After hiking along the snow-covered Stampede Trail, McCandless found an abandoned bus used as a hunting shelter and parked on an overgrown section of the trail near Denali National Park, and began his attempt to live off the land. By 2002, the abandoned bus (No. 142) on the Stampede Trail where McCandless camped became a tourist destination. For decades it had served as a hunting camp and backcountry shelter, a corroding green-and-white hull of civilization transplanted to a knoll above the Sushana River. Now it was haunted real estate. More than 200 had trekked to the bus since McCandless’s death, and that didn’t account for those who passed by without comment. Think of that: More than 200 people, many as inexperienced as McCandless, had hiked or bicycled along the Stampede Trail to the bus — and every one of them had somehow managed to return safely.
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