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This tragic story was told by Jon Krakauer in the January 1993 issue of The book, and a 2007 film directed by Sean Penn, helped elevate the Mc Candless saga to the status of modern myth.
And that, in turn, has given rise to a unique and curious phenomenon in Alaska: Mc Candless pilgrims, inspired by his story, who are determined to see the bus for themselves.
But a raging Teklanika prevented him from crossing, so he returned to the bus and hunkered down.
More than a month later, a moose hunter found Mc Candless’s decomposed body in a sleeping bag inside the bus, where he had starved to death.
The cool weather often makes autumn a safer time for the hike, but a string of rainy days had swollen the Teklanika to flood stage.They tied themselves to a rope that somebody had run from one bank to the other, to aid such attempts.The Teklanika is powerful in summertime, and about halfway across they lost their footing.When I arrived at the river, I saw the stranded hikers, clad in rain jackets and beanies, napping on the ground.They shouted that they had been there for a day and a half and that help was on the way.
Each year, scores of trekkers journey down the Stampede Trail to visit it.