Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Cannery Row

November 28th, 2011

Gone one when I’d retired to my bed. My own fault, for it’d been a late arrival at Monterey’s hostel. Not least because it wasn’t actually in Monterey, but further on in Pacific Close. I’d reached periphery of the Californian seaside town a little after sunset, struggling to make sense of the directions I had.

The small inset map in my hostel guide mentioned Cannery Row. I’d found signs for this so had headed towards it. One of my frequent stops to get my bearings eliciting the help I needed from David. We chatted for a while for he had aspirations to cycle tour.

Another example amongst many of a genuine willingness to help. Not the scripted ’Have a nice day’ but a real desire to be of assistance. I’d mentioned this earlier in the day to Lisa, a passing cyclist who’d seem me fumbling with my guidebook and had come to my aid. Perhaps, I’d added, it might be different elsewhere in the States, I’d have to see.

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The Steinbeck connection with Monterey had eluded me, the town being the setting for his novel Cannery Row. Discovering the link only when I’d finally reached the hostel, drawn to a framed letter from him hung on the wall. I’d not read the book, but was part way through one of his later works, Travels with Charley – In search of America.

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