On the Road
On the Road
by Jack Kerouac

Sal Paradise Timeline and Summary

  • Sal has split up with his wife and meets the hero-like Dean Moriarty.
  • Sal watches Dean and Carlo interact.
  • He plans to go west when Remi Boncoeur invites them.
  • Sal suffers through bad weather and gets depressed on his war across country.
  • He makes it to Chicago, which lasts about ten minutes before he leaves for Denver.
  • Sal hitches a lot of rides with, among others, a woman, a truck driver, and some college boys.
  • Sal meets Eddie, an Irish hitchhiker.
  • Sal gets on the greatest hitchhiking ride ever, a flatbed truck with a multitude of his kind of people, including Montana Slim and Mississippi Gene.
  • Sal and Slim get off in Cheyenne, get drunk, and hit on some girls.
  • Sal gets to Denver.
  • He hangs out in Tim Gray’s apartment, but without Tim Gray. Roland Major is there instead.
  • Sal meets Camille.
  • He meets up with Carlo and Dean, and they all go out drinking together in Denver.
  • Roland Major chastises Sal for being loud and drunkenly obnoxious in Tim Gray’s apartment.
  • He chills out with Eddie (who makes a miraculous appearance) and party at the Rawlins’ house.
  • Sal remarks on the creepy beatness of Carlo’s apartment, while Carlo and Dean take drugs and get all soul-connected to each other.
  • Sal treks to Central City in the Rockies with "the other gang" (i.e., not Carlo and Dean).
  • Lots of girls and booze and debauchery.
  • Sal asks his aunt for money.
  • He gets with an uninteresting girl and sleeps with her.
  • Men and women together? Sucks, he says.
  • He and Dean half-heartedly search for Dean’s father in Denver.
  • Sal arrives in San Francisco and meets up with Remi and Lee Ann.
  • Sal tries to write a story for Hollywood, but it is too sad.
  • He becomes a guard in a night barracks with Remi.
  • Sal gets drunk and hangs the flag up upside down.
  • Sal comments on Remi’s penchant for stealing. Make that everyone's penchant for stealing.
  • He starts to lust after Lee Ann, but holds himself back.
  • He watches Remi lose all his money at the racetrack.
  • Sal agrees to be on his best behavior for Remi’s stepfather, but does nothing of the sort.
  • He runs into Roland Major. They get drunk together and imitate Hemingway.
  • Sal leaves San Francisco and heads south, meeting Terry on the way to L.A.
  • He and Terry have lots of suspicions of each other followed by sex.
  • They have no money, so they get drunk together.
  • Sal meets Rickey and is drawn in by the mañana mantra until he experiences starvation.
  • He tries picking cotton and is really bad at it. But he loves being one with the earth.
  • He hitches rides to Hollywood and digs it for a few hours.
  • Sal heads home and meets The Ghost of the Susquehanna somewhere around the Mississippi River.
  • Sal makes it home just in time to see that he missed Dean.
  • He chills out in New York for a while until Dean and Co. show up.
  • Sal thinks Marylou looks hotter this time. Also, he notes that Dean is crazier.
  • He, Dean, Ed, and Marylou drive Sal’s brother’s furniture to his new house.
  • Sal explains that he was going to marry a woman named Lucille, until Dean and everybody messed it up for him.
  • He, Dean, Ed, and Marylou wash dishes to pay for their food.
  • Sal muses on Carlo’s evolving spirituality.
  • On the road, he and Dean discuss time and God.
  • Sal reveals his visions of the Shrouded Traveler.
  • Lucille chastises him for spending too much time with crazy friends.
  • Sal decides he can’t marry Lucille because he would rather chase around after his mad heroes.
  • He gets high.
  • He is unable to explain his decisions to Carlo before they leave for New Orleans.
  • Sal agrees to have an affair with Marylou, at Dean’s request, but is unable to bring himself to do it.
  • He does plan to have sex with her once they get to San Francisco.
  • Sal blames Dean’s sexual depravity on his time in jail.
  • They all take off for New Orleans.
  • Sal arrives in New Orleans, along with Dean, Marylou, and Ed.
  • He meets up with old friends Bull and Jane Lee.
  • Sal smokes pot with Bull Lee and the gang.
  • Sal examines Bull’s soulful relationship with his wife Jane.
  • Sal ignores Bull’s advice that Dean is going mad and that he (Sal) should just stay in New Orleans.
  • Sal chills out with a high Jane.
  • Sal has a vision of his father at the racetrack, but fails to recognize it and make money.
  • Sal competes with Dean and realizes Dean is so much faster than he – in more ways than one.
  • He feels protective after noting Dean’s attraction to Bull’s daughter.
  • He learns how to hop freight trains from Ed and Dean.
  • He leaves for California with Dean and Marylou.
  • When Sal is driving, he gets driven into a side ditch by some directions-seeking workers and ends up stuck in the mud.
  • He works with Dean to steal food, since they have no money.
  • After some encouragement, he gets naked along with Dean and Marylou while they drive.
  • Sal sleeps while Marylou and Dean have sex.
  • He again refuses to have sex with Marylou while Dean is away for the night, but he does talk with her about how she’s sad.
  • Sal pawns his watch for gas money.
  • Sal recalls Terry as they travel.
  • He arrives in San Francisco with Dean and Marylou.
  • Sal is surprisingly non-judgmental when Dean abandons him and Marylou without money, food or a place to stay.
  • He reveals his snake visions to Marylou.
  • He realizes that Marylou doesn’t really want him, she just wanted to use him to get to Dean.
  • As he experiences a slow and torturous starvation, Sal has visions of his "mother of about 200 years ago in England." She scolds him.
  • Sal is saved by Dean, who brings him to Camille’s place.
  • He goes out with Dean to chill with Sam Gaillard.
  • Sal has had enough of San Francisco and heads back east.
  • He ends up in Denver, completely alone and mourning the fact.
  • Sal gets money from a rich girl and heads back, once again, to San Francisco and to Dean.
  • Sal realizes that Camille and Galatea are friends, and starts to realize (gasp!) that these women are actually people, too, with feelings and everything.
  • He and Dean decide to go to Italy and have an awkward friendship moment.
  • He and Dean get chauffeured around San Francisco by Roy Johnson.
  • Sal dubs Dean the "Holy Goof" while everyone is sitting around and criticizing Dean’s life choices.
  • Sal goes out to dig San Francisco for one last night with Dean.
  • He picks up bags from Galatea, and finds her reading cards about Ed. It turns out that Dean is the corrupting force in everyone’s life.
  • Sal accompanies Dean to Denver to look for Dean’s missing father.
  • On the way, he listens to Dean talk about IT.
  • Sal defends Dean and his crazy driving to the TERRIFIED passengers the car.
  • Sal gets ridiculously angry at Dean for pointing out their age difference (Sal is five years older than Dean). Then he says scathing, mean things to him.
  • Sal then apologizes and uses some excuse having to do with defense mechanisms.
  • Sal brings Dean to a former neighbor’s house to stay.
  • He has to warn Dean to stay away from the young girl.
  • He muses on Dean’s cousin, Sam.
  • Sal wants nothing to do with Dean’s stolen cars, but helps clean up the mess.
  • He and Dean are forced to flee Denver and the stolen cars fiasco.
  • He and Dean pick up a Cadillac from a travel bureau.
  • Sal watches Dean and Beverly, a waitress, with some envy.
  • He and Dean head to Chicago with some college boys in the back seat.
  • Moments before Dean ends up in a ditch, Sal warns him that he is going too fast and may end up in a ditch.
  • Sal explains to the boys that Dean is his brother.
  • He muses on the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, the daughter of a farmer on the side of the road.
  • Sal thinks that Ed Wall "used to be Dean’s older brother."
  • Sal dubs Dean "The Angel of Terror."
  • When he can’t take the speed anymore, Sal heads for the back seat of the Cadillac.
  • Sal and Dean make it to Chicago.
  • He and Dean have a crazy jazz night.
  • Sal runs into a boring girl and tries futilely to make her not boring.
  • He and Dean end up in Detroit.
  • Sal discusses being covered in excrement; it doesn’t matter, he says.
  • He ends up back in New York with Dean.
  • Sal introduces Dean to Inez.
  • Sal realizes that the Italy plan is off.
  • Sal sells a book, so now he has money.
  • Before Sal leaves New York, he and Dean make plans to be old together.
  • Sal leaves New York. He doesn’t feel "at home" anywhere.
  • He meets Henry Glass, who is like Dean (in the jail sense) but not like Dean (in the holy goof sense).
  • He introduces Henry to Tim Gray and Stan Shephard.
  • Sal decides to go to Mexico, and suddenly finds out that Dean is coming.
  • He sees Dean as the Shrouded Traveler, pursuing him to his death.
  • Once Dean arrives, Sal declares that Dean is "finally an Angel."
  • He gets to Mexico, along with Stan and Dean.
  • He thinks Mexico is magic.
  • Sal gets high with Dean, Victor, and Stan.
  • Sal thinks that Dean is God for a moment.
  • He goes to a brothel with Victor, Dean, and Stan.
  • Sal lusts after a sixteen-year-old girl but never ends up having sex with her.
  • He goes to a bathhouse with Stan.
  • Sal spends an insect-ridden night outside in the jungle with Stan and Dean.
  • He digs the kind policeman.
  • He has a vision, or dreams, of a white horse pursued by dogs.
  • Sal wonders at the innocence of the Indians they pass as while driving.
  • He arrives in Mexico City with Dean and Stan.
  • Sal gets dysentery and is feverish when abandoned by Dean.
  • On the way back to New York, Sal meets the old man with white hair, who tells him to "go moan for man."
  • Once Sal gets back to New York, he meets the girl he has spent years looking for (Laura).
  • He thinks Dean is crazier than ever when he shows up.
  • Sal goes out with Remi one night and is not able to help Dean as Dean prepares to travel back to San Francisco, yet again.
  • Sal ruminates on his friend Dean.

Next Page: Dean Moriarty Timeline

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