A strong symbol flies in the sky of Alaska. But with him, a risk that has become too large. In 1992, Chris McCandless, a young student inspired by Jack London and a party to the adventure, settles into a carcass of a bus abandoned in the Denali national park to live in the middle of the wild nature. Four months after his arrival, the hunters found the young man, dead in his sleeping bag. Accustomed to feed on the potato tubers in the wild, it would have used by mistake the tubers from a plant very close, toxic.
The story of this young man carried away by his desire to return to the wild life has been made famous four years later by the novelist Jon Krakauer in Voyage au bout de la solitude, adapted to film in 2007 by Sean Penn with the success we know (Into the Wild). Too difficult to access because in nature, the bus had been reproduced identically for the purposes of the film. Intact, still as isolated as when she was chosen by Chris McCandless, the carcass of the bus has quickly become at once the symbol of the return to nature and a place of pilgrimage.
Read also Spend the weekend with... Jack Kerouac
Two deaths and many accidents
Beginning in June 2020, a us army helicopter came to pick up the carcass of the bus, 28 years after the coming of the young man, 13 years after the release of the film. For local authorities, cited by the BBC, the relief is real. In recent years, two people drowned in the river Teklanika located not far away, and extremely dangerous, and several dozen others had to be rescued. A young bride coming to Belarus, drowned in July 2019, nine years after the first victim. Last April, recalls the BBC, a tourist from the brazilian failed had been recovered by the authorities as had been two months earlier, five Italians, including one seriously injured by the cold. More than a dozen incidents of this kind have taken place.
The bus was evacuated by helicopter. © SETH LACOUNT / Alaska Army National Guard / AFP
Corri Feige, commissioner attached to the natural resources of the State of Alaska, states to understand the extent of the phenomenon around the bus, but explained that it is " a vehicle abandoned and deteriorated requesting relief efforts dangerous and expensive and, above all, which has cost the lives of several visitors ". The mayor of the district of Denali deplores the fact that the bus has become an attraction if a perilous one, but does not hide her sadness " to see a part of our history will go away ". The vehicle, or what remains of it, will be kept in a secure place before a decision is taken about its future.