Newlywed Alaskan Woman Dies Trying to Reach the Bus Made Famous by 'Into the Wild'

A woman in Alaska passed away this week while trying to reach the abandoned bus featured in Into the Wild. The 1996 book by Jon Krakauer and the film adaptation by Sean Penn in 2007 both revolved around the broken down vehicle where a hiker took refuge through the summer. For this young newlywed, however, the wilderness was perilous.

The woman was named Veramika Maikamava, according to a report by The Washington Post. Alaska State Troopers released a statement saying that she and her husband, Piotr Markielau, were trying to hike out to the bus because of their love for Into the Wild. Near Healy, Alasaka, they attempted to cross the Teklanika River, but Maikamava was swept under the water.

Markielau reportedly tried to save his wife, but authorities say he had no chance, as the river "was running high and swift due to recent rains. All he could do was pull her remains from the water, though she had already passed.

Maikamava was just 24 years old. She and Markielau had reportedly been married for less than a month, and were still out seeking adventures like the infamous bus from Into the Wild.

Maikamava's body was sent to the medical examiner, authorities said. An investigation into her passing will be conducted.

Into the Wild tells the true story of hiker Christopher McCandless. McCandless traveled all throughout the Alaskan wilderness in 1992, carrying little food or supplies. He found himself living in the broken down buss for the entire summer. Finally, his body was found inside of it in September.

Visitors often trek out to see the bus where McCandless made his home for a cold summer. It is often referred to as the "Magic Bus" and can be reached by skilled hikers along Alaska's Stampede Trail.

In 2007, Sean Penn wrote and directed a film adaptation of Into the Wild. It starred Emile Hirsch as McCandless, with other cast members including Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart and William Hurt. The movie was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards.


The movie was not filmed at the sight of the actual bus, however. According to a report by Men's Journal at the time, the remote location would have made the technical demands of a movie shoot nearly impossible.

Instead, the production set up about 50 miles south, with a replica bus near the small town of Cantwell, Alaska. That set piece is used as a tourist attraction not far from where Maikamava passed in Healy, Alaska.