Three really excellent recent pieces of writing that seemed to group together for me were on travel deep into Mexico, attending a wilderness survival course and calamitous flooding in Colorado last year.
For the New York Times, Mark Sundeen wrote "Ignoring the Warnings for a Honeymoon in Mexico" and it's a short piece that pulls the reader in with the question of what's going to happen next. Really well written from Sundeen and brings to mind for me his 2012 feature "Why Noah Went to the Woods" for Outside Magazine.
Another interesting recent short piece was "I Will Survive: Going Wild at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy" by Austin Murphy for the Sports Illustrated website and a great recent lengthy feature was from Robert Sanchez with "The Rising" for 5280 Magazine. Sanchez wrote of the September 2013 cataclysmic flooding of the Big Thompson River near Loveland, CO and it's a great tale of danger and heroism. Seeing the piece in the Denver-based 5280 brought to mind for me the excellent essay for 5280 "Yesterday's News" by J.R. Moehringer about starting out as a writer at the Mountain News.