“Charley” & America in Pictures

By Bill Steigerwald

In the fall of 2010, I retraced the road trip John Steinbeck made for his bestseller “Travels With Charley.” Along with posting blogs to “Travels Without Charley” at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I took nearly 2,000 pictures of America and Americans.

I took snapshots of people I met, places I went or things I thought were interesting, pretty, funny or stupid. I photographed many places Steinbeck mentions in “Travels With Charley” as well as hotels and homes he stayed at while on his 1960 journey.

Some of my photos are pretty good, some are blurry or kind of crazy. Many were taken through my car windows at 70 mph.

Collectively they help me tell the true story of “Travels With Charley” and provide a hint of the beautiful country and good people I saw on my high-speed dash down the Steinbeck Highway.

Here are some photos from Bangor to Deer Isle, Maine, which is about 50 miles south of Bangor on the Atlantic coast.


On the road from Bangor to Deer Isle: Maine culture in one picture.DSC_1931_copy

The bridge to Deer Isle, where Steinbeck stayed two nights on the

property of a beautiful house by the sea owned by Eleanor Brace.

The only bridge from the mainland to Deer Isle.


Duke, who used to take care of Eleanor Brace’s property on Deer Isle, where
Steinbeck stayed two nights, gave me directions to the house.


two nights, then drove north to the top of Maine.



One Response to Steinbeck’s two-nighter on Deer Isle

  1. Nancy says:

    Great post, disillusioning news. It certainly does affect my opinion and memory of Steinbeck, even if the truth is so cynically dismissed by the scholar. Somewhere in my memory there was a satirical poem about scholars, and some research revealed that it was by Yeats and included this line: all think what other people think which is probably why most academics simply footnote what they have heard somewhere and don’t have the guts to revise false history, or yell fake! which is certainly what ought to be done in this case.