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If you are still searching for Moby Dick or pursuing other nautical adventures, feel free to continue. For those who are feeling a bit waterlogged, join me for some August Peregrinations. Grab your backpacks and put on your walking shoes as we follow in the footsteps of our author flavors of the month - John Steinbeck and Willa Cather.
In 1960, Steinbeck and his faithful travel companion, a poodle called Charley, took a car trip across the United States. They started off in New York and traveled almost 10,000 miles around and through the states until he arrived in his home town of Salinas, California. He wrote about and published his journey in Travels with Charley. Steinbeck wrote 27 books during his lifetime, including Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row as well as short stories and non fiction books.
“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” ~ Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Willa Cather, best known for Death comes for the Archbishop, My Antonia, and Oh Pioneers, lived the majority of her life in Nebraska, but traveled quite a bit through the United States as well as Europe.
“I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” ~ My Ántonia
Cather leads the list of 20 Iconic American authors and Steinbeck is one of five authors to Inspire the Ultimate American Road Trip.
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