Out of the Wild

Watch: Bus made famous by "Into the Wild" removed from Alaskan wilderness via helicopter

The Alaska Army National Guard removed "Bus 142" from the wilderness this week.

Alaska Army National Guard courtesy video by UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief, Staff Sgt. Sonny Cooper

The bus made famous by Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book, "Into the Wild", and the 2007 movie of the same name was removed from the Alaskan wilderness this week via helicopter.

On Thursday, Alaska Army National Guard soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, executed an extraction mission to remove "Bus 142" from its position on the Stampede Trail using a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

"Bus 142" is a 1946 International Harvester K-5 that was parked near Denali National Park. The K-5 had a steel chassis and 9,300-pound payload capacity when new. "Bus 142" was originally owned by the Yutan Construction Company and was used to transport construction crews from Fairbanks to the Stampede Trail during a road upgrades project in 1960 and 1961.

Over the years, the bus's engine was removed and it was towed using two Caterpillar D8 bulldozers but eventually gained a broken axle. Crews installed a wood-burning stove and beds, using it for shelter. Later in its life, the K-5 became a shelter for trappers and hunters.

After graduating from Emory University in 1990, Chris McCandless had become a wanderer. In April 1992 he began a histhchiking journey in South Dakota that would lead him to Alaska. In May he set up camp at "Bus 142" where he stayed for two months before attempting to find a way out of the wilderness. He was unable to do so and returned to the K-5.

The journal that McCandless kept during his travels became source material for "Into the Wild". The journal chronicles 112 days of entires with the last week's worth describing how McCandless is weak, hungry, and in need of assistance.

Into the Wild movie poster "Into the Wild" featured an image of the bus in its poster, which was distributed to movie theaters nationwide.Movie poster courtesy of Paramount Vantage

In September 1992, McCandless was found dead in this sleeping bag by a group of hunters who sought refuge in the bus during an excision.

The 1996 non-fiction book is an expanded form of the 9,000-word article Krakauer wrote about the journey of McCandless titled "Death of an Innocent", which appeared in "Outside" magazine in January 1993.

After the publication of the article and novel, and especially after the release of the movie, the bus became a tourist attraction. Its location along the Stampede Trail in the Denali Borough of Alaska, near Healy, had been the site of numerous emergency rescues over the years.

The over 47-mile trail began as a mining road in 1903 and for years was commonly used for winter sports recreation. Some of the first eight miles is paved or gravel road but then the trail descends into pathways only reachable by foot or ATV.

The bus will be stored at a secure site with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources considers options for its permanent resting place.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross takes its name from the beloved cars.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

I wasn't a big car guy growing up. Some kids can tell you the horsepower and engine and endless stats about every car on the road. Or they'll notice the difference in taillights between individual model years, or any of a million other nips and tucks that carmakers do to differentiate their cars.

These days, it's my job to know that stuff, but when I was in high school, I didn't know much — but I knew what a Mitsubishi Eclipse was. As I got ready to write this review, I went back and watched perhaps the most famous 90's-era Mitsubishi Eclipse you could find: Paul Walker's bright green ride in "Fast and the Furious".

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross The car is more traditional up front than it is in the back.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

The second-generation Eclipse, built from 1995 to 1999, was the best-known (and best-looking) of all the cars, and became a vehicular icon for my generation in no small part to the role it played in "Fast and the Furious". Though I remember the car, I'd forgotten how terrible this movie is. The dialogue is cringeworthy, the cars are absurd (how many gears does that thing have?), and the story is outlandish. But it's still a hoot, and I may end up rewatching the whole series.

But then in 2011, Mitsubishi ended the Eclipse line for good. Or so we thought. Now we have a new one, only the sporty looks and movie-star glamour is long gone. It's called the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and it's... a compact crossover SUV of no particular importance.

That might be a little harsh. It's actually quite an interesting looking vehicle, which is more than can be said for most crossovers. Though the front isn't particularly exciting, the rear has more going for it. There's a dual-window design on the rear tailgate, with a light bar running across the middle. It's very much a love-it-or-hate-it design, but at least it's not boring.

There's a crease running up the doors to the back as well, which looks particularly sharp on the Red Diamond review unit that Mitsubishi sent me for a week. It stickered for $32,720 on the SEL trim, though you can likely negotiate a nice chunk of change off of that at your local Mitsubishi dealer.

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross The touch screen is okay but the trackpad that is used to navigate it is detrimental.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Feature-wise, the Eclipse Cross is well-equipped, with a tiny 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower. That's not a ton of power, but for a family crossover it's plentiful and turns in a combined 25 miles per gallon.

Mine had the $2,100 Touring Package, which kicks in a lovely panoramic sunroof, the ever-important adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection and auto-braking, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, and some other minor additions.

If you look at the feature list, the Eclipse Cross is a solid vehicle. The interior design is a little rougher, with hard plastic everywhere and not-so-luxurious touch points. The trackpad to control the screen is terrible, as are the up/down buttons to control the dual-zone climate control (though the heated seats work excellently).

The infotainment screen could be bigger, and the dash screen needs some polish. The engine gets the job done, but it's not exactly quiet. It's a middle-of-the-road crossover. It does what it's supposed to do. You can get it for a good price and it's well-equipped.

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Bentley's vehicle's are getting the company's new steering wheel for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The Bentley Continental GT is a grand tourer of the grandest design. It's getting an update for 2021, giving customers more of the high-tech features and design they've requested. Bentley sells the Continental GT in coupe and convertible body styles.

The 2021 Continental GT is now available in Viridian, Patina, and Snow Quartz paint jobs - the same colors that were added to the Flying Spur this year. Viridian is a dark emerald metallic hue that is Bentley's take on classic British racing green. It features green and blue undertones, and tiny flecks of amber and gold.

2021 Bentley Continental GT Viridian is Bentley's new take on British Racing Green.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Patina is inspiredly the look of polished metals, blending together with elements of champagne and silk. The mid-cream tone features a tinge of green.

The Snow Quartz paint job consists of three layers of pearlescent paint that results in a shimmering and lustrous whiteness.

All Continental GT coupes are now able to come with Bentley's panoramic glass roof. This is the same as in the 2021 Bentayga and Flying Spur. The sunroof features polarized glass that reduces glare and interior blind clad in Alcantara that is electronically controlled by the car's console. The blind matches the car's headliner. There are 15 headliner color options to choose from.

With the addition of the paint jobs and roof, there are now over 10 billion variations a customer can choose to personalize their Continental GT.

2021 Bentley Continental GT A panoramic sunroof is available.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The model also receives the automaker's new steering wheel as standard. The wheel features a revised shape and profile, with capacitive sensing throughout the wheel rim, allowing the steering wheel to detect when it is being held. The steering wheel also features a more elegant aesthetic with a chrome bezel at the bottom of the vertical spoke.

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