In the Tampa Bay Times: Kayaking from Minnesota to Key West

“Daniel Alvarez woke up Thursday on a spoil island south of the Belleair Causeway and folded the tarp under which he had slept through pouring rain the night before. The clouds had parted for the morning sun, but he knew there would be storms ahead, so he wanted to get an early start.

He pulled his black hat down on his forehead and tucked the tarp into his 17-foot yellow sea kayak, the vessel that carried him here from Northwest Angle, Minn., the northernmost point in the lower 48, a journey of more than 3,000 miles.”

This guy is awesome. Great story by Ben Montgomery with photos and video.


You’re It!

“Mr. Konesky tiptoed toward Mr. Dennehy’s bedroom, burst through the door and flipped on the light. A bleary-eyed Mr. Dennehy looked up as his now-wife yelled, ‘Run, Brian!’ Mr. Konesky recalls. ‘There was nowhere for Brian to run.'”

Check out this hilarious Wall Street Journal story about a game of tag that’s lasted 23 years.

Snow Fall

Check out this New York Times multimedia piece about skiers and snowboards trapped by an avalanche. It’s an interesting, somewhat-new approach that, as one writer at Poynter put it, “tells the story through text, photos, videos and interactive graphics that blend seamlessly and come alive on the Web page.”

I read this in the middle of a family snowboarding trip to Jackson Hole, Wyo., right after the resort received about a foot of fresh snow. Days later, as we rode the chairlifts, the gondola and the tram, we could look up at the rocky cliffs above us and still see giant patches of white snow pocked with black spots — leftovers of dynamite the ski patrol set off to cause controlled mini-avalanches and protect everyone at the resort.

Presidential Hugger

Pulitzer-winner and all-around awesome person Lane DeGregory, who I met during my internship at the Tampa Bay Times, traveled to my hometown for a story!

Presidential hugger just likes to lift people up

She interviewed a local pizza man known for his charity work who became famous after he scooped up President Barack Obama. I was blown away by Lane’s ability to capture so many wonderful details about her subject in such a hectic environment and short amount of time. This paragraph is hands down the best part of her piece, especially the last line.

“Van Duzer said he didn’t ask for permission; the Secret Service didn’t know it was coming. They had put away all the restaurant’s knives and scissors. But you can’t confiscate a bear hug.”

Here’s the story behind the story by Michael Kruse, another fantastic storyteller at the Times.