Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

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stilltrekker
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby stilltrekker » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:36 am

Wow, this thread sure has heated up since I last commented. I see the "redneck asshole" (Ascetic's term) and the yuppie-hiker-philosopher (my words) have made an acquaintance. And despite some pretty lively barbs being thrown at each other, I think you two share more common ground in beliefs than either of you are likely to admit. Let's see what I can come up with:

1. You both think that the wilderness is an awesome, amazingly beautiful and potentially dangerous environment.
2. You both think that anyone daring and adventuresome enough to head into the Alaskan backcountry should be well-prepared.
3. You both think that whether someone admires Chris' intrepid spirit or criticizes his fatal foolishness, that Chris himself should not be an object of worship.
4. You both have an interest in the bus, for your own reasons.

I also see that you both have in common some pretty bad attitudes and sharp tongues. But you know what? If either one of you were stuck in a backcountry jam and the other one had the ability to pull you out, I'd bet any philosophical differences--or even outright animosity--would be put on the side in the name of helping another human being survive.

Despite differences in shoes, beverages and choices of transportation, we're really not all that different. Let's work on civility--there's enough hatred in this world without the nature-lovers going at it. (Just a friendly suggestion--hope neither of you rip into me for it.)

Ascetic
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 9:44 pm

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby Ascetic » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:04 am

Kodiak Dodge wrote: Oh, I have read closely. You seem to know more about Alaska from your vast knowledge of searching the internet and drinking Latte's while reading the Hitchhikers Guide to Alaska at the local Barnes and Noble. You want to come here back coutry traveling and say loud and clear "Fuck the Alaskan locals".


I never claimed to possess a "vast" knowledge of Alaska. I do want to say, "Fuck the Alaskan locals," to those of them who claim that they're astonished more people haven't died visiting the bus. That's a ridiculous, asinine thing to say, and any Alaskan local who thinks that is a fucktard. Hundreds of people visit the bus without incident each year. Again, you aren't reading the things I'm writing.

Kodiak Dodge wrote:It upsets me that some over educated kid thinks he knows more than people who live here.


I've never claimed to know more than the people who live in Alaska.

Kodiak Dodge wrote:I have read many of your post and you talk about wanting to disappear because you don't want to pay back your school loans because you might have to work hard or get a second job. Sorry but that was your choice in life.


If you read the post, then you also saw that after I talked about loans, I also talked about my "main reason" for wanting to leave. It had nothing to do with the loans.

Kodiak Dodge wrote:You just graduated from school and you think someone owes you something.


I don't think anyone owes me anything. I chose to go to school and study subjects that interested me. After years of doing manual labor and factory work, I chose to work in a field that makes very little money (education). The acquisition of wealth doesn't concern me in the slightest. It's the consumerist culture that troubles me.

Kodiak Dodge wrote:Its not about what you wrote, its about what you meant! You think we're all a bunch of idiots and your over educated mind will get you through anything. If anything it will be the biggest thing that will hurt you.


I never said you were a bunch of idiots. I said you probably never read Tolstoy or Thoreau; the implication being that you probably don't concern yourselves with Chris' philosophical ideals. If you've read either, then I made a mistake. If you haven't, then I stand by my position. What I've done is wounded your delicate pride. Quit being so overly-sensitive.

Kodiak Dodge wrote:
Oh, and the last time I checked, the Alaskan State Highway patrol bills the person being rescued; not you. So get your facts straight.

WAKE UP!!!! Up here the next guy you see could be the one rescuing you! Your ungrateful! You will fail in life with your kind of attitude.
Watch this link:http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=60613332
[/quote]

That's what I thought - you don't even know your own State's policy for search and rescue reimbursement.

SteveSalmon
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:42 am

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby SteveSalmon » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:29 pm

~SS
Last edited by SteveSalmon on Thu May 03, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AlaskanLocal
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:25 am

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby AlaskanLocal » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:46 am

As a life long Alaskan, I resent most of your comments towards Alaskans. This is mainly towards someones comment:


"I said it before, and I'll say it again, "Fuck the Alaskan locals."

I'd like to see ANY of them live in the wild for four months with nothing more than a .22 and a 10lb. bag of rice."

Tell me what outdoor experience do you have? Have you grown up with brown bears in your back yard? Climbing on your porch looking for food? Or do you live a subsistence life style where your dependent on going out and hunting/gathering your meals? I'm not saying EVERY Alaskan chooses this lifestyle, but many choose to do so. I realize that many people from "down south" grew up in an outdoors environment but until you come up here, live here, and have been near death on in a variety of situations, don't talk down on us.

You think its so easy, you come up here and show us up on how to live in a state where we have all of our lives. And if you do decide to come and "show us up" send me a message and I will give you my address and you can come teach me a few things.

ALSO...

"I'd like to see ANY of them live in the wild for four months with nothing more than a .22 and a 10lb. bag of rice."

I'm sure you would, yet 99.9% of us are not STUPID enough to do such a thing. And its amazing that he survived that long. Interestingly enough, he did his little excursion in the most abundant season for wildlife. And you literally must not have any idea of what your doing, as well as just plain stupid to die of starvation in those months, not to mention its the best weather of the year.

And did he even try to save himself? What was he trying to accomplish? Do any of you know? No, you don't. You have no idea. For all you know he could have been hit on the head and suffered amnesia, or could have been on drugs too. I'm not trying to put down your fearless leader, but its a fact that you have to take into consideration.. Would any of you do what he did and leave it all behind? To go out and starve to death? Most in society would consider him mentally ill.

He could have found his way back to safety potentially, however I seriously doubt his stills were sharp enough to do that. Build a fire? Use logs and brush to write an SOS? Lots of small aircraft go through that area. Wouldn't have been a problem to get him out.

AND ON A SIDE NOTE. Even if you are stupid enough to try this stunt that he did, when you need help and are dying of starvation, ALASKANS WILL COME FIND YOU AND HELP YOU. Even if you think that were a bunch of inbread hillbilly Alaskan Locals.

SteveSalmon
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:42 am

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby SteveSalmon » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:48 am

~SS
Last edited by SteveSalmon on Thu May 03, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bobenns
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:21 am

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby bobenns » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:40 pm

Anyone know the name of the woman who drowned? Anyone writing a book about her? Anyone making a movie? Why is her death any less tragic than Chris? Nevertheless it is almost forgotten already, one of the unnamed who perished trying to make the pilgrimage to the bus. Rumors are that others have perished on that route. Any truth to it?

McCandless story has become larger than life, an urban legend. I wonder if he had realized that his life and death was going to be turned into a book and movie if he would have reconsidered his excursion. I don't think he was seeking fame. But when your life is so adventurous and ends so tragically and you have left a written and photographic record, this is how it can turn out. Columbus still gets credit for discovering America because he kept a journal. The generations of Basque fishermen that had been before him and told him how to get there left no written records. Even the natives that walked across Alaska from Siberia left no diaries for us. Columbus still gets the credit.

There are some really good points to ponder here. Chris had this obsession with going out "into the Wild". Something went very wrong and he died when he could have and should have saved himself. Seems he was adamant that he would do this alone, no assistance from anyone else. He accepted rides from people but would not try to get help when he needed it most. He lacked certain fundamental survival skills or knowledge.

I grew up in a small remote town in northern Canada, not unlike Healey, it was surrounded by wilderness. Once you left the safety of the community and went off into the bush you were on your own completely. There was no cell phone or GPS. If you got lost your chances were not good. People tend to wander in circles when lost in the bush, they tend to panic and burn up their energy fast, they get wet and cold and exhausted. Without well learned and understood survival skills they are done, they usually die of exposure. Growing up my excursions took me farther and farther into the bush, but never without adequate supplies, a plan and people expecting me back by a certain time. I did a lot of hunting and fishing and sometimes just exploring and usually with other persons. There were certain remote and isolated places that you could not drive to and so you had to get dropped at a river and canoe 50 or 100 miles and get picked up at another location downstream. I loved it, I loved the peace and tranquility of sitting on a rock bluff under the deep blue northern sky, wind in your hair, overlooking the vast northern landscape, not one man made structure in sight, no roads, just trails, water and bush and mother nature. I used to go there for solitude in my teens, away from the din of society in my little town. I felt alive, connected with the universe there. Life in town was stressful.

We had a different phenomenon than the McCandless one in Northern Ontario. And I believe it still goes on, perhaps even more than in the past. In the fall we got American hunters coming up from places like Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New York etc. to hunt moose and in the spring to hunt bear. They would come in caravans making their long trek into the wild north land. They would carry in everything they needed to supply themselves in their hunt camps, from beer to barrels of fuel, grub etc. You would see them on the highway in groups, big pickup trucks hauling campers and utility trailers loaded with ATVs etc. They only would come into town in an emergency if they needed the services of the hospital or police. The locals were not impressed with these people coming in to take our moose and putting nothing back except garbage as if they had some entitlement. Every year there would be a few hunting accidents and mishaps, the occasional death by misadventure every decade or so. These incidents would require ambulance, helicopter service or search and rescue paid for by our taxes to some remote location down the end of a decommissioned logging road and beyond. Often the outsiders brought modified two way radios with the transmitters boosted to some ridiculous and illegal output level. The signal would splatter across the entire radio spectrum and jam everyone trying to listen to a radio for 100 miles or so with loud ringing echoing nonsense and gibberish talk about nothing. From time to time we would come across their abandoned camps and see the mess of garbage and broken equipment left behind, piles of discarded tin cans and jars, empty liquor bottles, hundreds of beer cans, bags stuffed with garbage torn apart and scattered by wildlife, outdoor toilet seats over shit holes where they crapped, sometimes hundreds of empty bullet and shell casings where someone had been shooting umpteen different calibers of rifles and shotguns, sometimes shell casings from pistols and revolvers that are completely illegal to carry in this country. Large areas of ground and bog torn up by ATVs and 4X4s. Looked the place had been over run by drunken violent hill billies and it probably was. It wasn't hard to figure out who had been there, labels like Jim Beam and Lone Star were a dead give away. It didn't speak well of these outsiders, these invaders had no respect for the environment, the country, the laws or the people who live there. Business people in town spoke very ill of them. These were the Ambassadors of American good will in our part of the country.

The point I am making is that its not just in Alaska that the locals get annoyed with the outsiders who come in with their different outlooks and attitudes and do things that piss the locals off.

We had some other issues in our remote community. The population was a majority of French Canadian. The rest was a mixture of many ethnic backgrounds including German, Polish, Ukrainian, English, American, Scottish, Finn, Chinese etc. Funny thing was to the French, all others were "Les Englais" (English) We had our own racism going on. The French were always blaming everything on the non French and still do. There was often open hostility between some of the hard core French and the rest of us. A funny thing about it though, if you were out in the bush and needed help, the first person to come along would help you regardless of French/English. If you were stuck or broke down or injured, whatever. Anyone who came by would automatically help. It was an unwritten law of survival up there, your life depended on other people being willing and ready to help. Its like that on the coast as well with people who work on boats, they automatically stop what they are doing and help the one who needs it, no question.

When I was around 17 we got stuck way back in the bush with a friends car. He slid sideways into a deep ditch. We were screwed, it was some 20 or 30 miles back to the highway. Along came a Frenchman in a pickup who had been fishing. He was probably the only other person out there and it was just before dark. He couldn't speak a word of English but he pulled us back onto the road, the whole time cursing in French and giving us hell. This man wouldn't even acknowledge us in town, but there was no question about helping us out back there. The whole time I'm sure he was saying "You stupid English bastards, next time you will die out here and be eaten by bears". How can you be so stupid to come so far out with no way to help yourself". Funny thing was my mothers maiden name was Cousineau and my ancestors were Voyageurs, but I didn't speak French.

My hometown is host to an annual Lumberjack Heritage Festival, "Festival du patrimoine des bûcherons de Kapuskasing Lumberjack Heritage Festival" Where men flex their muscles at the amateur and professional lumberjack competitions and arm-wrestling contest. The karaoke competition, clowns, antiques display and heavy horse pull mix things up nicely.
http://www.kaplumberjack.com/main.html

Needless to say I left that town long ago and have lived all over the northern and southern parts of this country since then. I love it in the Southern BC Interior the most.
There is no greater scripture than nature, for nature is life itself.

Ascetic
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 9:44 pm

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby Ascetic » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:59 pm

AlaskanLocal wrote:As a life long Alaskan, I resent most of your comments towards Alaskans.


Of course you resent them. You failed to read them in the broader context in which they were written. Before I respond to your other comments, let's set the record straight, shall we?

When I first said the Alaskan locals can go fuck themselves, it was in response to the following comment:

"The Alaska locals are royally pissed about the whole bus tourism thing, in their view Chris was just another moron who wandered into the taiga hoping to challenge nature or something and wildly misjudged nature."

This is just downright stupid. The State of Alaska made $1.31 BILLION dollars in 2009 from its tourism industry. So Alaskans who don't like tourists coming to their State are just fucking idiots.

AlaskanLocal wrote:I'm sure you would, yet 99.9% of us are not STUPID enough to do such a thing. And its amazing that he survived that long. Interestingly enough, he did his little excursion in the most abundant season for wildlife. And you literally must not have any idea of what your doing, as well as just plain stupid to die of starvation in those months, not to mention its the best weather of the year.


Let's keep in mind that Chris had every intention of leaving the Stampede Trail, and that he survived in the backcountry for at least 69 days with minimal supplies. You may call it "stupid" but I see it as a testament to Chris' bravery and resourcefulness. Again, for anyone who thinks what Chris did was foolish, I'd like to see them go out for even a month and survive with what he had to live on. If it hadn't been for the Teklanika, Chris would have succeeded in doing what few seasoned Alaskans would even have attempted.

Chris wasn't just a greenhorn who was unacquainted with the natural world. He had been living off the land for almost two years prior to his trip to Alaska. Moreover, he spent at least 69 days in the backcountry with minimal supplies. And, lest we forget, if it hadn't been for his miscalculation with regard to the Teklanika, he would have survived. My point was that I doubt many of the seasoned locals could live in the backcountry with Chris' meager rations for over two months.

My problem is not with "Alaskans" in general. It's with stupid people. I get irritated when I hear some Alaskans say things like, "I'm surprised more people haven't died going to see the bus."

bobenns
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:21 am

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby bobenns » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:46 am

A few thoughts on the topic at hand.

Let's keep in mind that Chris had every intention of leaving the Stampede Trail, and that he survived in the backcountry for at least 69 days with minimal supplies. You may call it "stupid" but I see it as a testament to Chris' bravery and resourcefulness. Again, for anyone who thinks what Chris did was foolish, I'd like to see them go out for even a month and survive with what he had to live on. If it hadn't been for the Teklanika, Chris would have succeeded in doing what few seasoned Alaskans would even have attempted.


Alaskan Park Ranger Peter Christian wrote:

I am exposed continually to what I will call the 'McCandless Phenomenon.' People, nearly always young men, come to Alaska to challenge themselves against an unforgiving wilderness landscape where convenience of access and possibility of rescue are practically nonexistent [...] When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn’t even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate. First off, he spent very little time learning how to actually live in the wild. He arrived at the Stampede Trail without even a map of the area. If he [had] had a good map he could have walked out of his predicament [...] Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide.[15]



There are many perspectives that can be taken on this topic. They will vary widely depending on each persons unique background and point of view. We have learned that two differing perspectives can both be correct. Chris did not come from anything like the environment he died in. He was essentially born with a silver spoon and he rebelled against much of what he knew as life growing up. He loved to read Tolstoy and in many ways was quite similar to him, perhaps if he had survived and had written a novel or two he would have been more like him. I can't help but think that Chris may have fancied himself as a modern Tolstoy giving up all worldly goods and wandering.

Personally I never have and would not ever want to try anything like what Chris did in Alaska. That kind of adventure has always been available nearby but I prefer to take it peace-meal. I like coming home to a good meal, a warm bath and a comfortable bed after a time out in the wilderness. There is a point where it becomes less enjoyable and more difficult to stay out there day after day even when well equipped. Now if I had to survive an extended period in wilderness I most likely would be able to come through it if I had a chance to provision myself for a long stay at the outset. But just to do it as a personal challenge has no appeal. And I think most Alaskans would have a similar view. Its right there every day when you walk out the door, no need to go out and stay out for months at a time.

Chris really did the same thing a lot of northerners do, just in reverse. Many young people from the north are drawn almost hypnotically to the bright lights of the big cities to the south, many wind up on skid row etc and die there. They are not prepared to survive in that hostile city environment.

Coming from the south Chris survived 112 days out on the Stampede trail but his condition deteriorated right from the beginning until he was so weak he could not walk out. Certainly if any locals had any idea of his predicament they would have been there to save him immediately. But no one knew. He was totally depending on his own ability to survive and get out alive at the end of it. He mentioned in his last communication that he knew he may not survive. So he was aware of the danger of bears and accidents, probably not so aware of how real the threat of starvation would be. He did not need to build his own shelter and spent most of his time at the bus but he needed to forage for food and for firewood to stay warm and cook meat. An axe and bucksaw would have been quite useful to him. How far did he have to forage for sticks he could carry? The bus has been sitting there since the 60s and everyone who ever used it had to go get wood to burn using up everything in easy reach first. I would imagine that without cutting tools the trek to get wood daily was pretty long and kept getting longer. So in order to have a fire it was a lot of extra work and energy used up.

Chris was a "Greenhorn" and not resourceful enough. No experienced woodsman would head out with so little provisions and none would have stayed out there and starved to death. Chris survived brief periods in California and Mexico, but the north is much harsher. He really had no experience in the north land. I think Chris was obsessed with the idea of what he was doing to the point of ignoring his real life needs. The hint is in his statement about "killing the false being within". He believed that this experience would somehow transform him into a different and more real being that what he had been. He would find enlightenment and know the Gods truth about life or die trying.

Chris wasn't stupid. But he was a fool. He appears to have been inspired significantly by the book "The Call of the Wild" which is, first and foremost, the story of Buck’s gradual transformation from a tame beast into a wild animal. The second major character John Thornton is a man who was unafraid of the wild. With a handful of salt and a rifle he could plunge into the wilderness and fare wherever he pleased and as long as he pleased. Chris almost seems to become a blend of these two characters from Londons' novel. Unafraid of the wild with only a rifle and turning into a wild animal as he hunts and survives on game. The self portraits of him celebrating his kills look more and more like a man turning into a wild man.

Chris had intended to leave the wilderness but when he couldn't get across the river it seems he gave up and accepted that as a sign of his fate. He returned to the bus and settled into foraging for food. Perhaps he thought that he was really hearing the call of the wild. “There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.”

Here is the quote from Londons' book that gives the impression that those who know can go on endlessly in the Alaskan wilderness while providing for their needs as they go.

John Thornton asked little of man or nature. He was unafraid of the wild. With a handful of salt and a rifle he could plunge into the wilderness and fare wherever he pleased and as long as he pleased. Being in no haste, Indian fashion, he hunted his dinner in the course of the day’s travel; and if he failed to find it, like the Indian, he kept on traveling, secure in the knowledge that sooner or later he would come to it. So, on this great journey into the East, straight meat was the bill of fare, ammunition and tools principally made up the load on the sled, and the time-card was drawn upon the limitless future.

To Buck it was boundless delight, this hunting, fishing, and indefinite wandering through strange places. For weeks at a time they would hold on steadily, day after day; and for weeks upon end they would camp, here and there, the dogs loafing and the men burning holes through frozen muck and gravel and washing countless pans of dirt by the heat of the fire. Sometimes they went hungry, sometimes they feasted riotously, all according to the abundance of game and the fortune of hunting. Summer arrived, and dogs and men packed on their backs, rafted across blue mountain lakes, and descended or ascended unknown rivers in slender boats whipsawed from the standing forest.

The months came and went, and back and forth they twisted through the uncharted vastness, where no men were and yet where men had been if the Lost Cabin were true. They went across divides in summer blizzards, shivered under the midnight sun on naked mountains between the timber line and the eternal snows, dropped into summer valleys amid swarming gnats and flies, and in the shadows of glaciers picked strawberries and flowers as ripe and fair as any the Southland could boast. In the fall of the year they penetrated a weird lake country, sad and silent, where wild- fowl had been, but where then there was no life nor sign of life-- only the blowing of chill winds, the forming of ice in sheltered places, and the melancholy rippling of waves on lonely beaches.

And through another winter they wandered on the obliterated trails of men who had gone before. Once, they came upon a path blazed through the forest, an ancient path, and the Lost Cabin seemed very near. But the path began nowhere and ended nowhere, and it remained mystery, as the man who made it and the reason he made it remained mystery. Another time they chanced upon the time-graven wreckage of a hunting lodge, and amid the shreds of rotted blankets John Thornton found a long-barreled flint-lock. He knew it for a Hudson Bay Company gun of the young days in the Northwest, when such a gun was worth its height in beaver skins packed flat, And that was all--no hint as to the man who in an early day had reared the lodge and left the gun among the blankets.

Spring came on once more, and at the end of all their wandering they found, not the Lost Cabin, but a shallow placer in a broad valley where the gold showed like yellow butter across the bottom of the washing-pan. They sought no farther. Each day they worked earned them thousands of dollars in clean dust and nuggets, and they worked every day. The gold was sacked in moose-hide bags, fifty pounds to the bag, and piled like so much firewood outside the spruce-bough lodge. Like giants they toiled, days flashing on the heels of days like dreams as they heaped the treasure up.


But London knew better, much better, and from real life experience in Alaska.

On July 12, 1897, London (age 21) and his brother-in-law James Shepard sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush. This was the setting for some of his first successful stories. London's time in the Klondike, however, was detrimental to his health. Like so many other men who were malnourished in the goldfields, London developed scurvy. His gums became swollen, leading to the loss of his four front teeth. A constant gnawing pain affected his hip and leg muscles, and his face was stricken with marks that always reminded him of the struggles he faced in the Klondike. Father William Judge, "The Saint of Dawson," had a facility in Dawson that provided shelter, food and any available medicine to London and others. His struggles there inspired London's short story, "To Build a Fire", which many critics assess as his best.

The thought of leaving society and living wild and free in the wilderness really is a romantic notion. Many have attempted it, few have succeeded. Personally if I were to try it I would choose the South Moresby Island, the most abundant marine environment in North America. One only has to take a walk along the beach at low tide to pick up a nutritious meal in minutes. The forests provide abundant game as well as red cedar from which to build solid lasting shelter. The climate is neither hot nor cold averaging around 60 degrees year round. Only problem is that its now a national park and world heritage site so one would have to do it on the sly.
There is no greater scripture than nature, for nature is life itself.

GoNorth
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:47 pm

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby GoNorth » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:29 pm

bobenns wrote:There are many perspectives that can be taken on this topic. They will vary widely depending on each persons unique background and point of view. We have learned that two differing perspectives can both be correct. Chris did not come from anything like the environment he died in. He was essentially born with a silver spoon and he rebelled against much of what he knew as life growing up.
...

Now if I had to survive an extended period in wilderness I most likely would be able to come through it if I had a chance to provision myself for a long stay at the outset. But just to do it as a personal challenge has no appeal. And I think most Alaskans would have a similar view. Its right there every day when you walk out the door, no need to go out and stay out for months at a time.

Chris really did the same thing a lot of northerners do, just in reverse. Many young people from the north are drawn almost hypnotically to the bright lights of the big cities to the south, many wind up on skid row etc and die there. They are not prepared to survive in that hostile city environment.


Exactly. Thanks for these wise words.


bobenns wrote:Chris was a "Greenhorn" and not resourceful enough. No experienced woodsman would head out with so little provisions ...


Of course not. And as you wrote above, the woodsman wouldn't have done such a thing at all.
But that's the point. I'd say that Chris McCandless went for it BECAUSE he was no experienced woodsman. Otherwise he would not have felt this wish, this need, this yearning to "become lost in the wild". He went there because he wanted to get the experience of living in the wilderness. And well, he finally got it.

bobenns
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:21 am

Re: Woman dies trying to cross the Teklanika.

Postby bobenns » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:11 pm

GoNorth wrote:
bobenns wrote:There are many perspectives that can be taken on this topic. They will vary widely depending on each persons unique background and point of view. We have learned that two differing perspectives can both be correct. Chris did not come from anything like the environment he died in. He was essentially born with a silver spoon and he rebelled against much of what he knew as life growing up.
...

Now if I had to survive an extended period in wilderness I most likely would be able to come through it if I had a chance to provision myself for a long stay at the outset. But just to do it as a personal challenge has no appeal. And I think most Alaskans would have a similar view. Its right there every day when you walk out the door, no need to go out and stay out for months at a time.

Chris really did the same thing a lot of northerners do, just in reverse. Many young people from the north are drawn almost hypnotically to the bright lights of the big cities to the south, many wind up on skid row etc and die there. They are not prepared to survive in that hostile city environment.


Exactly. Thanks for these wise words.


bobenns wrote:Chris was a "Greenhorn" and not resourceful enough. No experienced woodsman would head out with so little provisions ...


Of course not. And as you wrote above, the woodsman wouldn't have done such a thing at all.
But that's the point. I'd say that Chris McCandless went for it BECAUSE he was no experienced woodsman. Otherwise he would not have felt this wish, this need, this yearning to "become lost in the wild". He went there because he wanted to get the experience of living in the wilderness. And well, he finally got it.


Absolutely, it really became his own special madness. An obsession so powerful that it destroyed him.

Some of the greatest works ever written are tragedies. Many of us identify with this young man at some level. I certainly do. I was one rebel at that age I can tell you, and lucky I lived through it. We read the story, watch the movies, research the books that influenced him and browse for info on the internet. And still, knowing the final outcome we hope to find something that would change it. That makes this story a tragedy in the classic sense. I keep finding myself thinking "What if". What if he'd have done this, or that? Hoping to find a way to change the outcome. It will be one of those movies that every time I watch it I will still hope for a different ending.

You have to respect the wilderness if you go out there. I try to learn from other peoples mistakes. This is one that I'll never forget. When I was growing up in Northern Ontario my sister once briefly dated a fellow who really looked up to my dad. The guys name was Sandy. My dad was a department store manager and Sandy was getting into retail at another local business, training to be a produce manager and he loved to talk to my dad about store stuff when he came over. He would always be real excited to chat with my dad and I found that odd as my dad was the enemy to me. One Friday night Sandy was out with his chums drinking in a car driving the logging roads, a common teen age activity at the time. An argument with his friends resulted in him getting out of the car and them driving away and leaving him there. It was minus 40 degrees and he was wearing a light jacket, no hat, no boots, no mitts, miles and miles from town. Someone happened to come along, found him unconscious on the side of the road and got him to the hospital. He was near death but recovered. He lost his ears, nose, toes some fingers and tips to frost bite and had frost burns all over. Obviously he was never the same, and probably didn't get many dates after that either. I saw him some years later still working at that store, putting out vegetables, doing the job he loved. He was so disfigured and looked terrible, I remember what he looked like before. What a horrible mistake he made, what a price to pay. I always think of Sandy when I'm going to head out in that kind of cold. If I'm driving I prepare the vehicle and pack warm clothing, If I'm going out in the bush I wear the warmest I can get. Once you are out there and something goes wrong, you had damn well better be prepared. If your engine won't start and you are 40 miles up a haul road ice fishing at a remote lake, chances are nobody is going to come along in the night. If you are not prepared, you are done. The wilderness will not forgive you if you make a mistake.
There is no greater scripture than nature, for nature is life itself.


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