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Transcript of BUS 142
While attempting to survive in Alaska, Chris McCandless eventually found refuge in Bus 142. The bus is commonly referenced as the “Magic Bus” because of a quote found in one of McCandless’ journal entries. The bus provided him with shelter and some protection from the elements, but he had no reliable food source, leading to his starvation in 1992.
The Story Behind the Bus
The bus was originally used by the
Yutan Construction Company to transport the workers to their worksite from Fairbanks. The bus eventually broke down and the crew had to leave it behind. They left it where it sits now, along the Stampede Trail, near Denali National Park, to serve as shelter for ranger patrols, and hunters.
The Bus Today
After the movie was filmed in 2007, they moved the bus that was used in the movie that looked extremely similar to the town of Healy because many hikers were risking their lives trying to cross the Tek River. One woman actually died trying to reach the bus in 2010. The original bus is still there, but it is more realistic for tourists to visit the model bus and stay safe.
Bus 142 is the bus where Chris McCandless lived during his great Alaskan adventure, and it is also the place where he died. This bus is a lot more significant to Chris’s life and to our understanding of the novel than one might think.
Bus 142: A Final Resting Place
The bus relates to transcendentalism because Chris ventured out into the wild and lived with what was given naturally. Bus 142, the bus that harbored hundreds of weary travelers, was a testament to transcendental beliefs. It’s seats were embedded with the ideals of individualism, independence, and self-reliance. When Chris lived on the bus, he had no one to rely on but himself. The bus supported this idea and gave him the ability to complete his journey.
Video: Watch until 2:00
The Big Picture
The bus was a big factor in Chris’s survival in the wild. It was his main shelter and helped him live in the wilderness by providing him basic supplies at the beginning of his journey and a safer place to return to. This bus helps contribute to our understanding of Chris’s experiences in the wild and why he chose to follow the patterns that he did when he was living in the wilderness. He may have moved around a lot more or lived in another area of the wild if he had not found this reliable shelter on Stampede Trail.
Read, Adam “Into the Wild Bus”, 2011
“The Magic Bus”
“Christopher McCandless Info”, 2009
Halfacre, Erik “Hiking the Stampede Trail”, 2011
Hines, Mickey “History of the Alaskan Stampede Trail & Bus 142”, 2011