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Then they watched as the other three slipped into the cold, gray water.

Elizabeth Kubik, the only woman in the group, swam to the far bank and reached for a willow branch, but it was dead and came out of the ground when she grabbed it.

The Teklanika is powerful in summertime, and about halfway across they lost their footing.

The rope dipped into the water, and Ackermann and Gros, still tied on, were pulled under by its weight.

They camp at the bus for days, sometimes weeks, write essays in the various logbooks stowed inside, and ponder the impact that Mc Candless’s antimaterialist ethic, free-spirited travels, and time in the Alaskan wild has had on how they perceive the world.

UNFORTUNATELY, A LOT OF THESE people get into trouble, and almost always because of the Teklanika.

Gros grabbed a knife, cut himself loose, and swam to shore.

He waded back out to try and rescue Ackermann, but it was too late—she had already drowned.

A hunter riding an ATV on the far shore shouted over the rush of the river, directing Grigg to Johnson.

Johnson stayed in the water, which lingers at temperatures just above freezing, for 15 minutes.

More than a month later, a moose hunter found Mc Candless’s decomposed body in a sleeping bag inside the bus, where he had starved to death.