Epic Journeys

Kick off your weekend with Summer Fridays, a special edition of our Sunday Reading Ritual just for the season. Each week we’ll dish up a collection of fascinating stories on a different theme.

So whether you’re hitting the road or hanging in the backyard, load up your Pocket with captivating reads for a relaxing summer weekend.

First up: seven stories about EPIC JOURNEYS—from crossing the U.S. by train to swimming from Florida to Cuba.  

The Man Who Walked Backward
Ben Montgomery, Texas Monthly
When the Great Depression put Plennie Wingo’s Texas cafe out of business, he tried to find fame and fortune by embarking on an audacious trip around the world on foot. In reverse.

We’re All in This Together
Caity Weaver, The New York Times Magazine
Tell your fellow Americans that you plan to cross the United States by train, and their reactions will range from amusement at your spellbinding eccentricity to naked horror.

Breaking the Waves
Ariel Levy, The New Yorker
In her sixties, a swimmer revives an old dream: to swim from Florida to Cuba—111 miles—no matter how many curious sharks and stinging jellyfish get in her way.

The Whalers’ Odyssey
Doug Bock Clark, The Atavist
A courageous tribe, a colossal foe, and a terrifying ocean voyage.

Zilong Wang and the Cosmic Tale of the White Dragon
John Brant, Bicycling
His beloved bike was stolen after an enlightening cross-country ride. Then karma intervened to restore all faith in humanity.

Retracing Benedict Arnold’s Foolhardy Upstream Voyage
W. Hodding Carter, Outside
Four men’s ill-considered expedition to retrace the 300-mile sufferfest endured by colonial badass Benedict Arnold and his 1,000 starving men. Their aim: to take Quebec City from the British. The imitators’ aim? To survive.

He Didn’t Stop Believin’
Alex Pappademas, GQ
And now for a different kind of journey: When the legendary rock band Journey needed to replace their lead singer, they turned to the Internet, where they found clips of an unknown 40-year-old singer from the Philippines.

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