Kayaker completes Minnesota-to-Key West tripDaniel Alvarez, who passed through Duluth last September on a kayak trip from the Northwest Angle to Key West, Fla., is done paddling.
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
Daniel Alvarez, who passed through Duluth last September on a kayak trip from the Northwest Angle to Key West, Fla., is done paddling.
Alvarez, 31, of Tallahassee, Fla., reached Key West on Saturday, he reported in an e-mail Sunday.
“I wanted to let you know that I made it to Key West!” Alvarez wrote. “I paddled in on the 9th, and now I just have no idea what I’m going to do next. It’s a good and terrifying feeling, but I’m sure I will figure it out soon.”
Alvarez made the 4,000-mile journey with a $10,000 sponsorship from Outside magazine and the donation of a kayak from a manufacturer. Along the way, he met and was befriended by many individuals and families, just as he had been on his previous long-distance hikes. He has through-hiked the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail, the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail and the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail. He also found time to graduate from the Yale Law School and worked as an attorney for two years.
He made the trip in part to support protection for waterways along his route. One of the groups he chose to highlight was Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, based in Minneapolis.
“When I got to the end yesterday (March 9),” Alvarez wrote, “there were a ton of people on the beach and they were all cheering me on. I felt pretty silly because they thought I’d done it alone, when really I would never have made it close without a hundred different people along the way who helped.”
While paddling down the North Shore of Lake Superior last summer, Alvarez made detours to Isle Royale and to the Apostle Islands.
When he passed through Duluth in September, Alvarez told the News Tribune that many people he had met along the way were envious.
“A lot of them say, ‘I wish I could do that,’ ” Alvarez told the News Tribune. “If you make it a priority, you can. If you don’t make it a priority, there are a thousand excuses not to do it. Eventually, you just have to get in the boat and start paddling.”