The Wilderness Classroom completes another leg of their amazing adventure. Dave and Amy Freeman, Chicago’s favorite adventure travel couple, returned from the fourth leg of the North American Odyssey. Since May they have been canoeing across the Canadian wilderness starting at the Great Slave Lake all the way to the Boundary Waters to their second home in Grand Marais. They are based in Western Springs, Illinois and the majority of their school classrooms that follow them are in Chicago.
Read previous Wilderness Classroom articles:
Wilderness Classroom leaves for an adventure of a lifetime on Earth Day
Interview with the Wilderness Classroom after a 900 mile sled dog journey
I thought I had an adventurous summer when I spent a week canoeing the wilds of Quetico, Canada and then topped it off with a week in the jungles of Costa Rica. I bet your summer was nowhere near as adventurous as theirs. The beauty of it all is it is for a wonderful cause. They are creating awareness for the need to conserve our wild places and clean our waterways. They are focusing on children who follow them online through their journey.
Read my article on their mission with elementary students:
The Wilderness Classroom teaches children adventure travel problem solving skills
Here is a press release after they finished 6,000 miles of adventure travel in a year and a half.
Dave and Amy Freeman’s adventurous honeymoon began about a year and a half ago. On Tuesday, October 25th they completed a 2,300 mile canoe paddle from Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories to Grand Portage, Minnesota. This marks the end of the fourth stage of Dave and Amy’s North American Odyssey, an 11,700 mile human (and dog) powered expedition. So far they have logged over 6,000 miles in their canoe, kayaks, and dogsled.
This stage of the expedition began in the last week of May while ice still covered most of Great Slave Lake. The adventurous pair, accompanied by their favorite lead dog Fennel (a 100 lb. Lab-husky mix), worked their way up remote rivers and through immense lakes. The clear, cold waters of Lake Athabasca and Reindeer Lake were on their route, along with the algae-filled waters of Lake Winnipeg. The end of their route has taken them through Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Dave and Amy call Grand Marais, Minnesota home, so they wrapped up this leg of their journey in very familiar territory.
The purpose of the North American Odyssey is to raise awareness of North America’s waterways and wilderness. It is also a call to action, urging people to simplify their lives, reduce their carbon footprints, and get outside to enjoy nature. Their message has been heard by about 65,000 school children from around the globe so far.
Dave and Amy update an educational website, http://www.WildernessClassroom.com, where students and educators interact with the expedition team. A second website, http://www.NorthAmericanOdyssey.comserves as a blog for armchair adventurers to see what they are up to. The Freemans began the North American Odyssey in the spring of 2010 near Seattle, Washington. They paddled the Inside Passage and then headed inland, working their way up to the Mackenzie River delta. They then turned south, paddling upstream until the snow flew and they spent last winter dogsledding across the Northwest Territories to Fort Resolution.
Despite this homecoming after about 5 months of paddling, the couple are just over halfway done with the North American Odyssey. They are taking this winter break to give school presentations and attend other speaking engagements. In the spring, they will dust off their paddles once again and travel through the Great Lakes out to the East Coast, where they plan to follow the annual whale migration down the Atlantic Coast to the Florida Keys.
The Wilderness Classroom can also be followed on twitter and facebook.
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