If, like me, you'd love to visit Kerouac's Desolation Peak in the North Cascades but it's too tough a trek, there's an alternative that might give you a similar experience. It's the fire lookout at Park Butte, a few miles southeast of Jack's beloved cabin. You can read about it here. At 7 miles and 5,400 feet with a 2,200 foot elevation gain, it rivals the hike to Baxter Peak here in Maine, which almost did me in during the summer of 2009. I haven't tried anything nearly that difficult since, and may not again. But, it's in the back of my mind.
I plan to hike French's Mountain later today. It's more my speed. After all, I am approaching the double nickel. And, it's only a couple of miles from home.