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Hikers rescued amid 'Into the Wild' bus pilgrimage


FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) -- Authorities rescued three men making a pilgrimage to an abandoned bus in the Alaska wilderness made famous by the book and film "Into the Wild."

Three hikers, two from Wisconsin and third with no known address, needed help last week after one of them tripped and hurt himself with an ax, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

They ran into trouble Aug. 6 on the Stampede Trail just north of the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve, about 180 miles north of Anchorage. The Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department responded and gave the three hikers a ride on all-terrain vehicles, the Alaska State Troopers announced Wednesday on their website.

Matthew Peot, 29, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Thomas Young, 45, of Horicon, Wisconsin; and Kenneth Young, whose age and hometown wasn't listed, were trying to get to the dilapidated bus, but the Teklanika River was too high, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email to The Associated Press.

They camped for a few days, waiting to see if the river would get low enough to cross, but the ax injury ended the quest, Peters wrote. Thomas Young suffered minor injuries in the accident.

Authorities often are called to help people heading to the dilapidated bus made famous by the book and movie "Into the Wild," which chronicle the life and death of Chris McCandless. He hiked into the Alaska wilderness in April 1992 with little food and equipment and spent the summer living in the bus. McCandless was found dead in the bus almost four months later after starving to death.

Four years ago, a Swiss woman drowned in the river on the trail to the bus, but it was unclear whether she was hiking to the vehicle or just hiking in the area.

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