Teen Hiker Lost, Rescued In Alaska...Twice

Chicagoland seasonal worker gets lost while looking for Chris McCandless famed "Magic Bus"
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Chicagoland seasonal worker gets lost while looking for Chris McCandless famed "Magic Bus"

Oh, Chris McCandless, what hast thou wrought on the people of Alaska? With tons of people making pilgrimages to your death site not far from Denali, I suppose it was only a matter of time before one of them needed rescue.

Don Carroll, a 19-year-old culinary student from Illinois working as a line cook for the summer just outside Denali, decided to strike out for the famed bus described in "Into The Wild." He and a companion took off with clothing, sleeping bags, a tent, and a lighter but no food or water. They stashed the pack, crossed a river, and promptly got lost. After three days of freezing nights, eating berries, and drinking river water, a helicopter rescued the pair on Monday.

It gets worse: Back in June, Carroll needed rescue from the decidedly front-country Mount Healy after he got soaked and disoriented while hiking in a hoody and jeans. He directed rescuers to his location with (of course) text messages.

"If police see me (hiking) in the woods, they're going to arrest me," a rueful Carroll said during a cell phone interview Tuesday. "The chief ranger said he's not going to come looking for me anymore."

I'd say that's a fair assessment of the situation. No wonder Alaskans sigh every time they see a bus of Lower 48ers pull into town.

—Ted Alvarez

Bolingbrook hiker rescued--again--after journey into wild (Daily Herald)