A short walk west of Teklanika (Tek) Campground is Tek River, which flows northward from the Alaska Range. NPS Photo

A 24-year-old woman has died while hiking to the “Into the Wild” bus

A young woman from Belarus drowned while crossing the Teklanika River in Denali National Park on the way to Fairbanks Bus 142, a landmark made famous by the book and movie Into the Wild. Christopher McCandless died in the bus in 1992 while attempting to live off the land. After the book and movie about McCandless were released, the bus became a destination for some hikers.

The fatality occurred after Veramika Maikamava attempted to cross the Teklanika River by using a rope but was swept under water by the swift current. Her husband, Piotr Mrkielau, unsuccessfully attempted to rescue her, pulling her body out of the water about 100 feet from where she fell in. Maikamava is not the first hiker to die while attempting to reach Fairbanks Bus 142. In 2010, a hiker from Switzerland died in the same river while on her way to the bus. Many others have had to be rescued. 

Laid-off miners in Kentucky protest over unpaid wages

Around 60 to 100 coal miners in Harlan County, Kentucky are blocking a railroad track, preventing coal trucks from leaving a mine owned by Revelation Energy LLC. The miners are occupying the track in protest, after Revelation Energy LLC filed bankruptcy and laid off the miners without paying the wages owed to them. 

Some of the miners are carrying signs that say, “no pay, we stay” and all of them are demanding to be paid for the work they completed for the company. “We get our money, this load of coal that’s on this train can go by,” Shane Smith, one of the protesting miners, told news station WYMT. “But until then, there’ll be no trains coming in, there’ll be no trains going out.” Smith also told WYMT that he’d be arrested before he would move, a sentiment shared with many of the other protesting miners. 

Study finds an (organic) apple a day really might keep the doctor away

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology has found that apples carry more than 100 million bacteria and that some of the microbes found on apples are responsible for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. The study also found that, while organic and non-organic apples both carry the same amount of bacteria, the bacteria on organic apples is more diverse and balanced, likely leading to both healthier and tastier apples. 

And if you’re one of the people who claim to taste the difference between organic and non-organic apples, this study may back you up. A microbe called methylobacterium, which is known to increase the flavored compounds in strawberries, was significantly more present in organic apples.