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Before Steinbeck embarked on his journey, many of his neighbors came by his home in Sag Harbor, New York, to inspect his future home on wheels. Steinbeck wrote, “I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation—a burning desire to go, to move, to get underway, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored.”