They picked him up in a helicopter, and it wasn’t easy either. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Army National Guard collaborated to remove it. They took him away, raising a lot of dust and leaving only the trace of the idea of freedom that the stubborn one represented. The footprint will vanish in the next few days, the bus now reduced to a low-weight scrap metal, but it had a lot for the hundreds of tourists who came to find it by pushing themselves on the remote path, outside the Denali National Park.
Kilometers on foot just to imagine the adventure of Christopher McCandless, who died of hunger at the age of 24 in there, in 1992. He fled Virginia and a capitalist civilization precisely so that no one could find him, only to be unable to go back because of the flood of the river.
The path to get there is as tortuous as any excellent hiding place. Bus 142 was located east of the Teklanika River next to Stampede Road, west of Healy. A place with unpredictable weather, dark and sudden thunderstorms, cold, frosts. According to the authorities too many people have risked getting hurt over the years. Inexperienced, fans, families. “We encourage people to safely enjoy Alaska’s wilderness and understand the grasp that this bus has had in popular imagination,” said Alaska’s Commissioner for Natural Resources, Run Feige.
Too many extreme tourists in Alaska: goodbye to the “Into the Wild” bus
“However, this is an abandoned and deteriorating vehicle that required dangerous and expensive rescue efforts. More importantly, it cost the lives of some visitors,” explained Feige. Over the years several people have been injured, others blocked. Two drowned crossing the river. A woman from Belarus died last year, a Brazilian tourist was rescued in April, five Italian tourists in February.
Alaska, five Italians rescued among the ice in search of the old “Into the wild” bus
The mayor of Denali, Clay Walker, he was fed up with that wreckage of dreams and death. He called the removal of the bus “a great relief”.”For public security, we know it’s the right thing,” he said Reuters. “At the same time,” continued the mayor, “it was part of our history and it tastes bittersweet to see a piece of our history ‘go down the street’.” In the sense of disappearing. A play on words that removes the agro and leaves only the satisfaction of the mayor for the topic, since he said: “Go down the road”. In March, Healy-based Denali district officials, about 25 miles from the bus, voted unanimously to get rid of them.
The final fate of the bus is unknown. The Department of Natural Resources said it was taken to a “safe place” pending a decision on its destruction.
The first refuge, the bus was Christopher’s grave who spent the last 114 days feeding on game and berries which caused his slow death. During the agony, completely isolated, he wrote in one of his diaries: “Happiness is only real when shared”: happiness is authentic only if shared.
Of the Magic Bus 142 remains, perhaps in some Hollywood studio, its rust-free copy. A clone without wrinkles or stains that Sean Penn, in order not to disrespect Christopher and his family, had reconstructed in the smallest details, from the tools to the writings on the ceiling made by Chris. To do this, the director had decided to make an inspection on the same path in Alaska. Following the same light footprints of a dream of freedom.
Three months in Alaska. So Elliott recreated “Into the Wild”