Destination unknown

the bus

The Magic Bus headed where?/Alaska National Guard

Here comes the poll in which every real Alaskan – resident in the state at this moment or not – has been hankering to vote for a long, long time.  So vote now. Vote often. And feel free to add your write-ins.

Lisa Murkowski’s name will be happily accepted no matter how you spell it.

So, with that….

Now that THE BUS – yes, that bus; the famous/infamous, McCandless-Krakauer-Penn “Magic Bus” – has been airlifted out of the wild, what should the state do with it?

  1. Airdrop it on John Krakauer’s house.
  2. Put it back “Into the Wild” where it belongs. That is its natural habitat after all, and it was there first.
  3. Send it to swim with the fishes and Osama bin Landen in the Arabian Sea.
  4. Sell it to the highest bidder with a minimum starting offer of $5 million committed to the Denali Borough for putting up with the bus nonsense for all these years.
  5. Cut it into dime-size pieces and sell them as souvenirs to McCandless fans with all profits dedicated to the Alaska Permanent Fund.
  6. Place it atop Flattop – Alaska’s most climbed peak – as a memorial to all those who’ve given their lives to pay for foolish mistakes in the 49th state’s vast wilderness.
  7. Melt it down and commission an artist to use the steel to craft a lifesize sculpture of McCandless tourists can come worship at the entrance to Denali National Park, Alaska’s version of Mecca.
  8. Restore it, put it back into operation in Fairbanks, and dare those from the Lower 48 to come north and ride the “Death Bus.”
  9. Gift it to the Alaska Public Media Vehicle Donation Program. (Gov. Mike Dunleavy,  feel free to vote all you want for this one just to show APM your love.)
  10. Convince Elon Musk to launch it into orbit as part of the next, attention-grabbing Space-X mission. 

Vote now or add your write-ins. Some are sure to be better.



Categories: Commentary

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43 replies »

  1. Cut it up into quarter-sized medallions and sell them as good luck charms to cheechakos.

  2. I found Craig’s site from a different article. He writes like an asshole, calling someone he never knew a vagabond. While I believe the into the wild author had to do some guessing, I’d love to see what evidence Craig has that it’s false.

    • Bob: So guesses are now facts? That’s an interesting point of view.

      My view is that guessing at things and then presenting them as facts is nothing more and nothing less than making up a story. Such behavior can only be defined as “false.”

      But if that’s not enough for you, Gallien says he didn’t say what the book says he said. That’s not unusual. I’ve interviewed a lot of people over the years who later claimed not to have said what they said.

      In this case, however, McCandless would have been making observations about fast water while driving over a frozen river covered with ice and snow making it impossible to tell what the water beneath looked like. That ain’t likely.

      Krakauer did, however, make up an entertaining story out of bird, squirrel, misery, Magic Bus.

    • As far as I have been able to find out, none. The Alaska National Guard scouted the trail before the operation.

      COVID-19 seems to have seriously cut down on the low-budget travelers coming to Alaska this summer. If they’re hitchhiking north, I don’t think they can get through Canada. And international travel has been complicated, making the journey difficult for young foreigners.

  3. Haul the bus to Spenard and put the junker somewhere around Koots’ and the faux “Birdhouse” … then plant the Paradise Palm tree next to it. Hell, might as well have Mr. Whitekeys do a couple of shows a week from the bus … of course, only in the summer. Oh yeah, except for “Christmas in Spenard”. I can’t wait, I might just move to Spenard! Uh, … scratch that last sentence.

  4. Now that the bus has been removed, it is like it’s history never happened…. Wow! Where have we seen that???

  5. I dont live in Alaska..I have seen the movie…he gave up all of his possessions, money and everything to go to Alaska and live…to be a part of it, he longed to be there and he did what he could to get there. He fell in love with it…he got there and found the bus and wanted to live off the land..he just didnt anticipate how hard it was going to be…myself..I’ve wanted to live there long before I ever heard of him…in his memory i would leave it where it is and put a memorial up in his name..

    • If we put up memorials for everyone who came to Alaska to “do their thing” and wound up dead in the wilderness this place would quickly start to look like a cemetery.
      The dude in the bus was just another dude…he did not even drive the bus out there.
      What about the dude who took the bus out there years ago?
      No one even remembers his name…

  6. Fix it up and make it presentable, then turn it into a national shrine in Talkeetna, gateway to our famous Denali park. The lower 48 tourists will love it, and spend money to have a photo taken with it, and then buy all the available Alaskan made trinkets. Capitalism, you gotta love it. A big Thank You to the Alaskan National Guard, you Federal dollars at work.

  7. Send the Stampede bus and Ken Kesey’s Further bus (1939 International Harvester) to the Diesel Bros and let them pimp them both out. Organize a “rolling coal world tour” where they do drag races down the main streets of major cities to raise money for…saving the world.

  8. The grumpy old Denali Borough hippies that wanted the bus gone should be given a choice. The bus did more Alaska tourism marketing and enticing than any other tourism program Alaska has ever come up with. An old abandoned bus generated many millions in tourism dollars. Orders of magnitude more than SAR costs.. So the Healy SAR geniuses should come up with a new AK tourism marketing plan that is free (like the bus). If they can’t come up with a great plan in a week, then the bus goes back to where it was, and should still be. Whiney and cranky old morons. Jeff King clones.

  9. Hide it. Then hide the clues of where to find it in the woods around Campbell lake.

  10. Should be left at the trailhead to show would-be seekers that there is nothing left out there to die for.

  11. Auction it with a high starting number. Some Hollywood celeb would likely buy it. Use the money to start a “rescue fund” to defray the cost of stupid people. Let stupidity pay for stupidity.

    That or give it to Healy as a tourist attraction.

  12. 4. You should buy it then start a boot camp style “Chris McCandless Experience” camp in Healy. Force march hipsters around all day carrying only what Chris did on a starvation while shouting his teachings about materialism (for just $10k per week) and spend the nights around the campfire in Mao-styled self criticism sessions with mosquitos. Week ends with a march to the Tek (but not across, so as to not dishonor his failure) with no food or water. If you pass you get admitted into the sacred storage unit to get your selfies. They’d be lining up to give you money.

    I mean, sure, you went to the bus, but I did the CHRIS McCANDLESS EXPERINCE!!!!

    • Bob, good point.. Just add BLM, Marx, or Mao to anything these days and those fools would just open their guilty wallets and let the money flow. Sucka born every day.

  13. 4. Sell it to the highest bidder with a minimum starting offer of $5 million committed to the Denali Borough for putting up with the bus nonsense for all these years.

  14. 4. Sell it to the highest bidder with a minimum starting offer of $5 million committed to the Denali Borough for putting up with the bus nonsense for all these years.

  15. You didn’t pick my idea: keep it in Healy and use it as the perfect setting for the next-gen Dinner Theater when the tourists return! But I also like JKSMITHPE’s idea for the espresso cart.

    • Healy already has the movie bus. Can sit down at the brewery while staring at that bus filled with white guilt thinking – “bet that poor bast#@d wished he had a nice steak and a beer”.

  16. 12. Airlift it into the middle of Seattle’s CHAZ zone. It would fit right in in more ways than one.

  17. For saying that anyone who doesn’t like his movie, “Into The Wild,” is “stupid,” I suggest we cut the bus into bite-size pieces and force feed it to Sean Penn.

  18. 11. Clean and seal coat, set it up as an espresso hut in Fairbanks. Include ayahuasca on the menu.

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