By Danny Gwynn-Shapiro
With 3,000 miles under his belt, Daniel Alvarez stopped in his home town of Tallahassee for a brief respite, before setting off to continue another 1,000 miles along the Gulf Coast to Key West and the southernmost point in continental United States. What was his starting point? The Boundary Waters in Minnesota at the Canadian border, the northernmost point in the continental United States. His journey has taken him portaging and paddling, guided by an old fur trading rout not used for 200 years, down into Lake Superior, along its borders to the Mississippi, down the Mississippi to the Gulf and along the Gulf to the Florida panhandle.
As part of his Tallahassee stop, Daniel gave a talk to family, friends, supporters and interested community members on January 21st. He provided insight into his trip so far, flushed-out stories from his excellent blog (http://predictablylost.com/), answered questions and showed off his kayak.
Beyond the thrill of adventure and the challenge of testing himself, Daniel discussed his goals of raising awareness about public spaces and the vastness still able to be explored and enjoyed. He remarked on the unique perspective that comes with seeing the landscape change by paddling, something that is often lost when we fly or drive. With his trip, Daniel has aimed to “highlight the victories, losses and ongoing battles” being fought to protect these invaluable areas.
Daniel has put his money where his mouth is, donating funds he won from a contest by Outdoor Magazine to four conservation organizations (Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, American Rivers, Gulf Restoration Network and the Florida Wildlife Federation) that work to protect stretches of his paddle. We are hugely appreciative of his gift.
Daniel’s parting words where that “everyone should take a moment to think about an adventure they want to do, then go do it. Don’t wait around for it to happen, just go!” We can only hope people follow in his lead, for then our wild spaces would be truly appreciated by all.