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Kerouac’s Last Stand

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Kerouac’s Last Stand —

I thought of Kerouac’s last stand today as I picked beet greens on the farm.

I thought of Kerouac’s last stand last night when I realized that I was too tired from a long day of work to type any more words.

I think of Kerouac’s last stand as I look forward at a Path that has gotten far more challenging than my usual traveler’s fare:

“Spiderwebs inside of spiderwebs inside of spiderwebs.”

I now know the process by which kids give up what they love to become adults. Growing up, perhaps, is a process of gradually disposing of “want tos” and replacing them with “have tos.”

I have never been very savvy at letting my “want tos” go unrequited. But I am just about to step out onto what may become my most challenging road yet.

I think now of Kerouac’s last stand:

After the journey’s were done, and the books written, Jack Kerouac — perhaps in a final attempt to ward off ending his days as a couch sitting drunk — packed up his rucksack for one last hitchhiking journey across the USA. He went out for one last stand.

He ended up standing out in the rain on the side of the highway for 5 hours without getting a ride.

It was over.

I try to stave off these thoughts as I look at the complicated road that I am just beginning to trod. A wife, family, kid, travel, website, writing, journalism.

Can I keep this all together? Can I keep this package in a bunch without allowing any of it to fall back and be left behind?

Perhaps I can. Just as long as I stand in the rain for as long as it takes to hitch a ride.

A car will stop.

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Filed under: Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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