(CNN) – Abandoned bus on the Stampede track in Alaska – known for the book and film “Into the Wild” – embarked on its first trip in decades. This time by air.
On Monday afternoon, an Alaska Army National Guard helicopter CH-47 Chinook appeared on a bus, also known as Fairbanks Bus 142 and a “Magic Bus,” on Thursday afternoon, the Alaska National Guard said.
The decision to remove the bus in coordination with the Department of Natural Resources was made out of concern for public safety, the guard said. At its current location, near Healy, Alaska, the bus has drawn people into danger from the Alaskan wilderness.
It will be provided while the department considers all options for permanent accommodation.
A visit to the wrecked vehicle has become a kind of pilgrimage to mountaineers since Jon Krakauer’s book was published in 1996; the film adaptation was released in 2007.
The documentary chronicles the life of Christopher McCandless, who grew up in a wealthy suburb of Washington. But after graduating from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1990, he left behind a comfortable life and headed west without telling friends and family.
An Alaskan National Guard helicopter UH-60 Black Hawk hovers near “Bus 142”, which became famous for the book and film “Into the Wild”.
Alaska Department of Natural Resources / Reuters
In April 1992, McCandless hitchhiked to Alaska, where a man landed him at the head of the Stampede Trail, according to the book. A few days later he came across an abandoned bus and lived there for about three months before deciding to return to civilization.
As he tried to get back, he arrived at the Teklanika River crossing. But as the river flowed fast and high from the rain and snow that melted from the glacier, it failed to pass towards Krakauer.
Defeated, he turned and headed back to the bus, where he survived for about a month before succumbing to death in August 1992.
Excursions from all over the world try to catch McCandless ’footsteps every year, but many have failed and had to be rescued. Some even died.
Last February, Alaska firefighters and soldiers rescued five Italian mountaineers on the Stampede trail as they were returning from a visit to an abandoned bus.
Less than a year ago, a Belarusian woman was killed on a trail trying to cross the Teklanik River to visit a bus with her new husband.