The Alaska Army National Guard transported the bus to a “secure site” after two hikers have died and a minimum of 15 have had to be rescued while trying to succeed in the bus within the remote Alaskan wilderness.
It was referred to as “Bus 142” and therefore the “Magic Bus,” and therefore the rusty green-and-white vehicle had exerted a dangerous and almost talismanic power over hikers for nearly 1 / 4 century — ever since the book “Into the Wild” immortalized Christopher McCandless’s solitary odyssey and lonely death within the Alaskan outback.
Abandoned on the Stampede Trail near Denali park , the bus had become a pilgrimage site. it had been revered by travelers round the world who had read the book or seen the movie, “Into the Wild,” directed by Sean Penn in 2007. But it had also become a hazard, luring hikers into forbidding territory.
Two travelers drowned within the Teklanika River while trying to succeed in the bus, in 2010 and 2019. a minimum of 15 others have had to be rescued while trying to retrace Mr. McCandless’s journey, consistent with the Alaska National Guard .
On Thursday, state officials finally decided to get rid of the “Into the Wild” bus from the Alaskan wild.
A team of Alaska Army National Guard pilots, flight engineers, crew chiefs and mechanics took a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to the bus’s decades-long resting place, about 25 miles west of Parks Highway, near Healy, Alaska.
After clearing away vegetation, they cut holes within the bus’s roof and floor and hooked straps to its frame. An Alaska Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter then hoisted the bus into the air, flying it across the treetops to a pit , where it had been loaded onto a trailer and driven to a “safe location,” consistent with Dan Saddler, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
The crew also removed a suitcase from the bus that held sentimental value to the McCandless family, consistent with the Alaska Army National Guard .
Carine McCandless, Mr. McCandless’s youngest sister, said the suitcase didn’t belong to her brother, but may have contained journals that had left behind on their own journeys to the bus.
Mr. Saddler said state officials had not decided what to do with the bus but were considering making it available for public display.
“Mostly,” he said, “we’re glad that we’ve taken action which will avoid future deaths and injuries and search-and-rescue costs.”
Ms. McCandless said she was stunned and “just overwhelmed with emotions” when the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources called her on Thursday to inform her that the bus had been hauled away.
Ms. McCandless is that the author of her own memoir, “The Wild Truth,” which depicts a physically abusive, chaotic childhood that both siblings were forced to hide .
“Though i’m saddened by the news, the choice made by Alaska D.N.R. was with good intentions toward public safety, and it had been certainly their decision to form ,” Ms. McCandless wrote in an email. “Bus 142 didn’t belong to Chris, and it doesn’t belong to his family. As for people who followed in his footsteps to where it rested, at the top of the day, their journey wasn’t a few bus.”
Mayor Clay Walker of the Denali Borough said he was sad to ascertain the bus removed, albeit the Denali Borough Assembly passed a resolution in March calling for it to be removed for public safety reasons.