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At the start of the book, Lennie and George are just coming to the little heavenly bit of the Salinas River near Soledad. They have been hitchhiking this way so that they can get to the ranch where they have been told they will work.
They are coming from Northern California, from the town of Weed. (Weed really is a town. You'd think the name is a joke, but one of my ex-students went to a junior college in Weed.)
The two men have had to leave Weed because Lennie has been accused of molesting a woman. After running away, the stopped by an employment agency that has sent them to the ranch.
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