Welcome to Bus 142, also known as the “Magic Bus”. This is where Chris McCandless spent his final few months here on earth. Chris didn’t see this bus as a trashy hunk of metal. He saw it as shelter, as warmth, as a safe sanctuary, as a home.
You can see in some of the pictures, a few items have gone missing. The steering wheel, cabinet doors, pieces of the actual bus itself, and keepsakes people have left there while visiting.
I, along with many other Into The Wild aficionados, Chris’s family and friends, ask that if you ever get the amazing opportunity to hike the Stampede Trail up to the Magic Bus, that you please respect the Bus and everything that comes along with it. Please DO NOT take anything left in the bus, or any part of the bus itself. If you’d like to leave your own little keepsake, do so. I think it’s great when people leave something special up there to dedicate to the bus.
Lastly, this bus is an amazing tribute to Chris. A place people can go to feel a connection with him and take a step inside his world. If you decide to camp out up there, please take your trash with you. And if you see any other trash that has been left behind by previous explorers… collecting that as well would pay great respect for the bus as well as Chris.
Enjoy the bus! It’s an incredible place with an amazing story.
No one can ever completely know everything about Chris. I don’t think people should be criticized for having courage, yet the mistakes they make along the way cannot be dismissed or overlooked. McCandless was a compelling, tragic, inspirational figure to so many people, myself included. It is these complications that make him human, that ground him in the reality we all live in. But as far as making final judgments about him, I can’t answer that for you. You must all go see the film and answer that for yourselves.
The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.