Tracing the Steps of On the Road

Literary pilgrimages, in which one shadows the adventures of a fictional character, is some of the most rewarding travel around if you are a bibliophile.

Certainly the most famous example of such travel is Bloomsday, a national holiday where intoxicated fans of James Joyce’s Ulysses reenact a 24-hour jaunt through Dublin.

While there are many other literary journeys across the globe, the American version of disturbed, lost souls wandering about can be found within the classic, On the Road.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s seminal work, journalist Christopher Reynolds thoughtfully updated and modernized the journey of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty as they gallivanted from coast to coast.

Revisiting sites from ‘On the Road’ is the perfect guide for such a journey. Reynolds breaks down the article into sections titled “In the book” in which he describes the places Sal and Dean visited. He then follows up with a “Now” section in which he directs the reader to these same places today. Naturally, a few have disappeared. There are, however, a surprising number of restaurants and hotels which are still standing and awaiting the Kerouac faithful.