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'Into the Wild' bus moved to museum


The long-abandoned bus that featured in the book and movie 'Into the Wild' has been removed from its site at the edge of Denali National Park and will be housed in the University of Alaska's Museum of the North in Fairbanks.

The bus, equipped with bunks and a stove, was originally support space for construction crew along the road, was left behind in the 1980s as shelter for hikers and hunters. Since the 1992 death of a young hiker who starved to death there while marooned by a flooded river, it has drawn many trekkers, some of them to their deaths.

It first became famous with the 1992 death of 24-year-old Chris McCandless, who left behind in the bus a journal of his 114 days without food or means of escape. His journal became the basis of a book and movie, both titled 'Into the Wild.'

Officials in the area had discussed building a footbridge across the river, a solution discarded because the river is not the only danger, or moving the bus to the opposite side of the river. In the end, the state Department of Natural Resources decided that the museum move was safest, and would still allow those who wanted to to see it. The move took place last week, with the bus carried by an Alaska National Guard helicopter as a training exercise.

The Alaska Army National Guard moved the bus featured in the book and film

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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That bus has been a focus of inspiration for many a younger person (whether as a symbol or more rarely an actual site of ‘pilgrimage’). The physically ill-prepared McCandless came to represent a generation in turmoil over expectations and raw realities. I’m glad to see it in a museum location where the wider story may be told, and not just seen as some sort of tombstone. For McCandless,  I think, it was more of a portal as the the inescapable became more evident to him. 

Agreed, Bob (Amateur Emigrant).

Beyond being physically ill prepared he was mentally completely unprepared.  He had no real understanding of the raw power of Mother Nature, especially in such an extreme environment as Denali National Park area.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

Agreed on that for sure. There’s simply no amount of reading, imagination and hearing that can prepare anyone without tutored experience  for the overwhelming brutality of even temperate conditions in the Alaskan outback.

i feel so sad that he was wasted as a life full of spark, but I like to imagine he also came to understand that even the brightest ember dies in the normal course of things 

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