Beats on the Peaks: Lookout Poets and Backcountry Tales on Ross Lake
|Program Series||Field Excursions|
|When||Thu Aug 14, 2014 05:00 PM to Fri Aug 15, 2014 09:00 AM|
|Where||North Cascades Environmental Learning Center|
|Add it to your calendar||
NOTE: This adventure begins Thursday night 8/14 at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center before heading out for two nights on Ross Lake, Friday 8/15 and Saturday 8/16. It concludes Sunday evening 8/17 with a home-cooked dinner back at the Learning Center.
“On the solitary lookouts of the Cascades, the Beat movement seems to take flight even as its poets learn to sit.” — Stephen Prothero
During the 1950s, several young men took summer work as fire lookouts in the North Cascades and their experiences helped to shape a generation. Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen and Jack Kerouac went on to prolific careers in literature and poetry, as well as important contributions to Zen Buddhism, the Dharma and the birth of a wilderness ethic.
Venture up Ross Lake and immerse yourself in this fascinating literary history of the North Cascades while taking in the beauty of the landscape, “virtually unchanged since these men journeyed there thanks to the environmental protections they helped inspire,” as biographer John Suiter notes. Traveling by boat with two great storyteller-naturalists with decades of backcountry experience between them, we’ll read poetry and lookout journals, go hiking and tour the lake’s hidden canyons.
The highlight of our adventure will be hiking to the top of Desolation Peak where Kerouac, the reluctant “King of the Beats,” spent the summer of 1956 -- an experience he famously documented in his novels The Dharma Bums and Desolation Angels. Don’t miss this annual expedition of books, rucksacks, campfire tales and jaw-dropping views!