I read the Jon Krakauer book Into The Wild, about 10 years or so (give or take a year or two). If nothing else, the message I took from reading the book is:
For f—s sake – don’t try going to this place.
Well, apparently Christopher McCandless’ death spot attracts a good number of “pilgrims” each year. Some of them wind up needing to be rescued. Alaskan wilderness is a bit like the Australian Outback, the Brazilian rain forest or the ocean in that everything in it WANTS TO KILL YOU. If it doesn’t kill you quickly, you’ll be subjected to a slow, painful death like poor Chris McCandless who virtually wasted away in an abandoned transit bus in 1992. There is speculation that a certain plant he ate was the cause of his death, which threw off his metabolism and made him unable to “absorb” any nutrients. He survived off the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness for 113 days. He even managed to kill a moose, but was unable to eat all of the beast before it rotted too much (he really, really tried).
One of the most recent McCandless “pilgrims” – Veramika Maikamava, 24 of Belarus – drowned while crossing the Teklamika river. Read more about that story here. She isn’t even the first person who died trying to get to this spot.
Just in case this news bummed you out? There are “pilgrims” who actually survived this hike! I found this blog online which chronicles the adventures of a woman and her boyfriend hiking the Stampede Trail to the “Magic Bus” in 2016. She’s from the Czech Republic – I was glued to EVERY WORD!
In other news about drowning, apparently Lake Michigan has been claiming more victims than usual this year, which you can read about here.
What do I have to say to that?
Hells to the yeah! If I’ve gotta go, having one of the Great Lakes swallow me whole is the way I want to go! Or else I will just settle for the forest trying to reclaim me.
Wait…the forest has already tried to reclaim me! Twice… Maybe I shouldn’t dare tread into Warren Woods while visiting the area in a couple of weeks? 🙂