On his way to Maine he notices a commonality between most of the “summer” stores. Antique shops, that border a lot of the roads up North, sell old “junk” that Steinbeck would buy if he thought he had room for it.During his trip, he stops at a little restaurant just outside the town of Bangor.Steinbeck discusses many common points brought up in society today.
The first change that he makes apparent early on in this section is the waitress in the restaurant of an auto court located outside of Bangor.He wrote that he was moved by a desire to see his country on a personal level, since he made his living writing about it.He had many questions going into his journey, the main one being "What are Americans like today".However, he found that the "new America" did not live up to his expectations.He traveled throughout the United States in a specially made camper called Rocinante, named after the horse of Don Quixote. His trip was one that outlined the border of the United States, going all throughout the North, through the Pacific Northwest, down into his native Salinas Valley, across to Texas, up through the Deep South, and then back to New York. In the two chapters of Part 1, Steinbeck describes his life long wanderlust and his preparations to travel the country after 25 years.The two seem to conclude that a combination of fear and uncertainty over the future has limited discussion over the election.Steinbeck seems to learn more about local people through morning radio, although he notes that due to the Top 40: "If Teen-Age Angel Steinbeck starts off this part of his journey on US Highway 1 for a visit to Maine.This waitress sucked all of the happiness out of everyone with her dismal attitude.He, being tired from a long day of driving, could not resist and had his happiness drained away.This introduces a theme that hangs over this chapter as Steinbeck notes that the "submarines are armed with mass murder, our silly, only way of deterring mass murder" (21).He talks to a sailor stationed on a sub who enjoys being on them because they offer all kinds of – future” (22).