Has anyone here ever hiked the Stampede Trail, also called the 142 Bus trail, Magic Bus trail, etc.? I am intrigued, not because I view Chris McCandless as a hero, or visionary, or at the other end of the spectrum, an idiot with a death wish, but simply because I want to sit in the bus, look around, and try to understand the conditions of his experience. Regardless of someone's view of him or his story, something has to be said about trying to fathom that amount of isolation and disconnection. I wish to take some time to revel in the silence.

So if anyone has done this trail, any information would be helpful, and fwiw, I plan to make it a 4-5 day trip, to enjoy it without feeling rushed. So on to some specifics:

Equipment:
Is this trail suitable for hammocks? (Being in AK, I assume it is)
Are bear canisters required or is stringing up a bear bag acceptable?
Will it get too cold in the late spring/early summer months for an alcohol stove to be effective?
Are boots a necessity or would some form of trail runners be adequate?
I should expect rain, but what about average temps? Will I need to be prepared for intensely cold situations during that time?

Trail:
What were the trail conditions? (Overgrown, muddy, dry, steep, flat, etc.)
How did you handle the river crossings?
What is the best month to cross?
What is the best time of day to cross?
(The rivers are really the only part I am worried could halt my trek, even as an experienced whitewater guide. I just know not to underestimate ANY moving body of water)
Were bears an issue when you went?
And lastly, what did you feel when you got to the 142 bus?

Thank you for any info!