DETROIT, Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This autumn's issue of American Road celebrates America's great nature writers and the retreats for which they reserved their wildest praises. We anchor the issue in salty, sandy style by following the route Henry David Thoreau himself forged across Cape Cod in October 1849. We seek for pieces of the shipwreck Saint John in Cohasset, meet a mosser in Scituate, bathe in the beam of Highland Light, wade after oysters at Wellfleet, and scale sand dunes outside Provincetown. We do it all—and more—becoming pilgrims in that place where the Pilgrims first landed.
Nature writing remains our theme throughout the issue as we designate "American Road's Top 12 Classic Nature Books." Walden (1854) makes the grade, of course, but so do lesser-known masterpieces such as Isabella Bird's airy ode to Colorado, A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879); Sigurd F. Olson's paean to Minnesota, The Singing Wilderness (1956); and the snowshoe-cum-canoe collection of Canadian stories that comprise Grey Owl's Tales of an Empty Cabin (1936). Our feature "The Road to Slabsides" visits the bark-covered retreat of naturalist John Burroughs, evergreen friend to Walt Whitman. And our road departments seek out John Audubon's birds, Aldo Leopold's Sand County, John Muir's woods, and Robert Louis Stevenson's Petrified Forest—the last still operating, outside Calistoga, California—a particularly apt symbol of Nature's eternal endurance.