When I arrived to the San Francisco Bay Area, my friend thrust his copy of Kerouac's Dharma Bums in my hand. "Read this" he said, "you'll like it."
Like Japhy did for Smith, I outfitted my friend, and we headed off into the smokey Sierras towards Matterhorn--to follow in Jack Kerouac's footsteps.
After living out of a car and bumming around the States for the better part of a year, I soon found myself back in Berkeley--working in libraries by day and sleeping in my Prius micro-home at night--pouring through Kerouac's description of SF and Berkeley from the 40s and 50s -- 60 years before my present bumming around the same city.
In Dharma Bums, Kerouac (Smith) describes his ascent of Mount Matterhorn (in the California Sierras), guided by their enlightened, outdoorsy friend Japhy.
My friend and I later made plans to go trekking together. It was his first overnight trek, and what better place to go than Yosemite? After all, that was where I'd gone on my first overnight trek a few years ago.
But we soon realized that Matterhorn was in the Hoover Wilderness--which borders Yellowstone (in fact, part of our hike to Matterhorn crossed into Yosemite).
And so, like Japhy did for Smith, I outfitted my friend (at an REI Used Gear sale), and we headed off into the smokey Sierras towards Matterhorn--to follow in Jack Kerouac's footsteps.
While the summit of Matterhorn could have been done in a day hike, we ended up tracing a large circle for 4 days and 3 nights. It wasn't sufficiently slow to eliminate all affects of altitude sickness, but it helped. And, boy, was it gorgeous.