The National Steinbeck Center is amazing. It is attractive, engaging, and interesting. Displays are well thought out, meandering, and filled with objects, quotes, information, films and more. It is not a dry assemblage of glass cases and pedantic, typed cards. It is brilliant - not to be missed. Click the logo to the right to visit their web site.
Map showing the route of Travels with Charley
John and Charley
Check the globe in front to see markings made by either John or Elaine with routes of their travels.
Steinbeck named his truck after Don Quixote's horse:
". . .there are others who find [the trip that resulted in Travels with Charley] so Quixotic that I am calling it Operation Windmills and have named my truck Rocinante." He also described the camper as being "like the cabin of a small boat or the shell of a learned snail."
The name Rocinante (above) is as it was painted on the side near the rear of the camper.
"Pictured above is the floor plan of the 2200 sq. ft. co-op apartment that was John Steinbeck's home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Located at 190 E. 72nd Street, it was a new building when John and Elaine moved to the thirty-fourth floor in March of 1963. It was here that the author worked on The Acts of King Arthur and wrote articles for various magazines. Also while living here he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. John Steinbeck passed away in this apartment on Dec. 20, 1968. Elaine Steinbeck lived there until her death in 2003. . . ."
A photo of John and Elaine Steinbeck outside the apartment is to the left; the apartment building exterior to the right.
When the apartment and contents were auctioned, the National Steinbeck Center acquired several items including Steinbeck's office chair and globe (at right)
Rocinante's interior. Note the bottle of Courvosier near the typewriter. Steinbeck brought so many books on the trip, he wasn't sure the springs would hold the weight.