What opium was to Coleridge, caffeine to Balzac, mescaline to Aldous Huxley, and benzedrine to Jack Kerouac, traveling by car and reporting the trip is for many travel writers. The latest example is Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey
by William Least-Heat Moon (recently reviewed in these pages) a 16,000 miles journey over three years.
But there are other contenders for good road trips. A few of the best:
…The Way of the World
by Nicolas Bouvier. From June, 1953, to December, 1954, Nicolas Bouvier and artist friend Thierry Vernet drive their sturdy Fiat Topolino from Geneva to Khyber Pass, a remarkable journey at any time in any car.
… In Search of Ireland
, by H.V. Morton. In the 1920's and ‘30's, the most popular travel books in the world as Morton motors in search of Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland, the Holy Land, and many more locales.
… Travels with Charley: In Search of America
, by John Steinbeck. In 1960, the Nobelist and his poodle, Charley, climb in their new GM camper-pickup for three months and blaze the trail for William Least-Heat Moon’s Blue Highways: A Journey into America
22 years later.
…Where Nights Are Longest: Travels by Car Through Western Russia (Traveler)
,by Colin Thubron. The world’s best living travel writer in 1981 learns Russian and drives 10,000 miles through European Russia, dogged by the KGB the whole way.
…Roads : Driving America's Great Highways
,by Larry McMurtry. The anti-Least-Heat-Moon approach as "Lonesome Dove" author McMurtry drives America’s interstates, mostly finding things he doesn’t like.