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    Desolation Peak... North Cascades National Park in Washington state.

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    Desolation Peak Trail

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    Fire lookout atop Desolation Peak, North Cascade Mountains, Wash. (© Exactostock/SuperStock)

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Jack Kerouac's Desolation Peak perch

419 W 115th Street, New York. After marrying in 1944, Jack Kerouac and Edie Parker moved into apartment 51 with Joan Vollmer Adams. Allen Ginsberg moved in here later as well as William S. Burroughs. Kerouac called the time he spent here ‘a year of evil decadence’ (in Vanity Of Duluoz)

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. ~Jack Kerouac

Ever since reading "Poets on the Peaks" by John Suiter, I've dreamed of spending time in that cabin. I could spend all summer in something like this on a mountain or lake in Maine. The "Beat" poets Gary Snyder, then Philip Whalen and finally Jack Kerouac each spent time there alone, in the 1950s working as fire lookouts.

"Two young men, Jack Kerouac & Gary Snyder, search for Truth the Zen way, from yabyum & poetry in Marin County, Berkeley & San Francisco to solitude in the High Sierras & a vigil atop Desolation Peak in Washington State. Published just a year after On the Road, which put the Beat Generation on the literary map, "The Dharma Bums" helped launch the "rucksack revolution".

Jack Kerouac typed the manuscript for "On the Road" single spaced without margins or paragraph breaks on a 120'scroll in 3 weeks in the spring of 1951.

The Beats: Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke, Neal Cassady, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Gary Snyder

The main characters are the narrator Ray Smith, based on Kerouac, and Japhy Ryder, based on the poet and essayist Gary Snyder, who was instrumental in Kerouac's introduction to Buddhism in the mid-1950s.

Yodel-le-he-ho! mountain cabin | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Camping-Backpacking-Roan Mountain-Appalachian Trail-Campfires | by Kevin Adams

Kerouac. photo by Elliot Erwitt

By Caleb Pirtle III. His was a wild, exuberant, and lonely ride. Jack Kerouac was trapped in a world of poverty and despair, passion and disappointment, and his words became the heart beat of the beat generation, a lost band of writers and poets who defied form and tradition, collected their miserable souls in the coffee houses of San Francisco, hit the open road with no place to go and no idea of how to get there, and celebrated in prose and poetry their rejection of middle-class America.