It appears much of Travels with Charley, fiction writer John Steinbeck's romantic, solo-across-the-country travelogue, wasn't that at all. It was, in fact, a lot of fiction.
Travels with Charley was a book I read young (a gift from my mother) and it is what put the travel bug in me. Because of Steinbeck, I have always been a tad disappointed in my wanderings across the US. The romantic in me hopes to find similar characters and places, yet never I quite seem to have the experience. Now I know why - they don't exist.
UPDATE: I know, I know, if I want to experience characters nowadays I should stop at this store when I travel. Is it really that bad, people? Really?