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In the Footsteps of Jack Kerouac on Matterhorn Peak,
or Finding My Own Personal Karma

By Thomas Becker   about me  
No other book has shaped my youth—and much of my adulthood, for that matter—as much as Jack Kerouac's "The Dharma Bums." Ever since I read the book, I wanted to retrace the steps of Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder (a.k.a. Japhy Ryder) as they hiked from Twin Lakes outside Bridgeport, California up to the Sawtooth Ridge and climbed Matterhorn Peak.

In particular, I always remembered how Kerouac said that the performance of these three guys on Matterhorn Peak, Morley who stayed down at the lake, Kerouac who gave up just below the summit, and Gary Snyder who made it to the top, mirrored each man's personal Karma. This made me think that perhaps I could find out about my own Karma by trying the same thing. So really, this hike was all about Finding My Own Personal Karma. Wow, that ought to be fun.

Many people who know me would probably put me in the same Karma category as Morley, who couldn't remember if he had drained the radiator of the car, went back to check, found that he had indeed drained it, but then was too late and too exhausted to make a serious attempt on the mountain. Well, if that's what you expect of me, I don't blame you, but stay tuned.