Out of the Wild? Alaskan Town Considers Removing McCandless Bus
Travel Blog • Eva Holland • 10.19.07 | 5:57 AM ET
Future “McCandless pilgrims” could be in for a disappointment. The Alaskan town of Healy, located about 40 kilometers from the old school bus where Christopher McCandless died, is considering the removal, restoration or destruction of the bus before the next wave of greenhorns, inspired by the recent film adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book “Into the Wild,” arrive to pay tribute.
The Toronto Star has a story about the recent meeting at a town hall: “Various options were suggested, including moving the bus either to the start of the trail where people could drive to see it or to a park in nearby Fairbanks. ‘Although if we were to airlift it out of there, I don’t know that the bus just wouldn’t fall apart,’ said town Mayor David Talerico. ‘Some folks say the bus has been there so long, why not just leave it or just get rid of it altogether?’”
The bus is one of many placed at strategic points in the Alaskan wilderness to serve as refuges for hunters. Talerico went on: “The problem with getting rid of it is that we want to maintain its traditional use. But you know, Alaskans don’t want to spend their whole summer out rescuing people.”
Local hunting guide and reluctant pilgrim-rescuer Coke Wallace told the Star about his encounter with a young Torontonian visitor: “I told him there was no way he was going to last with only 10 pounds of rice, then I tried to give him some more food. And he said, ‘No. I want to replicate it exactly. That’d be cheating.’ I told him, ‘Well don’t replicate it exactly, I don’t want to be hauling a dead body back.’”
Photo of Christopher McCandless at Fairbanks City Bus 142 via Wikipedia.