situation could resolve itself: all the Windows in the bus smashed, the roof had eaten the rust.

“Soon it will not sleep,” — said Paxson of Webler.

Brewery in Healy purchased and installed near his home a copy of the bus that was used in the film. Some tourists are taking pictures next to the copy to avoid wasting time on a long hike, or listening to the advice of local.

“I was in Alaska seven times, I deeply respect those who live here, and if they say it’s dangerous to go there, so we need them to do, says Antoinette Spain. We can’t know what Alaska is, and how, when nature rebels against you.”